This is a list of programs I use and recommend. Hopefully they can be helpful to someone.

Internet

  • Mozilla Firefox – The best browser out there in my opinion, and yes, I’ve ran Opera for a significant amount of time, as well as Chrome, IE8, Konqueror. What really sets Firefox apart for me is the extensibility, which is simply unmatchable.
  • Chrome – Gets an honorable mention because it’s now exclusively my secondary browser. Chrome starts up much faster than anything else, and per-tab processes (well, not quite) makes it easier to recover from errors. It’s still very rough around the edges for me, and I couldn’t use it exclusively, but I find that it’s very nice for watching videos online since plugins spawn in their own process as well, so if Flash dies it doesn’t take my whole browser session with it.
  • Pidgin – The best open source IM client, and in my opinion the best IM client period. Pidgin has a clean design and at the same time is fairly powerful and customizable with plugins. Development hasn’t been that brisk as of late but look out for version 2.6.0 in the somewhat near future which should be very cool.
  • PostBox – I’ve recently switched to PostBox from Thunderbird for IMAP email and newsgroups. PostBox is based on Thunderbird, but it’s in a really weird position because PostBox itself is not open source and does not have a Linux version. Still, I like the added features enough to use it over Thunderbird, because really TB development has been stagnating for so long in favor of Firefox there isn’t much going for it anymore. Things I like about PostBox are the GMail-like conversation view, indexed searches, handy quicksearch links for attachments, images, and the like. I don’t like so much how they’ve disabled extensions, but I’m hoping they see the light and reenable them eventually.
  • Thunderbird – With Lightning, it’s still a very good email client, but unfortunately it’s gotten a bit boring as of late.

Operating System

  • Windows Vista – My primary OS
  • Windows 7 – Right now I’m just playing with it and it’s pretty nice, a marked improvement over Vista but I don’t know whether I want to pay for it…
  • Ubuntu – I actually prefer the KDE and XFCE versions of Ubuntu over the GNOME, but it’s a rather nice Linux distro with excellent polish and a good community. I run this both as a VM inside Vista and on my hard drive.

Development

  • Eclipse
  • Emacs
  • MingW GCC
  • Notepad++
  • PuTTy
  • Xming
  • MsysGit
  • TortoiseSVN

Office/Productivity

  • MS Office 2007
  • The GIMP

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