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by Eric P. Jackson

Apps: Eric's Favorites

Computers are a lot like a spouse. They can either make your life easier and less stressful or they can jack-up your world every day. Don't properly maintain that new spouse and you'll come to think that spouses are bad things. Before you know it, you'll make a rash decision, divorce your spouse, decide to start batting from the other side of the plate, and marry a MacIntosh Powerbook.

But I digress...software is truly the path to happiness. You can pick up new software - apps - cheaply these days. If you're careful, they'll never give you a virus, provide you with some cheap thrills, and lighten your workload. Since I knowabout 10% more than the average person about such matters, everyone thinks I'm an expert...except those who know 1% or more than I do.

So with no further adieu, here are my favorite little gems that help me get things done:

mSecure

It would be hard to find software I use more frequently and effectively than mSecure by mSeven Software. mSecure is an application designed to provide you with secure, accessible passwords where you need them most:  your smartphone and desktop. I literally know two passwords: my desktop login and my mSecure password. Everything else is stored and mSecure and when I need a password, I copy and paste a highly secure random password of 12-16 characters that would make Helen Keller jealous. Why do I use it? Russian and Chinese hackers. If you're not hip to their M.O. the only question is when, not if, you get hacked.

Spotify

I've mentioned Spotify before and I talk about it just about every day. It's $9.95 per month, I can listen to damn near any band or song you can mention, and I don't have to manage gigabytes of files on my desktop computer or use iTunes. Oh, and if you haven't figured it out on your own already, iTunes is damn near the worst piece of software in the history of mankind. Anyone who thinks iTunes doesn't hire incompetents obviously had never used iTunes. Yeah, Apple is working on a product offering to compete with Spotify. It may even be live...but I wouldn't care because I can't seem to get the horrific taste of iTunes out of my computer.

Tweetbot

If you've told me you're not on Twitter because you don't want to know when someone takes a shower but have absolutely no problem with Facebook posts of cat pictures and an ultrasound of some womb from your high school algebra class, you can stop reading right now. For the adults, there is this thing called Twitter which allows you interact with people who don't lower your IQ. Think of Twitter as Facebook, except you're not compelled to have a social media relationship with Justin Bieber because you played city league basketball in the 4th grade. As a Twitter user, I knew what was going on with the hunt to capture the Rolling Stone heart-throb who murdered and mutilated those decent people in Boston faster than Wolf Blitzer could ask questions that would make a college freshman journalism major say "Uh, yeah, I'm pretty sure anybody can do better than that." Oh, and Tweetbot is damned awesome...better than any Twitter app for the iPhone. If you want me to show you how to use Twitter and Tweetbot, you need to come at me with a considerable budget...or you could just start pushing buttons, which is how I learn. Seriously. And follow me on Twitter@iamthelummox.

Hipstamatic (and Oggl)

I'm incapable of explaining how much I enjoy taking my 5 megapixel iPhone camera and turning my photos into faux vintage crap. Instagram is a nice platform sharing photos, only the filters are lazy, fourth-rate garbage. Hipstamatic, and it's sister app Oggl, give you infinite options to create interesting photo, many of which you'll see on my blog at thelummox.com.

You have a favorite piece of software you find indispensable? Hook me up, please.