Five Applications I Can't Live Without.

Its always hard to find something to talk about in my general blog (which is why it will be much less prominent next time I redesign the site), but I realized that I just had to post about the things that i have to install on all the computers I use frequently.

  1. The Zune Theme

    Ok, so this technically isn't an application, but its my list so I'll do what I want. The Zune Theme for Windows XP transforms XP into something you can stand looking at all day. The default "theme" of blue and green bars looks like it was designed for Playskool, not a work machine. The black and orange design is modern, slick, and wont make you feel like you are playing with Mega Blocks.

  2. Winamp

    If you need music, Winamp is your answer. Its simple to use, rocks solid, and it can play your CDs, MP3s, videos, whatever. It also includes a visualization plug-in that can keep you in supply of amazing visuals to accompany your tunes. Even better, the current theme matches well with the Zune Theme.

  3. Launchy

    Launchy is a "keystroke launcher" which means it can launch your programs based on key strokes alone. This may not sound like much, but it means you'll never have to dig through your Programs list trying to find what you want again, just pres "Alt + Enter" type what you want, and Launchy matches the cloest program, or lets you choose from a list of options if it didn't bring up the one you wanted. Also, the "Mercury" skin fits awesome with Zune.

  4. Trillian

    If you use any kind of instant messaging app, then Trillian is for you. Trillian lets you connect just about any instant messaging service all through one window. This means you can chat with your ICQ friends, your AOL friends, and your MSN friends all through one interface. Also, some of the optional skins have a black color that works well with Zune... see a... umm... theme here?

  5. Google Chrome

    Well you shouldn't have! My last application is Google Chrome, and at least so far, I've found no way to make it look black and orange at all! That doesn't keep it from being the best browser I've ever used though. It has some quirks, and things that simply don't work (spelling mistakes are highlighted, but you can't autocorrect them), but it has all the basics, and its FAST. Plus it uses WebKit, one of the most up-to-date rendering engines for the web ever. Top it with the intelligent "home" page, and I'm a happy camper.

Maybe one of those will be useful for you.

 

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Jon Hartmann, July 2011

I'm Jon Hartmann and I'm a Javascript fanatic, UX/UI evangelist and former ColdFusion master. I blog about mysterious error messages, user interface design questions, and all things baffling and irksome about programming for the web.

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