My laptop was slowly starting to die. Wendy dropped it off the couch and the motherboard was damaged where the a/c adapter plugs in. A friend was able to repair it was but it was needing some more work.
I looked around at a bunch of notebooks and the big question was to go with Vista or stay with XP. I thought briefly about getting a MacBook or an G4 iBook but decided against it. This article in the New York Times today affirmed my decision. After talking with some friends who had gone to Vista and looking at some reviews online, I decided to stay with XP and pick up a cheap Dell Latitude D600 which I got off lease buy back. Vista seems sluggish with under 2 gigs of RAM and even with a dual core, it seems slow. I’ll wait until some quad cores start appearing in notebooks to upgrade or take the plunge and go to Ubuntu in a year.
Today I spent a couple of hours downloading and getting my new laptop working again. I don’t know what you use but here is what I use to get things done.
Office Suite and Productivity
- Open Office (free) with some excellent extensions that are now available.
- AbiWord (free) When I write I like a word processor that gets and stays out of my way.
- Palm Desktop (free) Syncs with my Palm and keeps my life sync’d between work and home.
- Adobe Photoshop: Gimp is horrible.
- Picasa (free) Google’s photo organizer. The nice thing is that allows me to easily backup all of my photos.
- Microsoft Photo Story (free)
- Windows Movie Maker and some add ons (free)
- Windows Live Writer for blogging (free)
- FreeMind (free) I have started using mind mapping software a while ago and it has helped me organize some things in my mind and also for others.
- Mozilla Firefox (free)
- Apple Safari (free) It isn’t that bad but it isn’t that great.
- Google Talk (free) Username: email@example.com
- Windows Live Messenger (free) Username: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Skype w/ PowerGramo for recording podcasts (free) Username: jordoncooper
- WS_FTP LE (free) I generally use WebFTP but every once in a while it is nice to have something when it is flaky.
- Google Earth (free) Mark and I have spent hours playing with it. Now we can explore the galaxy.
- KompoZer (free) In March 2007, KompoZer was featured on Download.com’s round up on the best free alternatives to Adobe CS3, where it was favorably compared to Adobe Dreamweaver.
- Adobe Dreamweaver
- Top Style Lite
- CC Cleaner (free) I just started to use this but I like it better than EZ Cleaner.
- EZ Cleaner (free)
- PDF Creator (free) Since I use Open Office which does a good job of publishing to PDF, I don’t use this a lot but every once in a while I need a PDF from a different program and this does a great job.
- Fox It Reader (free) So much faster than Adobe Acrobat that it is ridiculous and should make Adobe ashamed of themselves.
- Winamp (free)
- Last.fm (free)
- iTunes (free)
- Sony PSP Media Manager (free… kind of if you download it from the Sony Japanese site)