Killer Apps

I’m not sure I have just one killer app that I wouldn’t be able to live without.
If I needed to, I could switch one app for another.
However, I do have some favorites, and I’ll list them and the reason I love them.
Maybe you already use them, maybe you don’t, or maybe you’ll start after tonight.

Google Calendar is great, and you can even subscribe to them using Outlook or whatever cal app you use that supports ics.
But, and here was the catch, you can’t update your gcal from your subscribed ics.
GCALDaemon allows you to do this!
It’s a little java app that site there and polls gcal every 10 minutes for changes, and updates a local ics file.
Then it polls that ics file ever few seconds, and if there are differences, it updates gcal.
How cool is that!
Not only is it free, it’s multi-platform.
Apparently it’ll translate rss feeds to, but I can’t remember why.
It’s easy to setup and run, and it’s just this little background process.
Highly recommended.

Since I’m trying to move into Linux full time, and I have to justify the existence of the palm, I needed an app that would sync with the palm.
Evolution will do that, and since I’m using Ubuntu, it would have been a logical choice. It does have this one flaw though.
When Evolution launches, it’ll read your local subscribed ics files *once*. It will save changes to them, but it won’t query them for updates.
This kills the whole two way communication thing with gcal.
So what’s the big deal you ask? Can’t I just close it every now and then so it’ll re-read?
See, when you launch Evolution for the first time, it creates this other process that sits in your task tray to alert you of meetings or email.
That’s great, but as long as that’s running, technically, Evolution is never *not* running.
So for Evolution to re-read those ics files, I have to kill this process too. It’s not enough to stop Evo, I have to kill all the processes it spawned.
So I use Kontact.
It’s not as slick as Evolution in terms of interface(granted, I’ve only used it for a little while) but I think it handles imap email better, I know it re-reads those ics files, and it syncs with the palm.
All in all, it’s a good app.

Staying on the Linux theme, I’ve yet to find an MP3 player that’ll handle my collection without crashing.
I have 20K+ songs, and everytime I try to load them into other music management apps in linux, they make it to a point, then die.
XMMS isn’t great, but it works.
And it works well.

I’m writing this now in Semagic. When I’m in Windows, this is what I use to update my LiveJournal.
It handles friends, user pics, does some great music detection, and I can just close it and it’ll save whatever I’m writing as draft.
Granted, there are days when I start writing at work, get distracted, and remember that I have something on the go much later 🙂

It’s my torrent app of choice.
LifeHacker has talked about this app and all the great things that it can do.
For me, it works better than any other torrent app that I’ve used.
It’s standalone(or can be) so you could pop it on a usb drive and run without issue(granted, I think most of your settings are stored on the hd somewhere).
It allows you to throttle the download/upload rate at any time per torrent, or during certain times of the day.
It keeps track of your ratio(if you’re worried about that sort of thing), will filter your finished downloads according to title.
Did I mention it’s free?
Only downside is that it’s currently Windows only 🙁

We all know this one.
I use it because for the longest time it was the only one with tabs.
I like tabs.
I also like all the plugins.
I don’t like the memory problems(sorry, it just NEVER releases memory unless you stop it).
This is the only thing that IE does better. It’ll get up to 75 megs, then flush.
FF never does the flush. I found this out while using Pandora, and the memory usage just kept climbing.
My list of plugins change from time to time, but for the most part I use:
-gmail manager(currently broken) just fixed
-Faster Fox(I only assume this actually makes it faster)
-forcast fox
-Sage(bestest little RSS reader evar)
-Foxmarks(take all my bookmarks with me)
-gbutts(all my google apps in the bookmark toolbar)
-abblocker and some adblocker list thingy(no more annoying ads!)
-colorful tabs(just looks nice)
So yea, while I have a lot running on FF, it would be nice to have it release memory now and then 😉

Mid’s Hero Designer
Great for City of Heroes/City of Villains.
Oh, on a side note, , as of Issue 11, you’ll be able to play COH without paying for it! If you own one, you have access to them both!
It’s a nice little character designer with all the info you really need to develop a character all the way to 50(not that I’ll ever see that…)

This is the only one you have to pay for.
It’ll read all file formats, save in most, and handles large files without puking.
No lying on that point. I work support, and it was able to open a 4 gig log file. Granted, it took a minute(not much longer than that) but it took it like a champ 😉
It also supports reg expression searching.
Grep like searching through directories.
It’s just really useful 🙂

Portable Apps
This isn’t a single app, it’s the hard work of mostly one guy to make apps runnable on a USB device.
All settings are stored locally on the USB so you can take it all with you.
It includes:
-Open Office(yes, all of it)
-Notepad++(great free text editor that I’m trying to use more)
-FileZille(best damn FTP client there is)
And it also has some anti-virus in there somewhere. I linked it, go check it out.
I also use this on normal computes without them being “portable” because they’re nice and lite apps.

So all in all, I think those are the ones I use on a daily basis.
Sure, I could swap in other apps if I had to, but why do that when these work?
And are free(mostly)!

What apps do you all use that you would prefer not to live without?

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