What Resource Systems Uses and Supports
Applications & Utilities
Systems Services uses in
the course of contract work, and for general support the following productivity,
system and utility software:
- Text Editing/HTML Building
- Bare Bones Software's
BBEdit©. It's worth learning HTML just to
use this fine, friendly and powerful piece of software. In fact,
you don't fully appreciate the difference between a text editor
and a word processor until you use an application like BBEdit. To
really unleash its power, however, I must find time to read that
O'Reilly book on RegEx (i.e., regular expressions).
- Coffee Cup Software's
HTML Editor©. Whereas BBEdit (above) is Mac-only, HTML Editor by CoffeeCup is Windows-only. I like it because it's text-editing function bears enough similarity to BBEdit to be comfortable,
yet it adds a split-window view that lets you see a generic browser view while you make text- and code-level changes. This, even before you save those changes. That's nice!
- Once Macromedia, now Adobe's
DreamWeaver© One of the few WYSIWYG page builders that deals in pure HTML (RoundTrip
HTML®, as Macromedia called its HTML rendering engine) and doesn't
corrupt hand-tweaked code. It is also made for both Mac and Windows (I support cross-platform apps whenever I can), as it allows make-shift Webmasters a way to build sites without being hand-coders intimately familiar with HTML, CSS and the other geekable trappings of the World Wide Web.
- Graphic/Image Manipulation
Photoshop©. What more can be said about
this ground-breaking standard for graphic design and image manipulation
that has not already been said? If you work with images, you simply
must use Photoshop. It can do so much, you'll never truly master all it has to offer.
- Irfan Skiljan's wonderfulIrfanView.
©. A lightweight, extensible piece of freeware for Windows that suffices for most of the image-processing work
that I now do. It even supports several Photoshop plug-ins. Also, to be able to best-optimize an image for the web, I installed
RIOT, the radical image optimization tool, which offers a plug-in version for IrfanView.
- Word Processing
Office© Scott McNealy of the now-defunct Sun Microsystems, so despised Microsoft that he purchased Star Office out of Germany and released it
to promote open-source development of one or more office suites to compete with Microsoft Office (but for free) and provide file-format compatibility with the Redmond's primo product to boot.
From my standpoint, the effort was successful and I have replaced MS Office with Libre Office in most of my workflows. Its Writer word processing program supports .doc, .docx and, of course, the Open Document Format (.odf) and does all very well. And is available for Mac, Windows and most Linux distros.
The business world won't let us live without this product and, fortunately,
Microsoft Word, as part of Microsoft's Office suite, is a good, albeit bloated, product. Office 365 is for those who must yearn for the era of service bureaus, and prefer to pay (rent) their software on a monthly or annual basis.
provides an alternate fork in the open-source development community, and is quite similar to Libre Office. Take your pick.
Friendly, powerful and a friend to designers who must create databases. You can make dB files look slick and friendly to the end-user.
Recommend this application highly; even offers database-publishing
features for the Web. Now, since version 7 [and now at release 17], offers tables and relationships in the traditional relational model, while supporting the traditional FileMaker relationship structure introduced back in version 3.
I still build databases, albeit infrequently, and primarily using the feature set found in versions 5 through 6.
- The venerable Microsoft
Excel©. If you need to use spreadsheets, and
use them cross-platform, you are expected to use Microsoft Excel. Long guilty
of holding a clipboard with the world's shortest memory, Excel
is otherwise a spreadsheet powerhouse.
- The open-source alternative, again, isLibreOffice's
Calc©. As with my open-source discussion with office suite word processors, Calc is file-format compatible with .xls and .xlsx and is likewise available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Same goes for its ApacheOffice sibling.
Disk Warrior©. It doesn't do a
wide range of system services, unlike many of the others, but
what it does it does better than anyone else. For diagnosing and
rebuilding damaged or problematic system directories, file structures,
etc., ... Disk Warrior is without equal. It only fixes (actually replaces with new), it never screws up, like even Norton can be prone to do occasionally.
- Apple's own
Disk First Aid©. At least it provides the ability to make early-detection
verification and repairs to the file system and permissions.
- Not so much a product on its own, Windows Repair Toolbox©
provides quick-and-convenient links to hard-to-find utilities and processes built into Windows itself, as well as an assortment of mostly freeware and open-source utility programs, with as many being portable apps as possible.
I still have a Mac that runs OS9 so I can provide some legacy support even there.
Otherwise can help with more recent releases, from Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6.8) to High Sierra (OSX 10.13.5), and those in-between.
- WindowsXP through
®, 10®, including Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. Can't say I am too much into Vista, and only occasionally install Windows 8.1,
which only 12% of Corporate America ever upgraded to. Although, if you install a different start menu, such as the open-source Classic Shell,
even Windows 8.1 isn't all that bad. Just avoid depending on the Metro/Modern apps, most of which are sluggish at best.