Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Other cool software you've never heard of

Last time I promised to write about some less crucial but-still-really-useful pieces of software I often use. Here's the "priority 2" list:


  1. Compare It!

    • The best diff/merge utility and thus the third best use of $30 I ever spent. I think it's its keyboard support and light-weight-ness that I enjoy most.

    • I tried (and even purchased!) DiffDog, but then it crashed too often and would hog the CPU too much for my liking and it looks like Altova couldn't care less about fixing the bugs. I used to like Araxis Merge also, but why pay $130 (USD) when you get almost everything (except 3-way diff/merge) for $30??



  2. Hamachi

    • Secure VPN between computers. Fantastic for playing games with friends from different houses or for remote access between two [otherwise] firewalled hosts on the internet.



  3. K-Lite Mega Codec Pack

    • Finally! No more spyware-infected, 54324-AOL-icons-on-your-desktop and 3420-icons-in-your-system-tray multimedia player distributions! These guys packaged up Media Player Classic with a few lots of CODECs. This means that after installing this one package, you can play any audio or video file you aunt Linda will e-mail you every second rainy Tuesday afternoon.

    • Did I mention Media Player Classic?? (yes I did) Well, I need to mention it again, because it means you'll never need to ever see those stupid ads on the side or under the aforementioned funny video Linda sent you. You'll also never have to wait the extra 25 seconds it takes for those damn things to load, skin, check for updates and pop up some dialogs saying "please send us money to help us continue to make your media playing life hell". MPC is slick, fast, small and an excellent example of where Microsoft should have stopped working on their Media Player.



  4. RSS Popper

    • RSS/ATOM feed fetcher, delivers to specified Outlook folders. Works as advertised.

    • This means I can read my feeds from anywhere I can access my Outlook mailbox thus I don't end up reading the same articles over and over again between my work computer, home computer, laptop and PDA. (well, almost, as I haven't quite mastered mail sync for my ancient Palm III on a modern OS)



  5. Expresso

    • Regular Expression Development Tool. Allows you to write and test your regular expressions in a quick, tight loop so that you can fix the mistake before your string contains 5435643789 characters.

    • The testing itself is fantastic as it will present all matches in a treeview, allowing you to expand the match groups to see exactly what was matched.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried Compare It! but I prefered to buy ECMerge ($50 for 3-way merge)...
Handles large files, and folders , I tried with 2GB ++ of data.
Great reports, very fast (faster than Araxis and BC).
And I can make it run on my Linux box.