Tag Archives: Software

What I Use – Newly Updated and Revised

Here’s an update of the list I published in December 2008 of the key technologies I use.

Here’s a quick list of the software, computers and other technology that I use along with some explanations:

  1. iPhone GS3 32 GB – great phone, okay service from AT&T (service has recently improved in the Charleston area, especially on the Ravenel Bridge); see separate list of iPhone Applications below.
  2. MacBook Pro – I use my computer at home, at a vacation home, at the office, and when I travel.  Since I bought an Apple Airport Base Station for my house, my WiFi connections are working much better and easier to manage.  That lets me move around more with my laptop.  I still use it like a desktop machine at the office, but at home I use the machine on the coach, on the dinning room table, in bed.  I use it in many more places.  I have extra power cords that I leave in the places my MacBook is most likely to run out of juice.  That way I don’t have to plug, unplug, coil and carry power cords everywhere.
  3. Apple Cinema Dispaly – I use a Cinema Display at work.  The visual quality and product design rock.  Interestingly Apple has stopped selling these displays.  I wish it was easy to hook 4 displays to my MacBook Pro.
  4. New Multi-touch Apple Magic Mouse – I only made one mistake with this mouse: I showed my kids how cool it is.  My wife bought one the day after she tried mine.  If you don’t have one, get one.
  5. Gmail – I LOVE the archive feature.  It’s great to be able to pull up old mail from anywhere whenever I want.  I only delete the junk and stuff that’s a security risk, like passwords.  When I’m mobile, I use GMail via the mail application on the iPhone.  I’m hoping the Google Mobile App for Mail gets better, then I’ll use it.
  6. Google Calendar – We use a dozen different calendars inside Google Calendar.  We have one for each family member.  One for Baby Sitters.  The name of the sitter goes in the event slot.  One for each big activity and school.  I wish every organization would publish a Google Calendar that I could automatically suck into my Calendar.  I hate re-typing year long calendars.  For example, I published a calendar for Ted’s soccer team when I was the coach this fall.  I shared the link with all the other parents.  I’ve started publicly sharing calendars for any activity that I’m in.  With a few clicks, I can save everyone else the hassle of typing the calendar into their system.
  7. Google Reader – I’ve bounced around on RSS feed readers.  Right now, Google Reader is my default and Bloglines Beta is the one I’m testing.  The key feature for me is being able to read it on both my laptop and iPhone.
  8. Remember the Milk on my iPhone – I’ve almost entirely stopped using RTM on the computer.  The iPhone version is so great and easy.  For to do lists, I still go through phases with how much I use RTM.  Sometimes I use it daily.  Sometimes it just seems like too much.  If you’re going to start using RTM it’s critical to read their How to Use RTM blog posting.  You also need to set up the feature for emailing To Dos to RTM, then program the email address into your email program and mobile phone.  It’s great to be able to email yourself a to do without clogging your email inbox.  I also use MyTaDaList for somethings, like list of birthday present ideas for other people.  I’m only using MyTaDaList once in a while now.
  9. BatchBook for Customer Relationship Management – We’ve just started using BatchBook at my real estate brokerage firm.  So far, I love it.
  10. Facebook – if you’re not on Facebook, you need to be.  Even my mom likes it.  Sign up today and reach out to two or three old friends.  Before you know it, you’ll be in touch with a whole network of friends.  Using it is a little like reading People magazine about people you actually know and care about.  Key tip: be sure to put up a picture of yourself.  Unless you’re the only person in the world with your name, having a picture up of yourself is critical to enabling your friends to find you.
  11. Twitter and Google Buzz – microblogging and real time search.  You have to use it to get it.  Don’t spam people.  Join the conversation.  Also if you want news about something that’s happening right now, then Twitter is the ONLY way to get it.  Mass market media is delayed hours or days for 99% of all subjects, if they carry the news at all.  If you want to know who just called the President a “Liar” in front of Congress, then Twitter is the only source.  Google just launched Buzz.  I expect it to become bigger and bigger.  It may rise to challenge Twitter and Facebook.  I own several related trademarks, including BuzzBack ™ replay.
  12. HootSuite – HootSuite has replaced TweetDeck as the way to interact with Twitter and Facebook.  I hope they’ll come out with a Google Buzz feature.
  13. WordPress – WordPress is the leader in blogging software.  Blogger, owned by Google, has fallen off the pace.  With WordPress you get built in stats about what people are reading on your blog.  I have a bunch of blogs up about a bunch of subjects.  See the blogroll on this blog for a list.
  14. Netflix– we dropped Blockbuster.com and subscribed to the cheapest level of Netflix.  We often watch their movies on demand.
  15. Hulu – we seriously considered dropping Comcast Cable this year in favor of Hulu and other Internet-based entertainment.  As Hulu gets better over the next few years, we probably will.
