I use many browser plug-ins and utilities to make using the computer easier or more productive. Here are a few of my favorites.
Table of Contents
- Chrome extensions
- Key web sites
- Computer programs
I use these Chrome extensions on a regular basis.
OneTab lets you collapse your open tabs into a OneTab tab group. The tabs are no longer in memory. You can then expand the tab group again, or delete the tab group.
When I'm doing research I will open a bunch of tabs. OneTab keeps me from having to close all those tabs by hand.
1Password or LastPass
Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant lets me time myself with "pomodoros"–25 minutes of focus followed by 5 minutes of break.
HTTPS Everywhere tries to use
https: connections to web sites when possible, so that web connections are secure by default.
Ears: Bass Boost
Ears: Bass Boost is a silly one but sometimes videos (e.g. on Amazon video) are too quiet. This extension can make audio louder.
Don't Fuck With Paste
Web site not letting you paste content (e.g. a password)? Use Don't Fuck With Paste.
Key web sites
I use pinboard for saving new bookmarks (and searching my current bookmarks).
Ninite (for installing Windows programs)
Ninite is useful for quickly installing many programs on a new computer.
I use Chrome for my web browser.
For home I use Arq. Arq is amazing! Arq is a program that backs up your computer to a cloud service regularly (by default every hour). Another great thing about Arq is it lets you use your existing cloud services for backup storage. You can configure Arq to back up to Amazon, Google Drive, or other cloud services.
I have successfully restored my user content using Arq due to computer failure. I have successfully restored a Minecraft game using Arq when I accidentally summoned the Ender Dragon.
(PS I recommend not using Amazon Glacier for your backups. You can get your backups back but it'll take a week.)
Google Drive File Stream or Dropbox
For work I use Google Drive File Stream, which lets you access your Google Drive files through a network drive on your computer.
For home I use Dropbox.
Monosnap or ShareX (Picture screen capture)
QuickTime Player or Jing (Video screen capture)
I use QuickTime Player for OS X:
File -> New Screen Recording. Make sure to select the microphone so your voice is recorded. I then save the recordings to Google Drive in a temporary folder, and I then get a shareable link to send to people.
For Windows, I like to use Jing. Jing lets you record videos up to five minutes long. As a bonus, it'll also upload your video to TechSmith's servers and put the link in your clipboard.
I install Evernote on my computers to look at my inbox and references.
Emacs (text editor/way of life)
Terminal or cygwin (UNIX-like terminal)
Blue Yeti microphone
The Blue Yeti microphone is a great microphone. It sounds silly to buy a microphone but the audio quality vs. a built-in microphone is ridiculous. If you ever record yourself for any reason, I recommend getting a microphone. It costs $120 but I really believe the quality of audio makes you sound more believable to listeners.