The hard drive on my trusty Macbook died on me yesterday, which means that I’m forced to use our old desktop PC for the next few days. This PC runs Windows XP, and is used mostly for browser testing and- of course- gaming. That means no Photoshop, no Dreamweaver, no Transmit… you get the picture. Work, naturally, must go on- so what’s a web designer with a temporary PC to do?
Fortunately, all our files are kept on several external hard drives- so although the nice man at Apple support told me all my Macbook data was irretrievable, there was no great loss there. Also, I made the leap from an email client to using Gmail exclusively a long time ago, so no lost emails either. Important documents for current projects are in Google Docs, important dates and to-dos on Google Calendar. My biggest problem, as you can probably guess, is not having my favorite Apps available to me for the next couple of days. Thanks to a few hours searching and downloading, however, I’m back to work with the help of these three programs:
Image Editor: Gimp
First up, of course, was finding a good image manipulation program. I had heard of Gimp before, but hadn’t tried it until now- and wow. Gimp blew my expectations out of the water- from layers to brush modes to opening my PSDs without a hitch, the program works beautifully.
Text Editor: Notepad Plus Plus
Next, I needed a good text editor for my HTML and PHP code. I usually use a combination of Dreamweaver and TextWrangler, but since I just needed a temporary solution, I figured Windows’ built-in Notepad would be good enough. Then I downloaded and tried out Notepad Plus Plus, which is like Notepad on steroids.
FTP Program: GoFTP
Finally, I needed an FTP program. I’d been using Transmit on OSX for so long, I’d forgotten what Windows FTP program I used to use. A quick Google search brought up the snappily named GoFTP, and I’m glad I tried it out. The program is fast- and I mean, really fast. Small. Unobtrusive. Just what I need from an FTP program.
And there you have it: three free programs that’s gotten me back to work quicker than you can say “failed hard-drive”.
Has this ever happened to you? What programs saved your life?