Saturday, August 10, 2013

Which Programs Do I Really Use? Part Two

In my last blog post on this subject, I had gotten to my use of the Adobe programs. This brings up an interesting question. Does using a program such as the utility Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader and other other utilities count as using "programs?" I guess the issue here is whether we view utility programs, such as browser apps and such as our "programs?" If so, the list of programs would be endless because I use a lot of utility-type programs every time I open my computer. For example, right now I have several programs running in the background, including Flash Player, Flip4Mac WMV, Growl, MacFuse, Tuxera NTFS, Xmarks and others. I also have specialized programs to connect external devices such as my scanning program, VueScan and others such as DNG Converter.

Since these programs work in background, I am not usually conscious of their operation unless I need to upgrade them or they don't work properly. This also brings up the issue of trying to identify all of the programs I use in conjunction with the network. For example, I use Google Chrome, Mozilla's FireFox, Apple's Safari, and other browsers. When we use these programs, we probably don't think much about them as programs again, unless they don't work or need to be upgraded.

I also have programs that are designed to do a specific thing and I only use them when I am involved in that particular project. For example, I have specialized programs such as PTGUI Pro, that work only with panoramic photographs.

From the comments to my last post, I need to clarify the mail program I use. I have several email addresses, but I use a local mail program that consolidates the mail from all those accounts. It is Google's Sparrow program.

Now, do I mention iTunes, iPhoto, Calendar, Contacts and all the other Apple programs that sort-of run all the time or when I need to look at them? See, there is a real issue as to what constitutes use of a program. So is the Apple OS X operating system a program I use? Technically yes, but I usually don't think of it as such.

So, even if you are an extremely conservative computer user, you probably use many more programs than you realize. Here is a continued list of programs I use regularly:

Parallels Desktop
TroopMaster (Boy Scout Program)
Remote Desktop Connection
Preview
Skype
Evernote
iMovie
FaceTime
Microsoft Office
Kindle
etc. etc. etc.

Well, now the list gets really long and rather boring. The real question is so what? Who cares? The summary is I use a huge number of programs.

Now, what about genealogy? I have the same issues. I could simply list dozens of programs and we would have the same questions. I don't really have a primary program. I think that the programs are tools and whatever works best at the time is what I use. I am in the process of consolidating all of my information into FamilySearch Family Tree, so eventually, most of what I have found will be online for anyone related to see. People are always trying to get me to tell them which program I use for genealogy and they are usually disappointed at my answer, which is all of them.


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