geek opensource software

geek recap: software i'm actually using

Occasionally I blog about software that I started using because I find it awesome enough to blab about, but often enough it ends up getting ditched after a few weeks as it turns out it isn’t quite as handy as it initially seemed to be. Sometimes the newness of it wears off and you see it’s shortcomings, or maybe that tool isn’t more of  a hassle anyway in the end.

So what kind of software has actually stood the test of time? Let’s go through some of my most frequently used shortcuts of things I’m using at a daily (or as good as daily) basis and see what they are.

First off, we have the internet stuff:

  1. Firefox for browsing cause it rawks obviously.
  2. Pidgin for chatting and IM because I got tired of not having an IRC plugin for free in Trillian.
  3. uTorrent for torrent downloads cause it’s slick and slim and does the job just right.
  4. FilleZilla client for all my FTP action on the website.
  5. Flickr Uploadr for well… uploading pics to Flickr of course.
  6. Skype, for when you want to use your lips instead of your fingers. For chatting of course. Nothing naughty.

Eye candy:

  1. Yahoo Widgets and that’s it, besides a nice background which I usually find on Flickr.


  1. ZoneAlarm to keep the baddies out, or detect if they got in.
  2. Avast! antivirus to kill the baddies in case they got in.
  3. Peerguardian for additional firewall protection from spying eyes.
  4. KeePass password safe to keep those passwords safe. Man that sounds lame, but it’s what it does really.


  1. Open Office. Nuff said.
  2. PDF Creator to print anything as a PDF document.
  3. Deepburner for burning CD’s and DVD’s for whatever we want, but mostly filled with mp3’s to pump from the car stereo.

Graphics and video related stuffs:

  1. Irfanview cause it’s the most feature-full and lightweight image viewer around. Also handy for the quick color/contrast fix, resize of crop.
  2. Gimp for the heavy duty image manipulations.
  3. Picasa3 for cataloguing pictures, and the quick manip.
  4. VLC media player to play any kind of video. This thing seems to play anything.

Noise, music and sound:

  1. WinAmp is still my weapon of choice to drop those phat beats through the speakers. I love amount of control you get over this one by using keyboard hotkeys only. Geeky awesomeness indeed!
  2. Jeskola Buzz for making those beats yourself. Even more geeky awesomeness here.
  3. Audacity for the wav-cutting and other file based sound editing.
  4. VUMeter is a little tool I use a lot to visualise the sounds you make. Great for finding those holes in your spectrum.
  5. WinLAME and FLAC for the wav to mp3 or FLAC conversion.
  6. CDex to rip those oldskool plastic discs to high quality mp3 files.

As you might have noticed most of this stuff is Open Source or at least freeware, which is nice and cheap of course.
Anything in there you think should be replaced by a way more kick-ass tool you’re using? Drop it in the comments and I’ll check it out!

Photo by Lachlan Hardy, cc-licensed

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