Increase productivity by using some third party tools

Recently I saw a couple of videos on-line that were talking about live coding and these videos show the developer typing code live on camera. Many could wonder as to how to achieve that level of finesse. In the workshops that I conducted in the first two weekends of August, I also found that the most common mistake that people made were spelling mistakes.

I started off development on the Microsoft platforms and for a very long time I was exposed to Visual Studio and VB had one of the best IDE's. However when I started with xcode, it was much more easy to use and handled code completion from the previously declared variable names, etc. However with xCode 4, Apple broke a lot of customisation and it was back to alternative editors, so I found TextWrangler, it is the best, FREE text editor one can get off the MacApp store. Then I saw TextMate, I found that equally interesting to BBEdit which is, in a way the PRO version of TextWrangler, so it kind of just fits right into what I am accustomed to. There are a couple of other Editors that I have used on and off like, Fraise, Smultron, KOD, IndeEd and CPM.

So while I was writing about this, I thought one of the question that a lot of developers that start out have, what tools should I invest into? So here's a look into my repository of what I have and use.

  1. 1Password - used to save my logins and passwords. I used to use Firefox to save them and then when I lost my laptop, i realised how unreliable this method was. 1Password also has iOS apps to carry the data with you. Review here
  2. Air Display - This is perhaps one of the best software I could have gotten. It uses my other devices, like an older Mac or windows box/laptop and including the iPhone/iPad as an extended display. With the iMac, I cannot just plug in an additional display or worst still, I had purchased the top of the range 27" iMac coz t could be used as a monitor. The reality was that you need another $50-100 of cables to get started, plus while you are using the iMac as a monitor, the iMac would still have to be switched on. Air display software needs to be installed on the device that is going to be the target display. So my laptop can use the iMac as an extra screen without cables, all over the WiFi. Review here and here
  3. BBEdit, I guess I need not speak more about this as it is already what sparked this post. Plus the new version 10 is so cool, it borrows things from Lion and the best part, I can just close the app, it will not bother me with "Do you want to save" and it just opens the files again on next run, all on Snow Leopard too. The UI has been cleaned up in comparison to BBEdit 9. Plus I found out that in the About Box, under "unindicated co-conspirators", they feature me... :) Review here
  4. Code Collector Pro, this is an app that allows collection of snippets that can then be dropped into your editor of choice, thereby reducing the time it takes to write up the same redundant code. This incidentally was the first software that was featured on our reviewme site, the developer had faith and took the step. We shall always remember the support that was provided by the developers in those early stages. Review here
  5. Similar to this is the CodeBox, this is also a snippet collector with slightly more features and a slicker interface. Review here
  6. The first software that I used to manage my snippets was called schippselchen, this was a free software where as the Pro version had more functionality, later both this and the pro version were made available free. I have been using the normal version for all my objective-C snippets.
  7. Corona Project Manager - This is a specific product for CoronaSDK, but perhaps one of the products that has changed the way developers use coronaSDK. Review here
  8. Forever Save - Let's say this is Lion file versions for Snow Leopard. The new release version 2 is much better than the original. So if you are using Snow Leopard and want to make sure that your files are all versioned everytime you run the app, then this is the app for you. Review here
  9. IndeEd - A text editor specific for CoronaSDK, it does syntax highlighting but does not do Auto-completion and block insertions of code snips. However this is FREE and a wonderful effort.
  10. iShowU HD - This is a screen capture app like others, this is best used when I need a quick product demo. Review here
  11. Layers - I have used a couple of image capture aps, including the ⌘+⇧+3 and the ⌘+⇧+4 to capture the entire screen or a portion of the screen. However Layers is the perfect solution to capture a layer (window) or the entire desktop which is saved in PSD format and can be manipulated to remove the windows that you do not require. Review here
  12. Little Snitch - This is what seemed to me like Tiny Zone Alarm (or something like that on Windows) at first look, an irritating app that just keeps blocking stuff. It even shows up in some of my videos. This is cool as I can have total control when "App call home" Review Here
  13. PhotoSync - I do not know what I could do if I did not have this app. It is the best app ever on the iOS device, I can take as many screenshots, pictures, etc from the iOS device and then transferring them over is the simplest task of them all with this app. Review here
  14. Screenflow - This is the other screen capture software that I use when not using iShowU, this is when I need to edit stuff and clean up things. Review here
  15. Typinator - This is another app that helped me while Text Wrangler did not feature code completion. I have code snippets in Typinator that help me complete and retain productivity.
    Review here
  16. Alfred - I was a user of Launchy on windows and never understood what mac users liked in quicksilver. However when Alfred was released, It has been on my system since. Review here Available on the MacApp Store and FREE.
  17. GitHub from GitHub is what I use to store the Code repositories from GitHub, which has grown on my HADD from using GitBox to 5.35 GB and 404 projects.
  18. Just Looking - I have not found a replacement for IrfanView on the Mac, Preview is good for displaying a variety of files, but it cannot just cycle through the files by pressing space. Just Looking was the closest option that I could find and it is FREE.
  19. OmniDazzle - another FREE utility that I *should* use when creating a product demo, but always keep forgetting.
  20. Prismo - to keep track of the apps on the app store. Apple does their accounting slightly differently than the reports from this software, but it gives me a number to work with in terms of downloads and countries from where it was downloaded.
  21. CFXR - I use this at times to provide me with the 8-bit sounds for jumps, shoot or coin collect. The sound generator creates the pings of the 8-bit era only.
  22. Hardware Growler in addition to Growl make it easy to work with devices connected and disconnected.
  23. muCommander - a File transfer utility that is free and works on a variety of OS and also supports FTP, SFTP.
  24. Clusters - I have clusters running doing something to provide me with more space on the HDD.
  25. I had wallpaperclock but then it had issues with geektool which caused me to stop using the wallpaper clock as I never got to see the desktop anyways.
  26. Geektool - Dunno what I would do without this app? I could not be a geek without displaying certain things like all my IP addresses, from VMFusion, Parallels, Virtual Box and the Router, apart from other details like space left on the drives and drives when connected.
  27. Twitter - Everyone needs a distraction, I have Twitter and the AnscaMobile forums page.
  28. TimeTrack - the lite version, it keeps tracking what software am I working on. I cannot remember the windows version equivalent that I used to work with on my office PC to see how much distraction and what was I working on, handy to remember the chain of thought and events of the previous day.
  29. Accessorizer - I am told this is the most wonderful app ever made, I just do not get the usage of this app.
  30. Billings - for creating invoices for my clients and keeping track of all work done for them. The other alternatives fell a bit short on the polished nature of Billings. Review here

There are some other alternatives (most of them free) to some of the software mentioned above.
  1. Screenanium - A screen capture software that I use for voice recording
  2. BoinxTV - used for creating a production style output, obviously I manage to just get by.
  3. TextMate - this is an editor that code completes and also inserts code blocks
  4. Demo Monkey - Apple's source code offering something that I have seen being used for presentation, but could never get it to work on my Mac.

I would also like to bring to notice that purchasing all these apps might not be a very good idea as at the end of the day when added, all these do make up a substantial amount of money. I have all these software legit on my system.

Apart from these, you might also want to consider looking at alternative development frameworks to see which one fits your requirements best. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Hope no one has to say "Told you so"...


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