Friday, September 6, 2013

Techie awesomeness - Part 3 - Cool apps

Hi all,

This entry is all about using apps to make technology work better for you.

All of these apps are free, but some have premium versions. They are all cross-platform apps that will work on Mac and PC, and some on Linux, I think...


Although primarily used for note taking - Evernote can do so much more. It's amazing as a note-taking application, syncing notes you write on your PC, Mac, Tablet, Phone, or anything with a browser, and allowing access to all of the above just as easily.  The only downside is that it requires a connection to the internet to work on mobile devices, but otherwise this is golden.  Have a grocery list you'd like to write out on your PC while home, then have access to it while you're shopping?  Evernote.  See something you'd like to read about later? Take a picture on your phone and save it to Evernote, and you can see it on your PC within seconds. Brilliant.


An amazing way to synchronize files between devices. Starts off at 2GB for free, which is great for transferring around pictures or a movie and stuff. You can access files placed in your dropbox on the web, or through an application installable on PC and Mac to automatically synchronize the files when connected to the web.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that all of these apps are free, and this is totally true.  However, the beauty of Dropbox's "marketing" is that if you refer friends who use the service, you get more space to use yourself.  They often also run promotions to show off their new features (photo and video importing from SD cards), and will give you more space to use those as well. The link above is a referral link, so if you're not using the service yet, I'll get credit :)

Google Drive

On the surface, very similar to Dropbox, a cloud interface that lets you synchronize files between devices, and it even has an app interface and a web interface. BUT Google Drive has Google Docs built into it, so collaboration on documents is way better. Sharing of anything is possible, so you might not need to get Dropbox, but if you want more than what the basic 15GB gives you, I haven't seen the opportunity.  I love having both.


Anything else for media playing is too much work. VLC gets it all done, without any additional codecs, or whatever.  It just works.


Stands for X-Box Media Center, but this software now works on lots of stuff (PC, Mac, Linux, etc). If you're thinking of connecting your computer to your TV, this software makes it easy.


Control your computers from away - it's as easy as that.  I use it to keep track of stuff that's downloading on my home PC, or to help someone out who's away, but there are many other uses as well.  Awesome.

Part 4 is coming soon - finding a resource to help about other stuff.

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