Although we might spend most of our time struggling with applications that don’t perform as well as we would wish, occasionally everyone finds a little gem. Some software is a pleasure to use. When you come to use a new feature for the first time, it just works! Why not share your experiences with other people here, spreading the word about well-designed software?

Here are some applications I particularly like:

  • Vim – "Vi Improved". My text editor of choice, whatever operating system I'm using. <troll>Emacs, bah!<troll>
  • Thumbs Plus. A great tool for organising and improving photos. I've been using it for years, and it's crammed full of powerful features.
  • Firefox. Still the best web browser, mainly because of all the plug-ins. I'd still be testing Google Chrome alongside Firefox if it hadn't broken my Visual Studio, forcing me to roll back to a restore point. I'll probably give this another go once the Linux version comes out.
  • Process Explorer from Sysinternals, subsequently bought out by Microsoft, blows Windows' own Task Manager out of the water.
  • PuTTY the free telnet/ssh client is invaluable for managing Linux web servers from Windows desktop PCs.

That’s my little list off the top of my head.

I’ve recently started using AutoHotKey. It’s a real time-saver.

You can assign shortcut keys to little bits of script which can automate all manner of repetitive tasks. I’ve mainly been using it with an old version of Dreamweaver: I’m much more productive now I can apply CSS styles with a keyboard shortcut instead of having to go via drop-down lists :-)

Oh, did I mention that it’s free?