The First Five

I recently wiped my PC in preparation for installing the release candidate of Windows 7. It used to take a couple of hours to install Windows from scratch and then a couple of days before I had all my applications reinstalled and configured just right.

But those days are over. I’m spending more time on Facebook and Twitter and have replaced a number of applications with simplified web apps. I replaced Microsoft Outlook with Gmail last year and haven’t looked back. Google Docs has nearly replaced Microsoft Office.

Yet I still rely on a few applications that haven’t been replaced by web counterparts. Here’s a list of the first 5 applications I’ve installed on my Windows 7 computer. I’m going to assume the FIRST program you install is a new web browser. I prefer Firefox but Opera, Chrome or Safari will do.

 

digsby

Digsby is a simple chat program. It replaced Windows Live Messenger for me when it added integrated Facebook chat and Gmail notifications.

Last.FM is an unbelievably cool app. If you’re familiar with Pandora or Slacker Radio you’ll love Last.FM. Discovers new music I enjoy and allows me to share it with friends. Check out my favorite artists here.

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Threatfire is the one program to install if you try only one of these apps. I’ve run it for the last two years without any AV software. That’s how much I trust it. Threatfire detects and stops harmful behavior to your machine.

ultramon_logo

UltraMon fixes a big hole in Windows 7: Dual monitor support that works. Adds   an intelligent task bar to your second monitor and allows you to configure desktop backgrounds independently among other features.

Mesh

Microsoft Live Mesh is my favorite product from Microsoft. I wrote about it in January and rely on it everyday. Mesh syncs files between my home and work computers.

Lucky 7: The iPhone Apps I Use Every Day

Now that I’ve had a iPhone a few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of apps. Although a few of them failed to live up to expectations, I’ve enjoyed most of them, especially those recommended to me by friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Naturally, I’m using a few of the most popular apps such as NY Times, USA Today and Facebook. Everyone knows about those. For that reason, I’ll focus on a few lesser know apps that I’m using each day. Links open in iTunes.

bylineicon

Byline
I use this app more than any other because it provide true two-way synch with Google Reader. It grabs all my feeds so I can read them when I know I’ll be offline. Even includes a built in web browser for those blogs that provide only a partial feed. Well worth the $4.99

frenzic

Frenzic
One of the most addictive puzzle I’ve played since Bejeweled. I love the sounds and the colors and the polished feel of this simple, fast paced game. The touch screen controls are perfect. The perfect time waster. $4.99

quickvoicerecorderfree

QuickVoice Recorder
A very simple to use voice recorder. No useless features. Just does what it says. If I’m driving home from work and an idea for a blog post hits me, I use this app to record it.  Free

shovel

Shovel
If you’re a Digg addict, this is a must have app. Pulls in posts from Digg in their Popular, Top Stories, Movers and Shakers and Brand New categories. Digg is my favorite place for tech related news and odd stories that don’t hit mainstream outlets. Free

craigslist

Craigsphone
Sure this app lets you search for an apartment, job or girlfriend but I’m putting it on this list for one reason: Best of Craigslist. It never fails to make me laugh. You’ll find it under the “Featured” section. Free

sportacular

Sportacular
This is crack for the sports junkie. I can drill down to game, team and season stats for any team or league. Updates on all the major sports every 30 seconds in an easy to use and responsive program. No banned substances required. Free

lastfm

Last.FM
As much as I admire Pandora, I prefer Last.FM for a couple of reasons: 1. Better Windows desktop player 2. Advanced social features. I like being able to see what my friends are listening too. You can’t go wrong with either, but give Last.FM a try if you want to see the future of music. Free

What apps do you use on your iPhone or iPod Touch each day?

What’s Taking So Long?

I’ve uninstalled hundreds of Windows programs over the years. Most just take a few seconds to remove. Maybe a few minutes to get rid of a larger applications like Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite.

But I’ve never had a product tell me it’s going to take OVER 2 HOURS to uninstall itself like Tunebite did tonight.

I could install a fresh copy of Windows XP in 148 minutes.

I could watch the extended version of the Blue Brothers in exactly 148 minutes.

I could burn off about 2000 calories on our treadmill in 148 minutes.

I could do 4 loads of laundry and still forget to add fabric softener in 148 minutes.

I could listen to Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon 3.5 times in 148 minutes.

That’s almost enough time to round up my kids and tuck them into bed.

But not quite.

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