Tools I find useful

Sometime it's interesting to see what technologies other people use to get stuff done. With that idea in mind, here are some of the tools I use on a daily basis:

  • Firefox – The best PC browser on the planet. Tabbed browsing and extensions (see below) make building and browsing websites a lot easier.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird – Easy email. Great filtering functionality (Though, "not as good as The Bat" says Zach). And it's fast. Now if they can just get it to sync with more cell phones.
  • Gmail – for personal email. Also using Hotmail, though I'm trying to bag it.
  • Trillian – Chat client that runs AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, and IRC all from one program. GAIM does most of the same things – just less elegantly.
  • del.icio.us and Digg – I mostly use these sites as a place to find links (rather than store them).
  • Bloglines – Web-based RSS reader. It's ok – definitely a cool way to discover new content. Still looking for a decent independent feed reader. Got a recommendation?
  • Technorati – Blog search.
  • ColorZilla – Its a photoshop-like colorpicker extension for Firefox that lets you find the color of anything within your browser. This is particularly useful when working with CSS.
  • Web Developer – Another very useful Firefox extension. Let's you outline Divs, disable styling, edit stylesheets, disable images, and much more. I use DevToolBar when I'm working in IE.
  • Scintilla SciTE – Simple code editor. Dreamweaver is a crutch in the new world of standards – bag it. I hear TextMate is the editor for Mac people.
  • Keyboard shortcuts – Really basic tools many people never use. Ctrl-Z (undo), Ctrl-C (copy) and Ctrl-P (paste) and of course, Alt-Tab. Right-clicking is lame.
  • TiddlyWiki – Been trying this out for note-taking. Not terribly impressed. I have a Writely account too, maybe I'll switch. Main goal here is less paper, more organization.

Got a a piece of software or a website you find useful? Let's hear about it.

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5 thoughts on “Tools I find useful

    Window+L is da bomb for locking the desktop in a hurry. Another of my fav’s: CTRL+SHIFT+’Arrow Keys’ within a document to select entire words or even paragraphs. ALT+Tab is probably the single most useful shortcut, though. I’m really digging http://www.jotlive.com.

    Checking out jotlive. Its like backpack on steroids. Thanks for the tip. The single-line thing takes getting used to. Why not just have one body to edit?

    If you hover your mouse between two single lines, the entire group of single lines becomes highlighted. Left click when the whole group is highlighted and then click edit. Then you have access to change the entire group.

    Thanks for the great post listing favorite Web apps, etc. Have you ever come across a search app that would search through a site — including its CSS and JavaScript links — for a particular bit of code? In other words, when I find a site with a bit JavaScript I would like to look at more closely, it would be great to be able to search the .js files by entering only the .html page URL into a search window — without having to open each one of the .js individually to find that bit of JavaScript.

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