So there have been a multitude of SharePoint bloggers out there mentioning what they cannot live without. Most of the time they mention things such as their iPod, their Zune, their wife, their car, their computer, and other tools that they find to be useful to them. I guess I take a different approach in stating that these are the tools that I find to be quite useful to me while performing day to day tasks.

Free Stuff

gAttach – It’s small and functional and helps to make sure that you’re able to send things as attachments to gMail rather than to Outlook or Outlook express.

HashTab – It’s a Windows shell extension which adds a tab to the Windows Explorer file properties containing MD5, SH1 and CRC-32 file hash calculators to verify file download hashes. Now available for both x32 and x64 systems.

FileZilla – So I used to be a WS_FTP’er, but that was back in the days of when I was a college student and I’ve matured… okay so it’s because I feel that I can’t legally use WS_FTP anymore since I’m not a student. Nonetheless, FileZilla is a kickin’ FTP program that even does S-FTP, and it’s free, so why go anywhere else?

Google Talk – Who am I kidding, I’d be like a fish out of water without Google Talk. You know it’s bad when you meet someone out and about and rather than asking for their phone number you ask for their gTalk name.

IIS SSL Diagnostics – So you’re having some problems with that new certificate that you just procured from your favorite third party certificate authority. Look no further than Microsoft’s SSL diagnostics troubleshooting tool. It slices, it dices, it gives you a low down of what’s going on in your Windows Server 2003 box.

Windows 2003 SP1 Administration Tools – Yes, I know probably not for the feint of heart, and probably not something that you’re going to download and install if you’re not doing any Windows Server infrastructure administration, but I figured I would throw it out there for anyone that might go, “Crikey, that exists?” And yes, you can run this from your client machine (e.g. Windows XP, Windows Vista…)

iTunes – ’nuff said.

Flickr Uploading Tools – How else am I supposed to get all my stuff from my camera up on the web?

Picasa – Maybe I’m setting a double standard here going with rivaling online picture sharing providers, but I have to say that the “I’m feeling lucky” filter that Picasa provides is pretty spiffy and definitely helps to show the true colors of photos taken with my trusty Canon PowerShot G2.

PDF Unlocker – While it might not have some of the features of other products out there, it gets the job done for the most part.

CD Burner XP – So I had initially used MagicISO, but found that their technical support is pretty pathetic, so why not use something free? Works like a champ.

Low Cal, Low Cost Stuff

Textpad – If you need a cutting edge text editor and you don’t feel like using VIM or VI or NotePad++, then I would definitely recommend my tried and trusted, low cost, low cal text editor – and if you’re a Java developer you can even compile from it (I’m sure that there’s a way to set it to compile to c# as well, but I haven’t bothered to go down that road yet).

WildEdit – Okay, so this is another piece of software that comes in quite handy when you’re working with a large number of text files and you need to make changes to them – get this it even handles wildcard filtering, how cool is that? It’s saved me many hours of replacing text in the previous iteration of SharePoint (good ole WSS v2).

PowerArchiver – So you’re in need of something that can read and write 7-zip, cabs, tars and gzips, oh and good ole zip files? Look no further then, PowerArchiver could be your new best friend. The cost is minimal and they’re pretty good about free updates too.

SnagIt – So you’re in need of a tool that will help you to grab screenshots and the windows capture utility in Windows Vista just isn’t cutting it? Try out SnagIt, relatively low cost and almost free if you can find the right coupons from TechBargains.

Skype – For when you need to make calls to friends and you’re looking for high quality video, look no further than the clean crisp interface of Skype. The software is free, but the Skype account costs a little yen so as to be able to make outgoing calls to your friends and colleagues on their landline or mobile.

Jungle Disk + Amazon Web Services S3 – So you’re looking for unlimited storage space? Look no further, Amazon’s web services simple storage service utilized through Jungle Disk’s web dav interface provides for a pretty slick way to store your information in a secure fashion in the cloud.

Not So Free Stuff

MSDN Premium Subscription – I don’t think that there’s much more to say about this ‘cept that it has every Microsoft OS and Developer Tool as well as programs to test against that you could possibly want. If you’ve got the $2,200 to spend on it, I would recommend it as it will definitely assist you in your development and testing.

VMWare Workstation – So I tend to virtualize my environments frequently so that it’s simplier to take my work with me where ever I go and push it out onto a development or production server as needed without having to worry if the drivers are configured properly and so forth. Pretty low cost at somewhere near $170.


Windows XP – for some reason, folks actually disable the new start menu on XP and force the classic – yuck! How to get around this? Use this handy reg hack… Enable XP Start Menu Reg Hack