So, the new Advanced Operators topic is up, and it’s asking “What’s in your toolbox?”
It’s become immediately obvious that “tool” is defined differently by different people, so I’m going to take an approach of “whatever I can remember that I use.”
I use a 24″ iMac with a second, 20″-monitor at work. It’s a pretty unbeatable setup and I love it. I’ve got my browser (Firefox) or Photoshop or TextMate on my main screen; and 3 finder windows (open to different projects or mounted drives), Adium (instant message), and email open on my second monitor.
At home I use a 15″ MacBook Pro and an iPhone.
I usually have a Nalgene of water by my desk, a cup of coffee, as well as a flask of a little something-something there as well. That and some almonds.
Notes: Journler is a great tool for writing, keeping and sorting notes. It’s free, has tags, categories, fantastic searching, smart folders and can post to blogs also. I put everything in here and know I can find it in a second if I need it again.
Coding: If I code, I use TextMate. It’s just got everything I want (except for built in FTP support). I can use key-commands until my brain hurts, and it’s fast as hell. I love it. I’ve tried Coda, and it’s awesome, but it just doesn’t solve the problems I needed solved in a way that made up for it being an underpowered text editor. Sorry. You’re pretty and smart, but I’m sticking with my guns.
Connections: Gotta be Gmail for your domain (my jasonglaspey.com email is powered by Gmail), and Google Reader. Again, the keyboard commands had me at “open in a new window”; as well as I don’t have to sync it between machines. And now that it’s got search, I will probably never leave.
Posting: I’m using SrybeFire right now to write this post. It’s a great Firefox plugin that lets me post to all my blogs from within the window. It’s not perfect with photos, but for text entries, it’s money. All my blogs run on WordPress.
Launching: Gotta have Quicksilver. When I sit down at a machine that doesn’t have it I feel like I’m only using one arm.
Folders: Default Folder X is a great little tool when you’ve got files all over the place. You use it in conjunction with your open/save dialog boxes to quickly jump to folders all over your system. It’s hard to explain but easy to use.
Instant Messaging: Already mentioned Adium.
Torrents: Transmission is the amazing. Fast, powerful, lightweight.
Production: Adobe CS3 Master Suite. Way more than I need, but everything just in case.
Color: Color Schemer Studio. Great way to grab color from anywhere on the screen. I use it constantly when designing or coding from someone else’s design.
Video: I use Handbrake and iSquint to get movies ripped and onto my iPhone or my XBMC on my modded Xbox for watching movies on my network.
Wireframing: I recently used Pages to wireframe, and I have to say, it works better than OmniGraffle in my opinion. Elegant looking wireframes out of the box and now super easy to make in Pages 08.
FTP: Transmit and Yummy, depending on if I’m at home or work.
Dashboard: Dashalytics for easy access to my web stats and two instances of a Flickr widget that shows me a photo of a kitten and a mountain biker (one of each) every time I hit F12. I love me some kittens.
Shopping: www.steepandcheap.com. I visit this all day long. It’s bad news for my wallet.
Firefox Plugins: Alexa Sparky (so I can see how important a site is), Del.icio.us Bookmarks (nothing beats the Firefox integration.), Firebug and Web Developers (yeah yeah, impossible to work without them), Greasemonkey, Measureit (allows you to tape measure your Firefox browser so you can see the dimensions of things quickly), OpenBook (bookmarks tool), ScribeFire, StumbleUpon (all my sites gotta get a thumbs up), SEO for Firefox, Stylish (Google Reader is ugly, this makes it Purty). I also use the GrApple (Eos Pro) theme for Firefox so it matches my Mac.
Hope this helps ya’ll.