Friday, April 06, 2007

Obsessions and Collections

Today inspiration comes from a post at my sister's blog (and work is very slow this afternoon too).

She recently blogged about her impressive sock collection. She has a bit of an obsession with socks and has over 100 pairs. They are one of the defining elements of her personality. Her obsession is what makes her fun and unique. I always try to see if I can find a good pair of socks for her for part of her Christmas present each year.

Her blogging about her sock obsession/collection prompted her to do an assignment with her students about their obsessions/collections and it turned out very well. I thought it would be fun to do a bit of blogging about my obsession/collection.

But, then I got stumped. I couldn't think of anything I really obsess about or collect. Well, obsess about, yes. I have many obsessions. Like I am obsessed with personal productivity. I am also obsessed with how perfect my own feet are, but I don't really collect anything to do with that. (I'd love to collect outrageous nail polish colours and sexy shoes, but I can't afford to). I do have a lot of books, but that isn't really a fun and sexy collection or obsession either.

Then it dawned on me that I do have a collection of sorts. I am totally obsessed with free software/web apps/extensions/add-ons, etc. In fact, I recently purged my collection when my computer started responding much more slowly than my husbands, older, less powerful machine! (Yeah, I have a bit of an ego about my computer too). I love my open-source programs like Firefox and recently downloaded jGnash among others. I've even loaded up Firefox with a bunch of extensions and Greasemonkey scripts (half of which I look at guiltily because I don't use them). One of my frustrations at work is that I don't feel as though I can customize these machines (otherwise this post would also be brought to you by Scribe Fire and posted through Firefox instead of IE). Here, because we deal with customer information on the machines, I really don't want to mess with any technology settings since one little slip, a virus or a hacker let through, could mean losing or breaching a client's private information and is a potential lawsuit.

Anyway, I'll try to do a list here from work about all the different little programs and such on my home computer. Unfortunately, I'm lazy and won't be digging up links for them. However, if you really want a link, email me or leave a comment (or do the non-lazy thing and start googling).

  • Firefox - web browser

  • Opera - web browser - this one recently got axed. It's beautiful, but I'm not doing enough web development stuff to really need to test out work on different browsers.

  • Songbird - this is a media program that is open source. It's still in beta mode and was very sluggish on my computer. I recently axed this one. I'll probably check it out (or hear about it via Lifehacker/Geek News if it gets better or is re-released).

  • jGnash - an open source double-entry accounting system. The Geeky accounting stuff is rubbing off of Lance as he takes his CGA courses. It took a whle for me and the program to generate any chemistry, but it looks like things are smooth sailing now!

  • Volumouse - turn down your volume with your mouse without needing to click open the actual volume thing

  • Picasa - photo management. Sadly, won't be using this for a while since my digital camera is broken *sniff*

  • Google earth - anytime I need to drive somewhere unfamiliar, I need to look it up. Then I add it as a location and save it. Then if I need to get between two places I've ever been before in an order in which I've never done it, I can generate driving directions and a map. Unfortunately, I don't go that many places so it hasn't been used in a while.

  • Winamp - media player

  • Juice - podcast aggregator - Love podcasts too! Time prevents me from collecting/listening to more of them

  • Workrave - because I spend so much time at the computer, I need a program that reminds me/forces me to take periodic breaks. This one lets you schedule micro-breaks as well as longer breaks. Plus, they prompt you with some stretches and eye-exercises.

  • OpenOffice - free office suite similar to (and superior in my opinion) Microsoft Office

  • Thunderbird - free desktop email client like Outlook

  • Trillian - IM client aggregator - you can use your ICQ, Messenger, Yahoo, AOL all through the same interface - haven't used it in a long while though.

  • EPrompter - monitors your email accounts and prompts you when you have new email. A bit buggy still with its integration to the new beta accounts for Yahoo and Hotmail.

    Oh, and let's not forget the little add-ons, bookmarklets, and extensions to Firefox . . .

  • Greasemonkey - to allow website customization and further add-ons

  • Scribe Fire - blogging and tagging within the browser

  • Clippings - saving snippets of text

  • Google notebook - saving bits and pieces of the web

  • Co comment - keeping track of your comments on various blogs

  • Toodledo - an extension that allows you to add you things to your Toodledo to do list

  • bookmarks - they just upgraded this so you have access to your web-based bookmarks through your browser

  • Gmail notifier - it pops up a little message whenever you get mail

  • Lifehacker search box - I added a customized search into the little search box that's integrated into Firefox

  • GoodTree search box - same idea as Lifehacker, except it's for GoodTree, a search engine that donates some of its add revenue to charity.

  • Gmail This bookmarklet

  • My bookmarklet

  • Post to bookmarklet

  • Add to Wishlistr bookmarklet

  • Clipper bookmarklet - to add images to Polyvore

  • Subscribe to blog with bloglines bookmarklet

Note: This list does not even include any of the free web page services that I use/belong to.

EDIT: I almost forgot AVG free virus protection software!


Kim said...

The sock collector in me appreciates all the pairs of socks you have given me over the years! What's your idea of fun, sexy nail polish for the toes of your perfect feet, cuz I could start contributing to that kind of collection for you :-) Here's a question though: I've noticed on your calendar feature that there's reference to week 4, week 5, etc. What does that refer to? Oh, and that's an impressive list of programs/add-ons for your computer! Way to be a collector!

Jenn said...

Hmmm, I'm not too picky about colour, so long as it looks ok on my fair skin. I LOVE the Revlon Colourstay line of nail polish though. Really great and long-lasting.

About the week thing on my calendar, I've been meaning to do a blog post about it. In fact, I think I have a saved draft lurking somewhere in the files. If today is another cursed Saturday, I'll have plenty of time to blog about it.

Kim said...

Okay, I will be on the lookout for Revlon Colourstay polish for you. This will be my new obsession ;-)

Sheryl said...

Thanks for all the great links - I'm going to check out a bunch of them :)