Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Computer related recommendations

These are the tools I find myself using the most recently. Overall I detect a move toward Microsoft products.

IE7 and IE8 Beta 2 - Once in a while I use Google Chrome and overall I like it. However, I don't like the idea that Google would know not only what I search for but every site I browse to as well. Firefox has been freezing up on me too much lately.

Microsoft Live Mesh - Live Mesh automatically synchs folders between my laptop and my desktop. It also allows you to remote control one computer in your mesh from another. This tool alone removes 90% of the reasons I used Google's web-based applications. Brilliant strategy from Microsoft.

Password Safe - I use Password Safe to keep track of all my online userids and passwords. Live Mesh synchs the password file across my computers.

Microsoft Office OneNote - I keep track of projects, to-do items, Christmas lists, etc. with OneNote. I used to use Google Notebook for this, but I got incredibly frustrated when it wouldn't reliably let me bold items. OneNote is really cool. And of course, I use Live Mesh to synch it between computers.

Mozy - Mozy backs up my main computer every couple hours. I don't have to worry about permanently losing pictures, documents, and so on, even if my house burns down. It's only $5/month.

Google Reader - I track 20-30 blogs with Google Reader. The UI has really improved recently; however, it doesn't render properly in IE8 Beta 2. Hopefully that will be fixed soon.

Launchy - I use this on my XP laptop to launch applications quickly. I don't find a need for it on Vista with its improved Start Menu.

Live Photo - I've switched from Picasa to Microsoft's Live Photo. Picasa was dormant for a long time, and I found that Vista's built-in photo software was pretty good. Live Photo is basically the same thing for XP.

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