A great list of helpful add-ons for Visual Studio to increase your productivity.
Looking for that quick way to enhance your productivity when coding?
LostTechies.com has a nice list of products that are essential Visual Studio tools when coding your applications and/or writing your test cases.
Make sure you check out these essential tools (BTW, I love Resharper!).
What disaster recovery steps did I take to make sure this disaster doesn't happen again?
I recently had a business client of mine call me and tell me that their hard drive on their server crashed and their business was currently losing money. Fortunately, it was just the operating system that went South, so a reinstall of Windows Small Business Server 2003 was in order.
After recovering their OS, all of their data was retrieved and everything was back to normal. They felt relieved that their critical data was backed up, but they asked me two questions:
- What are our backup options in regards to the server and our critical data?
- How can we recover quickly from a server meltdown?
Based on the experiences of when a company loses their data because of a faulty hard drive or server meltdown, users go into a panic mode and become reactive instead of proactive. Immediately, they start to implement disaster recovery plans, purchase the necessary hardware and software, and start to document their server settings.
Here is a list of Firefox extensions that answers a reader's email about optimizing web page load times.
I recently received an email asking me how to display the load time of web pages in Firefox similar to what Opera displays.
After reading the email, I decided to dig a little into the Firefox add-ons to locate the extensions that assist web designers in optimizing their web sites.
Here's what I found:
An excellent extension for keeping track of date-related appointments and to-do's including birthdays and anniversaries.
If you're time is valuable, check out this week's review of ReminderFox.
If anyone is involved with open source projects, this news should be an excellent motivator for developers.
Wow! This was a hit to wake up to.
Sun is acquiring mySQL for $1 billion <Dr. Evil pinky in mouth> dollars.
Sun announced it this morning and I also read this from Mr. O'Reilly's blog and since Mr. O'Reilly is on the MySQL Board of Directors, you can't get this any more closer to the integrity of the news.
The techies of the world aren't the only people who use Firefox. It can even be adapted to the executives.
How can executives use Firefox? Easy! Download these top business extensions and you'll turn your Firefox into a business dashboard.
- Meebo (Review)
One problem everyone has is the ability to consolidate all of their Instant Messaging accounts into one. If one client is using their favorite IM, you can't talk to them because you use brand x. Meebo is "IM glue" that holds all of your accounts together in one location: your browser. You sign in once and you are logged into all of your IM accounts immediately.
- LinkedIn Companion (Review)
If you're a professional networker, you already know about LinkedIn. But for those who don't know what LinkedIn is, LinkedIn is like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon and mySpace (for businesses) thrown together. The extension provides useful shortcuts to the site and allows you to search for people looking for employment, look for jobs (freelance or otherwise), or...just people to network with.
- ReminderFox (Review)
An exceptional utility that keeps a list of reminders for you. You can create your own categories, search through lists, and set priority to each tasks. Great for those busy executives who forget anniversaries and birthdays. :-)
- Peekko (Review)
Peekko is a unique extension that allows users to congregate on a particular web page and chat. For freelancers, I could definitely see this as a absolute-must utility for showing progress of web sites to clients while working remotely.
- FingerAuth Password Manager (Review)
It seems security is a big thing nowadays and Firefox is doing all it can to help, but there is one extension that is taking it to the next level. The FingerAuth Password Manager extension works with a biometric fingerprint reader for secure web pages. When you arrive at a login page, you can press your finger to the biometric reader, it verifies who you are, and promptly allows you into your secured area.
- FireShot (Review)
It never fails. A programmer completes a new enhancement and then the boss uses it. Guess what? It breaks, but you need a way to capture the screen to show the programmer the error. FireShot will capture the browser screen and let you annotate your questions right on the image. Then you can send the screenshot to the programmer for fixing. It may not be business-related, but it definitely helps the programmer or project manager.
- eBay Companion for Firefox (Review)
You laugh, but more and more businesses are buying hardware through eBay and the merchandise is cheaper than buying new. Just make sure you are buying from a reputable "business." The eBay companion centralizes all of your bids and watched auctions in a sidebar, so you can monitor your business merchandise.
- Zotero (Review)
Zotero is absolutely fantastic for research users and provides a complete streamlined workflow that allows executives to become organized packrats. Use Zotero to gather the research to make proper business decisions based on industry trends. Take that research and provide that data to the project manager and/or programmers to create one heck of a product.
Everyone needs organized and business executives and freelancers are no exception to the rule. David Allen's best selling book, Getting Things Done, is applied to this Firefox extension to turn your GMail account into a Getting Things Done Inbox. Very useful and well written.
- DataAnalytics (Review)
Take a web page full of data and have someone try to include that in a spreadsheet (Google docs or Excel). Things may get messy...unless you have DataAnalytics. DataAnalytics extracts the data and allows you perform all types of sorting and filtering on your data to make your executive decisions.
One of my favorite money-saving extensions.
For those Bookworms out there and who want to save money while looking for the best books, check out my Fireday review of the Book Burro.
It won't disappoint!
Developer speed links for the day
- How to handle large file uploads in ASP.NET
Every once in a while, you come across a project where they need numerous large files uploaded. Here are some tips to help with that process.
- 4 Guys from Rolla have two really great articles about Using ASP.NET 3.5's ListView and DataPager Controls: Grouping Data with the ListView Control and Two Common Pitfalls When Submitting a Web Form Using the Enter Key.
- Developers should always be honing their SQL Skills. SearchSQLServer.com has a list of the Top 10 SQL Server tips of 2007.
- In addition to the Top SQL Server tips, they also have the Top 7 SQL Server Backup and Restore tips of 2007.
- If you have roles in your software that require different privileges and permissions, Pedro Santos has a good post about Hierarchical Roles in ASP.NET.
- Looking for a speedier ASP.NET application? Check out these ASP.NET Performance Tips.
I know I'm a little bit late to the party with predictions this year, but better late than never.
Predictions for this year will be difficult. So many things have changed in 2007, it'll be hard to pinpoint anything that will come true for 2008.
Well, let's give it a go.
Prediction #1: Mobile Devices will be added to a web developer's skillset as standard skills as mobile devices surge even more.
A book review on the "Effective Visual Communication of Data"
Buy Now From Amazon
When developers write a program, they always envision a product that a user could just walk up to and immediately start using it. For most developers, a dashboard is exactly that.
A dashboard is considered a combination of a really simple interface and a way to provide an at-a-glance view of critical information necessary to use the application or provide relevant data for decision-making. The different sections of the dashboard can provide drill-down points for digging deeper into the application for additional details and, as always, the user is provided with a way to get back to their "home" page or main dashboard.