How time flies! It's been over a year since my 2005 wrapup post, and things have really changed! I hope you'll follow me through another journey that is my yearly post. I like to think the things I use are pretty good, and that I go through the crap so you don't have to. Here's the one time of year I can tell you not just what I recommend, but what I really use/do/listen to/etc. Step 1. Read last year's post.
Step 2. Read this one...
I'll have to split this into different parts. I could do it by "Home" and "Work". But i'd rather do it by "Windows", "Mac" and "Other". Here we go.
It's a general purpose blogging client that has a Windows and Mac version. I've liked that it has both versions, so i've used it as my full time tool. I'm using it right now, obviously. It's not life changing, or anything.
Again, no reason to use anything but these two on windows. Both have been updated this year with new features. The best mail client and web browser ever.
A great free FTP client. I use it a ton at work.
So i've been using feeddemon as my full time RSS client most of the year. Mostly because it was purchased by Newsgator, and Newsgator has sync functionality, and I love the idea of syncing my read/unread status between home and work. Otherwise you are rereading things you read already, and i'm overloaded with news as it is. I still miss RSSBandit sometimes, but Feeddemon, even though it's a commercial product, is pretty good. I wish it had combined folder viewing though. It pisses me off that it doesn't. But I deal.
I still use PuTTY every day. There's some offshoots I ran into, like PieTTY that adds features to the regular PuTTY, like transparancy. So I use that. But really, it's regular old PuTTY. The best Windows SSH client around.
At one point I decided I wanted my work PC to act and look like a mac. I wasn't sure what I was thinking at the time. However, after doing it, I realized that the way macs do things really is the best way after all. This way is the dock. And with ObjectDock you too can have the dock on your pc. I rarely have to touch the start menu anymore. And I never use the task bar. Everything is in my dock, and I do love it. Check how it looks on some of my screenshots.
My IM client of choice. It lets me combine all of my IM accounts into one nice package. It talks Jabber, so even Google Talk works. Score. They've done a great job on the windows port.
My DAW software of choice when having to use a PC, anyway. I've been using it full time since working on the new album, and it's pretty good. I no longer have to use Acid for anything, when previously I used Acid for everything. But like all PC Audio software, there's just too much hardware crap you have to deal with. Buffers, streams, drivers, etc, etc. I spend a lot of time trying to make it work better instead of just working with it.
I love this software. It's the best virutal analog environment ever. You open it up, and you go to work. I use it as the sketchboard for any new songs i'm working on, and use it full time for creating beats and drum loops.
Mac OS X Software A list that less people will care about, probably. But probably more important to me this year. Textmate
The most flexible, efficient, and fast editor ever. All code I write is written in this. (or vi. I love vi).
My IM client of choice. Allows me to combine all the accounts into one nice client. It's like Gaim, or Trillian, but it looks nicer and it's all mac-y.
This app rocks. Edit things on the fly, sync folders, QuickSilver integration (you don't need to open up the app to actually connect to something.. sweet).
One of the best things to ever happen to me. Allows you to create triggers, usually via key combos, to do anything. At the easiest, it will launch an app. But it can do so much more. Send an email, zip a file, connect to a ftp server, dial a phone number via Vonage, append to a list, play a mp3. Anything you think of you can probably do with just a few keystrokes with QuickSilver. It's not just a launcher, it's a new lifestyle.
Like Feeddemon, purchased by Newsgator this year. It allows me to sync my newsreading elsewhere through that service. I like it more than feeddemon since it allows combined folder views.
I don't do much web design stuff per se, but this tool was pretty important when putting together PandoraFM v3. It became less important once I started using TextMate, though. The CSS functionality in Dreamweaver is still what I use it for.
Other Software And stuff that doesn't fit in the other two categories.
This email client for PalmOS rocks. It's a realtime IMAP IDLE compatible client, so when an email shows up in your INBOX you know, right then and there. I love IMAP for email, and I love Chattermail to read it. I don't remember life before mobile email on my Treo.
The IRC client I use on my Treo.
I'm not a blogger, really. Bloggers are in their own category where people want to read what someone says because they're interesting. But I do, however, use Wordpress for a different use. If you go to www.real-ity.com, that's not wordpress. That's a RSS aggrigator I wrote that slurps in all the RSS from everything in my digital life, and puts it all in one page for you to view. That includes my online journal, published via Wordpress. But Wordpress doesn't actually power that page. /blog/, then, is Wordpress. I've never really explained how my site worked, and now I have.
New to #TheCabin this year, ekpneo, reccomended the IRC client irssi. I was hesitant at first, as i've been using BitchX for so many years. I gave it a shot, and while not totally impressed at first, the built in proxy is quite useful. I never liked running a proxy itself, but now with the built in one I proxy through irssi with upIRC and XChat. Three different IRCing environments, three different clients. One connection. One nick.
