First post!

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Hello, friend, and welcome to my new blog!

Currently there is not much to see here because I’m in the process of moving all of my projects from my other site,, to here. If you want to get any of the classes of view the forums then it’s best head on over to the other site. Eventually, on this site I will have documentation and examples for all of the code, plus I’ll also be able to post up snippets, highlights and bug fixes much easier. And that can only be a good thing, right?

As this is so far a rather pitiful excuse for a first post (but it is almost 1am, so forgive me!) I thought I’d list some of those “can’t live without” programs and extensions I use for my development or just in my day-to-day computer use. Please bare in mind that I generally use a Windows-based system and so most of the applications I mention are likely to be for that system.

So, in no particular order…


This is an absolutely amazing Firefox extension. It allows you to very easily tweak your HTML or CSS on-the-fly for any site, debug your javascript with watches and breakpoints, see the DOM and what CSS is being applied to any element at all… and a whole bunch more! Honestly, I can’t sign the praises of this one enough and highly recommend it to anyone that does web development or tinkering.


This is one of that programs that when my wife pointed it out to me I just kind of brushed it away thinking I’d not really use it, but how wrong I was! It allows you to take notes and store them in a chronological fashion, but also categorise and tag them. Supports drag and drop, note taking directly from the browser or applications like Word, and makes it very easy to get back the notes. There is a free version (which I use) or a professional version which includes handwriting recognition.


These clever people allow you to test your site on many different browsers and on many different operating systems. But instead of just giving you a screenshot you can actually log in to the OS and use the browser via a VNC-type client. To me, that provides a much better feedback of whether your site works on that browser and OS than an image could ever give you. There’s a paid account billed per month or a free test account. Priority to the machines is given to the paying customers, naturally, so if you’re using a free account you may be disconnect at any time – but I’ve never had that problem.


Have you ever used the built in Windows compressed folder facility? It’s absolutely horrible, incredibly slow and doesn’t support anything very useful at all! Lots of code comes in .tgz/.tar.gz/.bzip formats and the Windows jobbie just goes blank in the face when confronted with those formats. Along to the rescue comes 7-zip. Very fast, integrates right in to the shell, and totally free!


If you use Subversion and have a Windows-based machine then you can do no wrong by installing this client. It integrates directly in to the shell, is very easy to install, is always being updated, and like the rest of the software mentioned already, totally free. I think Subversion (or any repository system) is a really Good Thing to use during your development work for reasons too numerous to mention here, and this just makes the whole process that much easier and so more productive.


It’s a Good Thing.


A free telnet/ssh client which is lightweight and does exactly what it says on the tin (in a manner of speaking).


This is a free SFTP and SCP client which is a great partner to PuTTY. Drag and drop, bookmarks, multiple sessions… All very easy to use.


Well, you’ve gotta have some tunes playing, right? (And iTunes really blows on Windows!)


Though I don’t IRC much (I’m a telnet-based talker man at heart!) I am thankful for this program when I do.


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