Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Utilities

I get asked on a pretty regular basis what kind of software I use to do my job or make my life easier. I decided to go ahead and type up a list of everything I use.

Crimson Editor - A powerful source code editor for Windows. It features syntax highlighting for most major languages, user tools, macros, and spell checker. It also has a fantastic Find and Replace that allows the use of regular expressions. It has a Visual Studio like "project explorer" for managing multiple files within a large or small project.
Cost: Free

SSH Secure Shell - For all my remote file transfer/ssh needs I use an old version of the SSH Secure Shell program. They used to give away a non-commercial version, but they have since stopped doing that. I am using 3.2.9 and it supports all sorts of features such as multiple profiles with various favorite folders for sftp.
Cost: Used to be Free

Ant Renamer - I do a ton of file renaming for Snackbar Games. I like to keep the naming convention the same for all the screenshots. Manually renaming them to ss01.jpg, ss02.jpg, etc gets old real quick. Ant Renamer makes that a 1 second job. Simply drag the files I want to rename onto the program, click enumeration and type out my patter and click Go. It is that easy. It has a massive number of renaming options. It is easily one of the best utilities out there.
Cost: Free

Bulletproof FTP - From time to time I am forced to use an FTP program instead of my SSH app. For these times I use BPFTP. It is the best FTP program I have ever used and the newest version just got a visual overhaul. You can store login/pass info for as many sites as you want to make managing them all easy. You can queue downloads or even schedule them. It will also resume a file transfer if it gets disconnected. This tool isn't free but I have been using it for 5 years now and it has never let me down.
Cost: Free trial. $29.95

Google Desktop - I am a disorganized person normally. Google Desktop and it's many plug-ins have helped me turn that around. I use the Sidebar layout with my local weather, a ToDo list, the Scratch Pad, gdTunes (to control iTunes), System Monitor, Adsense Status (to see how much money I am not making), and a calendar. The searching ability is fantastic and the plug-ins are stellar and widely available. Just make sure you have some extra screen real estate for the Sidebar.
Cost: Free

SoftPerfect Network Scanner - How many times have you forgotten the ip address of a device on your network? If your network is large then odds are good that you have. This network scanner will scan a range of ip addresses to let you know what devices are on your network. It can resolve hostnames and Mac addresses as well as tell you what ports are open and identify shares on the remote machines. Very handy indeed.
Cost: Free

TreeSize - TreeSize is a tool that allows you to view a folder hierarchy view of a local drive in your machine. The nice thing is that it tells you the size of the folder/file next to it. This is very handy for tracking down rogue files that are taking up copious amounts of disc space.
Cost: Free for older version, $20 for Personal and $45 for Professional

WinRaR - WinRaR is a tool similar to WinZip only I find it to be much faster and better overall. It costs about $29, but I love it.
Cost: $29, Free Trial

CDex - I rip all the CDs that I buy onto my computer on Day 1. For this I use Cdex. It is as good as EAC, Exact Audio Copy, and a lot easier to setup.
Cost: Free

DameWare NT Utilities - I manage about 35 computers here at my office and they are spread out across 2 buildings and 2 stories. I don't like to walk 1000 feet just to click a single checkbox. DameWare NT Utils makes it so that I don't have to. This program is actually 2 parts: NT Utils and Mini Remote Control. NT Utils allows you to do basically anything you want to a remote machine you have access to. You can browse the filesystem, make registry changes, start and stop services, etc. It is far too robust to describe here. Mini Remote Control is basically a VNC style app that you can push out remotely so there is no setup involved on the client side. Simply connect and take control of the machine. This is definitely not a free program, but I can't live without it anymore. NT Utilities includes the MRC portion so the cost for MRC is just the standalone version of that program.
Cost: NT Utilities: $289; Mini Remote Control: $89.95

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