Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Show me your gadgets!

Well, I did have to resort to the complete hard drive reformat, but that went well, and I now have a fresh clean desktop to work with. I've gotten Windows all updated, and I'm downloading all the newest versions of my favorite programs.

The thrill of being able to do all my work on one computer again, and getting all my applications set up just the way I want them, reminded me of the thrill of discovering a cool new app or tool for the first time.

Last fall, I learned about Google Reader and it revolutionized my life. I'm serious - it made the chore of following blogs into something fun and easy and now I see new posts right away. I would link to Google Reader, but the link goes to my own account rather than a website. If you Google it, it's the first thing you see - well worth a try if you haven't used it.

Another of my very favorite discoveries was shown to me by a good friend, about five years ago. It's called Maxthon, and it's the best browser I have EVER used (including Firefox). Maxthon is tabbed browsing at its best, with drag-n-drop links, split screens and many other nifty tools.

Now that I'm learning how to use Twitter, and getting something of a following, I'm starting to look around at some of the applications for Twitter, and I've strongly been eyeing up Tweetdeck. Supposedly, it lets you group followers into columns and makes it easier to follow what's going on - something I could use.

What I would REALLY like to find is a program that lets me read and manage two or more FREE Yahoo email accounts at one time. Sadly, the only way you seem to be able to link accounts is if you upgrade to their paid service. At $20 a year, it's not too bad, but I still prefer free.

What are YOUR favorite tools, gadgets, programs or websites? I'm always looking for more spiffy toys!


Alexis Grant said...

Love that I got to your site from Twitter!

This isn't really an application, but I like Twitzap for Twitter ( You don't even have to download it -- It's just a site. It's fairly similar to the regular Twitter page -- nice and simple -- except it updates automatically. And there's a RT button :)

Elle Parker said...

OH, thanks! I'm going to have to check that one out - I'm still so new with Twitter.


Galen Kindley said...

Hi, elle, I use Outlook for email and have it open way more than I should. Nonetheless, for outlook users--and it may work for other applications as well--there's a program called OutWit.

It's a Twitter add-on that becomes part of your email tool bar. Collects and downloads tweets and allows you to: post, reply, DM, upload pics, and has an integrated Tiny URL function. SO, pretty nifty and compact. However, I'm thinking you may have to be an MS Outlook user to take advantage of all that. Here's the link.

Anyway, my two cents on neat applications. OH, of course I couldn't live without ListPro.

Best Regrads, galen

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Excellent post, Elle - nice links with useful info. Hadn't heard of Maxthon and I'll definitely check it out. You have your text links opening up in new windows also, which I for one prefer and appreciate. Nice.

Hey thanks for the visit and comment today on Free Spirit. I appreciated your opinion and vote. :)

Karen Walker said...

HI Elle,
I don't have any gadgets to show you - sorry. I'm just getting the hang of Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo groups, etc. I will check out the ones you and Alexis mention here, though. They sound like it might make using Twitter a bit easier.


Marvin D. Wilson said...

Hey Elle-

I just hadda come back and tell you I got Maxthon and LOVE it! Thanks!

I have tons of cool blog gadgets on my Free Spirit blog - next time you're over just click on any of them that appeal to you - most of them will offer a way for you to try them out and/or get them. I really like the language translator and the flag couter ones - it's fun to watch the number of flags/countries that read your blog grow and having translations available helps to facilitate the global spread of popularity of your blog.

Jina Bacarr said...

If you enjoy Twitter chats (writers chat on Sundays from 12 noon to 3 pm PDT), log on to

It makes it much easier to follow the chat.


Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks for a great post. I'm looking up Maxthon as soon as I leave here.


AlanChinWriter said...

Thanks for the tech tips. I'd like to try that new browser.

alan chin

Julie Lomoe-Smith said...

Thanks for all the hints - maybe I'll actually have time to check them out one of these days! For now, I'm just trying to keep up with the basics. But I did buy a copy of WordPress for Dummies tonight at Borders, and that has all kinds of suggestions for jazzy add-ons, so maybe I'll have some to share one of these days.

darkened_jade said...

I have to say, I am with you on google reader, it is the best tool ever, except that I now have too many options of first reading when I get home from work.

Erotic Horizon said...

Hello Elle..

I found you through another blogger and lyrical press...

I love this post and i have written down some great application...

Check out Windows Live Writer - i have been blogging for a while now and i have more than one blog on multiple platform and the good thing about WLW is that you do all the post and additions directly on your pc and upload to your blog.

I can honestly say - i use all the popular blog sites out there and i have never posted directly using the "NewPost" section - everything goes through the WLW.

And the other neat thing about it, is that it saves all the post onto your hard drive - so if you ever lose your blog (online) - your blog post are actually save onto your hard drive.

Once again great post..


Elle Parker said...

Thanks, EH! I'll have to check that one out!

Marvin - I'm thrilled you like Maxthon. It's such a well done browser.

Jade - I was astounded when I discovered Reader!

Jina - Thank you for the head's up on Tweetchat - sounds cool!

Everyone else - I'm so glad I could show you some cool new stuff.


K. A. Laity said...

I have to say my favourite gadget is my iPod Ianto. Wireless access to mail, browsing, Twitter and Facebook that fits in the palm of my hand. Wonderful! For Twitter I recommend Tweetdeck because it sorts users according to your wishes. If you're not already using Mr Tweet.

The Practical Preserver said...

I'm going to look into Google Reader. Thanks for the tip.