  16. Fancast – similar to Hulu, but not as good.  We occasionally watch Fancast in order to introduce our kids to Gillian’s Island.
  17. Weather Underground – it’s the best weather site.  I particularly like the hourly forecast.  It includes wind speed and direction.  Sailors in the Charleston area, see my blog post on M24Charleston.WordPress.com for detailed local wind and tide information.
  18. Amazon – become a Premiere member to get free shipping and go to town.  The credit card is also pretty sweet.  It’s very easy to see the rewards you’re earning.
  19. Costco – it’s the best warehouse store.  It crushes Sams on per square foot sales figures, demonstrating that it’s customers are finding lots of value.
  20. Lynda – this is a great online software training website.  The small cost is totally worth it.
  21. Craigslist – find and sell everything from appliances to cars to jobs.  It’s easier to use than Ebay, especially for heavy, hard to mail items.
  22. Firefox – It’s the best browser right now, although Safari and others have narrowed the gap
  23. Microsoft Office – I can’t wait until someone else comes out with an office suite that is more widely accepted so I can stop paying these ridiculously high licensing fees.  For now, Office is THE standard.  I’m hoping I’ve paid for Office for the LAST time.  I’m moving more and more to using Google Docs.
  24. Google Documents – Whenever you’re going to share or collaborate on documents, Google Documents are a great way to go.  I’ve used them this year for punchlists with a contractor, recording credits and debits to my kids money in the bank of Dad, and ideas on new businesses.  It’s much easier than swapping Word and Excel files.  School systems should drop Office and flash drives is favor of Google Docs.  Google Docs can’t get destroyed in the laundry.
  25. iPhoto – if I was on a PC, I’d use Picassa.  I’m thinking about moving to Appreture 3, but haven’t learned it well enough yet.  For most people iPhoto is going to be perfect.
  26. iTunes – it’s much more than a music player.  You can listen to audio books, download iPhone Apps
  27. Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 – professional website building software, only get it if WordPress can’t meet all your needs.
  28. Adobe Illustrator CS4 – professional drawing and illustrating software; amazing powerful, but complicated
  29. Adobe Photoshop CS4 – professional photo editing softare; stick with iPhoto or Picassa as long as you can
  30. Adobe InDesign CS4 – professional page layout software; only use this if you’re designing books or magazines
  31. Skype – great for talking to family and friends anywhere in the world; 400 million people use Skype, especially overseas where phone calls are more expensive; excellent videoconferencing
  32. Default Folder X – a very nice extension to the Apple operating system
  33. HP Photosmart C7250 All-in-One Printer Fax Copier Scanner – It works, it’s pretty cheap, it’s wireless; the software is a little bloated
  34. Skitch – my friend Travis Good recommended Skitch.  It’s a great little program for capturing and sharing stuff.  If it adds the ability to capture a full webpage, including the stuff below the fold, I’ll be dumping Paparazzi.  I wish PhotoShop or Illustrator made things this easy.
  35. MailChimp – I’m cancelling my Constant Contact account in favor or MailChimp; it’s very easy to use newsletter software that comes with built-in analytics and A/B split testing
  36. Logitech Squeezebox Radio – a fixture in our kitchen
  37. Vimeo, YouTube and Animoto – great for making and sharing videos of just about anything
  38. ShareThis and AddThis – I haven’t settled on a favorite; I use these 2 Firefox plug-ins to share cool stuff from around the web with family and friends
  39. Canon SLR Camera 7D – this camera can shoot both video and stills; very flexible, great pictures; I can’t wait for Canon to come out with GPS geolocation built into the camera.  Right now they sell it as a clunky add on.  If they don’t, then Eye-Fi will probably come out with a CompactFlash card that adds geotagging and enables wireless transmission of your photos.
  40. SurfacePad from 12South – stylish protection and padding for your MacBook Pro
  41. Garmin GPS – I bought the GPS about a year before Apple and Google came out with FREE turn by turn directions on your phone; life’s going to getvery tough for Garmin.  But since I have it and was cheap, it’s kind of nice to have it as a separate device.
  42. Executive Office Space – when I need a place to work, it’s great to have an office.  Space is so cheap right now, that it’s totally worth having.  I recommend you go with someone local and stay away from the big franchises like Regus.
  43. Comcast Highspeed Internet access – I get 16 MBS download; if they had 50 MBS, I’d go for that
  44. MyFax – totally eliminated my need for a home phone line; comes to me on my phone or computer wherever I am
  45. Google Analytics – if you have a website or a blog of any kind, you must use Google Analytics (or a competitor) in order to know what the traffic on your site looks like
  46. Dropbox – for sharing files with colleagues; I’d like them to improve Spotlight searching of my dropbox through Finder and add anti-virus protection
  47. Mozy – for online, off-site backup; I’d like them to add anti-virus protection
  48. 1Password – a great way to improve the security of the many online sites you use.  I sync 1Password to several different machines via Dropbox.

