Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Productivity Tools

I've developed a list of my favorite productivity tools for a presentation to my local beCamp.

I'm a Java developer but if you are not a programmer that doesn't mean these tools aren't for you. I do a variety of tasks and I want these tools to be available to me on whatever system I'm using. Feel free to comment and recommend others.

Top Favorites

  • Beyond Compare (file and folder comparison, desktop, network, server, ...it does it all)
  • Hypersnap (screen capture and editing)
  • FinePrint (printer output control)
  • Wiki on a Stick (portable wiki)
  • BareGrep
  • BareTail


  • Secure CRT 32 (Telnet, SSH, rlogin)
  • Filezilla (FTP)
  • Putty (Telnet, SSH, rlogin)
  • CurrPorts (show open ports)
  • SmartSniff (packet sniffer)
  • SocketSniff (socket sniffer)


  • Oracle SQL Developer (oracle database client)
  • Toad (oracle database client)
  • Textpad (text editor)
  • Notepad++ (text editor)


  • Synergy (software KVM)
  • Second Copy (backup)
  • RocketDock (application launcher)
  • Launchy (application launcher)

BeyondCompare www.scootersoftware.com

My number one all-time favorite & must-have.


  • Compare files & folders between desktop or FTP hosts.

Favorite Features
  • Visualize and merge changes in files or folders.
  • Synchronize folders and file systems such as Test & QA servers (via FTP & its fast), thumb drive contents.
  • Compare & navigate Zip and Jar file contents
  • Windows File System Explorer integration


  • Windows; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, 5; Fedora 4 - 10; openSUSE 10.3, 11; Ubuntu 6.06 - 8.10

Wish List:
  • Mac version (please let me know if you hear of anything like this for Mac)
  • $30 (Standard), $50 (Pro) --well worth the cost!.

It pays for itself by quickly showing me what files are different

Beyond Compare Example of a folder comparison.

Note: This is a comparison of a folder on my local Windows file system with a folder on a Unix server. This is very handy to compare configuration files between Test and QA systems.

Beyond Compare Example of a file comparison

Note: Again, this is showing me the contents of a file on my local Windows system versus a file on a Unix server.

Hypersnap www.hyperionics.com


  • Windows screen capture and image manipulation

Favorite Features
  • Scrolling window capture handy for capturing from browser
  • Vertical and horizontal trim
  • Text snap
  • Image resizing, color correction & other standard image manip. features

Platform: Windows

Cost: $35

Another of my favorite and most-used applicaitons.

See also HyperCam which captures action and sound from a windows desktop and saves to AVI format.

FinePrint www.fineprint.com


  • An intermediary virtual printer that lets you preview and manage what gets printed and how, then lets you send it on to the printer of your choice.

Favorite Features

  • See it before it goes to the printer (save paper)
  • Print two, four or eight per page (save paper)
  • Convert page size (i.e. from legal to letter)
  • Delete unwanted pages
  • Add borders, gutters, headers, watermarks, footers
  • Combine multiple print jobs into one
  • Easy to bypass if desired, easy to select different printers

Platform: Windows

Cost: $49.95

Another top favorite!Very stable, low memory footprint

Synergy synergy2.sourceforge.net


  • Share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware.
  • Intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s)..

Favorite Features

  • Cut and paste between computers
  • Works w/ multi-monitor configurations

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Unix

Cost: $0.00, but a project worth supporting

Latest release April 2, 2006
Requires TCP/IP

Wiki on a Stick stickwiki.sourceforge.net


  • A wiki that lives in one small self-modifying XHTML file

Favorite Features

  • Organize your favorite sites, project URLs, etc
  • Easy to edit
  • Quick and dirty web site mock up
  • Organize your kids/wife's/parents internet favorites

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Unix

Cost: $0.00, but a project worth supporting

BareGrep baremetalsoft.com


  • Search for files on a windows file system
  • Regular expressions text search
  • Wildcard and regular expressions file search
  • Shows search results in context

Favorite Features
  • Single small executable
  • High performance

Platforms: Windows only

Wish List:
  • Connect and search via FTP, as in Beyond Compare

Cost: $0.00, there is a $25 'pro' version with additional features

BareTail baremetalsoft.com


  • File / log monitoring tool
  • Follow tail mode (like tail -f on Unix) 

Favorite Features

  • Configurable text highlighting
  • Single small executable
  • High-performance search algorithm
  • Save, name and manage text search patterns

Platforms: Windows

Wish List:
  • Connect and tail via FTP connection as in Beyond Compare

Cost: $0.00, there is a $25 'pro' version with additional features


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