Friday, January 12, 2018

The tools I use - what do you need first when you get a new computer?

Rejoice for the year is new and I get a new work computer! As I'm setting this up, I figured I might as well go over some of the most important essential tools I use to do my job. By no means is this list exhaustive or complete; instead it cover the thing I am installing on day one because I know I'll be using them tomorrow when I have to go back and fix what I couldn't touch today....

General Tools I Use:

LastPass *- Because I have a million passwords I use LastPass to manage them. It will also autofill them in Chrome and Firefox as well as on my Android phone and my Chromebook. This becomes essential as I start installing new apps and logging into new webpages. I turn off most of the "Show" notifications though as well as autofill because many admin webpages I use have password fields that would be best left unchanged. PS, I love setting the password length to crazy long - minimum 50 characters :)
SnagIt - Before I make any sort of change it is always important to make a backup but it is also helpful to screenshot things first too. SnagIt is the easiest clipping and fast editing tool I have found so far. I'll also use it to screencap and then highlight settings I'm not too fond of and then I'll email them to the responsible parties. I'm like that.
Notepad++ with Plugin Manager and Compare plugin - Simple editing of text files, but with the Compare plugin you can see why one endpoint works and the other doesn't.
KiTTY - yes PuTTY is what everyone knows, but KiTTY offers some additional features like login scripting and passwords.
Wireshark - If I have to explain this, you are in the wrong business.
7zip -  We have to work with compressed files that are not .zip files all the time, so using 7zip is quick and reliable.
Evernote *- I use Evernote for most of my documentation and note taking and the cross-device sync function is absolutely killer for people on the move. (remember - don't store confidential or proprietary info in your personal cloud service!)
FileZilla - It is infrequent that I need an FTP application but this one is still updated so here ya go....
Royal TS - I don't quite know how to describe RoyalTS; Terminal Services, Remote Desktop, SSH console, VMWare things... It's a crazy powerful connection manager and a single pane of glass to work with almost every kind of system.
Google Backup and Sync - You should never use a personal cloud service for work files so I strictly use Google Backup and Sync and a synced folder to drop PDF release notes, install and config guides and other things of that nature so I can read them from my phone on the way home or from another computer - kind of like a cloud USB key.

What do you use or need?

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