My favorite apps of 2009

Since everyone else is listing their favorite apps for 2009, I thought I would go ahead and throw in my .02 cents worth. There’s tons of good software out there, but this is the list of stuff I pretty much use everyday. I use these at home and at work.

Writing/Publishing
Microsoft OneNote 2007
Microsoft LiveWriter
Notepad++
WordPress

I obviously use WordPress on a daily basis for my blogs and Live Writer is one of the best tools for publishing articles. It might be a couple years old now but OneNote is one of the handiest apps I’ve used in a long time. Grabbing notes from the web and compiling research is a breeze with it. And Notepad++ is the best plain text editor out there.

Graphics
Corel Paint Shop Pro X2
Adobe Lightroom 2
Irfanview
FastStone Image Viewer

These are the graphics apps I use pretty much every day. Irfanview is my primary viewer and FastStone is a great folder viewer. For simple editing PSP is so easy to work with and Lightroom is amazing when it comes to working with photos.

Internet
Firefox 3
Digsby
Roboform
Internet Privacy Pro
Firebug
Web Developer Toolbar

Firefox is my choice in browser since it gets updated every few weeks versus the years it takes Microsoft to update IE. Digsby has become my choice for IM client since it connects to multiple services at one time and has tons of features. I really can’t live without Roboform these days. I now have hundreds of logins stored in it (and I have it on the iPod too!). Internet Privacy Pro cleans up all the cookies and left over temp files while Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar let me debug web pages with ease. Everybody working on the web is using Firebug aren’t they?

Media
AnyDVD
CloneDVD
CloneDVDMobile
Handbrake

AnyDVD is the only way to get your DVDs on to your media center. CloneDVD just makes it all the easier. CloneDVDMobile gets DVDs onto my iPod with just a couple of clicks and Handbrake makes it easy to convert my AVIs to MP4s so I can play them on the iPod. Handbrake can convert from DVD to MP4, but my machine hasn’t had much luck with it.

Utilities
Windowblinds
ObjectDesktop
7-Zip
O&O DiskImage
O&O MediaRecovery

Windowblinds and ObjectDesktop offer tons of tools and enhancements to Windows. Make it look better, make apps easier to launch, tweak the settings and clean up the desktop. Some of it’s just for fun, but there is still a lot of power in the tools they make.

7-Zip is a great open source way to handle Zip and Rar files. For backups and file recovery, O&O makes some of the best tools out there. They’re small and fast and do a great job of imaging drives and finding lost/damaged files.

New Graphics Apps
DxO 6
Artisteer

These are some new apps I’m trying out this year. I got DxO at version 4 and thought it was pretty good, but seriously lacked some camera support. Version 6 seems to pick up the slack and offer lots of new cameras and bodies, as well as new features for adjusting pictures. I got it for a great price so I’m willing to give this new version another chance.

Artisteer is a new app I bought for making WordPress themes. For the most part I have been very impressed with it. I made a bunch of themes for Halloween and even a couple for Christmas. Making themes is incredibly easy, but it does have a cookie cutter sort of feel to it. It’s a little on the expensive side, but it let’s me swap out themes whenever I want without having to spend hours searching the web. Plus, the code is easily modified so I can make adjustments where I see fit.

Like I said, this isn’t every software program I use, that list would be unruly, but these represent the apps I use all the time. When I build a new machine these are the first apps to go on. I’m sure some of you are using a few of them yourselves. If you’ve got a favorite app, let me know, I’m always on the lookout for useful utilities.

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