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cancerlad
04-02-2009, 10:20 AM
This really doesn't concern cartographic software, so it doesn't really fit in the software discussion forum. I posted this list in my Facebook profile, but I'm interested in what y'all say.

Oh, and please note which operating system you use.

My list of essential software (Mac)

I've left out programs that come with Macs - like Mail and Address Book. This is a little list of software that everyone should have. They're all useful programs that I use on a daily (or near daily basis). Of course, the few programs might have made the list because they're free...

Yojimbo - best $39 I've ever spent. I couldn't live without this program. Have a scrap of information that you need to write down, but it doesn't warrant its own document? Yojimbo is great for keeping track of notes. Image files that don't belong in iPhoto (like artwork)? Yojimbo! Want a hard copy of a website you refer to all the time? Yojimbo! A lot of PDF files to keep track of? Yojimbo! They offer a free 30 day trial.
http://www.barebones.com/products/Yojimbo/

Quicksilver - hard to explain. Its free, so you might as well try it. I had it for about a month before I started trying to figure it out. Every few days I'd play with it for a few minutes, and then give up. A few days ago, in a eureka moment, I understood how it works, and I use it all the time now. Check out their website, or this wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quicksilver_(software)) article.
http://www.blacktree.com/

Office 2008 for Mac - who doesn't need Word, Excel, and Power Point? Check out Open Office for a free (somewhat buggy) alternative. ($150-ish)

Opera - a free web browser. I really liked the interface, but Facebook doesn't like it. Several other sites also seem to have trouble loading in it, so I've switched back to Firefox. If companies made plug-ins for Opera, I'd use it anyway, but few companies bother. They only do Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.
One feature that Safari has that the others don't, and I wish they did, is that if you note a web address in your address book, it would show up in safari's bookmarks under the name of the address book entry.
Opera - http://www.opera.com/
Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Notebook - when I switched to Macs from PCs I had a minor breakdown when I realized that Microsoft OneNote was not available for Macs. Between Yojimbo and Notebook, I've largely come to a happy medium. Notebook is a tabbed writing program that mimics, strangely enough, a notebook. I write all my notes here first, and use it as a journal. ($49.95)
http://www.circusponies.com/

Gimp - does almost everything that Adobe Photoshop ($699) does, but is priced about $700 less, free in other words.
http://www.gimp.org/

Inkscape - an free alternative to Adobe Illustrator($599). I've come to really like vector graphics, and I'm looking forward to using this software more.
http://www.inkscape.org/

Scrivener - a tool for authors. A great application for drafting prose. ($39.95, free 30 day trial)
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

Scribus - a desktop publishing program. Alternative to Adobe InDesign ($699) or Microsoft Publisher ($169). Its free!
http://www.scribus.net/

Skim - a free PDF viewer. More functionality than the equally free Adobe Reader. Allows you to make bookmarks within PDFs, take notes, etc. Still won't allow you to fill in forms and save the information if the PDF author doesn't want you too. Damn them.
http://skim-app.sourceforge.net/

FreeMind - a mind mapping program. I don't really understand how to use it yet, but the mind maps I saw made with Curio were really cool. Too bad Curio is expensive ($99).
Curio - http://www.zengobi.com/products/curio/
FreeMind - http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
(http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page)
FastScripts Lite - a tool that allows you to assign hotkeys to scripts. Very useful if you're script happy (like me). The free version only allows you to assign hotkeys to 10 scripts, but with Quicksilver, you don't really need any more. The pay version is $14.95.
http://www.red-sweater.com/fastscripts/

Delicious Library - There are a bunch of programs out there to keep track of your books, compact discs, and DVDs, but as far as I know, only Delicious Library can use your webcam to scan their bar codes. Just hold the book/CD/DVD up to you webcam and Delicious Library scans the bar code and looks it up online. It also can look up electronics, power tools, and board games. Anything you can buy at Amazon, Delicious Library can catalogue. Have an easy to maintain list of your possessions for when the insurance people need one. ($40)
http://delicious-monster.com/

