Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pimp my ride

Being contracting for a little while I've noticed that I am going through the same routine over and over again, setting up my new workhorse computer at yet anther work place. I realize those thing help me make less efforts while being same productive. Those are my typical steps, what are yours?

1. Simplify Windows.

I was lucky so far to not encounter companies who adopted Vista as their development platform. It's either everybody around is smart or those unlucky ones die faster than first candidate would answer their recruiting ad. So no experience with Vista whatsoever.

  • Turn off the Appearance Effects.
  • Set folders view to Classic Windows.
  • Purge all junk from the Start Menu (or at least dump it in some "Miscellaneous" subfolder). The Startup folder should be empty!
  • Drug all the important shortcuts to the desktop - Visual Studio, SQL Management Studio, IIS Manager, .NET Reflector, WinMerge, Virtual PC, Remote Desktop and whatever you need for daily work. And clean up everything else: IE, Outlook, MSN, My Network Places...
  • Being younger and more radical I used to turn on the Classic Windows Schema but compared with Vista XP Schema suddenly looks OK.

2. Firefox - surprisingly Firefox is still not a part of the default PC image.

  • Reorganize the toolbar - make buttons small, add "New Tab" icon and move Bookmark Toolbar up there.
  • Web Developer, Firebug - if you didn't try it yet - get them right away. (the OEM version will do) and Wikipedia Lookup addons.
  • .NET Reflector - Isn't this guy a marketing genius? When you start Reflector, it's all you see in the task bar - "Lutz Roeder's .NET Re...", and it eventually will burn into your mind, who you should thank for this excellent tool.

4. Tortoise SVN. There are two kind of shops around - those with Team System and can't get into rehab and those who don't care (those with Visual SourceSafe do not really care). So Subversion emerges eventually. There are another good tools, I know, but I have to encounter Git-enthusiast on my journey to include it to my list.

5. Most recent addition - WinMerge tool. Friendly, simple, fast. Free.

6. Pimping up Visual Studio.

  • Remove stupid start screen and perverse visual effects. They still are in the VS 2008 - who honestly needs them, considering the IDE speed is so precious?
  • Resharper (if I can get it). It is absolute necessity for VS 2005 and I can't wait when Version 4.0 will bring the Light to the VS 2008.
  • Two new nice additions to the VS 2008: Visual SVN and Source Outliner power toy. The first is not free but is absolutely worth it's $50 price tag. The second is helpful for code reviews (especially if code is polluted with #region directives).
7. CCleaner is the best contractor's friend. Clean it up daily and go nuts at the end-of-service time to keep your privacy and employer decency.

This list should do. Completing it gives me a feeling that my first day at the new place wasn't completely wasted.

No comments:

© 2008-2013 Michael Goldobin. All rights reserved