Tag Archives: Launcy

Apps I can’t Live without

Apps I can’t Live without

Every now and then there are a few applications that I just can’t live without.  Right now I’ll tell you about a few of my favorite ones for windows xp.

Launchy (micro utility)


Launchy is a micro utility that launches when you type ‘alt+space’ ( I set mine to ctrl+space), and then you just start typing the name of the app or web address you want to launch.  The app makes it possible to use a lot more of Windows XP without using a mouse.  A few of the mondern operating systems have something simular, but if you are still on Windows XP, you will love launchy as much as you love your keyboard. 😉

jEdit (text editor)


Since being a developer these days means writing scripting languages on linux, windows, and mac os you will need a great text editor that works in all three.  jEdit is great because it runs in java, and thus works on windows, linux (ubuntu), and mac osx.  It’s lighter weight than using eclipse and supports 30+ languages with syntax highligting.  jEdit also has an easy to use plugin interface kinda like Firefox, that manages plugin installs, and plugin updates.  When I set up jEdit, I usually set the tab ( buffer )controls up to be the same as they are in Firefox.

Firefox 3.5 (development browser)


Firefox 3.5 is a huge speed improvement over 3.0, and it now supports all of your favorite dev plugins.  One of these days, I will have to see if I can configure different FF Profiles to load different plugin sets.  Maybe I would have one profile for speed, one for dev,  and maybe one for demos.

Google Chrome (performance browser)


Google Chrome is the fastest web browser, not just because the browser renders javascript at blazing speeds, but because the browser has several other optimizations in the user interface to make it light, powerful and fast.  You can even use chrome with a choice of themes now, and change the default search engine to something other than Google’s, but who would want to use that?  I use chrome whenever I don’t need all of the dev plugins loaded in FF.

Steam ( game app store )


I know a lot of you like the Apple app store, but for those of us that game, Steam is the best place to buy, download, and manage the updates for all of your video game needs.  Steam, produced by Valve Software, allows you to buy a game through there small desktop client and then it will download it on your idle bandwidth, and update your games in the background.  You basically never have to worrry about keeping your games or drivers uptodate again.  I now hate it when I have to buy a game any other way.  Oh, yeah the best part, no more annoying CD checks for games that you paid for.  I love this service so much, I have rebought games just so I don’t have to manage them or deal with CD cracks any more.  You can even gift games to your friends. 😉