November 24, 2005

Software I use

You can tell a lot about a programmer from the software he uses. This is a list of what's on my PC, starting with Firefox.

I really think that describing the software I use everyday (not the programming tools -- Delphi almost invariably -- nor what runs my servers, that's for another entry) tells a lot about me. I use very little from Microsoft, beside the OS. I like open source software, but I use also proprietary ones. I won't provide links to all of the programs, a simple search on Google will help you find them. So here we go.

  • Operating system. My main computer, a Dell Latitude laptop, runs primarily on Windows XP. I have VMWare boxes with Linux. I also have Win3.1 and even DOS + Win 1.01 installed for demos. All my servers have Linux installed (mostly Debian), but that's for another time.
  • Browser: Firefox. I've used tabbed browsers since Opera started working OK. Smart, fast, nice incremental page search, great JavaScript debugger and DOM Viewer... I could go on but will stop here. Plugins include the Google toolbar, Web Developer (superb!), and User Agent Switcher (nice to fool ASP.NET sites). I don't have many because looking for the best ones takes time. Suggestions?
  • Mail: The Bat. I'm not so fond of it anymore, but have hundreds of filters in place... Moving mail, mailboxes, rules and all to a new computer takes second (ever tried with Outlook?). I'm considering a switch to Thunderbird or moving everything to GMail. I also use Spamhilator to protect some of my accounts.
  • Newsgroups: XanaNews. Coming from Agent, it was a natural fit. It is written in Delphi and the full source is there. Don't plan switching for now.
  • OpenOffice: most word processing and slides I do are based on this great tool, and have been for the past 3 years. And I have custom programs that hack the XML-based file system as well. Plus you get PDF and Flash output (for slides). And dictionaries for all languages. And lots of goodies. I still use MS Word (97!) as this is what my publisher requires and they have tons of macros that don't run in OpenOffice.
  • Text Editor: Context. Very nice, written in Delphi. Good syntax highlighting for many languages. I also use XmlTypist an XML editor I wrote in Delphi (more on it soon, I hope).
  • Imaging: InfranView and Picasa for viewing images, photos and the like. I keep switching from one to the other. Plus 20/20 for screen captures. Plus GIMP or an old PaintShop Pro for the rare graphic processing I have to do.
  • Video: I have the full set of audio/video players (Real, QuickTime, Media Player, DivX Player).
  • Music: iTunes for managing my iPod.
  • Phone and IM: Skype: this is a software I use and like a lot. And is written in Delphi as well (possibly the most widespread Delphi app ever, with 209 million downloads!). Plus GMail Notifier.
  • Firewall: Kerio is quite a good one. Nice that you see when Windows calls home (and can stop it)!
  • VCS clients: Tortoise CVS and Tortoise SNV.
  • Files/folders comparison: Beyond Compare. Outstanding (and written in Delphi).
  • File transfer: WinSCP3: That's for SSH-based file transfers to Linux boxes I own.
  • File compression: WinZIP. A classic.

Not that I claim these are the best tool in each category. They work. They are cost effective not only because most of them are free, but also because they help me get my job done without too much hassle. I rarely invest time to test something new (I'm too busy and too lazy!), but I'm open to suggestions...



Software I use 

Just out of Interest what RSS Aggregator do you use marco?
Comment by J [] on November 24, 23:48

Software I use 

Try Maxthon -best IE core tabbed browser. Even so 
many microsoft guys use this browser
Comment by Maxthon [] on November 25, 05:28

Software I use 

 I tried the XanaNews,but I didnot get any 
message,any suggestion?

how to subscribe?

following is some infomation
received from server: Delphi e Dintorni News Server

Greg Chen
Comment by XanaNews problem? on November 25, 06:48

Software I use 

 Hi, Marco
This is my suggestions:

.7zip instead of WinZip. Supprt many format, It's open
source and have a nice file manager embedded.

.Switch to Thunderbird  and use it for mail,
newsgroups and RSS :-)

.Try PSPad instead of ConTEXT (I've used ConTEXT).
it's powerfull and it's written in Delphi too.

For the other software... it's the same that my
hard-disk know :-)
Comment by Daniele Teti [] on November 25, 10:33

Software I use 

 Firewall: Kerio is quite a good one. Nice that you 
see when Windows calls home (and can stop it)!

Calls home? How? And what kind of informations does 
it send? And why can not we see it in other 
It's very interesting... I'll loook at it.
Comment by Tamas Pocker on November 25, 10:36

Software I use 

InfranView = IrfanView..., free, small, rich -> rulez! ;)
Comment by Zlatibor Boro Urosevic on November 25, 11:32

Software I use 

For compression I recommend freeware 7-zip

ConTEXT still remains installed on my computer but i
moved to PSPad ( It's freeware
and written in Delphi, too. It has more functionality
than ConTEXT, what can be good or bad depending on
user's needs. The main reason why I moved is PSPad's
much better support for projects.
Comment by Andris on November 25, 15:12

Software I use 

 I use FileZip for a Zip program.  It's as convenient
as winzip, has Context extensions, and works really
well on large files. (It's free as well)
Comment by Terry Kellum on November 25, 17:47

Software I use 

One software I could not do without is Servant 
Salamander ( It's a dual 
directory file manager (similar to Norton Commander 
if anyone remember that) with a lot of plug-ins for 
file compression, image viewing, etc.
Comment by Ulrik Sandström on November 25, 19:00

Software I use 

Haven't try Total Commander (File manager app)?
(Almost 18'000.000 hints)

It is quite useful and written on Delphi. Tons of plug

Comment by Jorge on November 25, 22:27

Software I use 

Looked at Kerio and read the following:

Kerio Personal Firewall is being discontinued on
December 31, 2005. While Kerio will continue to
support this product for all customers through 2006,
we will not be actively developing any new features or
functionality going forward.

We strongly encourage those customers interested in
purchasing Kerio Personal Firewall to download the
product and evaluate it free of charge for 30 days
before purchasing as our strict no refund policy will
continue to apply for the three remaining months the
product will be available. We thank you for your
Comment by Steve Pietrek [] on November 28, 03:16

Want to hear more.. 

Which delphi components are your favorite ?
Comment by sake [] on November 28, 04:25

Software I use 

The best Norton Commander clones for Windows :

FileCommander (my favorite) :


FAR Manager :
Comment by Rossen Assenov [] on November 28, 12:26

Software I use 

PowerArchiver is a great Zip management program.  It
is very similar to WinZip in operation, but has way
more features (more then I could list here) and is
much more powerful.  At work we use WinZip and I had
to switch to PowerArchiver because WinZip didn't
support the size of the zip file I wanted to create. 
Not only is it the absolutely best archiver management
program I have used, but it is also written in Delphi.

Only downside is it isn't free: $19.95, but well worth it.
Comment by Jim McKeeth [] on November 28, 20:12

Software I use 

WinZip?  You should rather be supporting a Delphi
developer- use PowerArchiver.  It is written in Delphi
and it is much more feature-rich than WinZip.  It
supports 7-zip as well as accessing files stored in
ISO files etc. (many archive formats are supported)

And for Firefox you should look at these extensions:
* Nuke Anything (very useful for removing individual
page elements temporarily - e.g. advert images etc. -
I use it for printing on some sites)
* Tab X
* Copy URL+
* BugMeNot
* ForecastFox (you may not be able to use this??)
Comment by Kevin Berry [] on November 28, 23:13

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