Software discoveries of the year

Let’s see: I find every year fresh means of procrastination toys productivity tools: what have this year’s been?

  • Directory Opus. I’ve been looking for years for something that would give me simple two-pane file management in Windows to replace explorere. There are lots of things that I try but they all seem to end up slower, less powerful, and less slick that Explorer. This has the opposite faults. It is far too powerful for what I need, and comes with a huge PDF manual I have hardly dented. Also, it’s expensive for a utility. But it’s a keeper, none the less, since it does all the things that a file manager should and explorer doesn’t (two panes, seamless (s)ftp, impressive file viewers). Some time, I may even read the manual.
  • OneNote The best note-taking software for interviews I have found, chiefly because it will sync comments to the sounds recording(Charles says that MS Office for the Mac will do this also). Also very good at allowing quick tagging and cross-referencing of notes.
  • Yahoo Desktop Search I far prefer this to GDS — less obtrusive, and offers much more refinement in the searches that you carry out. One reason I haven’t used the version 2 OOo file format (Opendocument) is that YDS has no viewer for it, a point which nicely shows the distinction between open and useful standards.
  • Google Earth No use whatever, but completely glorious. Google Maps is fairly rapidly replacing all my other mapping services, too, though there is nothing wrong with Yahoo maps.
  • Flickr Does for time what cocaine does for money.
  • Talking of cocaine, a couple of the downloadable Vault tapes are excellent, especially, for fans of psychadelic noise, this one
  • And, since we seem to have drifted into music, the appearance of the complete Naxos catalogue on emusic is another good thing about the year.
  • WinScite A nice lightweight editor for little python scripts, especially when used in conjunction with the hideous Ipython shell.
  • Two Glorious fonts from P22.

The lower line is a selection from the Day of the Dead font, also known as Posada Extras. The skeleton reading a newspaper is going on all my invoices this year.

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3 Responses to Software discoveries of the year

  1. RupertG says:

    I don’t know what this sentence does to the enemy, but it scares the bejeezus out of me: “Download Vol. 6 then proceeds into a 60+ minute non-stop jam…”

  2. acb says:

    But, Rupert, in this context, you are the enemy.

  3. dave heasman says:

    Ah, Directory Opus. I bought one of those in 1995. For my Amiga.

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