Sometimes it seems like PC applications are about to die with everything moving to “the cloud.”  That’s one of the things that motivated me to buy an Acer Aspire One netbook.  Eventually there could be just one app left – the browser.  Even the operating system could be reduced to a file system and a launchpad for the browser.  As netbook popularity is taking off I’ve been noticing around the web that linux distros are getting smaller and smaller.  There are some really tiny, yet fully functional distros out there.  Meanwhile Microsoft is following up one of the largest pieces of software ever written (Vista) with something even bigger – “Windows 7.”

Apps may be on their way out, but they aren’t dead yet.  Here’s a few I’ve been checking out recently or use regularly:

Tweetdeck – If you’re a Twitter user you absolutely need this.  This is THE way to tweet.  It’s still in beta but I really havne’t had any problems with it.  It’s an Adobe Air app, which really doesn’t make me happy, but I’m dealing with it.  TD allows you to create custom groups within the people you follow, it searches the public timeline in the background and pops up when it finds something, it has a built in URL shortener, and a bunch of other stuff.  Check it out.

Media Portal – Last week I tried playing around with Media Portal because I’m looking for something to put on the laptop connected to the living room TV.  I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I really didn’t like Media Portal.  Then I heard FLOSS Weekly 57: XBMC, so now I’m checking out…

XBMC Media Center – I’ll use their words, “XBMC is an award winning media center for Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, Apple TV and Xbox. The ultimate hub for all your media.” It seems to have a lot of potential but I haven’t had it long enough to comment.  So far all I’ve noticed is that the mouse movement is very awkward.

Open Office 3 – This latest release of OOO is supposed to run Excel Macros, but I haven’t been able to make that happen yet.  If I could run Excel Macros and find a decently replacement for iTunes I would be completely done with Windows.  Those are the last two things holding me back.

Notepad++ – At any give time there are two apps open on my desktop – Firefox and Notepad++.  It’s a tabbed text / code editor that’s far better than any other I’ve used.

If you’re looking for open source applications to replace any proprietary programs you might still be using check out – Open Source as Alternative.

Published by Brian

Grappling sometimes, but mostly just trying to get others to grapple.

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