My favorite time-saving programs and hardware

Mitch at practical ecommerce posted an article about helpful gadgets for ecommerce owners.

I decided to throw together my own list of programs, and hardware that I currently use that really makes developing and managing websites, and generally using a computer much more efficient. Many of these are not free however, they have all paid for themselves many times over in the time they have saved me.

Ultramon – This is a great program that allows you to run an independent taskbar on all of your monitors when using a multiple monitor setup. They offer a free trial, and I can almost guarantee that you will want to purchase it after trying it for a month. This is definitely a feature that should have been included with windows.

Navicat – This is a GUI mysql managing program. When you start managing multiple databases across many different servers, this program becomes essential. I am currently managing over 70 mysql databases with navicat. I can’t even count how much time and hassle this program has saved me.

Roboform – As posted a few weeks ago, roboform is a password managing program. The free version works perfectly for my needs, and it not only securely stores your passwords on your computer, but it makes logging in to websites much easier.

Trillian – If you need to use multiple instant messaging programs, Trillian is essential. It will free up many of your system’s resources when you use only a single IM program. It is very light, and extremely easy to use. Trillian has a free and a paid version. The free version is good for several popular IM programs. If you need to connect to Google talk or a few others, you will need to upgrade to the paid version.

Cables-to-go USB KVM – I bought this KVM to use for a few computers without PS/2 connections and it is a perfect piece of equipment. It works perfectly out of the box, and offers simple switching between computers attached to the KVM. It also has a 3 port USB hub so that any computer attached to the KVM can share USB devices when the computer is being used. You can purcahse it from tigerdirect for about $90.

Acronis – When you need to upgrade hard drives, or make full image hard drive backups, Acronis is the best program I have found for the job. They offer a free full featured trial, for one time events, and they offer a variety of business and enterprise software for more robust imaging and backup needs. This program is far superior to Norton ghost and any other similar program that I have used.

Feedburner – If you run blogs or websites that have RSS feeds that you want to track, then you probably already know about feedburner. Feedburner just makes managing and tracking your RSS feeds much easier. It’s free, it’s very useful, there’s no reason not to use it.

PDF Password Remover – I am not condoning using this for anything illegal, but I have needed to legitimately un-protect PDF documents a countless number of times. As long as the PDF doesn’t need a password to open, this program strips all passwords and security from the PDF.

Windows XP Power Toys – These add much more functionality and customization to many of the included Windows components. I really like the True type, Tweak UI, and Image re-sizer power toys.

Windows Sysinternals – These are some Windows applications that add a lot of additional functionality to a Windows computer. Many of these are a huge help when running a windows file or web server. Make absolutely sure that you are installing a compatible application for the operating system version of the computer being installed on (Some of these go back to Win95).

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