Last night I had the pleasure of sitting in on Russ’ presentation called "It’s All About The Tools – Episode 1". I’ve sat in on a couple of Russ’ presentations and always enjoyed them, and last night was no exception.
He opened the session saying that one of the reasons he does them is because it tends to get people excited about what they do and the tools they work with, and I have to agree that I feel the same way. I will frequently go to presentations such as these, even when I believe I know the content (not true in this case!), just because it’s a nice kick start.
Last night Russ covered a lot of ground, including introducing us to a snippet tool that’s built into Windows Vista. To find it, just click on the Start "Orb" in vista, and type "Snip". Run the snippet tool and it will pretty much be obvious how to run it. This is a great tool to use when you’re at a customer (or walking one through something) and you don’t want to have to explain how to do an "alt-printscreen, find and launch paint, paste to Paint, select an even smaller area, copy, new image with smaller dimensions, paste again and finally, save as jpeg" process. In my day to day job, I’ll stick with using Snag-It from TechSmith.
A much more important tool is Fiddler. This is an http proxy for debugging the http protocol. I’ve used similar products, but Fiddler looks like a very nice tool that’s priced right (free!), and one that I’m adding to my kit tonight.
The bad news is that this was the 42nd, and last, of Russ’ presentation on these tools. The good news is that 1) The entire deck can be found on his site, and 2) He has begun the Episode 2 tour.
If Russ comes around to your area, make the time to sit in on his session. I certainly learned several new things, and got my creative juices flowing in a mere 90 minutes.