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Tools I use and products I like

  • I use FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) as much as possible and so the tools I use for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the popular  GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) for any photo editing and the other tool I use is Inkscape for vector needs in place of Illustrator (put simply, vectors are mathematically drawn pictures so the image proportions will look the same however small/large you scale it). Both programs are also cross-platform, meaning you can use them on Linux, Windows, or Macs. If you want to know why, in my opinion (which I assume you do since you’re reading my website), a lot of Adobe’s products won’t last another 20 years, read the short article here.
  • The tools I use for website hosting are WordPress and Namecheap. I never thought I would ever recommend a hosting provider (I previously used GoDaddy), but Namecheap has THE BEST customer service out of any provider or service period I’ve used for anything. The only other contender for customer service support is JoliCloud (they aren’t a hosting provider, but I would check out the amazing things they do).
  • Three tools I use for trackers/ad-blocking are the browser extensions Privacy Badger (from the Electronic Frontier Foundation), Ghostery (I no longer recommend Ghostery), and uBlock Origin.
  • The tools I use for accounting, instead of QuickBooks, is GNUCash. GNUCash is also cross-platform and FOSS. There’s a pattern in a lot of software I use (FOSS and cross-platform).
  • The tools I use in place of Microsoft’s proprietary office suite (word, excel, publisher, et cetera), I use the full LibreOffice suite (the fork and successor to OpenOffice). LibreOffice is also FOSS/cross-platform and for those who are worried about interoperability (opening/saving documents), LibreOffice will open any Microsoft formats. The documents can be re-saved in Microsoft’s format if you have to send them to colleagues. Microsoft is transitioning it’s office suite to the cloud (Office 365) and LibreOffice will be releasing a cloud version in 2015 for those interested in a cloud version instead.
  • Since we’ve been seeing and will continue to see an increase in the amount of ransomware, I’ve taking a liking to a tool called Shadow Explorer that allows you to examine the shadow volume copies of files on Windows systems. This tool is mainly used for restoring previous versions of files in cause of an accidental deletion, corruption mishap, or malware.
  • The tools I use for all my media playing needs is the ever popular VLC media player because it plays any media format on the planet (maybe not every one, but I haven’t run into one yet). It truly is the best replacement for Windows media player or Apple’s Quicktime. VLC media player is also FOSS/cross-platform.
  • The tools I use for my password management is KeePass. The reason I use KeePass over other password managers such as LassPass is because the project is FOSS. I don’t like having to depend on a company’s continued existence for my products to continue functioning. As user’s of LastPass have recently experienced (the company was sold). I’m not advocating against LastPass, but I don’t like to be beholden to a company for use of something I use (especially for something as sensitive as holding my passwords).

6 thoughts on “Tools I use and products I like

    1. Cody Hofstetter Post author

      Thanks for the wonderful comment! I hope you found something personally useful and continue to come back for new content.


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