Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Computer Programs I Use

I see this as part 2 of the previous post talking about being busy. Hopefully this one is better.

For a long time I liked to think I was a classic web 2.0 junky. I was that person who had multiple things open and was magically able to track all of it at once. I believed I was that person who let my personal and work life interweave constantly. After all, I've got my work email and calendar on my phone which I check all the time.

Also furthering my believe are the applications I have open automatically on my computer. These are the applications I have open... all of which are web-based:
However, then I realized something. When I'm busy, and working hard on a project, my list of applications changes drastically. For example, when I'm programming websites, these are the applications I have open. Ironically, only one is web-based.
  • Notepad++ (like Notepad, but with color coding for programing)
  • Filezilla (FTP tool to upload files to remote servers)
  • Navicat (mySQL database tool to update, create and modify database tables)
  • iTunes (music player... not Pandora)
  • Photoshop (photo editing tool)
  • Firefox (web browser, but showing tutorials or the project I'm working on)
Looking at this list, it's clear I get rid of all the extra noise. This probably helps explain why my inbox starts to fill up: I'm simply not checking it anymore. I also think it's weird that I switch to iTunes instead of staying with Pandora, I think it's because it's easier to put iTunes in the background.

I do the same thing when I get engrossed in a project for HP. All my applications switch to work tools. I'll even close Firefox completely (gasp!) to focus better.

Finally, when I'm doing something personal (like writing this post), I use Google Docs. However, when I'm doing something professional, I use Microsoft Office. For as much as I like to think I'm a "web guy" I'm really not when it comes to actual work.

So, when I become busy and start working hard, I leave the Internet world. I go back to a distraction free and local environment. The best part is that I don't even care. So what that I miss the latest friend updates? So what if I miss some breaking news story?

So what does this make me? Clearly I'm not a classic web 2.0 junky. I really haven't devoted my life to the online world (which I'm fine with). There seems to be a clear distinction between my personal choices and professional choices.

Ah man! Here I am at the end of another post without some deep and meaningful conclusion! Oh well, hopefully these observations spark some interest to look into your own life. Feel free to share (or not) how you would classify yourself.

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