Tools You May Not Know About

I got a Potluck notification from Anthony who posted about using git-grep instead of grep for searching. The linked post made a very good point about using stock grep to find bits of text in a project. Most noteably it’s slow.

About a year ago I switched to using the silver searcher aka ag. Are you using ack? Pat yourself on the back, you’re better than most. ags claim to fame is it’s faster than ack and has a 33% shorter command name.

All this had me thinking that there are a lot of tools I use other people don’t know about and vice-versa. Similar to What OS X Applications do you find indispensable?.

My short list follows.

  • ag of course for searching nearly everything.
  • Take some time and tweak your .gitconfig, .vimrc, and `.zshrc files. Little things like git aliases save me fractions of a second multiple times a day.
  • Do you browse reddit? Grab the Reddit Enhancement Suite extension.
  • Favorite text editor? Hands down vim because it works everywhere. Want a GUI? Sublime Text is awesome.
  • Supercharge your shell with oh-my-zsh the easy to configure zsh installer from Robby Russell.
  • Everyone loves Dropbox. If you don’t use it yet, you really should.
  • Reading long technical articles is simple with Instapaper.
  • Fabric makes automating simple commands easier. It’s installed globally on all my machines.
  • xkpa for generating huge one-off passwords.
  • I was a massive Quicksilver fan until I realized it’s continued developement wasn’t rock solid. Little bugs started getting to me, so I switched to Alfred. That little butler hat can do anything.
  • Notes are always a hassle for me. nvALT solves most of my problems without being intrusive or overly complex. Vesper solves the same problem on my phone.
written July 11th, 2013

July 2013

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