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Favorite Apps of the Computers: 2007

May 1, 2007

In the grand old tradition, I will highlight some of my favorite computer applications.

Text Editor
Winner: Emacs
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.

Runner-up(s): TextPad
Textpad for windows slightly edges TextWrangler for OSX.

Winner: Eclipse
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).

Runner-up(s): NetBeans
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.

Operating System
Winner: OSX
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).

Programming Language
Winner: Python
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.

Runner-up(s): Java
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.

Winner: Firefox
With the creation of Foxmarks, I love it even more.

Instant Messenger
Winner: Adium
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.

Desktop Environment
Winner: KDE
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
Winner: Tor
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
Winner: Wipe
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.


2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Ben Morris

    Regarding text editors, have you tried TextMate for OS X? I use it for programming (mostly ruby) at work and love it, I’d say its a more useful and powerful text editor than anything other than vim and emacs, and for most purposes prefer it over those too (wish it wasn’t os x only though).

  2. I like TextMate very much, in fact I use the free version TextWrangler often. I spend quite a bit of time in the command line however, so Emacs is where I live.

    Thanks for commenting. -m

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