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Free or Inexpensive Tools

I found some free tools recently that I was really thankful for so I decided to share them with you guys and gals. 

Software Development:

CodeMax -
  CodeMax lets you add a nice syntax-coloring programming language editor to your app (VB/C++/?) with little or no work at all.  You also get the C++ source with it for FREE.  Also, check out this page for a project that adds Intellisense type capabilities to it:

TidyCom -
  TidyCom is a COM wrapper for the HTML Tidy Project at  From the original developer's page: "HTML tidy" is an open source utility for tidying up HTML. Tidy is composed from an HTML parser and an HTML pretty printer. The parser goes to considerable lengths to correct common markup errors. It also provides advice on how to make your pages more accessible to people with disabilities, and can be used to convert HTML content into XML as XHTML.


Metapad -
  Metapad is a Windows notepad.exe replacement.  I'm sure there are lots of other like it, but this one is very lightweight and comes in all different languages.

MultiRes and PowerStrip -
  These tools saved me about $250, one is free and the other is $40.  If you have a laptop with a ATI Radeon Mobility chipset in it, that only lets you output 60Hz to an external monitor, try MultiRes or PowerStrip to force it to output an eyeball-friendly 74+Hz.  Before I found these tools I was looking at buying a PCMCIA video card for $230 so I could use dual-monitor comfortably.

Well, that's it for this installment.  I hope that one of these tools helps somebody as much as they've helped me.  If you know of any great products that aren't listed here, please post them so we can all be more productive!

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Not exactly programming related, but this freeware tool saved me $99 for a commercial tool with the same functionality.

It shows the popularity of your web site which is very important if you want to get a high search engine ranking.

Rick Dantón
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Mozilla comes with a great Javascript debugger and a DOM inspector.

Indespensible for web client development.

fool for python
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Microsoft web developer accessories (not supported by MS). For IE, provides via right click menu:

- DOM Tree tool
- View partial source

I particularly find the view partial source handy -- if I want to see the code for just one small section of a page, I just highlight it in the browser, right-click, select 'view partial source' and there's the code for just the part I highlighted. I don't have to scroll through lengthy html files anymore to find the section.

It's at 

There are other tools available at that page as well, but this is the only one of them I've used.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The link you've just given on the MS site no longer leads anywhere. Have you any idea where they are now. They look neat.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

That's really weird. I just got to that page by searching Microsoft and yet going to it directly via the URL quaoted above doesn't work. Erm...doesn't that break the fundamental model of how the Web works?!

Anyway, try getting to it via the fifth search result link using this URL:

- you can ignore the warning about the tools only being for IE5 as I was able to install them on Windows XP IE6 without difficulty.

John Topley
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Does anyone know of any "Virtual Machine" tools like VirtualPC or VMWare that fall under this category?  Are there any open-source ones out there?  The host operating system would be Windows 2000 to run other Windows Platforms.

Jonathan A.
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Stephen and John --

Sorry about that. Actually I found it by searching 'view partial source' in google, and I was able to click directly to it from google's results page.

I just also tried the link directly in a separate browser and it worked for me. I wouldn't have recommended that URL if I'd known it wasn't going to work for people.

Weird. Let me know if you just can't get to it and maybe I can download it and email it to you -- it's only 116K.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Remove the space from the end of the url and it works fine

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

sorry, i cant resist...

popularity of my web page with link popularity check is....

157.334 points !!!

Regards !!!

PD: i'm really surprised

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Thanks for the "view partial source" link. I needed that.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, January 16, 2003

<<IE View partial source>>

Just discovered that Mozilla has the same feature out of the box. Select some text, right click and select "View Selection Source". Cool.

Jan Derk
Thursday, January 16, 2003

The only VMWare-like project out there was called Plex86 and hasn't had much progress in quite some time.

There's also Bochs, but it's far too slow to be usable.

So sometimes you just need to pay the piper, or acquire a bunch of extra machines from the thrift store.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

There's a small version of VMWare that's pretty inexpensive... so you don't have to shell out millions of dollars for a huge VMWare ESX Cluster.. just spend it on the fast and fat clone box which you'll need to host several virtual machines.

Li-fan Chen
Friday, January 17, 2003

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