Okay, I get it. Macs are awesome. After reading Ryan Carson’s Our Office 2.0 Experiment over on Vitamin, and the long list of comments from other Mac users, I decided to play the John Hodgman role and spin it Windows style (although a lot of my suggestions are open source and also available on OSX).
Note: Prices are in USD.
Notepad++ is my preferred choice when it comes to all-round text editing. Along with plain txt files, it supports full code formatting, code completion and hex editing all in one open source application.
Blumental’s WeBuilder is a great little code editor, and is a decent Dreamweaver replacement for a fraction of the price. I still kinda use an old copy of Dreamweaver just because over the past 6 years or so it’s become somewhat of an extension to my very soul, but over time I can see myself using WeBuilder more and more.
I agree that Fireworks is probably the cheapest and most adequate graphics program, although, like Keith at Blue Flavor, I still use Photoshop because that’s what I have and am most used to. I have an old Fireworks licence, but every time I try to familiarise myself with it’s strange, foreign ways, I hit a minor stumbling block and go back to Photoshop. I’m also keeping my eye on Pixel and Paint.Net. They’re both a little immature for production use at this stage, but with time, I can see them both being fierce competitors to the almighty Adobe.
For storage and backup, I just use a plain internal hard disk drive, backed-up to another separate hard disk via a little script that runs as a Windows scheduled task in the middle of the night. Once a month (or more accurately, whenever I remember to), I burn off a DVD of the backup and take it to a different address. I can’t see the value in paying $99 for online storage space, when a local drive does the job much faster.
I use WeBuilder/Dreamweaver’s inbuilt FTP when working with code, and FileZilla for everything else, although personally, I prefer SmartFTP (and for $36.95, it’s worth every cent).
I use Trillian Basic for IM, although I don’t use IM so much any more. When I’m away from my main PC, I use Meebo.
Mozilla Thunderbird works great for my email. To control spam, I use Google Apps for Your Domain and just use Thunderbird to collect my mail from there.
I’m not a big calendar user, but Google Calendar comes with Apps for Your Domain, so that’s what I use and it serves me well. It will be better when Mozilla’s new calendar integrated with Thunderbird gets finished.
I also use Thunderbird for my address book, although sharing contacts isn’t a big issue for me at this time. I’m not sure what’s out there for Windows in the shared address book space. Comment if you know of something suitable.
Finally, I mostly use OpenOffice.org for my word processing / spreadsheets / presentations / etc. It’s awesome and the price is right.
I hope this helps other Windows users (or even OSX users) who may not be aware of some of these applications, and I’d love to hear your feedback on what you use and/or recommend.