Modern Computer Software - as Used by Me

Someone recently pointed out my post on new computer software (from 2007 😳) and going through it I realized how much things have changed in computer software. Previously, I was on Windows, and I’ve now switched to Mac, but that’s not the only difference. A lot of the tools are built into the OS, and some are entirely online.

I thought I would go through the list from 2007 and compare them to what I se now.

Anti-Malware: From AVG to Malwarebytes and Mullvad VPN

Back in the day, I relied on AVG Free for antivirus protection. However, as time went on, AVG started bombarding me with spammy notifications. It became naggy and annoying. So, I made the switch to Malwarebytes, a paid anti-malware software that offers robust protection for my Mac. Additionally, I also utilize Mullvad as my VPN for added privacy and security.

Text Editor: PSPad to VSCode with Copilot

In the past, PSPad was my go-to text editor. But now, I’ve completely transitioned to VSCode, and it’s been a game-changer. VSCode is feature-rich and fulfills all my coding needs. With the recent addition of Copilot, an AI-powered coding assistant developed by GitHub, my productivity has skyrocketed. The combination of VSCode and Copilot makes coding a breeze.

Web Browser: Firefox for Privacy

When it comes to web browsing, some things don’t change much. While I briefly used Chrome, its sluggishness and Google’s monopolistic practices made me seek an alternative. That’s when Firefox came back into the picture. Firefox provides excellent privacy features without compromising on speed or functionality. It has become my browser of choice, offering a refreshing browsing experience.

Email Client: Thunderbird to Browser App and a Future with Protonmail

Gone are the days of using an email client like Thunderbird. Nowadays, I rely on the browser app for Gmail to manage my emails efficiently. However, I have plans to switch to a more private email service, and ]Protonmail seems like a promising option. Protonmail prioritizes user privacy and encryption, making it an appealing choice for safeguarding sensitive information.

Password Management: Keepass with Dropbox Sync

Keepass, the trusty password management app, still remains in my software arsenal. Though I use the Mac version called KeepassX, it serves its purpose effectively. While there are other popular options available, they often come at a cost and occasionally make headlines for security breaches. To sync my passwords across devices, I utilize a free Dropbox account. This way, I can access my passwords on both my computer and phone conveniently.

Local PHP Development: EasyPHP to Mamp

For local PHP development, EasyPHP served me well in the past. However, I’ve switched to Mamp now. While there may be trendier options out there, I find Mamp simple and reliable. It meets all my requirements without unnecessary complexity or distractions.

Image Viewer: Irfanview to Mac’s Preview

Irfanview used to be my go-to image viewer, but since switching to Mac, I discovered the built-in app called Preview. With Preview, I can perform all the necessary tasks related to viewing and editing images effortlessly. It has become my default choice for handling images on my Mac.

Media Player: Media Player Classic to VLC

When it comes to media playback, I no longer rely on dedicated software like Media Player Classic. Most of my media consumption happens on online platforms like YouTube. However, for those rare occasions when I need to watch a media file on my computer, such as when editing videos, VLC is my preferred choice. Its versatility and wide range of supported formats make it a reliable companion.

FTP Client: Filezilla to Cyberduck and Command Line Tools

The need for FTP clients has diminished in recent times with the rise of alternative deployment methods. As a web developer, I primarily deploy my sites using command line commands. However, when FTP is necessary, I turn to Cyberduck. It provides a user-friendly interface and ensures seamless file transfers. Lately, I’ve been utilizing the AWS command line tool to automate file uploads to Amazon S3 as part of my build process. This eliminates the need for manual FTP interactions.

Office Software: Open Office to Google Apps and Mac Apps

While I don’t use office software extensively, when the need arises, I prefer using online alternatives like Google Docs and Sheets. They offer collaborative features and effortless accessibility across devices. On my Mac, I also utilize native apps like Numbers for local office tasks. These apps are more than sufficient for my occasional office-related needs.

Additional Tools: Sourcetree/Github Desktop and Sketch

In addition to the aforementioned software, there are a couple more tools that have become essential in my workflow. For managing version control with Git repositories, I rely on Sourcetree or Github Desktop—both user-friendly interfaces that simplify the process.

When it comes to designing things, Sketch is my go-to software. Its intuitive interface and powerful features cater to my design needs effectively. That said I don’t like their subscription model - I work solo and have no need for the cloud features. Currently they still allow a one-time purchase, but I’m not sure how long that will last. If they ever switch to a subscription-only model, then Icons8 Lunacy looks like a good alternative.

The world of computer software has evolved significantly since 2007. With advancements in technology, we now have a wide array of tools built into operating systems and accessible online. From antivirus protection to text editors, web browsers to email clients, password management to media playback, and more, the choices are abundant. It’s essential to find the right software that aligns with our needs and preferences while prioritizing privacy, security, and efficiency.

Let me know what you think on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

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