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What’s on Your Hard Drive?

The name of this department, “What’s on Your Hard Drive?”, suggests software that’s installed locally on your desktop or laptop. With the amount of software that now runs on remote servers accessed through a Web browser, however, we’re expanding our scope to include any of these thin client tools or services that you might find useful. So stop by and let us know what’s on your hard drive…and what isn’t.

Who: Tim Butler
What industry: Technology vendor (software, hardware, etc.)
Job title: Software engineer
Flavor: Develops on Linux, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX for Linux, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX
Tool I love! DTrace. While perhaps not typically considered a dev tool, it is to those of us in performance analysis. The global integrated view from Java bytecode, to native user space, to kernel, to device driver, is unparalleled.
Tool I hate! Visual Studio. Its complicated bloat makes automated audited builds nearly impossible. All dev tools need to be version controlled to ensure repeatability, and VS makes that impossible.

Who: Christopher Ness
What industry: ISP/Telecommunications, energy, cable, utilities
Job title: Project designer
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows Mobile
Tool I love! Subversion. Subversion and the revision control it offers has saved my work more times than I can count. I would be lost without the history of my code that it provides.
Tool I hate! The mouse. I hate having to take my hands off the keyboard. I wish developers would think more about power users and shorten the keystrokes to do common tasks, allowing me to work as fast as I can think.

Who: Ernie Stewart
What industry: Manufacturing (noncomputer)
Job title: Application architect/business analyst
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows
Tool I love! Visual Studio. Everything I need to develop professional business solutions fast is under one roof—editor, compiler, debugger, help system, database/query tools, wizards. My favorite feature is Intelli- Sense, because with it I don’t have to remember identifier names or function syntax. I like being told I’ve made a mistake before compiling and testing.
Tool I hate! NetBeans. It’s hard to understand what it’s trying to abstract. I often prefer to use external HTML and resource editors rather than installing and configuring plug-ins. With Visual Studio it’s ready to go right out of the box.

Who: Brian Donovan
What industry: Technology vendor (software, hardware, etc.)
Job title: Software engineer
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows, GNU/Linux
Tool I love! EditPlus, a beautifully simple text editor for Windows. Once it gets code folding (in beta now), it will be perfect. EditPlus is totally color customizable and has syntax highlighting, line numbers, visible whitespace, and UTF-8 support. It feels infinitely customizable. SciTE (Scintilla Text Editor) comes close (and already has folding), but needs intelligent word-wrap and a prefs UI.
Tool I hate! Eclipse. It is frustrating because it has so much potential (because of the plug-ins available), but, unfortunately, the prefs UI is a mess and there’s no soft wrap (though someone has taken this on as a Summer of Code project), which is a killer for me.



Originally published in Queue vol. 4, no. 8
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