Essential Software for Geeks and Power Browsers

Are humans becoming cyborgs? Here is a list of software applications that I for one might actually die without.

  1. Crazy Browser.

  2. What is it?

    A Multiple Document Interface Browser. Bad name - brilliant software. I've been browsing with this for the last year and a half. It's basically just a wrapper that sits on top of IE, turning it into an MDI. (You need to have IE installed)

    Best Features:

    • Leaves your task bar uncluttered
    • Middle click to 'open in new window'
    • use F2/F3 to move through the open windows
    • Kills pop up windows automatically.
    • Items in favourites open in new window (unless you change your settings)

  3. TextPad

  4. Best features:

    • Excellent macro support
    • Syntax highlighting for any language - easily customisable/extensible.
    • support for both types of end of line char.
    • block select mode
    • regular expression support

  5. Microsoft Visual Studio .Net

  6. Best features:

    • todo list

    Wanted: a very lightweight version of, which is little more than an immediate window in run mode - so you can quickly test new lines of code against it. (And which supports intellisense as in version of > 1.0).

  7. Microsoft Excel

  8. If you only had one application on your 'business' computer then it would be a web browser. Next inline would be a spreadsheet.

    Best feature:

    • text to columns

    Most of the time if I open excel I am probably not going to use its graphing capabilities, or use it for accounting, timesheeting or any of your other typical business uses.

    I'm probably going to paste in some raw data and use the text-to-columns feature, plus insert column, to turn that data into something more useable (maybe HTML, a DOS batch file, a big sql command, a piece of generated code). Then I copy the information out, close down excel and start using the generated text.

    The first noticeable drawback of text to columns is that you can't save your settings. (Unless you record a macro, which is like using a bazooka to open a door). The biggest drawback with using Excel to crunch your data (as many people have learnt the hard way) - is that Excel will autoformat your text, screwing up everything from dates to leading zeros.

    I'm imagining a great new developer tool that would only allow text-to-columns and other data manipulation functions (ie. regular expression search/replace), and allow me to do them superfast and repeatably.

  9. HTML-Kit

  10. What is it?

    A very extensible html editor. Lots of capabilities, but still fast, intuitive and non-instrusive.

    Best feature:

    • Plug-in support (and range of plug-ins)
    • HTML-Tidy in particular
    • It doesn't fiddle with your html

    Also has nice integration with FTP, though I haven't had the opportunity to use that feature in some while.


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