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Monday, November 28, 2011

Technologies I'm Thankful For

I know it's a bit late, but still wanted to get my list in for this year.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to submit my list of technologies that I'm thankful for.  I'm thankful because all five technologies - that I use virtually every day - are compatible with Linux, and most are open source; that is, people self-organize and develope software so that others can freely modify and use it as they wish.

The first technology on my list has to be the Ubuntu Linux OS (Macbuntu 11.04 to be exact).  I did away with Windows the first part of this year and have never looked back.  Macbuntu (Linux) is more stable, faster, doesn't get viruses for the most part, and there's no need to defrag the harddrive.  Ubuntu works right out of the box and is ideal for a non-tech person such as myself.

WordPress is next on my list.  This entire website is built on Wordpress, in fact.  With a load of plugins available, WordPress is ideal for adapting a website to one's needs.

Although Mendeley is not open source, it works great on Linux.  Since I am involved with doing research, Mendeley allows me to not only keep track of references, but I can sync all my references to my work and home computers as well as sync to my mobile device (Galaxy Tab) instantly.  I can also create groups and interact with others who are doing similar research.  There's a premium account available but the free account allows for a lot of free space to include both the reference information and any attached PDF files as well.  This is a must for researchers!

Since I do a lot of screencasting, Tibesti is another absolute must.  Even though you must install the software from the terminal, it's an easy process, just cut and paste.  The great thing about Tibesti is that you can record your voice through the mic and also record audio coming through your sound card simultaneously.  For example, I can record an online live session in Google+ Hangout and capture my voice and the participants' voices with no problems.  If you are a tech. person, you can do the same from the terminal but you need to know what you are doing.  I don't know what I'm doing, so two thumbs up for Tibesti!

Last but not least, I'm thankful for Ubuntu One!  Cloud computing seems to be the thing these days, but Ubuntu One is great because it's "baked" into Macbuntu, so getting started is as easy as signing in with a username and password.  They provide up to 5MB of free space (premium accounts are available) and it allows me to automatically sync my files with my work and home computers as well as my mobile device, all in an instance.

Well, there you have it, the software I depend on daily to get the job done.  What software are you thankful for?