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Sanjay Uttam Predominantly .NET

I recently switched gigs at work and I’ve had re-install, well, all the tools and gadgets that I tend to use.  I’ve also seen a bunch of blog posts lately about tools and plug-ins and I love learning what tools are being out there that I can use…SO, I’ve put together a real short and sweet list myself.  This is by no means exhaustive!

Tool Description
Windows Live I switched over some time ago.  This is a great tool for blog posts.  I also love the code snippet plug-in.
CopySourceAsHtml Handy plug-in for VS2005/VS2008 that allows you to copy code directly to HTML.  This is great for sending code snippets via e-mails and keeping color, formatting, line-numbers, etc.
Command Prompt Here There are tools that do this, but the truth is you really don’t need to download anything for this.  Basically you can add a right-click menu item to windows explorer that will let you launch a command prompt in whatever folder you’ve highlighted.  It’s not rocket science but it is handy.
Reflector If you saw this and thought either “I have never heard of that” OR "Why does everyone always mention this one?” go download it right now. 
FireBug/Windows Dev Toolbar I know some are crazy into one of these two.  I tend to have both installed since some things are easier to do in one over the other.  You can do things like substitute POST/GET values to a server using FireBug but I tend to use BurpSuite or Fiddler2 for that.
HttpFox/WireShark If you’re a web developer, at some point you’re going to need to look at the HTTP traffic.  I used to use HTTPWatch for IE – which I actually like a bit better than HttpFox…but you also have to pay for it.  SO…here I am with HttpFox for my lightweight traffic-snooping.  If things get serious I use WireShark which gives you a much more robust set of functionality (such as right-clicking to view a communications stream between a single requestor/responder rather than sift through everything).  It also does custom color coding and provides a quick, code-like interface for doing filtering.  For example, rather than clicking through a whole bunch of, well, crap, I can type this into a filter-box: ip.src >= && ip.src <= to look at specific range of source IPs. 
FooBar I used to use WinAmp for listening to music.  Foobar is much more lightweight, though, and WAY more customizable.  It also has a bunch of plug-ins and APIs if you get bored.
Diigo [Social Bookmarking] Let me begin this by saying I have no stake in, or association with the creators of Diigo… 

That said, This is by far my most useful tool for information searching.  I try to do at least one hour of research a day on the web about development…sometimes much more.  So I tend to come across a lot of information that is either immediately valuable or will likely be valuable to me in the future.  So, not surprisingly, I bookmark it to a social bookmarking service.  The kicker here is the Diigo will save my bookmarks even if the page goes offline in its local repository.  The second kicker is that I can keyword search all the content in my bookmarks to find anything I’ve bookmarked.  Lastly, I can highlight lines within a page that are of particular interest to me – and even send those to others or post them to the blog.  Seriously, it’s great. 
Additions [6/2/2009] …I decided to keep this list updated
Notepad++ It’s always handy to have a lightweight text-editor around.  This one happens to do syntax highlighting for a bunch of languages out of the box.  It also does user defined syntax highlighting. 
Google Calendar Sync [Info] If you don’t happen to have a smart-phone/blackberry, you can use this free tool to keep your Outlook calendar synched with your Google calendar.  Then you can easily set up SMS alerts and get a reminder for that 3:30 meeting on your mobile – just like you would if you had a blackberry.
GIMP Bottom-line, Photoshop is expensive and this works just as well for my purposes.
SourceMonitor This [free] tool is handy for doing quick code analysis.  It will tell you the number of lines, method complexity (per the definition in Code Complete) and a few other stats. 
WinMerge Tool for doing side-by-side comparisons of files.  It also gives you a great “zoomed-out"
Update [6/4/2009] For FireFox, development associated add-ins, go to this post.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 10:08 AM | Back to top

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