what i use

Mark, aka LaughingLizard recently posted on his blog about the tools/applications that he uses on a day to day basis and put out the call for others to do so. For those of you uninformed, Mark is a WordPress guru and programmer of all sorts. He is the author of the threaded comments code which I use on this blog and will soon be using on ALL of the blogs. But anyway, here’s my ‘toolbox’. For those of you don’t give a rip, I’ll split this entry. For those of you who don’t, you should read it anyway!


All my computers get names. If you don’t understand, you’re probably not a geek. If you are a geek, it’s something that you’ll not only understand, but appreciate. I’ve gone with (surprise!) a Matrix theme.

  • ZION-MAINFRAME: This is “my baby” so to speak. Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard, AMD AthlonXP 2500+ processor (Overclocked from 1.83 -> 2.3ghz), 1GB (512×2) Corsair ValueSelect PC3200 DDR memory running in DualChannel mode, ATi Radeon 9600 Pro, Western Digital 80GB SE hard drive, CD burner, DVD-ROM, flash memory card reader. The OS is WinXP Home. This machine is the worker of my two active systems. All my gaming and a good bit of my web development work is done on this box.
  • Trinity: This is my gopher box. It’s a Syntax brand motherboard that has an integrated Via/Cyrix Processor that is “rated” at 1200+. Actual clock speed on the Eden CPU is 800Mhz I believe. This machine runs 256Mb of DDR memory and currently has SuSE 9.0 Professional installed. The kernel has been updated to 2.6.5 and KDE 3.2.2 has also been added. I do web browsing, email, IRC, some light webdev work and just flat out playing around with Linux on this machine. It’s too slow to do much of anything productive though.


There are certain apps that I use cross-platform on all my machines. It’s awesome to be able to switch between boxes and OS’s and still have the same apps!

  • Web Browsing: Mozilla Firefox. Period.
  • E-Mail: Mozilla Thunderbird. Fast, lightweight, free. The IMAP server support is excellent. Be sure that if you’re an Outlook junkie you get the Calendar Extension to make you feel more at home.
  • Instant Messaging: gAim. It’s also free, Open Source and supports AOL, MSN, Yahoo and even IRC. None of the annoying ads that the standard AOL and MSN clients have.
  • Office Suite: I was a long time lover and fan of Microsoft Office until OpenOffice.org 1.0 (aka OO.o) was released a few months ago. OO.o reads AND writes MS Office formats such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint back to Office 6 format and maybe even older than that. It’s a running joke that OO.o has better compatibility with the Microsoft file formats than MS Office.
  • WordPress: It powers MANY portions of my site and other sites that I am affiliated with. What else can I say. WordPress is awesome!

Windows Software:

  • Text Editor: Crimson Editor is the bomb. Period. It has syntax-highlighting for about 10 different programming/markup languages by default and is small and fast. It’s excellent for working in a web environment where PHP, HTML, XHTML, and CSS are used. I do 99% of my work in this app.
  • Music: iTunes and the iTunes Music Store keep me jamming. I love the library functions and the ability to purchase individual tracks from an album.
  • IRC: X-Chat rocks. The Windows port of the ever popular Linux IRC client.
  • FTP Client: SmartFTP does everything I need.

Linux Software:

  • Text Editor: I prefer Kate in gui mode and am a lover/hater of vi when I’m doing stuff at the CLI for it’s speed and reliability.
  • IRC: Konversation is included as part of KDE and works most excellently.

Well, you’re bored, but those are my MUST HAVES to be able to function. The only thing I really didn’t include is a RSS reader because I haven’t ever settled on one that I LOVE. Currently using a Tbird plugin though, so we’ll see how that goes. Hope something here was helpful to someone.

So, what do YOU use daily?