First of all I use the LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) for my desktop environment. I know there are more feather light options, but I found LXDE to be the best fit for my needs.
The biggest app I use is Kupfer. I use it all the time to open files (which open in the default associated app), folders, apps, HTTP links, you name it. Basically just about anything you can think of in one way or another. Huge thank you to Zen over at the PowerPC Liberation blog for introducing me to this tool. It saves me several (and I do mean several) seconds of time from switching back and forth from the trackpad to the keyboard. I prefer to stick with just keyboard commands, but I'm not opposed to the trackpad by any means either. Depends on the task at hand.
I have most of my other commonly used apps in my "natively" running dock that automatically shows and hides as I hover over it, similar to the OS X dock. For the GUI filesystem browser, I use the default File Manager that is included with the LXDE desktop environments (if I'm not in a terminal, which is usually the case). I wouldn't mind test driving alternatives, but I just haven't made time for it. It does what I want it to and I don't have any issues, except that I can't seem to get the mounted Lubuntu partition from showing up in the side bar along with the OS X partition. Nothing in the File Manager's preferences helped, but I'm still digging around on the system. Let me know if you know the way.
For my browser, I also use the default Iceweasel that is a fork of Firefox. The only add-on I use with it is XMarks for syncing my bookmarks between different systems. As a webkit alternative, I use Midori as it is incredibly quick, smooth and lightweight in terms of resources. I've used a few others, but nothing that I thought was worth keeping around. If an app is not going to serve a purpose for me, I make sure to not keep it around and take up valuable bytes of space.
For my PDF/document viewer, I use the cleverly named Evince. It handles PDFs pretty well and it supports several of the expected features associated with a PDF viewer. Speaking of documents, I also have the LibreOffice suite installed to be able to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. I've actually come to enjoy using these more than regular old Microsoft Office suite.
As discussed already in one of my previous articles, I use an RSS feed aggregator by the name of Liferea. For FTP, I use the well known FileZilla, which is actively maintained and updated on a regular basis. Along with that I use Transmission and for media I run both VLC (some of you may gasp at that) and Audacious for music playback. Eventually, I'll make use of a better suited piece of software for video playback, but haven't spent too much time looking into it. What I don't have or use is any form of streaming radio, although that would be worth having. I'll have to research that further.
I have Hotot installed as my Twitter client, but I don't use Twitter as much these days and this application no longer runs on PPC. And for the final nail in the coffin, it is no longer being maintained or updated by anybody. In fact, it doesn't currently work on any of my machines, so it shall be soon tossed into the nothingness
For coding, I rely heavily on
viin the color coded LXTerminal and Geany. Geany supports a multitude of languages including the most commonly known ones such as C, C++, Python, etc. For compilation (or is it compiling?), I am currently using GCC 4.6.3 and am just starting to make use of the Clang compiler (more on that in the future... you can learn along with me! :) ).
Oh and lastly, on a entirely separate note, if you haven't heard by now, there is a monster vulnerability in bash associated with the handling of environment variables that has been around for far too long. Debian has already pushed out security fixes for this, so make sure to run
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgradeon your system to receive the patches. You are set up to receive security patches and updates right? Lord have mercy on you if you aren't.
That's it for this article. Once again, I droned on a tad bit with nontechnical opinionated words (sounds like several big name tech writing companies these days). Hopefully you read about an app or two here that might be just as useful or more useful to you on your own PPC Linux system. I didn't quite cover all the apps I am using, but it's a pretty decent start. Let me know what you are using in the comments below. And of course, suggest any new topics or questions if you have any.