Great Software

Since my intermediate accounting problems are done for the weekend and I am temporarily overdosed on election politics, I thought this would be a great opportunity to do a little writing. And since It’s been about three weeks since my last post here, I took it!

The main purpose of this post is to let you know about some of the awesome software I’ve been using recently and that I’ve been recommending to those around me. There is so much cool new software out there that I’m tempted to think we’re back in the late 90’s, where any idea could get venture capital and where business plans were optional. Anyway, Here are a few cool things I’ve been using, and that I highly recommend!

  • Firefox – If you’re still using Internet Explorer for your web browser, you’re missing out! Firefox is a great IE replacement, offering many new features without all of the security issues related to Internet Explorer. I’ve been using Mozilla, Firefox’s parent, for about a year now, and have recently moved to Firefox as the primary browser on all of my computers. You’ll love the built-in pop-up ad blocking, tabbed browsing, and integrated search engines! Trust me, you won’t regret the move!
  • Web Developer Extension – This one isn’t for everyone, but if you do any sort of web development, you’ll greatly appreciate it. This is an free extension for Firefox that places a new toolbar right above the web content you’re viewing. This tool gives you tons of features, such as the ability to disable CSS styles and images, display outlines of HTML elements, and much, much more.
  • Adblock – Another Firefox extension, this one useful to everyone. Firefox does a great job of preventing unwanted pop-up ads, but Adblock takes things a bit further: blocking advertisements within web pages. Adblock provides a simple interface that lets you block ads so you won’t ever see them. I might actually visit some of the online newspapers again because of this one!
  • Furl – This service is simply awesome. At its most basic, Furl is an online storage place for your bookmarks/favorites. It’s also a lot more than that, however. You can put a little “Furl It” link at the top of your browser so that whenever you are at a site/page you think you may want to see again, you can click the link to bring up a little window, categorize the bookmark, rank it, etc. Furl will then add that page to your archive and will also create a snapshop so that you have the content you want, even if the page changes in the future. You can also browse other people’s archive and get recommendations based on what you’ve “furled”. I’ve already found tons of new sites in the couple of weeks I’ve been using this. For the curious, my Furl archive can be found at www.furl.net/members/berberich
  • FeedBurner – Very useful if you have a blog. FeedBurner lets you easily manage the syndication feeds for your site and also gives you lots of extras. Instead of having multiple versions of feeds on your site, FeedBurner will create a SmartFeed that delivers the correct version to the user. This service will also allow you to get statistics on what posts people are actually clicking through and reading. There is much more – too much to put here!
  • Flick – An online photo sharing service that is pretty cool and unique. You can upload photos into online photo albums, add comments, share with friends and family, post pictures to your blog, and more. Flickr is also a social network as well, letting you find others with similar interests if you wish.
  • Gmail – Google’s web-based email service. Simply amazing. One Gigabyte of storage space, extremely easy to use, the power of Google’s search feature, it’s all there. Currently only available by invitation only. Let me know if you are interested in getting an account.

I think that’s a pretty good list for now. Back to the wonderful world of politics! For anyone who hasn’t OD’ed on the election yet, keep your eye on the TradeSports Bush/Kerry contracts the next few days. The election markets are supposed to be more reliable than polls, so it’ll be interesting to see if the market is right (President Bush currently has a 54% chance of being reelected according to the buyers and sellers on TradeSports).

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