Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What are your favorite QoL apps?

With the move, I've been forced to rework my way of interacting with my computers. I was hitting my limits previously with my other setup, but I finally hit the wall and needed a solution. So, here is a short list of applications I use to make my life easier. Best of all, they are FREE!

Got multiple computers? Got a Windows PC sitting next to a Mac with a Linux box near by but you don't want to deal with 3 or more keyboard mouse combos? Check this out. It lets you use your keyboard/mouse on one system and move your mouse to the computer right next to it, as if it was a single desktop spanning multiple monitors. Right now, I have it set up so that my Vaio is sitting to the left of my desktop, but I can copy paste between them and just use my main keyboard that is on my desktop.

Sun Virtual Box
I ranted about this WONDERFUL piece of software previously, but it is fast approaching the top of my indispensable apps. Today, I took its usage a step further an started working with "seamless" mode. In other words, I have my Windows 7 IE8 running on my XP Pro system and you don't have to juggle desktops.

Those who know me, know that I'm a big Unix fan. One of the things I love (that windows doesn't natively have) is Virtual Desktops. The idea is that you can have multiple workspaces on a single system. If you run a lot of apps, its nice to have. Linux and Macintosh also have them. Well, if you dig through the MS website, you can find an implementation of it for Windows. When you start working in Virtualbox it really unlocks the power of your system.

Magic ISO
A "virtual CD Rom" that allows you to just point at an ISO file and mount it like a CD. Saves lots of money on blank CDs.

Google Reader
This is the main Google App I actually use. I channel all my RSS subs through it and use that as a primary news source. It has a nice iPhone interface as well.

I can't get my friends to agree on IM software. So, I need a singular solution to keep up with all my friends. Enter Trillian. If you are familiar with Pidgin/Gaim then you get the idea. I wish they'd include GoogleTalk support.

Not something I was planning to include as it's not a "QoL" app per se. However, I use iTunes as my "Radio" when I'm working. I have a list of several Podcasts I download.

What apps do YOU use?


Matthew said...

VirtualBox is spiffy beyond words.

I actually use Pidgin. Unfortunately, my only real messenger service is Googletalk, so I never see you anymore.

Probably the app that gets the nod for me is Banshee. Nice Linux based music player. Does what I want, doesn't do anymore.

Rachael Storm said...

I didn't see that Pidgin supported GoogleTalk - I'll give it a look.

Rachael Storm said...

Yeah...using Pidgin now. Even got rid of YIM.