Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
On omnipresent tools.

When you are a writer-designer-webdork like me, you will likely have the following applications running constantly on your computer:

  • Photoshop
  • BBEdit
  • Entourage
  • Safari
  • Transmit
  • Word

In Mac OS X you develop a certain rhythm to your workflow, so you can command-tab your way back and forth between these apps at great speed. The failure to have any one of these apps open, or additional apps open on top of these, causes a small hiccup in one's workflow just big enough to break your groove. Silly, I know, but there it is. (Man, I've got to unplug and go learn to surf or something.)

What are your always-on apps?


I am in denial about Microsoft, so I try not to use Word except when absolutely necessary (even though Entourage is my email client). Swap Fireworks for Photoshop, it can do all the web-type stuff I usually need. And because I'm a webdork, NetNewsWire is always running, as is AIM.

When I bought this TiBook last year it was the fastest machine I'd ever had and could have ever imagined. Now it's just not fast enough anymore. Will the machines ever catch up with our need for speed?

Hey, Mike! How's it going, man?

I know what you mean – Gandalf, my PBG4/667, was an absolute rocket when I bought it, but then Warcrack III came out and bitch-slapped Gandalf across the room. (Actually, it's OK for single-player or one-on-one network play, but when you try to play a game with three or more people, the 'Book's video card goes into anaphylactic shock. Seriously.) Now I'm biding my time until the PowerBook G5s come out, but I'm getting sorely tempted by the Alienware laptops for gaming. If only they didn't run Windows, or if Warcrack III ran on Linux...

Good call on AIM, by the way. I almost always have iChat running. Working from home gets a little lonely otherwise.

iChat, Safari, Savitar (MUX client), Mail, Word and/or Excel depending on what project I'm working on, sometimes iCal or Address Book, and frequently iPhoto.

Since I have my PC and Mac set up in a delightful tandem on my desktop, I have double the applications running. On my Mac: Photoshop, Illustrator, iCal, iChat, Suitcase and Transmit. On the PC: Mozilla, Photoshop Album, WinAmp, OpenOffice and Photoshop (again); the PC Photoshop is usually running batch processes on photos off my camera, while the Mac is doing actual design work.

I'm also a bi-platform girl. Usually have PC running IM, some flavor of browser, older Dreamweaver and notepad. The Mac runs Flash, Photoshop, newer Dreamweaver, Expression 3, textedit and various browser flavors.

Multitasking is fun.

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