Recommended Software and Sites

Heya kids. I wanted to use a few minutes today to prattle on about a few computer-y things I use on a daily basis that I really enjoy and/or make my work days a bit easier. Use them or don’t.

AppCleaner (Free)

This is a nifty utility I use on macOS all the damn time. It’s a no-brainer type of application for utterly removing any apps that are stubborn to linger on your Mac, or if you need a fresh start with an application but the Library files keep repopulating the app upon being reinstalled. Simply drag-and-drop, check all the boxes, and wipe that sumbitch from the face of the earth. (Free)

Someday will save us, because some researcher will dump a shitload of notes and studies onto the website, and instead of sifting through piles of scrolls and tomes in a dingy candlelit tower like Gandalf, we’ll just find the stuff in the archive’s annals internet-style. If you want to put anything in the world’s biggest e-storage unit, do it. It’s a beaut, especially for larger files like podcasts and the like.

BleachBit (Free)

BleachBit is an open-source “clean my cluttered, horrid basement of a computer” program that is great to run a couple times a year, sometimes more if you have an HDD (spinny disk). It can take awhile – sometimes 30 minutes or more – but it does a thorough sweep of whatever you choose it to probe among, sending all the information on your PC to the Clinton administration and Antifa HQ. Just kidding. Or am I? But yeah, BleachBit is good stuff, and if your older PC is running like a Model T, give BleachBit a shot.

Greenshot (Free)

If you’re like me and take a shitload of screen captures, there’s no substitute for Greenshot. It makes documentation creation at my job infinitely easier, whether I’m saving screenshots or copying to clipboard for pasting into an editor or chat client. Compared to the olden days when I’d use Print Screen then paste the entire screen into MS Paint, Greenshot is a luxury cruise. If you’re on macOS, you can simply do the ol’ cmd+shift+4, but for my PC people, Greenshot is a must.

Guake Terminal (Free)

If you’re an Ubuntu user or utilize most version of Linux with a graphical interface, you’re probably extremely comfortable using a Terminal. Chances are you either use the baked-in Terminal or some other customized flavor of the vital spine of Unix, and the one that was introduced to me that I quickly discovered I couldn’t do without is Guake Terminal. Configuring it to a hotkey pair to get that dropdown CLI is simply a 5-star convenience.

Krita (Free)

I’ve been trying to harness Photoshop as a digital painting tool for years now, and it ultimately never does the job well enough to merit the effort. After a little research, I discovered Krita, and now I won’t use any other program to do my digital artwork. It’s got a few hangups, namely requiring some fine tuning to not run like shit, and you’ll need to get used to it in your own way, but after you get to a comfortable spot with it you can churn out some truly amazing stuff.

Signal (Free)

I admit that I am a sucker for the glory that is iMessage. It is the gold standard for texting, especially in large groups. That said, not everybody has an iPhone, and some people are extremely concerned with making sure discussions are encrypted. WhatsApp is not the answer here. Signal, on the other hand, is the right one. It looks a hell of a lot like iMessage, is secure to an obscene extent, has support across all devices, and gets frequently updated by a dedicated small team who prioritize your privacy. If it’s good enough for Edward Snowden, it’s good enough for me. My wife and our family use it daily as our primary means of texting and from day 1 it’s been problem-free.

Sublime Text ($80)

The (Free) train ride comes to an end here, but I have zero regrets about paying for Sublime Text. It’s the Cadillac of scripting code or writing documentation. Syntax highlighting, autocompletion, themes, overwhelming customization, lightweight, and stable. If you’re sick of Atom being a clunky bitch or fudging around with Notepad++, Sublime will make it worth the entry fee.

Tweetdeck (Free…for now)

If you’re a “twitter person” and need some sort of visual feed for organizing all of your info/memes, Tweetdeck is Twitter’s answer. I have a Tweetdeck with four different feeds playing out all day on at least one portion of a display, keeping me apprised of the latest in, well, whatever the hell is going on with friends, news, and sports that’s of relevance to me, or at the least that could potentially give me a laugh. Twitter’s been considering making Tweetdeck a paid/subscription-based thing, unfortunately, so if this sounds good to you, may want to get in before they demand a credit card number.

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