What have the last ten years done for us? ??Given us an ever-wider range of software for one thing. ??So, with a sizeable piece of work somewhere on the horizon, mixed up with the everyday cycle of work and play, these are the pieces of software I see myself using in the years ahead:
- OS X: I use a MacBook Pro, I like using OS X, it suits the way I like to work with its myriad keyboard shortcuts and clean lines. ??It's six years since I got my first Mac and the experience has improved with age. ??But here's??David Mitchell??asking whether it's still possible to feel smug about Apple ownership any more, though I wonder if I associate more closely with this old??Charlie Brooker??piece on all that's wrong about Apple... somewhere in between perhaps.
- iWork: This is Apple's suite of programmes to match Microsoft's Office. ??The jewel in iWork's crown has long been Keynote - an easy to use, powerful and adaptable presentation package. ??I love it... it's far too easy to throw in unnecessary animations and other ways to distract an audience from what you're trying to say. ??Pages is for word processing and I'm finding new ways of using it all the time - maybe outline view has its uses after all.
- Office: For better or worse, usually worse, there is sometimes a need to use Microsoft Office. ??One of the joys of the current version of Office for Mac is that it still behaves like Office - highly refreshing after a hard day's strife agains the most recent Windows version at work. ??I think there's a strong possibility that the PhD will be written in Word (if it ever gets written). ??And the reason is that the world uses Word, so the world writes plug-ins for Word and shares its files. ??Who knows, maybe things will have come on enough in the next couple of years to make it possible to write the whole project with iWork.
- Posterous: This is a new discovery for me, hosting my blog and a providing an online presence. ??It's just as easy as they say, to contribute posts, make it look nice, link it to other online media and post files (particularly pdf). ??I've tried constructing sites in the past with reasonable success, but this is really taking the pain and learning out of building a website. ??That puts extra pressure on me to keep it updated though - possibly for years to come.
- Twitter: That's a link to my Twitter feed. ??I like Twitter and enjoy using it - the people and organisations I follow have brought lots of news and stories to my attention. ??I contribute in occasional waves, but get a lot out of the to and fro of ideas. ??It's amazing what you can do with 140 characters if you're creative about it.
- Mendeley: I want to know more about Mendeley and I want to know how it can work for me. ??That means trying it out and getting used to it of course, though the potential is impressive: organising academic literature; linking researchers; providing a Word plug-in to produce references, bibliographies and so on. ??It's the Last.fm of research, and I like??Last.fm.