Sunday, February 25, 2007

USB Flash Drive Contents

I finally got around to loading up my USB flash drive with all sorts of utilities and such. Below is a list of tools that I've put on it. I tried to limit it to only tools I'd use on a regular basis. All told, this is about a 115MB worth of programs. But, considering it's a 1Gig thumb drive, that's almost nothing. That leaves plenty of room for music, podcasts and other content.

Netcat for Windows netcat is the swiss army knife of networking tools. No geek should ever be without a copy.
Logo Programming Language Turn any computer into a fun and educational environment. When people ask you what you do as a programer, you can show them, instead of telling them.
Putty ssh clientA lightweight ssh client that has become an essential tool for me. It just works.
Resize, image resizer A small utility to batch resize jpg files. This one is an essential tool when traveling. While cybercafes are an easy way to post your photos while on the go, I've learned first hand some of them have either bandwidth constraints or have just plain slow connections. If you can resize your images before posting them for the world to see, your upload speed will be that much faster, and your dollars will go a lot farther.
Thunderbird E-mail ClientThis one is just too cool. You can install Thunderbird on your thumb drive, configure your account once, and poof, just hit send and receive from any computer on the planet to get your e-mail. It simply writes the e-mail to your thumb drive. I'm really impressed with how seamlessly this all works.
Firefox Web BrowserSame as the portable Thunderbird version, but for Firefox. Most computers I come across these days have Firefox installed - but still, why take a chance?
Process ExplorerProcessExplorer is what the processes tab on the Windows Task Manager should be. This gives you lots of information about what's running your computer (or the computer you're trying to fix), even down to what each individual thread in a program is doing. This is a terrific my computer is slow, why is that? debugging tool.
Handle open file listerHandle is the equivalent of the unix tool lsof. It tells you which files a process has open. This is really important in the Windows world because an open file can totally lock you out of performing any number of operations. This tool does a great job of letting you see what's going on behind the scenes in your computer.
Gaim Instant MessengerA portable IM client. Just set up your contacts once, and be able to chat with them from any computer in the world.
7 Zip compression programThere's nothing more frustrating than not having a zip/unzip program on windows. Windows XP has fixed this by finally making the OS understand zip files completely. But, you never know when you'll run across an older Windows box that doesn't know how to handle this really basic format.
Notepad2Notepad2 is a notepad.exe replacement. It seems to provide many more features than the basic notepad (including regular expression searching and syntax highlighting) and is just an overall improvement.
Berkeley Unix ToolsThe Berkeley Unix Tools is a set of about 40 Unix commands ported to Windows that will run just fine in a cmd.exe shell. Next time you think, Gosh, if only I had something as simple as touch or awk, this problem would be easy to solve - well, now you have them. And you have them on any computer you happen to be at. Cygwin is still the choice to use for a fully comprehensive set of Unix tools, but at least this set will give you access to the most essential commands.
The GimpThe Gimp is an image editing program. It can be used for basic activities, like fixing red eye or cropping an image, or for doing really sophisticated image manipulation.

So, did I miss anything?

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