AddressBookSync - a free utility that downloads peoples profile pictures and birthdays from facebook to your address book. Only does folk you already have in your address book, and it follows Facebook's guidelines on such things. Pretty cool. Now if only they'd allow for scheduling they sync.
http://danauclair.com/addressbooksync/

Name Mangler - a free bulk renaming utility. Very useful.
http://www.manytricks.com/namemangler/

OnyX - a system utility to run various maintenance tasks. Don't know how useful it really is, but I like having it around, and I use it about once a week. Its free too.
http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs2/english/onyx_leopard.html

Midgardsormr
04-02-2009, 12:26 PM
I don't have too many indispensible applications. Antivirus Guardian and Spybot Seek & Destroy to keep my PC safe.

Open Office.

I recently switched to Opera after Firefox started getting weird on me. It was about time, though. FF is too high-profile now, and the black hats have started exploiting it. (Is there a decent FTP plug-in for Opera? I haven't needed it yet, but I'm sure I will soon.)

Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects for school (and mapping. Well, the latter two not so much—I'm not an expansimator).

Sony Acid Pro and a little piece of audio editing shareware called N-Track Studio, which is nearly as good as Soundforge but 1/5 the price tag.

QuickGamma to keep my monitor calibrated. DeepBurner for CD/DVD burning. Winamp for media playing.

The Font Thing is a recent addition, but one that I think I will continue to use. I keep my old CorelDraw disc handy for the fonts folder and license.

For web editing, I use Notepad. And I make frequent use of the Windows Character Map, though I am getting better at remembering keystroke commands for special characters that I use frequently.

Shareaza for downloading The Big Bang Theory, since CBS continues to refuse to put it up on their website for online viewing.

icosahedron
04-02-2009, 03:01 PM
Apart from the stuff to the side here, my freebie essentials for Windows are:

Audacity - music editor.
Fatbits - on-screen magnifier, great for seeing details in maps.
MWSnap - screen grabber like grabzilla.
Freebie Notes - app for putting virtual sticky notes on your screen.
Xnview - a useful picture viewer.
JDirPrint - app to print out a list of what's on your drives.
MinTimer - reminds you to switch the oven off before the smoke alarm does!
Nbos Inspiration Pad - generate 40 orcs with various weapons, with a few mouse clicks.
Rainbow Folders - colour code your folders, sweep away the default yellow.
VCLZip - unzipper - and zipper.
Heatsoft Clone Cleaner - searches out duplicate files.
WinMerge - compares two versions of a document with the option to merge them.

Clone Cleaner and Winmerge make a great team if you've been untidy. HCC finds files that have the same name, then WM lets you compare them side by side, line by line if necessary, to make sure you don't delete the wrong one. My version of WM was a bit buggy though, wouldn't scroll properly, and HCC has apparently self-destructed and is now pestering me to re-download.

Some of this stuff may be available as standard in XP. I dunno, I haven't got it and don't really want it.

That mind mapper looks interesting and has a Win version, thanks.

cancerlad
04-02-2009, 03:15 PM
WinMerge - compares two versions of a document with the option to merge them.


Oooh. I used to love WinMerge. I used it all the time to compare code that I was working on. It was on my computer at work, and I never got around to installing it at home, so I'd forgotten about it.

Kingbreaker
04-02-2009, 04:24 PM
Open Office
ABC MUS --> reads text-based music files and plays them back in MIDI. Very helpful for learning music by ear.

Itunes. . .

That's about it really.

NeonKnight
04-02-2009, 04:31 PM
I must be the most basic

Windows Media - Music
and MS office (2000, really gotta upgrade)

............and other than games, that;s it.

torstan
04-02-2009, 04:36 PM
Interesting thread, and some interesting software on that list. I guess our choices say a lot about us....

