Monday, December 21, 2009

The Lineup

My Lineup

  1. Notepad
  2. Dreamweaver
  3. Media Player
  4. Photoshop
  5. Word
  6. ZSNES
  7. Excel
  8. IE Tester
  9. RealPlayer
Do you ever wonder what sort of programs people use most on their computers? I do all the time. Think about the things you can learn just from looking at someone's Start Menu--all these facts about what they do, what they find important. Take, for example, my most recently used programs list.

At the top of my list is Notepad--appearing there because I use it to store the ever-growing list of "things to blog about" and refer to it constantly when blogging and write in it constantly when not blogging. I also use Notepad for - surprise! - taking notes! If I have something short and textual that I need to remember, I'll document it in Notepad. Longer, more complicated information gets written up in Word.

Second is Dreamweaver. I like to think that says, "Valerie is a Web designer." Frankly, I can't think of much else it could say! Who could AFFORD to own Dreamweaver without being a web designer? Fourth on my list, Photoshop, is there for pretty much the same reason. Except that it's also there because I'm compulsive. Not content to have my Facebook photo appear as shot, I had to intensify the colors a little and crop it to ensure that the important parts wouldn't be too small on Facebook. That was my most recent use of Photoshop.

But back to item #3. The first program on this list that isn't pure workhorse, Windows Media Player is my tenuous connection with sanity when I'm working on work (in which case I am listening to music of various and sundry types) as well as when I'm working on more artistic endeavors (in which case I am listening to audiobooks). It is also the program I use to play the practice CD's for choir concerts, but I'm done with those for a little while.

Item number 5 is Microsoft Word. Honestly, I can't think of a good reason why this program is so high on the list. I guess sometimes I use it to open instructive attachments from design clients... and I guess I have been using it pretty extensively to check and re-check the choir schedule... But I know for a fact I haven't been using it to write up long, complicated information. And sadly I have had no academic papers to produce recently, either.

After that, ZSNES. Bonus points to you if you know what this program is! If not, I'll tell you. It's an emulator used to play Super Nintendo games on your PC. ZSNES is on my Frequently Used Programs list because my current favorite pastime when I'm too beat to work on work or artistic endeavors is to play Earthbound, which is a pretty awesome little game with a pretty awesome little cult following. Does this mean I'm a cultist? Well, I don't know. I acquired the game from a friend, so I'll lay the blame on him.

Item number 7 is Microsoft Excel. I find this spreadsheet program invaluable for creating invoices for my freelance work. Also, I keep lists in it (such as Songs To Get, with columns for artist, song title, place originally heard, and places where it's available for download). As with Photoshop, this program makes the list because I am both a Web designer and compulsive.

The last two items in the lineup, I consider the "flukes." They come and go, and are rarely the same from day to day. In fact, since this morning, one of them has changed to InDesign (it says I'm a designer) from IETester (it says I'm a web designer, one who delights in the ability to run three different versions of Internet Explorer at once!). The other is RealPlayer, because even though Windows Media player is much better at keeping my stuff organized, RealPlayer is much better at ripping CD's. I have been ripping CDs.

So that's my lineup. What's yours? What does it say about you?


Geoff said...

This is a good idea, little buddy.

Excluding web browsers, mine would be (in most used order):

1. Windows Media Player - I watch all my TV on DVD here while working on other junk.
2. Excel - for all the pointless sports statistics I work on.
3. SeaMonkey Composer - to display some of said statistics.
4. iTunes - I rarely listen to music on the computer but I always have this open when purchasing new songs (I keep it legal, baby) or loading my iPod.
5. Word - also for statistics and/or records and stories.
6. Paint Shop Pro - strictly to edit picture sizes or make bland logos that adorn my blogs.
7. QuickTime - this plays the ... ummm ... certain videos that WMP doesn't.
8. Calculator - again for the statistics and because I do not have enough desk room to put a real calculator nearby.

Anonymous said...

My list is different at home from in the office. Some overlap but with definite differences.


1 Microsoft Access. I am the Access man in the office.

2 Microsoft Excel. I am the Excel man to a lesser extent from Access

3 Ultraedit A very nice text editor I use mostly for web design

4 Internet Explorer Yes, I know it's not the best but since I design for users in the office I have to design for what they use.

5 Microsoft Outlook Office mail program, calendar and even program launching platform.

Stopping at 5 because the rest of the list tends to vary so much and actual use is so minimal for anything else.

Home list:

1 Internet Explorer What can I say? I use the web A LOT!

2 Media player Mostly for playing videos from the web but home videos too. Ripping CDs and guitar practice is easiest for me with MP

3 Battlefield 1942 Most days after work my wife tells me "Go have some fun and shoot some tanks for a while" Can married life get any better than that? :-) (Hi honey if you're reading this...)

4 ITunes I do use it for syncing the IPhone and IPOD quite often in addition to watching videos and playing tunes.

5 SoundRecorder This gets a lot of use because I have this obsession with playing my sound bytes at appropriate (and inappropriate) times.

After 5 again it's just too varied to have a further list. Maybe Excel would go here but I've used that much less at home than I used to when keeping track of financial things. I have more time for other things and 10 years of tracking my expenses convinces me I don't have really outlandish costs involved in anything.