Archive for January, 2008

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Hawt Apps

January 11, 2008

In the past week, while preparing for more freelancing and ways to maximize my productivity (and feeling of contact with the outside world), I’ve started using a host (a host, I say!) of new programs and applications for everything from blogging to blog-reading, to writing and outlining. Some of these are temporary (that is, demo) solutions or experiments. Others are, fingers crossed, more long-term.

Here’s what I’m using and why you should be trying them, too:

Firebug for Firefox gives you a startlingly informative look at the HTML and CSS of any site you visit. I see this as an educational tool, more than anything, so whether you’re experienced with the internet language or are just a curious noob, do get this free thing.

Scribefire for Firefox lets me write blogs in a little window that overlaps my various tabs and stuff. It’s awkward insofar as it does not feel like WordPress’s interface (which I use for serious blogging), but is good for little notes and quick updates. Also, for this one.

NetNewsWire is now free! (Thanks to Adam Emo for the notice.) This is the only feed-reader I’ve ever really liked, but I didn’t want to shell out for it. No worries, now. In general, I actually don’t like feed-readers that much, ’cause I like to go and see site designs and get the whole local experience, but this is great for letting me know when to go and take a look at various sites. If you’re using some other feed-reader, do give this a shot now that it’s free. Free! It’s free. By the way.

I’m experimenting with Scrivener again, and liking it better than I did before. My gut reaction is still that I’d rather use real note cards and stuff, but also that I am not using this software to the best of its ability. I’m just on a free trial of it right now, but if it helps me with the comic script I want to work on, or the short fiction I’m writing currently, then it may be worth the $40 at some point down the line. As I’ve said before about this software, though, do give the free trial a shot.

Celtx, meanwhile, is totally free and quite nice for scripting of various sorts. You can keep your Final Draft and its hideous expense — this free software more than makes up for any absent features by being, you know, free. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I dig free programs. Like, a lot.

Music: Soul Coughing, “$300”

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