In the grand old tradition, I will highlight some of my favorite computer applications.
For the 3rd straight year I have to give the medal to the quintessential operating system, errrr, shell, errr… text editor? The only downside is that it has taken me the past 3 years to finally become productive with it.
I am constantly amazed at what Eclipse can do. I spend more of my time in Eclipse than any other piece of software ever (except for perhaps Dragon Warrior).
NetBeans is included simply to allow for a runner-up, but I tend to spend very little time there. I do enjoy the Java GUI builder and will use it on occasion.
Now that I have switched to using OSX at both work and home, I can finally put it on the top of my list. There is very little that I can point to as being deficient in it and with a full-blown *nix underneath I finally feel at home. That’s not to say that I buy into the iProduct mentality that comes with Apple products; instead I want only to get things done as quickly and as painlessly as possible… OSX provides that for me.
Runner-up(s): Kubuntu Linux
It took many years, but the Redhat/Fedora supremacy in my life has been broken. I suppose it was yum that finally broke me of my love affair with Redhat/Fedora, but really it’s the simplicity of Kubuntu that finally grabbed me (also, see KDE below).
While Python is no longer the stylish language that it once was, I am still fascinated by it. I thought that I had a solid grasp on it, but that was before I discovered generators and closures. It’s like being a kid again.
Java is my language of trade, but that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying every minutes of using it. I have expanded my exposure to Java into the webapp realm, and this has helped to fuel my passion for using it.
Supplanted Trillian as my messenger of choice. In reality, it would have done so earlier had I access to IM at work at my previous job.
Perhaps it was a product of the hardware, or perhaps it was simply the packaging with Fedora, but I found Gnome to be unusable. I grew up with Gnome and used it since the beginning, but the constant freezes, crashes, and inconsistencies that I was experiencing disgusted me. I had to move on. Since doing so, I have not had any issues with my window manager.
Paranoia Software: Silence on the Wire
Originally funded by the United States Navy (now open source), Tor provides a suite of tools for anonymous web activity. It’s not 100% reliable, but it provides a level of security above and beyond an open pipe to the Internets.
Paranoia Software: Secure Deletion
Wipe is an easy to use command line utility to securely delete files and folders in a *nix environment. The software has not been updated in over a year, but I have my own local copy that I carry around and have modified a bit that works well for me.