Since you're reading this post right now, I'll assume that you have access to a computer. Sure, somebody is probably on their phone or tablet, but they're exceptions. Most of you have a PC.

The computer is the topic of today's discussion. Different people use their computer for different things. Some only check Facebook, while others are on it all day for work... It really depends on your identity and job. If you get a position as a web developer, you'll spend a long time working on the computer. If you're a gardener, probably not.

I'm not a web developer, but I do spend a lot of time working at my laptop. There's just a lot to do between schoolwork, blogging, and freelance work. My computer is how I get my work done. With that said, I could not do work very much work without certain programs on my computer. These are a couple services that I use religiously, a few favorites that are the first things downloaded onto a new hard drive.

Google Chrome

You've got to access the internet somehow. Chrome is my favorite way to do that. It's fast, free, and supports nifty extensions like an ad blocker (Side note: you will never see another ad again with Adblock Plus). That's pretty much all you can say about Chrome... it's simple and it works. Sounds like a great web browser to me.

Available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS


Everybody likes listening to music. I've always got my headphones in while typing or working at the computer. It's nice to have a soundtrack to drown out the rest of the world and make typing more exciting.

Spotify is like iTunes, except you can listen to all the music in its entirety, not just 30-second previews. Search for a band and you can stream their entire collection, free of charge. The catch is that you have to put up with the occasional advertisement. That, and it's only available in certain countries (like the US).

Available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS

Microsoft Word

Yes, it's an Office program. Yes, it's really expensive. Yes, Google Docs is almost the same thing but free. Ignore that. Microsoft Word is the best word processor I've ever used. It's got all the features you could possibly need. When it comes to setting up margins, columns, resumes, and other printed materials, MS Word rules (get it? Rules? It's a pun that means... oh, never mind).

Obtaining Word can be difficult. It's pricey. There are discounted versions for students. Non-students, consider a certain website that starts with "The" and ends with "Pirate Bay." They've got a free copy.

Available on Windows, Mac


PC gamers should need no introduction to Steam. It's the best way to get PC games. Valve is all about customer service, and Steam takes that to new levels. If you don't count working to get money, downloading from Steam is actually easier than pirating. The game downloads faster and is guaranteed to work. Those two qualities are occasionally lacking in torrented copies.

Plus, there's support for friends and clans. Steam is an easy way to find co-op partners. Organizing and joining friends' games is simple and effective, like Steam. PC gamers, you should have this already.

Reil's App

This is the only really obscure program on the list, but I use it every day. Laptops without the word "Macbook" in their title usually have terrible touchpad mice.

Thankfully, a guy named Reil created an alternate touchpad driver. It adds two- and three-finger momentum-based scrolling, bounceback, two finger tap, and reversible Mac-style scrolling. My touchpad is actually fun to use with Reil's App and not a festering pile of frustration.

Available on Windows (might not work on non-Envy 14 laptops, haven't tested it yet)

Honorable mention: Thunderbird for email.

That is what I use most. What computer programs are essential to you?

...Just don't say Solitaire.