Monday, May 07, 2007

The applications Corporate IT didn't put there

I have a shiny new laptop at work. My corporate IT folks ghosted the standard corporate app suite to my hard drive, downloaded some special applications that I have licenses for (such as Microsoft Project) migrated my MyDocuments, email, and other data folders and gave me back the machine to configure to my hearts content.

Even though all my data is there, it always takes a while to get a computer just the way I like it. I have a number of little applications that make life easier, and many of them do not come from corporate. I was at a conference last week when one of the presenters made a good point: "How many of you use Google?" Who gave you permission? Consumer applications are as much a part of my job toolkit as are the corporate issue applications. When I started listing applications I needed to download, and I was amazed at the length of the list. Some highlights:

  • Yahoo Desktop Search/X1
    I swear by this tool: It is the best email search tool ever. This is my knowledge management tool for email.
  • Opera
    I don't use opera much anymore, but its nice to have to check for browser compatibility
  • Firefox
    My usual browser. I'd use it for everything if it weren't for crappy microsoft applications (Sharepoint, Outlook webmail) that require IE.
  • Google Toolbar
    In just the 4 hours of not having this installed, I realized just how much I rely on that little search box.
  • toolbar
    So I can bookmark things I'm looking at. I particularly love the Firefox version, which replaces my bookmarks entirely.
  • Firefox extensions: Spell check
    Spell check keeps me from looking stoopid.
  • GAIM
    For the bajillion different chat logins and clients I seem to have.
  • Google Talk
  • Because Google does some non-standard things with their XMPP (like use TLS), sometimes GoogleTalk is just easier.
  • Skype
    This isn't really a work tool - this is how Dean and I talk when we're on the road, without incurring $200 in long distance charges...
  • Beyond Compare
    For syncing files between my computer and the share drive. It costs $17 but its soooo worth every penny.
  • SnagIt
    For capturing screen shots, and doing limited photo editing. Also costs $, but I have the project cover the cost because preparing documents/screen shots is what we do.
  • DeskPDF
    This little tool lets you print from any application to PDF. I use it mostly for sharing visio diagrams with other people.
  • Textpad
    For code. Costs about $30.

1 comment:

Gordon said...

All good tips - but... I would say that you left out Launchy, which I absolutely can't live without. And I would also add that I like Notepad++ for code much better than Textpad, because it has much better language support, and non-stupid shortcuts...