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Dust off the credit card

During my presentations at South Florida Code Camp, some people asked on the tools I was using. I went off on a bit of a tangent on tools in general and cut myself off when it occurred to me, "this is bloggable".

The theme of that tangent was thus: Don’t be afraid of commercial tools. The analogy I made was that carpenters, plumbers, electricians, even hookers all buy there own tools to…ummm….reduce friction. The good ones buy tools that fit their needs, regardless of whether it’s top of the line or a fourth generation hand-me-down with a crank on the side.

At the time I talked about this, I was demonstrating VisualSVN. Which is $50. Translated, that comes out to anywhere between twenty minutes to two hours of billable time, depending on your negotiation skillz. It paid for itself probably around month two. And even if you don’t buy that logic, I’ve bought far less useful stuff for $50 which I will leave to your imagination.

You knew of course that I’d bring up ReSharper. I won’t beat you over the head with the amount of time it’s saved me but suffice it to say, it’s another favorable purchase on the cost/benefit scale. I didn’t get a chance to see Mark Miller’s presentation on Code Rush and I haven’t tried the product myself but my opinion is, try ’em both and pick one that works for you. Or maybe you try each, put them through their paces, and find that neither adds to your productivity. But try them. And buy them if they are useful.

In short, don’t avoid something just because it costs money. Yes, you can put up two files in Notepad side by side and compare them visually. But isn’t your time worth the thirty dollars to get it done that much quicker with BeyondCompare?

This post brought to you by the creators of SmartFTP and UltraMon.

Kyle the Pimp

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  • Rich LaMarche

    For code comparisons on a budget, give WinMerge a shot, it rocks. For those laptop backups, give SyncBackSE a shot. It will be the best $30 you spent.

  • http://codebetter.com/blogs/kyle.baley Kyle Baley

    @Justice: You can always use your “supplemental” income.

    @Bill: You almost had me but I don’t have HDTV so I’ll have to pass.

  • http://weblogs.asp.net/bsimser Bil Simser

    Anyone reading this can *always* send *me* money. I won’t promise a tool or anything but I might come over, raid your fridge, eat everything in the pantry, order some pizzas, watch your HDTV, play some Xbox/PS3/Wii and impregnate your daughter. If you’re for that let me know.

  • http://graysmatter.codivation.com Justice~!

    > At the time I talked about this, I was demonstrating VisualSVN. Which is $50. Translated, that comes out to anywhere between twenty minutes to two hours of billable time, depending on your negotiation skillz.

    And what about for those of us where $50 represents *25 HOURS* of billable time?! Huh?

  • Buck Dunn

    Option for BeyondCompare. Gvim http://vim.sourceforge.net/
    Allows you to highlight the files in windows explorer and right-click and gvim-diff.

  • http://www.opgenorth.net Tom Opgenorth

    While we’re shilling, I’d recommend Araxis Merge over BeyondCompare. Sure it’s a bit more money, but it works oh so good.

    Acronis True Image is part of my toolkit too: You just have to have something to backup your laptop.