iPhone Apps

  1. Built in phone and address book – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen
  2. Built in Mail – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen
  3. Built in SMS (text) – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen
  4. Link to Google Calendar Online – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen; I’ve stopped using the built in Calendar because the interaction with Google Calendar is clumsy
  5. Remember the Milk
  6. Built in Stocks
  7. Built in Camera
  8. iTimeLapse Camera – very cool time lapse photos
  9. Amazon.com – sometimes I order something right from Amazon while standing in a competing store that’s too expensive or out of the exact thing I’m looking for
  10. Built in Photos
  11. Built in Clock – nice little alarm; I use the stopwatch feature to time Ted (“How fast can you get ready to go on a bike ride?”)
  12. Custom welcome screen photo – makes it easy to know I have my phone and not someone elses
  13. Facebook
  14. WordPress
  15. Built in Calculator
  16. Built in Weather
  17. Built in Google Maps
  18. Google Mobile Apps – I really hope this keeps getting better and loads faster
  19. Built in iPod – I find it surprisingly hard to use the iPod on the iPhone, especially to listen to audio books; every activity disrupts the flow
  20. links to Tide information in and around Charleston
  21. Now Playing – movie listings
  22. Ebay
  23. Bank of Mom
  24. Ego – a quick way to access your Google Analytics overview data from your phone
  25. GoDaddy – when I get an idea about a new Domain name, this app makes it easy to find out if it’s available
  26. games – they come and go too fast to mention; I try to stick to the FREE games

The Gadget I Really Want.

The new iPhone 3G S sounds cool.  But what I really want is to be able to smash my iPhone together with my Canon SLR camera. In particular, I want my SLR Camera to know the GPS location and direction for every photo I take. I know there are some add-ons, but geeze, they’re not integrated.  They’re a hassle to use.  So usage is low.  The iPhone adds GPS data to photos seemlessly.  Why can’t my $1,000 Canon do the same?

What I Use

Here’s a quick list of the software, computers and other technology that I use along with some explanations:

  1. iPhone – great phone, so-so service from AT&T; see separate list of iPhone Applications below.
  2. MacBook – I use my more like a desktop than a laptop because I like having my printer, stapler and other other things close by.  I’ve thought about getting a desktop machine, but I like the occasional mobility of the laptop; I don’t like keeping two computers synced.  I also like looking at a big display.  If I was better at managing my WiFi connections to printers, networks, displays, etc., I might use my laptop in more locations around the house and elsewhere.
  3. Apple Cinema Dispaly – visual quality and product design rock
  4. Gmail – I LOVE the archive feature.  It’s great to be able to pull up old mail from anywhere whenever I want.  I only delete the junk and stuff that’s a security risk, like passwords.  When I’m mobile, I use GMail via the mail application on the iPhone.  I’m hoping the Google Mobile App for Mail gets better, then I’ll use it.
  5. Google Calendar – We use a dozen different calendars inside Google Calendar.  We have one for each family member.  One for Baby Sitters.  The name of the sitter goes in the event slot.  One for each big activity and school.  I wish every organization would publish a Google Calendar that I could automatically suck into my Calendar.  I hate re-typing year long calendars.  For example, I published a calendar for Ted’s soccer team when I was the coach this fall.  I shared the link with all the other parents.
  6. Google Reader – I’ve bounced around on RSS feed readers.  Right now, Google Reader is my default and Bloglines Beta is the one I’m testing.  The key feature for me is being able to read it on both my laptop and iPhone.
  7. Remember the Milk – for to do lists, I go through phases with how much I use RTM.  Sometimes I use it daily.  Sometimes it just seems like too much.  If you’re going to start using RTM it’s critical to read their How to Use RTM blog posting.  You also need to set up the feature for emailing To Dos to RTM, then program the email address into your email program and mobile phone.  It’s great to be able to email yourself a to do without clogging your email inbox.  I also use MyTaList for somethings, like list of birthday present ideas for other people.
  8. Facebook – if you’re not on Facebook, you need to be.  Even my mom likes it.  Sign up today and reach out to two or three old friends.  Before you know it, you’ll be in touch with a whole network of friends.  Using it is a little like reading People magazine about people you actually know and care about.  Key tip: be sure to put up a picture of yourself.  Unless you’re the only person in the world with your name, having a picture up of yourself is critical to enabling your friends to find you.
  9. WordPress – WordPress is the leader in blogging software.  Blogger, owned by Google, has fallen off the pace.  With WordPress you get built in stats about what people are reading on your blog.  I have a bunch of blogs up about a bunch of subjects.  See the blogroll on this blog for a list.
  10. Blockbuster – we subscribe to Blockbuster.com, although I wonder if I should switch back to Netflix.  I quit Netflix several years ago when they raised their prices.  Maybe it’s time for another look.  Blockbuster seems just a little slow to ship out new movies.
  11. Weather Underground – it’s the best weather site.  I particularly like the hourly forecast.  It includes wind speed and direction.  Sailors in the Charleston area, see my blog post on M24Charleston.WordPress.com for detailed local wind and tide information.
  12. Amazon – become a Premiere member to get free shipping and go to town.  The credit card is also pretty sweet.  It’s very easy to see the rewards you’re earning.
  13. Costco – it’s the best warehouse store.  It crushes Sams on per square foot sales figures, demonstrating that it’s customers are finding lots of value.
  14. Lynda – this is a great online software training website.  The small cost is totally worth it.
  15. Craigslist – find and sell everything from appliances to cars to jobs.  It’s easier to use than Ebay, especially for heavy, hard to mail items.
  16. Firefox – It’s the best browser right now
  17. Microsoft Office – I can’t wait until someone else comes out with an office suite that is more widely accepted so I can stop paying these ridiculously high licensing fees.  For now, Office is THE standard.
  18. Google Documents – Whenever you’re going to share or collaborate on documents, Google Documents are a great way to go.  I’ve used them this year for punchlists with a contractor, recording credits and debits to my kids money in the bank of Dad, and ideas on new businesses.  It’s much easier than swapping Word and Excel files.
  19. iPhoto – if I was on a PC, I’d use Picassa.
  20. iTunes – it’s much more than a music player.  You can listen to audio books, download iPhone Apps
  21. Paparazzi – great for taking screenshots of websites.  The program captures everyone on the page, not just what’s on the screen.  See Skitch below.
  22. Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 – professional website building software, only get it if WordPress can’t meet all your needs.
  23. Adobe Illustrator CS4 – professional drawing and illustrating software; amazing powerful, but complicated
  24. Adobe Photoshop CS4 – professional photo editing softare; stick with iPhoto or Picassa as long as you can
  25. Skype – great for talking to family and friends anywhere in the world; 300 million people use Skype, especially overseas where phone calls are more expensive; excellent videoconferencing
  26. Default Folder X – a very nice extension to the Apple operating system
  27. HP Photosmart C7250 All-in-One Printer Fax Copier Scanner – It works, it’s pretty cheap, it’s wireless; the software is a little bloated
  28. Skitch – my friend Travis Good recommended Skitch.  It’s a great little program for capturing and sharing stuff.  If it adds the ability to capture a full webpage, including the stuff below the fold, I’ll be dumping Paparazzi.  I wish PhotoShop or Illustrator made things this easy.

