I am agnostic to operating systems. I’ve used Mac OSes, I’ve used OS/2, I’ve used every version of Windows since version 1.0. I’ve used SuSE Linux. I liked SuSE Linux. It ran fiendishly fast on the Pentium III-M desktop I built. My problem with it was having to learn a whole new series of applications.
So right now I’m using a Windows XP gig. The notebook I use came with Vista but I downgraded. Maybe Windows 7 is great. I’ll wait a while. But in the meantime here’s my top 10 apps on Windows that right now I can’t do without.
1. Horas. A customizable world clock. I need this. I live in Oxford and edit a US magazine. The cities I have set up are London, Bangalore, San Francisco, Taiwan, New York, Sydney and Chicago.
2. Skype. The TG Daily team all conference on Skype. I also use it to call people because I have Skype Out, It’s just so much cheaper than using my BlackBerry, a landline at home, or worse, a hotel line if I’m on the road.
3. Fireworks and Dreamweaver – old versions. As long as the software continues to run, I find older versions run far faster than the newer stuff. Fireworks is great for compressing graphics file. Dreamweaver – version 3.0 – is fab for making great tables. I’d rather upgrade my hardware than my software generally.
4. Word for Windows version 2.0. This is a really really old version of Microsoft Word for Windows. So old that it doesn’t do fancy things like access the Internet, so you don’t need to worry about all that malware stuff.
5. And talking about malware. I’m still using AVG 8.5. I’ve had licenses for Norton, for McAfee and the rest, but I really do find this chummy little AV prog is the bee’s bollocks, as we say in the UK.
6. Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. An exception to my old software rule. But this software is really fab. It does so much and gives so much that I really wouldn’t be without it.
7. Google Earth. Such a spooky application. I can zoom into places I’ve lived in my life like Aberdeen, Scotland; like Bangalore in India, and the rest. About time they updated some of their photographs though.
8. Anyplace Control. Occasionally I need to access a remote desktop. This piece of software is wickedly good at doing that.
9. Notepad. Anyone else notice how modern CMSes just hate Microsoft Word and all its works and trumps? You’re safe with Notepad and then you can format stuff inside your net CMS.
10. JASC Paint Shop Pro. I’m using version 8. It’s such a versatile image editor and imports and exports just about anything you will throw at it. Yeah, I know the bee’s knees is supposed to be Photoshop, but Paint Shop Pro does everything I need.
I’m browser agnostic. If it works, be it IE or Firefox or Safari, I’m more than happy.