Monday, August 06, 2007

The Best of the Best

Quick, name your top ten favorite computer and/or internet applications!

If you are like me, the difficulty isn't in finding ten, it's in narrowing it down to ten.

Here's a few of mine, narrowed not by numbers, but in which ones I use at least once a day, (These are in no particular order):

1. Picasa -
From the website: Picasa is a free software download from Google that helps you: Locate and organize all the photos on your computer, Edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks, Share your photos with others through email, prints, and on the web: it’s fast, easy and free. See a better and in depth review from PC Magazine here, and download it for yourself free here.

2. Gmail -
From the website: Gmail is Google's free webmail service. It comes with built-in Google search technology and over 2,600 megabytes of storage (and growing every day). You can keep all your important messages, files and pictures forever, use search to quickly and easily find anything you're looking for, and make sense of it all with a new way of viewing messages as part of conversations. There is way more to Gmail than I can begin to tell you here, but lets just say it changed my life, and not simply because of the way it handles email. I am never on the internet that I am not using Gmail. Find it here.

3. StockXchange - A photography site that offers a huge selection of Royalty free images for it members, and membership is also free. While there are restrictions, (you cannot resell the images you find there and a few other very sensible requirements) for the most part the images are available for your needs. For everything from webdesign, to personal desktop use, from creating your own greeting cards to finding the perfect image for a magazine article, you'll find it all here.

4. Dreamstime
- Another stock photography site that offers a fantastic photos and illustrations to members. Dreamstime membership is also free, however the images here are not free. But these images comes at extremely reasonable prices, as low as $1 if you need a single image for your project, and as low as 26 cents of you buy a subscription. You'll find it all here.

5. Google Calendar- Google Calendar, part of every Gmail account, is every great calendar I have ever had, except it is web-based, so it follows me wherever I am . Customizable calendars allow you to create as many calendars for as many of parts of your life you need to track, which you can keep private, allow certain viewers, or make totally public at your discretion. Not to mention it's handy feature that can either email reminders directly to your Gmail account, or toss a pop-up at ya when you tell it to. I couldn't live without this program.

6. Google Documents - Like Google Calendar, this is an extension of your Gmail account and totally accessible on any computer with access to the internet. Even if you do not have commonly used word processing programs such as Microsoft Word, or spreadsheet programs such as Excel, you can save, edit, and even share your documents in this application.

7. GoDaddy - GoDaddy provides great web hosting, domain services and more for great prices, ease of use, and all with excellent customer service. I have heard and read some negative feedback about GoDaddy, but even after having used other companies for all my web hosting and domain registration needs, I find that GoDaddy has, for the past three years, given me the best value for my dollar, and all with no complaints. Find them here.

8. DreamWeaver - This is not inexpensive software, but I have tried other options, including FrontPage, and I simply love Dreamweaver. The learning curve wasn't too steep since I had some web building experience, and I have found in Dreamweaver the ability to be truly creative without difficulty.

9. Adobe Photoshop - I don't have to say much here. It's not like you haven't heard of Adobe Photoshop. I am only including it here because I do use it daily. It's a significant part of my budget, but well worth it.

10. Mozilla Firefox - It took me a long time to convert to Mozilla Firefox , despite the fact that tech minded friends I have had urged me to do so for a long time. I was well used to IE and was strangely afraid of the change. (Fear, perhaps, of looking like a newbie again on the internet.) It is a wonderful browser, however, and has changed the way I see the internet. Safe, secure, and so much easier to use than I ever expected. And it's full of fantastic add-ons I am addicted to. (see below.) Interested? Find it here.

11.StumbleUpon - StumbleUpon is this great add-on button that attaches to the browser window of Firefox. It's the coolest thing I have seen in a long time, and way addicting, as half a dozen people I have introduced you can testify to. With a single click to the button you can "Stumble" around the internet and view some amazing sites you might never have the luck to see without it. Or you have the ability to tighten the search pattern and find anything you might be looking for. Like the site?" Give it a thumbs up. Hate it? Give it a thumbs down. It adjusts itself to your likes and dislikes as you go... learning and customizing your viewing experience for you. What's cool about StumbleUpon is that unlike your average search engine, you don't go to the sites that are rated highest because of the keywords embedded in the page, or because the site has paid to be put first on the search list. You see what is getting the most thumbs up from millions of users just like yourself. Fantastic. Dying to try it? Find it here.

Okay, so that was eleven. I could go on and on and on. But I'll stop now, give you something to mull over. Have some sites you love of your own? Send them to me.. I'd love to try them out!

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hmm, I use Firefox...