Unfortunately, Google has shut down Google Reader. But the team at Feeldy has stepped in and created a brand new web app and matching mobile app that perfectly fill the void left by Google. I still use it to keep tabs on the local news, a few comics, and several blogs.
Windows 7 added some nice features that help you to arrange windows on screen. But I find that WindowSpace does an even better job. Even though I usually work with dual monitors, I find myself needing to put windows side by side, top and bottom or maximize them vertically. By dragging a window or resizing a window to any edges of the screen WindowSpace accomplishes all of these tasks. But it gets better. If you want to snap windows to one another, even while resizing them, just get them close and window space takes care of the rest. The final feature that I find comes in handy from time to time is being able to make any window always on top. Typically I do this with either calculator or notepad. All you need to do is click the icon in to corner of the program, then use the new WindowSpace menu to make the program always on top.
Google has an entire office suite online called Google Docs. You can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations completely within your web browser. I find this great for stuff that I need to have access to from many computers. All of the apps have nearly all of the features that you’ve come to expect from a desktop application, and a few that you just can’t get. For example, there’s a widget in the spreadsheet app that will mark up a Google map with a list of location’s that’s in your spreadsheet. This is a fun little toy to play with in my spreadsheet that tracks all of the traveling that I’ve done for work.
Bonus Tip: You can use Google Docs from your phone. Any phone can view documents, and some higher end phones can even make edits to documents.
TweetDeck is a Twitter client that helps you keep track of everything on your timeline. It’s core feature is a multi-column view that lets you group your tweets together however you’d like. You can add friends to groups, so their tweets will always show up in a particular column. A column can also be configured for search, so you’ll see any tweets with your search term in them. I often use search when watching a prime-time TV show live, to see what other people are saying about it, or to see if anyone picks up on some subtlety that I may have missed. It can make TV watching a very interactive experience.
Handbrake is a video transcoding application. Most people use it to shrink videos down to a size that their iPod/Phone can handle. For transcoding software, it’s very easy to use, with presets for a lot of common formats and handheld devices. Select the file and what you’re going to use it on and you’re ready to go. The software also has all of the nitty-gritty options that you could possibly need to fine tune the video output you get from it. Finally, it’s multi-threaded, meaning that it will use all of the available processors on your system which gives it a huge performance increase.