Friday, 6 August 2010

My Must Have Software Tool-Kit

As a Systems Admin responsible for maintaining servers, networks and other IT equipment on a corporate network; I have come to rely on certain programs that make my job easier. In random order, my particular software toolkit is comprised of the following.

1. PuTTy: Switches, Routers, even servers still are managed through a remote telnet or SSH shell. PuTTy is an essential tool for supporting these systems.
2.Filezilla Server: I have a large collection of ISOs, Service packs and other software downloaded and stored on my machine. When I need to get to them, I just fire up Filezilla on my main workstation and use good ole' FTP to transfer the files I need.
3.TFtpd32: Many network devices can only be patched from a TFTP server. When I need it, it is there for me.
4.CDBurnerXP: Quick, simple CD/DVD burning and ISO image management.
5. Programmer's File Editor: For many people, this has been supplanted by Notepad++ (which I also use). But Programmer's File Editor has two features that are essential in my world. An awesome macro editor that makes rapid reformatting of text files a cinch, and the ability to search and replace none-standard white-space characters. If you transfer files between Linux and Windows and the slight differences drive you nuts, this is the util to fix them.
6. ActivePerl. When DOS batch command files just won't do. It'll be a cold day in hell before I learn Microsoft's half-assed VBscript.
7. Royal TS. A must for a Microsoft Windows Admin. (Because Microsoft is incompetent at building a useful RDP client).
8. TeraTerm. Because a lot of equipment is still managed through a serial console port, and because Microsoft killed HyperTerm. (Seriously Microsoft, What The Hell?)
9. Wireshark and nMap. When you just gotta know what's happening on the network.
10. The SysInternals Suite. I don't need them all, but damn they are handy when you need them.
11. WinDirStat: For when you need to know what just took all that space away.
12. VirtualBox. None better for Desktop virtualization. We may love VMware ESX in the DataCentre, but I love VirtualBox on my workstation.
13. DexPot. When three screens are just not enough. My corporate desktop has three LCDs attached to it. Oftentimes I have so many systems being worked on, that 3 screens are not enough. Solution, DexPot. Now I have 9 screens to work on at the file of a keystroke. And yeah, I have it on my laptop too. Working on just one screen absolutely kills me. More, I need more!

And an honourable shout-out to Fences.  Has really cleaned up my Windows Desktop.  Ironically by introducing a Windows 3.1 type desktop manager.   Everything old is new again.

And that's the list!  Without them I feel incomplete, and anytime I have to rebuild my main workstation or laptop, all of those are reinstalled.  Give them a try, feel the power!

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