Windows Software for 2017




With the year ending I think it's fare to say what I think is the best software of 2016, and what will be useful for 2017. Part of the emphasis is in "portable" apps. The advantage of portable programs is in that the software is not tied to a single machine, just plugin your flash drive on the computer and your programs are ready to go. There are also a few non-portable apps on the list below.

AUTOMATION
AutoHotKey. One of the best tools for remapping keyboard keys, creating macros, and even performing mouse manipulations. You can keep your commands as scripts, or you can compile to executable. Pair up AHK with Windows Task Scheduler and you have some great automation.

TinyTask Portable. This is a simple way to record and play macros. You can also compile to executable.

BROWSER
Mozilla Firefox Portable. Perhaps one of the few portable browsers you can use, it is nearly the perfect solution for portability.

CODE EDITORS
Notepad++ Portable. Highly flexible and powerful, this is one of the better text editors you can get. It is a good tool for quickly editing anything text.

Visual Studio Code. One of the cleanest looking code editors you can get your hands on. It's packed with useful plugins, and even integrated terminals. This is the type of code editor that is useful for larger projects. D language works well with it.

SublimeText. If Microsoft's Visual Studio Code is not your thing then SublimeText might be a good alternative. There is plenty of customization and support for many computer languages, like Java!

EMAIL
Mozilla Thunderbird Portable. A great email client and the way to keep track of multiple email accounts under a single program. The SMTP protocols have made desktop email a joy to use.

DOCUMENTS
Microsoft Excel. With support for functions, tables, sheets, password protection, and so much more, this is a multi-purpose spreadsheet package which can be used as a calendar, task manager, accounting.

Microsoft Word. Possibly the king of word processors! Once you have figured the features then it's hard to go somewhere else.

Microsoft OneNote (desktop). If you own a tablet with digitizer support then this is the best note-taking program available in the market. The desktop version is the one to get, the included Windows 10 version is simple but lacks many features and customization.

GAMING
Steam. Say good bye to your life and welcome to an infinite number of virtual experiences.  Steam is the digital locker for your PC games. The sales are great!

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT (IDE)
CodeBlocks with MinGW. If C/C++ is what you wish to program then CodeBlocks is one of the lightest and functional IDEs you can have.

MATHEMATICS
Microsoft Mathematics. If you need to solve for x in some simple or complex equation then MS Mathematics can help you out.

MEDIA PLAYER
VLC Media Player Portable. The best video and music player you can get. The number of media formats can support is just simply amazing.

PODCAST
gPodder Portable. You can't go wrong with this simple podcast app.

SCREEN CAPTURE
PickPick Portable. A tray-based screen capture tool that is more than that -- it has a color picker, various rulers, magnifier, etc.

WINDOW MANAGER
BENQ Display Pilot. The software allows you to partition monitors into areas. You can then place your programs in these areas with a few clicks. The more computer monitors you have, or if a single monitor is large enough, the more need you will have in partitioning your screen space. The software was designed with particular BenQ monitors in mind, however the software works regardless of the monitor brand -- although not always perfectly.

Published: Jan 11, 2017

Books for 2017


In the era of videos I think that books are often not given enough attention--which is to everyone's detriment. There is a wealth of knowledge inside so many books.  As much as I like ebooks and PDFs I still find it best to read the paper and ink versions. The technical books seem best for mornings and the fantasy ones are best for night time -- the latter ones tend to help with promoting wilder and more entertaining dreams.

Armada, by Ernest Cline.
- A while ago I was sent an audio book named Ready Player One. The audio book was fascinating, deep, and quite entertaining. Armada is written by the same author as Ready Player One so I have high expectations from the book. This will be the fiction book to focus on, and I'm likely to add more later on.

Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss.
- This book is based on a collection of interviews from self-proclaimed life-hacker entrepreneur Tim Ferriss. If you don't wish to listen to the podcast and prefer to be able to quickly refer to the gems from the interviews then this is the book to have. The book is broken down into sections: healthy, wealthy, and wise.  I have begun reading it and so far I have found new regiments that I intend on using from 2017 on-wards.

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths.
- Sometime ago I saw someone listening to the audio book version of this book. As someone who is interested in computers I think this could be an interesting book, although it's got to be quite on the dry side.

Faith vs Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible, by Jerry Coyne.
- I think it's important to know the proper definitions of religion and science, how they differ, and what are the implications of abiding by each. Furthermore, I think one should challenge their existing views.

D Web Development, by Kai Nacke
- Some time ago I went through an ASP and C# web development course, and frankly I was deeply dissapointed. The reason was that it seems that Microsoft's Visual Studio does a lot of work for you and you are left without understanding what is going on at a deeper level. Using D language and vibe.d along with this book may help with improving the deeper understanding I seek.  The D Programming Language by Andrei Alexandrescu may also come in handy.

Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools, by Aho, Sethi, and Ullman.
- This is the type of book that is technical. My goal is to be able to construct a compiler using known standards.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, by Russell and Norvig.
 - This is the type of college book that can help creating the building blocks for creating AI systems. I'm hoping it will cover theory and hopefully some examples.

Published: Jan 3, 2017

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Hi. My name is Jesse, and I'm a technology enthusiast. I play with technology and share what I find on this blog. If you have any questions then please use the contact form below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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