Wednesday, February 14, 2007



Blogger Adam DeWitz has asked others what tools they use. I first saw his request on Steve Duncan's Lornitropia and I responded there. But I have copied my comments from there and added hot links, and added a few other comments as well.

Steve Duncan
Adam DeWitz
Peter Muir

On my desktop (Windows) I use StarOffice (the paid version of OpenOffice). I use Excel only when I have to make charts. I use 2 free browsers developed by Anderson Che. The one that sits on top of IE is Avant Browser which adds all kinds of goodies like ad blocking and a variety of creature comforts that IE does not have. I have been experimenting with his Orca Browser, still in beta, that sits on top of Firefox. I have no clue when he will release Orca for real. I use Eudora as my mail program on my business account. Eudora was just released to the open source community by Qualcomm, and I expect that some of its features will be come part of Thunderbird at some point. Next time I set up a computer from scratch, I’ll probably use Thunderbird. For instant messaging, I use Gaim, which is open source and consolidates all of my instant messaging into one clean nice window from all of the services. For VOIP I use Skype and I have had fun using Pamela for Skype which has allowed me to record interviews that I do for my podcast quite nicely. Pamela is free but there are paid upgrades available. When I need to write something quick, I use the open source word processor AbiWord. It loads faster than Word or OpenOffice and gets the job done. It has minimal features, but when you're just dumping text, it's a got all you need.

I have a Logitech iFeel mouse, one of the most unsuccessful pointing gadgets (from a sales perspective) that has been a joy to use. Unfortunately its driver conflicts with all versions of MSWord starting with XP. That’s OK because I have grown to hate using MSWord. For PDF making I use the open source PDF Creator when I am not using StarOffice, which has PDF making built in. For PDF reading I use FoxIt Reader which is much faster that Acrobat Reader. For system maintenance I use SystemSuite Professional, which is far less annoying than Norton Systemworks. I also use PowerDesk for my file management. For audio recording and editing I use the open source Audacity.

On my notebook, I have a dual boot system with Windows and Ubuntu 6.10. I have grown to love working with Ubuntu and I expect that the new release in April of version 7.04 will throw me over the edge to put it onto my desktop. In Ubuntu, I have experimented with the beta of CrossOver Office from CodeWeavers and loaded MSOffice2000 and worked with it with absolutely no problems at all. It was amazing to be thinking that MSOffice runs faster in Linux with an emulator. I have decided that once 7.04 comes out I will buy a new notebook that will be solely Linux-based.

In Ubuntu, I have all of my favorite software as part of the package: OpenOffice, Gaim, Audacity, Skype, AbiWord, Firefox, and others. I also like using Gnumeric, an open source spreadsheet. My biggest problem going "all-Linux" is replacing the charting capabilities of Excel. But I will be able to use CrossOver Office to handle what is absolutely necessary.

For e-mail I use Yahoo for personal stuff and newsletters, and I use GMail for all of my news alerts, and also
for my blog e-mail. Gmail’s spam filtering seems to work incredibly well.

My blogs are in Blogger, but I am quite impressed with WordPress and will be switching to it soon.

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Thanks to Tim Anderson my graphic designer and owner of Southbay Print and 206 Productions from Redondo Beach.
My favorite tool is for Image Layout. It's a full postscript Rip as well. Cheap to
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