The new new AI tools
Back in the 2000s, we were all excited about new rock and roll, electro, and the scene and music coming out of nyc. some friends put together a party called the new new. The party was a great time (well, until I got kicked out for acting a fool lol). Specifically meant to feature all the wild new vibes that were coming down the pike.
It felt magical.
I feel the same way right now when it comes to AI tooling and weird new productivity tools.
For the first time in a decade, I am using regular new tools and apps that have changed how I do work.
Arc Browser kind of drives me crazy. I often use many windows (I have GIANT monitors), and it seems to hate that. I will accidentally close a video chat at least once a week. But even with that weakness, ARC browser is a wonderful tools.
The layout of the tabs (on the side), the spaces/ profiles, and how it all works together - allows me to become a lot more productive.
I can set up my “Work” space, and make sure it has all my work contextual links, apps, etc without commingling them with other contexts. And then when I am not working, I just click over to the cookie clicker space and click cookies.
Related - since I shut down galactic, all I do is click cookies. Soooo many cookies have been clicked.
When I first started using perplexity I didn’t really get why I would use it instead of google or chatgpt. But recently, I have been using it as my tiny lil research assistant. I will just ask it a general question and have it dig in. From there I will direct it in a few different ways. It’s pretty simple and easy to use.
I also like that I can use the web or mobile.
I ended up paying for it - let’s see if I continue to use it.
It seems to be a LOT better than the chatgpt browsing / search tool. I have found it works really well for digging into weird shit.
Unless you have been living under a rock, chatgpt has been all the rage. I use it as my very naive intern. It rules. I literally use it for everything.
Here is a shot unordered list of things I have asked chatgpt in the last couple days:
- How to use this Japanese water heater (uploaded a photo of the shower control panel)
- Build a business plan for a container homes project
- how to adjust hero image sizes using hugo
- Identify this AC unit from a photo
- What high end toaster should I buy a friend who lives in Europe?
- How to make an Onigiri costume
- How to mount a Linux .img file on a mac
- Why airplane turbulence (default example chat from openai)
- Afren and DayQuil interactions
As you can see it’s all over the place. Also, I have a cold. I use the SHIT out of chatgpt. It’s hilariously overused atm.
An possibly related observation: I no longer know how to spell things.
The Kagi search engine is a nice replacement for google.com. This blows my mind. I used to LOVE google. I remember when google launched and I was like “FUCK METACRAWLER. I WILL NEVER USE ANOTHER SEARCH ENGINE.” and now 25 years later or I am sad to say that I have been using another search engine
I am not happy about it. I just got tired of all the ads (which is kind of the same exact thing I said about metacrawler).
Kagi is very good. It’s clean. It finds stuff for me. And it works consistently. I am rarely going to google to double check.
I haven’t yet checked out a lot of the advanced Kagi tools (their browser etc). I imagine I will at some point.
A lot of these tools are “AI driven” or have come up during this AI revolution. I find the addition of LLMs to every one of my tools kind of funny. I am not so worried about leaking my data into the LLM (although, I am careful). I am worried about these tools just turning into one another.
It seems clear that at some point in the future we will use just one “agent” or “searcher” instead of 3.
Other tools, older and less AI
Here is a quick list of other tools that are in daily use. I highly recommend these.
- Fish - my shell
- neovim - my editor of choice
- vscode - my other editor of choice
- Tailscale - my network (I pay for this)
- Maestral - dropbox client that doesn’t suck
- DayOne - I use this daily (I pay for this)
- Feedbin / NetNewsWire - feeeedsss
- Drafts - Amazing “dropbox” for text on my phone (I pay for this)
- iterm2 - it’s nice
- nextDNS - DNS servers (I pay for this)
hit me up if you have other tools I should check out.