7th January, 2008

Desktop Software isn’t Dead

Filed under: General — admin @ 9:00 pm

I started a new job a couple of months ago. Sadly the IT policies are a little restrictive, they won’t even let me use my own mouse with the company supplied computer. So I’ve gone rogue. I bought a new MacBook (black, naturally) in December and thanks to the power of VMWare I’m using it pretty much full time at work.

Which has had an interesting effect on my approach to the software I use. Over the past couple of years I’ve been finding myself using either web based applications or command line scripts I wrote myself. What with having a desktop machine at work, a laptop and a home machine all running different operating systems the web browser and the command line are the easiest ways to synchronise my data via common applications.

As I’m now using the same machine at home and work I’ve started to drift back to o/s specific desktop applications. Instead of Google Reader I’ve switched to NetNewsWire Lite, I’ve replaced the WordPress text area with MarsEdit and I’m trying out OmniFocus instead of some hacked up scripts for my to do list.

I’m not sure what this says about me or my choice of technology, other than that I’ll get a frosty reception from the Google posse at the next Sydney Python meeting. But add this to the fact that I gave back the company supplied Blackberry and I think I must be bucking some sort of trend here. Is it just me or is anyone else fighting back the tide of web apps?

12 Comments

  1. My use of webapps continues to expand, and I want it that way. Having something on my home computer but not my work computer drives me nuts.

    iTunes is the next to go – but I need affordable storage for 30 gigs before it does :)

    The only non-webapp that I enjoy using is Vim, and my whole computer life is utterly dependent on it.

    Comment by Bill Mill — 08/01/2008 @ 12:44 am

  2. My use of webapps continues to expand, and I want it that way. Having something on my home computer but not my work computer drives me nuts.

    iTunes is the next to go – but I need affordable storage for 30 gigs before it does :)

    The only non-webapp that I enjoy using is Vim, and my whole computer life is utterly dependent on it.

    Comment by Bill Mill — 08/01/2008 @ 12:44 am

  3. Andy-

    I’m glad to hear someone else resisting the WebApp stuff. I’m a Google Reader user, but that’s about the extent of it. The biggest problems I see are that I don’t control my data. If I used something like Writely, I don’t have my own documents anymore. Writely does. Same thing with these online bank account management systems. Some WebApps are useful, some are not, and some I only use slightly. For instance, I use Google Calendar, but I use it through the Lightning and Google Provider extensions for Mozilla Thunderbird. It actually acts as an iCal calendar that also has a nice web interface in case I need to see something without my computer around.

    I’m also glad to hear you remembered “Just Say No” to crack and the Crackberry.

    Paul

    Comment by Paul — 08/01/2008 @ 5:05 am

  4. Andy-

    I’m glad to hear someone else resisting the WebApp stuff. I’m a Google Reader user, but that’s about the extent of it. The biggest problems I see are that I don’t control my data. If I used something like Writely, I don’t have my own documents anymore. Writely does. Same thing with these online bank account management systems. Some WebApps are useful, some are not, and some I only use slightly. For instance, I use Google Calendar, but I use it through the Lightning and Google Provider extensions for Mozilla Thunderbird. It actually acts as an iCal calendar that also has a nice web interface in case I need to see something without my computer around.

    I’m also glad to hear you remembered “Just Say No” to crack and the Crackberry.

    Paul

    Comment by Paul — 08/01/2008 @ 5:05 am

  5. I’m only just starting to discover online apps as a way to manage my existence across many computers. Now that I’ve got the EEE PC that’s even more important.

    I’ve been using CVS and SVN for years now to do so for coding, but I’ve now got a del.icio.us bookmark list, and thanks to your post I now have a Google Reader setup for RSS stuff :)

    As for “office”-type work, I don’t do a hell of a lot of that sort of work anyway.

    Comment by Richard Jones — 08/01/2008 @ 9:25 am

  6. I’m only just starting to discover online apps as a way to manage my existence across many computers. Now that I’ve got the EEE PC that’s even more important.

    I’ve been using CVS and SVN for years now to do so for coding, but I’ve now got a del.icio.us bookmark list, and thanks to your post I now have a Google Reader setup for RSS stuff :)

    As for “office”-type work, I don’t do a hell of a lot of that sort of work anyway.

    Comment by Richard Jones — 08/01/2008 @ 9:25 am

  7. I’m glad that web apps exist, and they were handy when I was in Europe for a month this summer, but I vastly prefer desktop apps. Now that GMail supports IMAP, one part of keeping my life in sync is easier.

    Comment by Dethe Elza — 08/01/2008 @ 11:10 am

  8. I’m glad that web apps exist, and they were handy when I was in Europe for a month this summer, but I vastly prefer desktop apps. Now that GMail supports IMAP, one part of keeping my life in sync is easier.

    Comment by Dethe Elza — 08/01/2008 @ 11:10 am

  9. I rather like Google Reader – with Google Gears installed you can take it offline, which makes it pretty much a desktop app.

    Comment by Ycros — 08/01/2008 @ 1:42 pm

  10. I rather like Google Reader – with Google Gears installed you can take it offline, which makes it pretty much a desktop app.

    Comment by Ycros — 08/01/2008 @ 1:42 pm

  11. The full version of NetNewsWire is now free, so you can use that.

    Comment by Simon Brunning — 10/01/2008 @ 11:10 pm

  12. The full version of NetNewsWire is now free, so you can use that.

    Comment by Simon Brunning — 10/01/2008 @ 11:10 pm

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