Friday, December 03, 2010

Powertools – December 2010

Background

Back in October 2009 and November 2009 I had written 2 blog posts about the powertools I have been using. There have been some additions to those tools off late. I thought of listing them down for my own future reference.

Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Edition

With the release of Visual Studio 2010, I have upgraded my development IDE from Visual Studio 2008 to the 2010 Ultimate edition. I love the extensions manager feature along with the performance enhancements done by Visual Studio team. Instead of mixing all the extensions that I use for Visual Studio 2010 in this post, I’ll leave it for a dedicated blog post in itself.

Resharper (VS Add in)

Resharper is indispensible tool for developers. It helps in improving the productivity of developers by many folds. I have been using it for past few months. I am making an attempt not to touch the mouse for any development related tasks. With Resharper you can almost get there. I like the features of this add in like real time code analysis. In my opinion it’s a must for every developer.

Apart from the basic Reshaper add in there are supplementary ones which work along with Reshaper like StyleCop for Resharper. It’s a treat when you have both of them working together within VS IDE. I love TDD and try as much as possible to implement Agile methodology. Resharper is a great tool for refactoring and building software using TDD.

Tweetdeck (Twitter client)

Over the past few years social media has become a very integral part of everyone's lives. I use tweetdeck which is a twitter client. It also has integration with other social media sites like facebook, linkedin, foursquare etc. 

TweetDeck

Sesmic Desktop (Twitter client)

Along with TweetDeck, I also tend to use Sesmic Desktop once in a while. One thing I don’t like about Tweetdeck is the size of the columns. Its kind of fixed. If I use Sesmic Desktops single column view I get a nice full screen updates for any of the accounts that I have set up with Sesmic. In terms of capabilities both these twitter clients are almost similar.

Sesmic Desktop 2

Windows Live Writer 2011 (Blog publisher)

For quite some time I was using the Windows Liver Writer 2009 version. After upgrading my hard disc recently, I upgraded to the latest version of the Windows Liver Writer 2011. Its bit surprising that this is in production before 2011 Smile. Anyways that’s for Windows live team to decide. I like the changes to the user interface. Especially the toolbars which follow the same convention like that of Office suite like MS Work and MS Excel. The Ribbon is one of the nice features. I think Windows Live Writer is one of the best blog editing and publishing software available for free right now.

RocketDeck (Desktop / window manager)

This is a nice little utility to manage the taskbar items. It hides all the active programs into a dock and gives a Mac like menus and feel to a Windows desktop. We can drag and drop the commonly used files and program shortcuts onto the dock. This leaves the desktop much more cleaner and gives a very elegant look.

iTunes 10 (Music playlists)

I have been using iTunes to manage the playlists for my iPod. Even when I am not using iPod, I tend to listen to music on my laptop. I like the simple user interface of iTunes. I also prefer to use the smart playlist feature of iTunes.

Skype (Communication / Video Chat)

I have tried various chat clients including Yahoo messenger, MSN messenger, gTalk and still continue to use them. But compared to all those I like Skype. Ability to store previous chat history is one feature which I find very helpful. I have tried video chat with Yahoo messenger, gtalk and Skype. In skype it seems to be very clear and audio quality is also good compared to others.

Conclusion

I am sure many of you would be using the same utilities. There might be some utilities which are better than the ones I am using. I would like to hear about them. Until next time Happy Programming Smile

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