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My software toolbox

March 07, 2006

When I start to use a new machine I load up a bunch of useful utilities to allow me to get my job done. To find these tools, I go to Hanselman’s kickass tool list, the 46 Utilities list, and a few other places. Many of the items on the list are free, but I don’t mind paying for great software too. Hopefully next time around I can just come to this list and install everything…

* Free Download Manager – a nice free download manager for web downloads * CopyHandler – similar to FDM but for local and windows share copying. * Yahoo Desktop Search – I have tried every desktop search variant out there and settled on YDS. My big problem with the Google and Microsoft version was that they tended to remember old locations for files and emails for way too long after I move them. * ProcessTamer – Some processes insist on taking 100% of the cpu. ProcessTamer gets those processes in line and allows me to use my machine again. * FolderShare – Synchronizes content to multiple machines without having to think about it. * KeePass – I have to think about way too many passwords and I tend not to memorize any of them. So every visit they have to send me my passwords in email. This allows me to store my passwords in a secure container I think I trust. * Gadwin PrintScreen – The simplest screen shot utility I have every used. It has all the features I need and none of the ones I don’t. * TaskSwitchXP Pro – A better task switcher (what comes up when you press ALT-TAB) * MagicDisc – A free ISO mounter from the people who make MagicISO * MagicISO – ISO Editor * SlickRun – A great application launcher I have been using for ages * Notepad++ – A free full function text editor * Omea Pro – My current RSS reader. Have in the past used NewsGator, FeedDemon, and more. * Genie-Soft Backup Manager – Great Windows backup utility. * BlogJet – Offline blog editing tool * FileZilla – Free full function FTP client * Foxit – The best PDF viewer. I still have Acrobat installed because it is far quicker when printing large files, but for everything else, Foxit ROCKS! * TweakUI – The original great Windows Powertoy. The things I usually change are the shortcut overlays, and windows focus rules * UltraMon – A wonderful tool to make it easy to configure multiple monitors * Paint.NET – Almost approaching the functionality of PhotoShop…well…maybe not…but its a free tool you can put on every machine. Written by a college student…got him hired at Microsoft. * Audacity – Great free audio editor * Execute with Params – Context Menu option for executing a file with parameters * ClipName – Context Menu option for copy the file’s path * 7Zip – Another Zip tool. WinZip is quicker, but 7Zip does it a little smaller and the command line version is free and the WinZip command line tool requires a non-free upgrade to WZ10. * AttrMenu – Context Menu option for setting attributes on a file * CodeRush – The premier developer productivity tool * RefactorPro – The refactoring companion to CodeRush * ProcessExplorer – A better Task Manager * Reflector – This oozes coolness for the .Net developer * Maxthon – Makes IE better….IE7 will negate the need for this. I also install Firefox, though I hardly ever actually use it.

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