iPhone Apps

  1. Built in phone and address book – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen
  2. Built in Mail – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen
  3. Built in SMS (text) – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen
  4. Link to Google Calendar Online – on fast access bar at the bottom of the screen; I’ve stopped using the built in Calendar because the interaction with Google Calendar is clumsy
  5. Remember the Milk
  6. Built in Stocks
  7. NY Times – I wish it loaded faster; I may switch to Google Reader for news
  8. Built in Camera
  9. Built in Photos
  10. Built in Clock – nice little alarm; I use the stopwatch feature to time Ted (“How fast can you get ready to go on a bike ride?”)
  11. Custom welcome screen photo – makes it easy to know I have my phone and not someone elses
  12. Facebook
  13. WordPress
  14. Built in Calculator
  15. Built in Weather
  16. Built in Google Maps – I wish this worked more like a TomTom or Garmin GPS with turn-by-turn voice instructions.  Still it’s great if you get lost or need any idea of where you’re heading.
  17. Google Mobile Apps – I really hope this keeps getting better and loads faster
  18. Built in iPod – I find it surprisingly hard to use the iPod on the iPhone, especially to listen to audio books; ever activity disrupts the flow
  19. links to Tide information in and around Charleston
  20. Bloomberg – this may fall off the list now that I’m using Google Reader more
  21. Shopper – grocery application; when someone combines Shopper and RTM like features I’ll switch; Shopper is the easiest to use for now, but hasn’t earned my loyalty.  I want my spouse to be able to email a list and have it show up in Shopper
  22. Monkey Ball – the original cool game; I’ve stopped using it lately
  23. Brain Challenge – a great game, even my kids like it
  24. Now Playing – movie listings
  25. Hanoi – a terrific version of the classic logic game; Kate loves this and is VERY fast
  26. Trace – a cute free game
  27. Wurdle – very cool and addictive word game, well worth the small cost
  28. Dots Free – good way to keep a kid entertained before the food arrives at a restaurant
  29. Tap Tap – Ted likes this guitar hero like game
  30. FSS Hockey – a fun and free air hockey game
  31. Slate – was a great poll tracker from Pollster.com during the election; it’s too bad they’ve stopped updating it
  32. Say Who – is supposed to be the best voice dialer, but don’t use it much