For me, using windows XP Media Edition:
maptool (obviously)
stickies - great way to keep notes and you can pin them to folders or apps. I get an initiative sticky whenever I open up maptoolfor example.
Open office - great for quickly pdfing documents
dropbox - a good free 2GB of filesharing and online backups that synchs with your computer
Picasa - much nicer previewer than windows, though really doesn't handle cmyk files.
emacs - well, not for everyone I'm sure, but it does help with coding
posterazor for cutting up large images into pdfs
Core ftp lite - good little ftp program
pdftk builder - great for collating pdfs into one document, or breaking up pdfs into separate documents

Other useful bits and pieces - xming and putty for working remotely, imagemagick for command line image processing.

Karro
04-02-2009, 05:10 PM
For me:
For Writing:

As mentioned here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=56759#post56759): ConnectedText (http://www.connectedtext.com/) ($30) is a personal wiki-type-thing for keeping track of notes and ideas, etc. I use it as a project notebook where I can keep track of all my ideas and thoughts on a particular subject. It's core functionality is the ability to enter links in the page you are working on to pages that don't exist yet by enclosing the name of the page you want to link to in double-square-brackets. This allows me to say "Yada yada yada about subject A relates to [[Subject B]]" without having to detail everything about Subject B right now. It also has some other cool functionality that I found to be well worth the price. It just works the way my brain works.
If free is more your price, I used Wikidpad (http://wikidpad.sourceforge.net/) before I discovered ConnectedText. Wikidpad has the same core "personal wiki" functionality, but ConnectedText has some great features that Wikidpad lacks, and has a much better looking, more polished, and easier-to-use UI.
ConnectedText has a free one-month limited-function trial, and this is what sold me (even the limited-functionality was so much better, to me, than wikidpad that I was ready right away to slap my money down).
Wordweb (http://wordweb.info/free/) is a downloadable dictionary app that allows me to look up definitions, even when I'm not connected to the internet. Just let it run in the background and ctrl-right-click on some text to get a definition of a word. As a writer, I've often tried to stay disconnected from the temptations of the Web while writing, leaving my only alternative to dictionary.com or wiktionary.com to be the analog, manual-word-lookup (in a dead-tree edition dictionary) when I needed to make sure I had the right word (which often broke my rhythm) - until I discovered Wordweb. It's got a bizarre "free" license (it's free as long as you don't take too many flights during the year, or something like that; I don't travel much right now, so even if they could track me down, I'm still under their limit).

Ascension
04-02-2009, 05:22 PM
Photoshop. That's all I need and use that I can't replace. If I were stuck on a desert island that had electricity to run my pc I'd have to have Civ 4 and the Fall From Heaven mod for Civ 4. Everything else I can work around as it's not so wonderful that I can't find something else to replace it.

Steel General
04-02-2009, 06:28 PM
As long as it works, I have a need for it and it doesn't cause problems, it's all good for me :)

Midgardsormr
04-02-2009, 07:52 PM
It's got a bizarre "free" license (it's free as long as you don't take too many flights during the year, or something like that; I don't travel much right now, so even if they could track me down, I'm still under their limit).


That's just weird; I don't think I've ever read a license quite like that one. At least it's written in clear English instead of legalese, though!

edit: Hmmm… page break again. This is a strange and wonderful talent that I have.

guyanonymous
04-02-2009, 08:40 PM
I'm always pleased to learn about some new USEFUL software - thanks folks!

A few things that I use semi-regularly in addition to the usual MS/Adobe stuff:

Audio:
Songbird & MusicBrainz Picard (I'm still waiting for a seamless integration of the two)
Audacity
WinAmp (the old free version)

Video:
Media Player Classic + K-Lite Codec Pack or XP Codec Pack (pretty much ensures I can play anything out there video-wise)
Extreme Movie Manager (the only program I've found that organizes and outputs as I'd like, although it has some frustrating parts)

Graphics:
Stereo Photo Maker
GMapImageCutter (as of late)
Stereoscopic 3d Viewer
flickrLeech

Utilities:
Daemon Tools Light
WinDirStat
Recuva
7-zip
Spybot Search & Destroy


E-books Etc:
cDisplay
ABC Amber's converters
FileZilla FTP Client
WinRar
QuickPar
Rename-It!

