Applications That I Use

Share via Twitter Share via Facebook Share via Linkedin Share via Reddit

Because I found his entry so useful, I’ve been meaning to follow Erik Dasque‘s lead and post a quick list of the applications I use on a regular basis. Some of them are obvious and mainstream, others are considerably less so. Here’s the list:

OS: Gentoo

I’ve covered this before, but I run Gentoo so that I can eke out every last bit of performance from my x23. Gentoo is a source based distro that gives you the option of compiling applications for your specific platform, leading to marginal performance gains. The catch? Compiling larger applications takes forever.

Desktop Environment: GNOME

Nothing against KDE, I just prefer Gnome.

Personal Information Management: Evolution

Essentially an Outlook equivalent for Linux, Evolution’s key feature for me is the Exchange connectivity, as that’s our current messaging platform. My biggest complaint is that it degrades very poorly in intermittent connectivity scenarios – tending to hang when I hop from one hotspot to another – as did past (but not current) versions of Outlook.

Office Productivity: Ximian Open Office

OOo in general is a very capable client – apart from the presentation application – and the Ximian-ized version is a nicely spiffed up look and feel.

Note Taking: Tomboy

Great little note taking app that I’ve written up numerous times before. Two interesting things: 1. I’m beginning to expand my use of the tool to new areas, and 2. I’m seeing opportunities for some Tomboy features in other application areas (like the category above).

Instant Messaging: Gaim

GAIM is a tremendous IM client. Supports tabbed windows, and all the IM protocols I use – AIM, Jabber, MSN, and Yahoo.

Browser: Firefox

This one’s a surprise, I’m sure 😉 Best browser available, IMO.

RSS Aggregator: Bloglines

Still wedded to Bloglines, but first Linux client to support its API will be my offline client of choice.

IRC: Chatzilla

Nice little Firefox extension that supports my basic IRC needs.


Basic, but functional and gets the job done.


The old standby. Like atariboy, I wish it supported tabbed terminals.

Web Design: nVU

Just found that this, and I’m really quite liking it.


Nice little command line tool for spamming my friends with endless SMSs of Simpsons quotes and the like 🙂

Music: XMMS

I’m primarily an iTunes guy, so I use a Win 2K box at the office for most of my music needs, but XMMS is a nice little WinAmp-like player for the odd audio file here or there.

Spam Killing: Nothing

Thus far I haven’t been able to successfully apply a filter to my Exchange account without massive performance degradation, so although Evolution provides this now I can’t use it.


  1. Hi,

    except xmms (I prefer rhythmbox) iIuse exact the same apllications on my gentoo.

  2. cool – thx for checking in. i do quite like rhythmbox, and if i used my laptop for any real media needs i'd probably be using it over XMMS.

    for my needs, however, light weight is the really important driver, so XMMS is the better choice.

    but for folks visiting who are looking for the best media support, Cristi's comment is probably the way to go. also recommend checking out Muine.

  3. I think one of the biggest hassles with instant messaging is that it’s tied to the computer. If I’m away from the computer, like watching tv, I may miss an important IM. I can leave the speakers on the PC really loud, but then I’m always jumping up and running back to the PC to read an incoming IM in case it’s important. Most of the time it’s not. I can subscribe to a service with my cell phone—but that costs money. So here is (I think) the perfect solution, and a good GAIM plug-in that’s not too much work.

    I just installed a Pluto Home system (plutohome.com). It’s a free, open source smarthome and media server. You put Bluetooth dongles on all the pc’s in your house, and then when you enter a room your Symbian Bluetooth phone turns into a remote control for everything in that room. It already tracks your movement—if you start listening to music in 1 room, your music will follow you as you move with your phone to another room. And it already sends messages to the phone based on events. For example, when the song changes, the cover art shown on my phone changes to show me what’s playing.

    So that got me thinking… Why not make a GAIM plugin for pluto so that whenever I get an IM, I see it on my Bluetooth phone? That way I can either type a reply on the phone, or go back to the computer if I want to use the keyboard, or ignore it if it’s not important. And I’m not having to run back and forth to the computer to check IM. And it’s free since it uses Bluetooth! Plus, I think it’s such a real convenience it would be a great way to get people to switch to GAIM.

    I talked to the programmers at Pluto and they said it would be really easy since their stuff is already written in small modules and plugins. However, since we’re all open source, we could also just take whatever pieces were useful and do something completely new using the same concept.

    Many of the other GAIM projects listed are either specific for only some users (like Apple iChat), or would only be used by geeks (like the Perl interpreter). But not having to run back and forth to the computer is something everybody wants (imho). I don’t see how to recommend a new idea for GAIM, so I’ll just try the forums and hope somebody else likes it too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *