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Check out favorite books, software, and music!

My favorite Sci-Fi and Fiction booksMy favorite classical and new age musicMy interests and hobbies

Software

I use a lot of software.  I have several CD cases full of software, but most of the time I spend on a very small set of software.

Business Applications

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Quicken:  This is my financial tool for keeping track of my investments, charge cards, bank accounts, etc.  This goes with TurboTax each year for tax season.

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Microsoft Office:  I use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook.  Occasionally, I use Access to create a database file to support a web project which requires a database.

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Microsoft FrontPage:  My favorite web creation tool.  Great product, lots of excellent features, easy to use.  Note:  I have just purchased a copy of Dreamweaver MX, and plan to learn how to use it.  Looks like a very powerful program.

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Adobe Photoshop:  My favorite image editor!  This is the absolute best there is in this category!

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Adobe ImageReady:  This application, which comes with Photoshop, allows the creation of web navigation bars, complete with javascript programming.

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ACDSee:  My favorite image viewer program from ACD Systems Ltd.  The raw speed of this program makes it a wonderful tool for finding the right image on my 100+ PhotoCD's.

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Visual Basic:  This is truly a wonderful product!  I use it to create applications for work and home, and of course VBScript for creating Active Server Pages for dynamic websites.

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Visio Technical:  This is a wonderful drawing program - I just barely know how to use.  Even so, I do some pretty great drawings - such as web server layouts, room layouts (for home remodeling planning), organization charts, and more.

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Panorama Factory:  This program allows me to create a very large image from a series of images which overlap.  The process is called "stitching."  A sample of the power of this program can be viewed in the Photography section under Panoramas.  This is available for only $35 at panoramafactory.com.

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RipEditBurn:  This audio processing program, from Blaze Audio, allows me to convert files to MP3, edit them, compress them to higher levels, etc.  Very useful audio tool.

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Fidelity Active Trader Pro:  This is a very powerful trading tool I use every day.  I can preload a batch of trades, and when the market condition is right, click a single button to execute all of the trades.  Great real-time charts and streaming market data.

Software Utilities

There are a few utilities which should be mentioned, due to their usefulness.

bulletMonaco EZcolor:  I use this utility, and the associated hardware device to calibrate my monitor, printer, and scanner.  I can now "see" what the printer will print before I print it, and adjust the color of the printout directly on-screen.  Required for any serious digital photographer.

Continued in right column...

Utilities list, continued...

bulletFTP Voyager:  this is a shareware utility for doing FTP access.  I use it in addition to FrontPage to manage my websites.  Very nice graphical user interface, and quite powerful.  Get it on the web.
bulletQuickKeys:  I used this on the Mac, and when I switched to the PC, I really missed it.  Then they came out with the PC version!  I have lots of special keyboard macros that do very common functions.  Saves me lots of time!
bulletFileBackPC:  This is a great shareware backup program.  I use one central program to back up everything on my net.  I really like the "backup on change" feature - it does real-time backups while I work.  Supports multiple levels of backup, archiving, etc.
bulletDiskeeper:  This program runs my disk defragmentation in the background.
bulletIHateSpan:  This utility allows me to bounce spam back to its source, as well as generate reports to spam sites.  Controlling spam has become a major issue for most of us.

Games

I used to spend a lot of time playing computer games.  I remember the "good old days" of the Apple II, with Bandits, Gorgon, Alien Rain, etc.  The newer games are certainly nicer looking on-screen, but frankly, they are no more playable - and sometimes less playable - then the original computer games!

Lately, I am too busy making websites and doing photography to play many games.  My current favorites are:

bulletAge of Empires II:  This is really an excellent strategy game.  I have version 1.0, the expansion kit, as well as 2.0.  I love a good 4-way game with friends against 4 computer players.
bulletCivilization II:  OK, by now you have guessed I like strategy games!  This is a favorite!  I have spent many hours playing just one game!  I have Civ III, but have not had the time to learn how to use it...
bulletMahjongg games:  Solitaire versions of the game abound.  I have several shareware versions I enjoy.
bulletKlondike:  A simple solitaire card game.  I have several shareware versions I enjoy.  Spider is a variant that comes with XP, which I play when I use my laptop.
bulletJigsaw Puzzles:  these are from shockwave.com, and are very nicely done.

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