Games:
Sea3d (a settlers of Catan game)
Carcasonne Deluxe

Redrobes
04-02-2009, 09:12 PM
I'll chip in with my set if you like...

DevStudio's IDE for editing text, code & html & Wordpad when I cant be bothered to load the full studio.
GnuMake for building stuff. WinMerge for file diffs.

Perl, ImageMagick & PerlMagick. XCopy for backup. 7 Zip on occasion but I use XP's built in zip most of the time.

Firefox with no script and adblock. Thunderbird. FileZilla, My own calendar.

OpenOffice doc editor. I dont use any of the others. FoxIt PDF viewer.

SysInternals Process Viewer which is an honest to god life saver.

IrfanView for pics, VLC for movies, CamStudio for capture, MediaCoder for conversion.

PSP for raster editing, My own spatial filter for image editing in the spatial domain, Light wave and blender for 3D modeling, GeoTerSys for terrain, my own programmable texturer, ViewingDale for map and big image viewing.

Thats mostly it. A lot of command line stuff and some more obscure things too but thats the big app list I think. I find it hard when I do a day job and have to sit at a desk without a lot of these tools and command line apps.

loydb
04-03-2009, 09:47 AM
Graphics
--------
Photoshop
3D Studio Max
InDesign
PDFCreator
Spyder2 Express

Development
------------
VMWare Workstation
Linux (various flavors)
Scite (text editor)
UltraCompare Pro (a fancy diff tool)
Wireshark (formerly Ethereal)
Perl
Visual Studio
Gcc

Sound
-----
Sound Forge
Sonar
Native Instruments Komplete
Kirk Hunter Orchestra
Acid Pro
AudioGrabber
Total Recorder Pro
Band in a Box
Various East/West libraries
Rhapsody

Misc
----
WinZip
WinRar
Firefox w/ AdBlock+
WinSCP
PuTTY
Quicken
VLC Media Player
uTorrent
Alcohol 120%
DnD Character Builder (DDI)
Ventrilo
Extensis Suitcase
Word/Excel
OpenOffice

icosahedron
04-03-2009, 10:33 AM
When I looked up some of that stuff, I fell over this:

http://notebook.wjduquette.com

Looks like one of those free Wiki things, and it might be very useful. :)

Have any other users of Winmerge found scrolling problems? I found when I was scrolling down a page it would duplicate a line of text all the way down, and then the two documents would get out of synch and...

Karro
04-03-2009, 10:49 AM
That's just weird; I don't think I've ever read a license quite like that one. At least it's written in clear English instead of legalese, though!

edit: Hmmm… page break again. This is a strange and wonderful talent that I have.

Yeah, pretty weird. I'm skeptical that they really think their app is significant enough to put a dent in global warming by having such a restriction. I find it useful (I like not having to use a dead-tree dictionary when I'm in the throes of writing, and I like being able to stay offline while writing as well), but it's not going to change the world. But yeah, except for the global warming tangent, it's a pretty straight-forward license.

RobA
04-03-2009, 10:51 AM
A few duplicates that I won't repeat, but unmentioned ones in order of major use are:

Launchy (http://www.launchy.net/)- a windows alternative to quicksilver, I almost can't use a machine without it :P
Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm) a super coder's editor.
Faststone (http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm) image viewer, browser, batch converter, annotation tool, and much more.
SMplayer (http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/)for all my multimedia watching needs.
AVISynth (http://avisynth.org/mediawiki/Main_Page) a swiss army knife for video editing.
Windirstat (http://windirstat.info/) for managing drive usage (I really like the pretty treemap it generates)

And lastly, not software, per say, but my 4GB Ironkey personal (http://www.ironkey.com/) USB stick. I have traveled around the world using this baby in any number of internet cafe's, etc. Loaded up with a bunch of portable apps (openoffice, gimp portable, winscp, putty) I am good to go, with all my bookmarks and passwords securely encrypted. Using the on board firefox and the optional TOR anonymous router, I never worry about leaving cookies and passwords on other people's machines :) Plus I can read the encrypted files under linux, not just windows.

