I thought I’d share the applications that I must have on my computer and devices. They are the ones you first install after rebuilding your device and they are the most used applications. I am going to separate them between work and home. This list does not include my favorite games, maybe I will post them at another time. The reason I’m sharing this list is because I was inspired by another blogger whose list I refer to whenever I’m looking for a utility. Scott Hanselman’s 2009 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows. I emailed him today asking for a recent list because he has twittered and inadvertently videoed some new utilities. I’ll mention in my list below if I heard about it from him.
Stardock Fences – I heard about this from Scott Hanselman post on Herding Cats: Organize your Desktop Icons with Stardock Fences for Windows. I’ve just recently started using this application and like how I appear organized and uncluttered. Just like walking into a clean room except it’s in a virtual space. It does remind me a little of Windows for Workgroups 3.11, where you had windows of organized folders.
KeyPass – (Stored in the Cloud with Asus WebStorage) I run the none installed version from off of the cloud. This isn’t something I install but I thought it was note worthy since I use it to store all my passwords and I can access it from anywhere.
Microsoft OneNote 2010 – My note taker and idea tracker. I’ve also used this at work when first starting a project I through all my thoughts in a OneNote. I track the previous project, new requirements, discussions, emails, boardroom drawings, and more. I can store the OneNote on my Microsoft Live space so that I can access it from any computer with OneNote and I link it to my Windows Phone 7 device. I use the phones pinning feature to pin the OneNote page that I’m currently obsessing over. At the this time I have a character from a book I’d like to write in my pinned list.
Adobe Photoshop - I am always doodling and designing. Making logos or editing pictures. Since Photoshop runs at a high price I've also used Paint.Net and Inkscape. These last two applications I heard about from Scott Hanselman by his blog and following him on Twitter.
DisplayFusion – I don’t use this tool to its potential. I just use it because I am addicted to multiple screens and like to have different backgrounds on them.
Zune – I used to use iTunes but then I feel in love with the WP7 and haven’t gone back. iTunes was very painful for me. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t meant for the PC, but it would always lock up on me during launch, download and playback of video. I swear now that I will never spend money on iTunes again. Zune is very simple, in fact if you use it you’ll agree that it’s drag n’ drop simple.
Asus WebStorage – I got this with my ASUS Eee Slate and have become a fan. To the cloud! I use this as I mentioned above for my KeyPass, but also I use it to backup data and sync files between my devices. I haven’t yet but I can also use it to share with friends and family.
Internet Explorer 9 – Be honest, if you didn’t have an Internet Browser on your computer wouldn’t that be the first thing you installed. For that reason alone I had to add this to my list. IE9 is my preferred browser, but as a web developer you need to have the primary three flavors. This means I also have Chrome and Firefox installed. FYI, I use Bing as my search engine.
Livescribe Smartpen – I bought it for taking meeting and seminar notes. I also thought it could help me work on writing my ideas and book notes. Honestly, I don’t use it as much is I’d hope.
Social Media Application – I currently just use the websites for Twitter, Facebook, MSN, LinkedIn, and the such. I’ve tried TweetDeck, Seesmic, blu, bDule, and others. I haven’t found my perfect fit just yet, but the closest so far has been Sobees bDule.
AVG - My virus protection software of choice.
Scrivener – Writing tool used to help write books, papers, poems, and playwrights. At the time of this post they were in beta trials for their Windows version. It’s purchase price is listed at around $45.00.
Kindle for PC & Kindle for WP7 – I love reading from any device like my PC, Kindle, and my WP7. The books I have on there now are Patrick Rothfuss The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two, Orson Scott Card Pathfinder, Nancy Drew Nancy Drew 01: The Secret of the Old Clock, and Megan McDonald Judy Moody. Of course the Judy Moody and Nancy Drew are for my 7 year old daughter. Even if you don’t have the device this is really a great way to read and purchase more books. The one thing I wish they had was a library membership.
Mozilla Thunderbird – I’d really like to use Outlook, but I don’t want to spend that much money on an email application. I have too many email addresses and am not a big fan of email through a web browser. I have never conformed to that webmail, maybe it’s because I grew up with the AOL client. I feel so set in my ways.
Cyberlink PowerDVD - A good program for playing DVD's and blu-rays.
Picasa - I use Picas to store, manage, and organize my photos and images.
Visual Studio 2010 – After all I am currently a .Net Developer.
Microsoft Expression Studio – I mainly use Blend and Web from the tools. As a student you can get the software free through DreamSpark.com
Gadwin Systems PrintScreen – I am using the freeware version. The reason I’m using this is because it allows you to include the mouse pointer or menu popups with the screenshot. It can be customized so that you don’t feel the difference between it and a regular prtscn keystroke.
ZoomIt – A kick butt screen magnifier. This utility is perfect for overhead display or if someone is looking over your shoulder and you want to focus them to specific area. I’ve been to a lot of local events out here in Virginia and ZoomIt is very popular among the speakers.
SQL Server Management Studio – Yep, I use this because of my current interaction with SQL Servers.
Free Regular Expression Designer - A good application for deciphering and helping you build regular expressions.
Applications Used at Previous Employment
Synergy – I had multiple computers including a Linux box running different flavors (mostly RHEL), a Windows XP laptop, and a Windows Server 2003 desktop. I used Synergy to switch between all three computers using the same keyboard and mouse. I loved this application.
Tortoise SVN – We had a subversion server used to backup our work and I preferred Tortoise SVN to work with the files.
Putty - Love this application, used it for tunnels and to communicate with linux hosts.
What are your “Must Have” applications?