What I Use

By Max Li | Published: August 16, 2012

There is a large collection of software and web services I use to help run my life. You may find these useful to help take control of your life (and as a side effect, become more like me (whether this is good or bad, who knows?)).


I use Windows 7 for most day-to-day tasks (and gaming). I also use Virtualbox to run Linux Mint when needed.


I use Microsoft Security Essentials for antivirus purposes; it is lightweight and I have not had any problems with it. I use TrueCrypt to encrypt my hard drive. For web browsing, I use the Firefox add-on NoScript to block scripts and other security functionalities, HTTPS Everywhere to ensure a secure connection on many major sites, and Ghostery and BetterPrivacy to prevent tracking. In order to block spam, I use MailNull; it allows you to create a custom email address for every site you use, which can all be forwarded to your primary email. Eraser allows me to securely erase my files.


Most of the time, I use Firefox. I will also occasionally use Google Chrome. I use and promote LastPass to securely manage my passwords and I also use the Firefox add-ons DownThemAll! and Adblock Plus.


I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Rainlendar and Remember the Milk to communicate with people and keep myself organized. I use Microsoft Office every once in a while. I also use Thunderbird to check and aggregate all my email. Foxit is a great PDF reader that I use.


I heartily recommend using SpiderOak for their secure, automatic backup. As a backup to my backup, I use Dropbox and SkyDrive to create further backups of my important files.


I use my spare computer cycles to contribute to humanity with World Community Grid. I use 7-Zip to compress files and decompress ZIP, RAR and a whole slew of other compressed file types. I use VLC Media Player to play just about any audio and video file.