-Rob A>

Redrobes
04-03-2009, 01:16 PM
Oh yes, reading above comments I should have mentioned that I run TinyWeb the http server and also the perl based usemod wiki. I have that set as my home page so I just add links to stuff in as a wiki. Theyre both free and not too difficult to set up either. Cant live without these two now either. Got so used to having them I forgot to even mention them.

Sometimes I use TrueCrypt when the need arises but thats not all that often.

cancerlad
04-03-2009, 02:12 PM
Gosh. I'm sure happy with the turn out! This is great.




As mentioned here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?p=56759#post56759): ConnectedText (http://www.connectedtext.com/) ($30) is a personal wiki-type-thing for keeping track of notes and ideas, etc. I use it as a project notebook where I can keep track of all my ideas and thoughts on a particular subject....
If free is more your price, I used Wikidpad (http://wikidpad.sourceforge.net/) before I discovered ConnectedText. Wikidpad has the same core "personal wiki" functionality, but ConnectedText has some great features that Wikidpad lacks, and has a much better looking, more polished, and easier-to-use UI.


Have you tried out TidleyWiki (http://www.tiddlywiki.org/)? Its a personal, local, wiki designed to be stored on a flash drive so you can carry it around. I've been playing around with it, but don't know what use it would be. There was a script for exporting Yojimbo to it, but my Yojimbo DB is over 2 gigs, so it crashes Firefox when I try to load the wiki.



Daemon Tools Light [...]
WinDirStat [...]
Rename-It! [...]
Carcasonne Deluxe

Daemon tools is a great suite. I always used PSTools (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896649.aspx) though, cause they were free and my company was poor.

WinDirStat is one of those essential programs any techy with a MS machine needs.

CARCASONNE IS A VIDEO GAME? OMG! I love the tile placing game. I need to investigate this. I've been to the ACTUAL Carcasonne. I almost got hit by a truck there. Here (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/103534?size=large)'s a funny pic I found on the net one day.



I'll chip in with my set if you like...

That's kinda the idea of the thread... ;)



Scite (text editor) [...]
UltraCompare Pro (a fancy diff tool) [...]
Perl [...]
Visual Studio [...]


I've never hear of Scite. When I was a PC I used Crimson Editor (http://www.crimsoneditor.com/), now I use TextWrangler.

UltraCompare Pro. I will look into this.

I spent many an hour of my productive life re-installing various versions of Visual Studio for our programmers who seemed to delete important files as a joke. Visual Studio always seemed to me (an admin, not a programmer) like a great set of tools, and well layed out.


A few duplicates that I won't repeat, but unmentioned ones in order of major use are [...]

Launchy (http://www.launchy.net/)- a windows alternative to quicksilver, I almost can't use a machine without it :P
Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm) a super coder's editor.
Faststone (http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm) image viewer, browser, batch converter, annotation tool, and much more.
[...]
Windirstat (http://windirstat.info/) for managing drive usage (I really like the pretty treemap it generates)

And lastly, not software, per say, but my 4GB Ironkey personal (http://www.ironkey.com/) USB stick.

Please, repeat! Me not so good at reading... miss things. Repetition is good.

What was I doing again?

I never knew there was a windows version of quicksilver. Then again, I didn't know there was a quicksilver until about two months ago.

Notepad++ is great. I don't remember why, but I started using Crimson Editor instead. I think my spyware program kept having a problem with one of its benign components or something.

Fastone sounds really useful.

Ironkey Personal sounds like a great tool. I may have to check it out.

Someone had mentioned a renaming utility, and I think I accidentally removed it from the quotes... Anyway, I used ... crap. I can't find it. It had a really generic name like "Batch Filename Utility" or something, which makes it impossible to search for. Its interface was fantastic. All the different actions were layed out at the bottom of the screen and you turned them on or off with check boxes. Sigh. I loved that program. I use NameMangler, which is free and sub-par compared to the one I used with a PC.

