My Software

* Updated on 06/30/2016 *

Being a known technology enthusiast, I am often asked for my recommendations on different products and services based on my own experiences. Though I’m always glad to share, I thought it would be helpful to take a page from Paul Thurrot’s book (www.thurrot.com) and create my own set of “What I Use” pages.

The following is a glimpse of the many applications I use on a daily basis.

Operating Systems

With more laptops than I want to admit, I certainly have variety when it comes to my Operating Systems. My main machine currently runs Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.5, but I have multiple virtual machines that still run Windows and Linux instances to ensure I can keep up with the tech times.

Virtual Machines

Since deciding to go full Apple, I still wanted a way to keep current with Windows and Linux software. To accomplish this, I use a product called VMWare Fusion Professional 8.1.1, which allows me to an isolated instance of an operating system.  Basically, I can run any operating system I want through this software while still on my Mac.

My current Microsoft VMs include Windows 10 and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, . My current Linux VMs include Ubuntu Desktop 16.04, OpenSuse Leap 42.1 and Fedora Workstation 24.1 Core.

Productivity

Keeping things simple, but effective is a strong requirement in my world. As such, I’ve stood byMicrosoft Office as my productivity suite. I use Word for my personal writing, Excel to manage my budget, Access to keep my volunteer contacts in order and PowerPoint to develop my technology presentations. I also use Microsoft Outlook as my primary e-mail engine. When building workflows, I use Microsoft Visio Professional and when creating project plans for personal and business reasons I use Microsoft Project Professional. My note taking app of choice is Microsoft OneNote.  I’m running Office 365 home both my Mac and Windows virtual machines.

My website is created using WordPress 4.5.3, though I used Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2015 to develop any custom widgets or tables required for the site. All of my graphics are created in Adobe Photoshop CC 2015. I also use Adobe Acrobat Professional 10 to convert all my handouts to PDF format. For screen capturing, I rely heavily on TechSmith’s SnagIt 2.3.0 for the Mac.

From a technical standpoint, I backup all my Windows machines to my Windows Home Server through multiple synchronization softwares.  For the Mac, I use Synkron and for Windows I continue to rely onSyncBack SE.

FileZilla is a free FTP client that helps me stay connected to all of my websites.

Internet and Communications

I connect to the internet using Google Chrome. I prefer Chrome to others by far, but I like to make sure the contents of my site remains the same from multiple browsers.  I use Facebook (www.facebook.com/nebulouslounge) and Twitter (@nebulouslounge) as a method of communicating updates regarding my site and any initiatives I’m involved in.

Security

For my Mac, I use BitDefender AntiVirus for Mac 4.0.2, which has a decent footprint without hogging resources in the background. I’ve continue to go with Microsoft Security Essentials based on the ease of use, the silent background resources and the overall cost effectiveness of securing multiple machines for free. I even use MSE on my many virtual machines.

Multimedia

Music is managed and played through Apple iTunes.  DVDFab and Handbrake are used to rip all video content and I use VLC as my video player. I also use multiple applications from the Collectorz family(www.collectorz.com) to catalog all my video games, movies, music, comics and books. Collectorz offers desktop applications, but also offers companion apps for iOS and Android devices so you can take your collections on the road.