Need I say more? Since having a mac i've been more productive, more creative, more efficient. More a lot of things. A great piece of hardware, an awesome operating system, and the software available by developers are top notch.
Another year with my 4G iPod Photo going strong. I'm not sure this one will last through this next year though. I use it every day and won't leave home without it.
Again it's the center of my digital audio world when doing recording. Spent more time recording this past year than I have in quite a few years. This piece of equipment helps make it possible.
I've had this synth for a full year now, and I use it all the time. It's been one of the best additions to my music setup ever, and I don't know how I ever lived without an external keyboard synth previously.
Podcasts I listen to less podcasts now. It's a good thing. I've fired a lot of them. Shows I no longer listen to: Adam Curry's Daily Source Code, The Dawn and Drew Show, Chris Porillo Show. Here's the ones I do listen to.
- The Daily Giz Wiz
- MacBreak Weekly (audio) / MacBreak (video)
- BuzzCast (or Buzz Out Loud)
- 43 Folders
- Engadget Podcast
As you can see a big chunk of them are Leo LaPorte run TWiT Network podcasts. They do good stuff, and that's why I keep listening to the shows.
Services These are the things run by others that I enjoy and relied on through the year. Some are paid services, some are not.
My favorite online radio site. Run by smart people who know music. I had the unique opportunity to work with a few different people from there this year, and it was a great experience with helpful people each time. I paid a yearly fee to support the service (and it removes ads).
The only useful social networking site. Seriously. If I want to network with people, I want a reason to do it. And the reason here is to find new music that other people like, and that you might like too. It also has a great custom online radio station, but I tend to go to Pandora instead for that. I donated in order to get the customized radio. I pretty much had to if I was going to develop for it ;)
I wrote this in order to merge the worlds of Pandora and Last.FM. Listen to your Pandora, and have it show up on your Last.FM profile. I've added lots of other features as well. Tagging being the big one. Without PandoraFM I wouldn't listen to Pandora at all, to be honest. No matter how good it is. I'll write a post maybe before the end of the year wrapping up the current and future of PandoraFM, along with a list of all the places and people where it was mentioned this past year.
I only use this because i'm an RSS addict. I suffer from information overload on a daily basis. This service doesn't help me at all, but it makes it easier to deal with. Things I read at work will no longer show up at home, and vice versa. It also has a small mobile page so I can read things while in transit and mark those as read. It just lets me be more officiant about my overload. I paid for the year for the complete service, I forget how much it was, though.
A good, cheap backup service for your mp3 collection. With a coupon it's $20 per year to store unlimited mp3s. You can then stream them down using mp3tunes.com custom interface. It's handy if you get online from random places and would like to listen to your tunes regardless of where you are. I really only use it as a backup, though.
Where I purchase all of my music from online. Dirt cheap, illegal and high quality. I mean legal. So totally legal.
Allows me to bookmark at work, view them at home. With RSS it lets me pop that stuff up on my web site as well. Can send bookmarks with friends. Good stuff, simple to use. I like.
Sends me automated alerts when the concert tour schedule changes on any of my 99 artists I have listed. Pitchfork is how I find out that Nine Inch Nails is going on tour, but Pollstar is who tells me that they'll be here next month and where/when the show is. I pay an annual fee for the 99 band limit.
Maybe i'm a rare one that makes distinguishing differences between "web sites" and "web services". YouTube is a service. They host videos. And some of those videos are good. With YouTube, any second of the day, you can view Dick in a Box or the extended live dance mix of Ice Ice Baby. That's a special thing. I'm using YouTube to host "Gabe's Album Journal" video series. I hope in the next year to use YouTube more and to create more content in the video realm.
Web sites and News Feeds Web pages and RSS feeds go hand in hand. I have over 120 different sources for information on any number of topics. I rarely ever actually go to the web sites listed, so just keep in mind the actual look and feel of the pages don't matter. The content comes to me via syndication. Here are my favorites.
The best place for gadget news.
I don't always follow it, but it is the best site about productivity online. Just as good as the advice it gives is the amount of awesome Mac OSX tips and software that is discussed.
Where I learn about all the new movies and behind the scenes stuff.
It's gotten better this year. I only subscribe to the areas of the site that I want to ready about. That allows me to filter out what I don't want (sports, games, etc)
Tech news from the UK. The RSS feed sucks, so it kind of bothers me, and I might unsubscribe because of that. But the content is good when the content is good.
For World News, Entertainment News
More movie news, about super hero movies. It's the place to be when the new Spiderman plot leak comes out, or the new Batman movie begins filming.
Music news. If it's breaking news about artists that i'm interested in, Pitchfork has it. When The New Pornographers come out with a new album, Out Hud breaks up, or !!! books Chicago gigs, this is how I find out first.
And That's That!
Hope you got through my post alright. I don't write much on my site, and this is my one yearly post I hope everyone reads. It's for your own good.
Enjoy your holidays everyone, and check out some of the stuff linked to above.