I created at standardized set of tools for the IT guys at work. I wish I could remember what they were.

Greason Wolfe
04-03-2009, 02:24 PM
Lots of stuff in these lists that I already use but here are a few that I didn't see;

Abiword for Text editing/Web-page (quick formatting features for both CSS and mark-up) editing. Freeware with downloadable spelling dictionaries in various languages

Nerosystems for Audio Rip and Burn

Dover Design Manager - Not really free, but a great plus from Barnes and Noble as far as finding little accents for graphics/maps based on various themes.

ASFTools for video editing (used rarely but a nice freeware application that is much easier to use than Moviemaker)

And then, of course, as mentioned in my profile software list, a number of Javascripts for developing quick details when it comes to astronomy and/or astrology.

Other than that, I really don't use a huge number of software apps or packages. But that's my two and a half cents worth.

GW

Wordman
04-03-2009, 03:22 PM
I maintain a list of Mac software recommendations (http://www.divnull.com/lward/software.html) on another server. Might need to update that fairly soon.

guyanonymous
04-03-2009, 04:58 PM
CARCASONNE IS A VIDEO GAME? OMG! I love the tile placing game. I need to investigate this.



I'll have to break it to you.

I managed to snag it and Carcassonne 2 from a German company years ago for $5 each on a clearance.

MS had bought the rights to electronic versions of the games for use on their online setup (Wii I think).

These versions work wonderfully and make the game even more fun to play. To find them now, though, you'll have to either get lucky on Ebay or search the underworld of the internet. There is Carcassonne 2 (Hunters & Gatherers), Carcassonne (regular, no addons) and Carcasonne Deluxe (which has 3-4 expansions built in). Well worth doing. I actually contacted the company directly (Koch Media) and they regretfully had no solutions for me other than finding someone on Ebay selling one.

It's worth it though.

RobA
04-03-2009, 06:01 PM
I keep a copy of TidlyWiki on my ironkey ;)

and I looked at Crimson editor but it doesn't have a scheme language file :(

Years ago I used UltraEdit (http://www.ultraedit.com/) but never bothered to buy an upgrade. It was fabulous and is probably worth my shelling out some cash again...

-Ro A>

Karro
04-03-2009, 06:25 PM
Gosh. I'm sure happy with the turn out! This is great.



Have you tried out TidleyWiki (http://www.tiddlywiki.org/)? Its a personal, local, wiki designed to be stored on a flash drive so you can carry it around. I've been playing around with it, but don't know what use it would be. There was a script for exporting Yojimbo to it, but my Yojimbo DB is over 2 gigs, so it crashes Firefox when I try to load the wiki.





I hadn't heard specifically of TiddlyWiki, but I'd tried several personal in-browser wikis and didn't really like them at the time. Even before I got ConnectedText, I preferred wikidpad to the in-browser personal wikis. What I particularly liked about ConnectedText is the graphical "Navigator" web that shows all the links between pages and the ability to customize my view and which navigational windows I had open, as well as all the other wiki-like features (categories, revision history, etc.)

Sirith
04-03-2009, 06:32 PM
Whaha, long time no post. Chiming in, in no particular order:

MS Office 2003
OpenOffice (for those documents MS Office can't handle, I honestly have a hard time working with OpenOffice, MS Office is much easier for me)
Semagic (for posting to LiveJournal)
Painter 10 (painting, sketching, etc)
Paint Shop Pro 9 (image editing)
Winamp
Firefox with a host of plugins (Chatzilla, Foxmarks, Adblock, Download Status Bar and Undo Closed Tabs at least)
CCleaner (cleaning the pc of unnecessary stuff)
JKdefrag (defragmentation tool)
VLC media player
PDFredirect
Winrar
Windows Live Messenger + Msg Plus

That's about the minimum of stuff I use regularly. Not counting firewall and virusscanner (Comodo and Avast, respectively)