Tools and Resources

This page was inspired and is a sampling of the complete list found at Scot Hanselman's Tools page. Our page includes tools installed and used by our community members. If you have something to add please bring it up at our next meeting.

  • Stickers donated by the most awesome
  • Microsoft Natural Ergo Keyboard 4000 - If you haven't switched to a split ergo keyboard give it a try.
  • Logitech MX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse (Black) - fantastic and easy to customize each button
  • Sharp Keys by - allows you to change the default action for any key on your keyboard. I install it and change the right side Application Key to be a Windows Key which is much more useful to me.
  • 7-zip - Free, Open Source, and updated often, including 32 and x64 downloads. 7-zip is a file compressor with built in support for just about every type. Use it to open .ISO, .ZIP, .ARC, .TAR, and a ton of other files.
  • Notepad++ - syntax highlighting, open large files, and a must have to replace Notepad. Completely free and open source
  • Beyond Compare v3 - file comparison utility with Merge, Sync, FTP, Version Control and other features included. Well worth the $30 price. I use it as an FTP client and it helps me compare the local and remote files very quickly.
  • - Sometimes it is easier to just show someone and using a remote desktop application is easy with and it is free to use on the weekends. $.25 minute or unlimited subscriptions for $19.95 month. Great for support or helping a friend on the weekend setup a new computer.
  • - Free screen capture and hosting from the people who make Camtasia Pro. Jing works on PC and Mac and allows you to record your desktop and share it online.
  • RegExBuddy - If you need to do text manipulation or just searching using a Regular Expression is the way to go. And if you want to create and test your RegEx expressions this program is awesome! Honestly it's a little pricey at $39.95 but it has saved me hours of debugging thanks to the built in test feature. It will also generate the code for a variety of languages including ASP/VBscript, VB.NET, C#, and a bunch of others. Also includes a RegEx library of common expressions like validating a US Telephone or Zipcode.
  • RegexDesigner.NET - FREE and looks like a nice interface for basic testing. Download at
  • LINQpad - LINQPad lets you interactively query SQL databases in a modern query language: LINQ.  A Free and Pro versions available. the Pro version gives you C# Auto completion. The free version can also be used without an installation disk so put it on your USB Key to share at the next meeting.
  • SQLyog - IMHO the best MySQL manager and admin tool available. There is a community and pro version. The pro version gives you the ability to sync schema and data from different hosts. The community edition is free and the pro is $99.
  • DevExpress CodeRush & Refactor
  • EntitySpaces - A terrific Persistence Layer and Business Objects system for Microsoft.NET which I use a lot. With version 2009 you get Visual Studio integration and LINQ support for collections. Medium Trust support, Design Time Data Binding, LINQ like dynamic query API, supports multiple databases including: SQL Server, MySQL, VistaDB, Access, and Oracle. Also includes a db admin grid template to manage your database from the website. 30 Day trial or purchase a license for $299
  • Telerik Suite - Windows, ASP.NET, and Silverlight components sold individually or as a suite for $1,299. I've been using telerik for years and continue to renew my annual support subscription.
  • DevExpress PivotGrid and other components- OLAP Data Mining Control for ASP.NET. This is an amazing little grid component. Read my blog post and example or try the official demo $299 by itself but I suggest just buying it as part of a suite if possible. Click here for their comparison matrix of their ASP.NET or Windows component suite packages. I've been using DevExpress for the past year and really love the Enteprise Suite which includes CodeRush, Refactor Pro, Windows, and ASP.NET components plus support.