Belated Turkey Talking Tech

Obviously, I took Friday off from posting, and in fact did my best to avoid the internet altogether.   However, Lifehacker did post a list of free software they’re most thankful for, and I thought I’d point it out.  It’s a great list, and while most of the software they discuss are downloadable applications (hence not Talking Tech Friday topics), I thought I’d mention some of my personal favorites:

  1. Gmail: obviously not a download, but I’ve really gotten to love Gmail. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s free.  My absolute favorite thing, though, are the recently introduced themes that spruce up your inbox.  I chose the “Mountains” theme, and am treated to different breathtaking mountain panaroma every time I check my email. Like I needed another excuse to check my email…
  2. Digsby: Digsby is a wonderful tool that allows you to consolidate your email, instant messaging, and social networks into one clever downloaded application.  I use Digsby to monitor my Hotmail account, 2 Gmail accounts, Google Talk, MSN IM, Yahoo Chat, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Believe it or not, it really is a time saver – since I’m alerted whenever I do get email or activity on my social networks, I can resist compulsively checking to see if someone has commented on my profile several times a day.  I love Digsby!
  3. Picasa: My absolute favorite tool for organizing my photos on my computer. It’s super easy to use, has a clean interface, allows you to make simple corrections and edits, and it’s simple to create slideshow and burn CDs to give to family and friends.  It also syncs directly with both Picasa Web Albums and Flickr.  It’s not a a sophisticated photo editing tool like Photoshop or some of the web applications we’ve talked about here, but for those of us who just want to organize and share our pictures without super photo-shoppery, it’s perfect.
  4. Ad-Aware and Spybot:Search and Destroy: both of these are easy tools to help clean up the various web detrius that accumulates on every computer.  They search, identify, and dispose of cookies, spyware, random bots, etc. that are the bane of every internet surfer.  I’m a bit partial to Ad-Aware over Spybot, but they are both very handy defenders!  If you’re browsing has slowed to a crawl, this is a good place to start troubleshooting.

Talking Tech Friday will return to its regular schedule for the next 3 weeks, culminating on the 19th with a special retrospective post of my favorite TTF discoveries since the column’s inception a year ago! (Can you believe I’ve been doing this a year!?)  There will be no TTF columns on Dec. 26th and Jan. 2nd, but I’ll be back in January for another year of exploring technologies!

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~ by Anali on December 1, 2008.