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Inside Tech Talker's Backpack: Software Roundup

Dive back into Tech Talker's backpack for Part 2 of this series on tech essentials. This time, we reveal the software Tech Talker just can't do without.

By
Eric Escobar
5-minute read
Episode #121

This week is my second episode on what's inside Tech Talker’s backpack. Last week, I revealed all the gadgets and hardware that I keep with me in my backpack.

However, this isn’t all that I carry with me. Along with great hardware and devices, I also carry an assortment of software that helps me troubleshoot, clean, organize, and stay productive on the go.

In this week’s episode we are going to dive into Tech Talker’s computer!

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As a tech expert, I’m used to often being asked by friends and family to troubleshoot and fix their computers. I’ve long since learned that carrying my own software tools with me makes my life a whole lot easier.

Virtual Machines

First and foremost are the virtual machines that I carry with me. I talked about virtual machines extensively in a previous episode where I described how and why virtual machines might be perfect for you.

I won’t go into extreme detail about that now, but in case you haven’t listened to that episode, virtual machines are basically computers within your physical computer that act like separate systems. For example you can run XP, OSX, and even Linux on a standard Windows laptop.

This is useful to me because I’ve found that every operating system has its strengths and weaknesses. Windows has a plethora of programs, Apple operating systems are great for editing video, audio, and images. Furthermore there are some great uses of Linux that Windows or Apple just can't match.

For this reason having a handful of virtual machines allows me to have a Swiss army knife of programs suited for any job, whether that's making a quick video on iMovie, running a quick virus scan from Linux, or backing up and recovering software in Windows. Each virtual machine has its use, and luckily for me it doesn’t add any extra weight to my laptop!

Next I’m going to cover the software that I use daily.

Software Round-Up

First and foremost I use TeamViewer to troubleshoot my friends' and family members' computers remotely. This allows me to have access to their computer once they give me a one-time use password, no matter where I am. This program has saved me hours of driving across town and thousands of cell phone minutes trying to explain how to perform a certain task.

I have the app on my phone and the desktop version for my computer, so it’s always handy.

Next up is a favorite of mine, it’s Dropbox! I’m sure many of you are familiar with Dropbox, but if not, you're missing out! it is an awesome tool for keeping files synced between multiple computers, and it’s also great for sharing large files that are way too big to email. (I’m talking gigabytes here, people).

There are lots of different programs that function like Dropbox - such as Google Drive, Bittorrent Sync, and Copy.com. These offer different pricing options and features. But I’ve been with Dropbox since the beginning and I find it to be the most user-friendly tool of its kind.

Also in the realm of awesome programs is Evernote which I’ve also done a full episode on. Evernote allows me to keep reminders, to-do lists, and random thoughts, images, and pictures all beautifully organized no matter where I am.

At this point, this information probably seems like a retread of topics I’ve covered in some of my previous episodes. But here’s where that changes: My bread and butter software tool that I carry around with me is my 1990s-style CD case that contains half a dozen bootable CDs.

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About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.