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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at

Power Tools for Windows

Scott Hanselman has a great list of the power tools he uses for Windows and development. It’s worth a read, and worth checking some of them out. I have used quite a few of these tools over the years, and I find them great, however I’m definitely considering trying a few of his recommendations out.

Ones I like:

  • Paint.NET – Beware the big download buttons that take you to GIMP. Click download at the top and follow the text.
  • 7-Zip – I moved to this a few years ago and it works great. Is it better than others? No idea, but it works well and easily for me. It doesn’t get in the way.
  • DropBox – This works well for me. Is it better than Box, or Live Mesh? I still use LiveMesh, but this gives me a nice integration with a lot of iPhone apps.
  • SysInternals – If you admin a network or an AD domain, you need these.
  • PowerShell - If you work with SQL Server, spend a few minutes working with this.
  • ZoomIt -  If you present, drop this on every machine, and a flash drive.
  • TortoiseSVN – Use a VCS, any of them.
  • Skype- I’ve also tried Oovoo, but size matters. Skype works well for me.
  • Bart’s Preinstalled Enviroment (BartPE) – Saved my wife one time
  • DVDDecrypter- With kids this is handy. Rip your own DVDs and give the kids the copy.

The tools I am interested in trying from the list:

  • Boot to VHD – I’ve heard a lot about it and maybe it will make things simpler. When (if?) I go back to a Windows laptop, I might try this.
  • LogParser – On my list as a way to dig through log files in Windows.
  • Hiren’s BootCD – Probably worth keeping around
  • SyncBack -Windows Home Server is a POS for me. Looking for a basic file server and scheduled backups.

If you have your own recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: syndicated, windows


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