Johan's Blog

This and that in a developer's life in general
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My Toolbelt

ToolbeltMy friend Jan-Erik told me he was about to write a blog page about good tools he is currently using, so I thought I might just do the same. I like my machine clean, so if I'm not using a program or tool for some time, it's out. I'm not listing the most obvious tools and programs from Microsoft (word, vs etc.), but these tools I use frequently and they help me do my work as a developer and software architect, so in no particular order:

Windows Live Writer - a wonderful tool from Microsoft for writing and managing your blog posts. I'm using it now and will probably use it for a very, very long time. It's that good.

Cropper - a superb screen capture utility by Brian Scott. It's small, neat and looks great too :)

µTorrent - a pretty good bit-torrent client that just works.

Fiddler - web debugger by Microsoft (written by Eric Lawrence I believe) that will help any developer who's into AJAX, REST, ASMX, WCF, plain HTML or whatever project that involves sending stuff over HTTP.

Paint.NET - not as good as Photoshop, but not far from it and free! Written in .NET, this wonderful program gets new features every week it seems. Was #19 on PC World "Top 100 Products of 2007".

Foxit Reader - a light weight, free, alternative to Adobe Reader for reading (and annotating) pdf files. I wish I could replace all programs from Adobe like this, man how I hate the extra junk Adobe installs on my machine. I just want to be able to read PDF files... same call goes to HP while I'm at comapnies that install "things" that bogs down the startup of my laptop.

Gmail Notifier - I don't use Gmail alot, sometimes I'm not in there for over a week or two, so a notifier is required or I'll miss some important message. This notifier is not great, but it works (most of the time). Thinking of boiling my own notifier or just jack Gmail into Outlook...

TortoiseSVN - the "The coolest Interface to (Sub)Version Control". I use this to get open source projects, like IronRuby and ASP.NET MVC. The Windows Explorer integration is really nice.

TrueDownloader - open source download manager I've been using for a while now. As with uTorrent above, there are loads of download managers out there, but this one works and has no banners or ads.

FolderShare - from Microsoft, and it's one of the coolest free tools you can get your hands on. Keep files in sync across your computers, share folders with friends and access your files from any computer. And it works :) If you haven't used this program yet, give it a try. I use it to backup source code and documents between 3 computers.

Daemon Tools - 'nuf said!

Developer Specific Tools and Addins

I thought I'll go through the more developer specific tools and addins in a separate list, so here goes:

Expresso - a powerful tool to help you write regular expressions. Requires a registration code after 60 days, but it's free.

NUnit - one of the most frequently used unit test frameworks for .NET out there.

PostSharp - an aspect oriented programming "weaver" for .NET which plugs in to visual studio and MSBuild. PostSharp is a great tool for doing AOP weaving in .NET, if you need it that is. Read up on AOP before you go there, most times there are other options.

ReSharper - the number one addin to VisualStudio ever written. If you're a c# or developer, this is the one tool you should learn to use. There is so much to say about this work of art from the JetBrains, but it makes you way more productive and it helps you become a better programmer.

GhostDoc - addin for VisualStudio by Roland Weigelt which tries to automatically generate XML documentation comments. No block buster, but it's cute :)

Moq - a mocking library for .NET which takes good advantage of .NET 3.5 with linq- and lambda expressions. My mock library of choise!

PowerShell and PowerTab - if you're a powershell user and also a .NET developer, make sure you install powertab by Marc van Orsouw (the powershell guy), which is an extension to powershell that gives you tab-expansion for the .NET library. To get an understanding of the power (heh) of this, check out this DNR-TV episode with Scott Hanselman.

Reflector - aw, you know this one already! This is a now legendary tool by Lutz Roeder.

Note: the toolbelt image is a leather toolbelt from Charles & Hudson that I just thought looked great

Cross-posted from my blog at
Published den 15 augusti 2008 11:46 by johan
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