Indispensable Electronics:

  • My PC - Click the link for info and pics of my home-built PC.
  • Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen NX - Just got the 30GB version of this baby about a month ago. My dad and I modified my car sound system so I can plug my Zen directly into my Pioneer amp and have 30GB of mp3s at my fingertips at all times! I currently have all my mp3s (about 1500 each ripped at 192 kbps) on the thing and I've only used about 8GB. While the Apple iPod is certainly "cooler," it has slightly worse sound quality and is just way overpriced. The Zen is small enough for me, quite easy to navigate, and has met all my expectations so far! It's already on my list of "gadgets I can't do without."
  • Magellan Meridian GPS - I still need to buy the North America Road Map package, but even without it this thing is great to have in the car. Whenever I'm driving in a new area I bring this along and it makes it easy to navigate unfamiliar territory. Another awesome gadget.

Indispensable Programs:

  • Adobe Video Collection - Pricey, yes, but an awesome package of powerful video production programs. Premier Pro is considered by many to be the best digital video editing program available to prosumers. To add to this power, the Video Collection comes with After Effects to create professional motion effects, Encore DVD for interactive and feature-rich DVD production, and Audition for multi-track editing of sound/music. I bought this in the summer of 2004 and have been able to complete some cool video-to-DVD projects since then. Highly recommended if you're serious about video editing. My only problem is that once you spend all this money, you're going to want to go out to spend more on a better camcorder, software plugins, etc.
  • Macromedia Studio MX - I have yet to upgrade to the 2004 version (might just wait until the next version since I'm happy with what I've got), but the original MX is still great. Macromedia Studio is the best web design suite out there! Not cheap, but worth it if you do lots of web design work. I don't use Freehand, and I don't usually have the time for Flash, but Fireworks and Dreamweaver are absolutely awesome! Recommended if you can justify the cost (check ebay to save $$$).
  • Mozilla Firefox - Though it still translates some HTML in a weird way (compared to Internet Explorer), Mozilla is a great open-source browser. Firefox is the "polished" version and has nice features like a built-in pop-up killer and tabbed windows (so you can browse multiple sites in the same browser window), and gives you the opportunity to install open-source add-ins for enhanced functionality. It's my default browser! Keep IE on hand, though, because there are some things Microsoft is still better at. Get Firefox
  • Napster - Available as a standalone program or as a plugin for Windows Media Player, Napster is now a legit online music store. I've been a Premium subscriber for several months and have greatly enjoyed having such a wide variety of music available at the click of a button.

Web Design Resources:

  • Bravenet - Free easy-to-use website tools for novice web designers. Cgi-friendly host not required.
  • Dynamic Drive - DHTML scripts for sprucing up your website.
  • GRSites - Free high-quality background images, fonts, sound fx, and clipart. Plus a search engine ranking program that determines the visibility of your site.
  • GUIStuff - Awesome free graphics and templates for use on your site.
  • Hot Scripts - Great source of free and affordable website scripts in PHP, Perl, ASP, and others.
  • ICDSoft - Affordable and reliable web hosting with great support, inexpensive domain registration, and 333MB of space! (They host this site, btw.)
  • Robouk - Free graphics tutorials for Photoshop and more.
  • Source Forge - Huge database of open-source (free) scripts for on- and off-line applications.
  • Spoono.com - Excellent web design resource with tutorials for HTML, Javascript, PHP, Flash, and more.
  • The CGI Resource Index - Thousands of free and for sale Perl and C++, etc. scripts for use on your website! For experienced web designers using cgi-friendly hosts.
  • W3Schools - Free web design training, for both beginners and advanced web designers. Learn to use HTML, XML, CSS, Javascript, ASP, SQL, Flash, and more. Excellent resource.

Other Online Gems: