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The slightly weird tools on my machine

adambrandizzi profile image Adam Brandizzi ・2 min read

I don't use anything really obscure: most of my favorite tools are quite known or used to be popular. Yet, I really, really wanted to take part in that discussion about arcane tools, so I've built my list. My platform is Ubuntu but, most of the time, there will be alternatives elsewhere.

For starters, it is not possible to live without a a clipboard manager. Mine is ClipIt. Seriously, everyone needs a clipboard manager.

Terminal multiplexers are another tools that deserves more adoption. I'm a heavy user of GNU Screen, other people prefer tmux, but the concept is what matters. It is like having tons of open terminals but without the tons of windows. It can be useful as a poor man's daemon, too. And there is no risk of killing processes by closing the window! Once you get used, you can make some nice tricks. For example, I scripted it to set up environment variables when starting different profiles. Quite useful!

As a Firefox user, I find some extensions really useful. GreaseMonkey is one of them. It automatically executes JS scripts in any page. It used to be way more popular, I believe it deserve more attention!

Another one is NoScript, to prevent JavaScript execution on my browser. A lot of JS running out there is basically unnecessary or downright damaging. Selecting what to run can be annoying sometimes but saves a lot of performance and strengthens security and privacy. Also, I find this extension deeply instructive!

Apparently, a lot of companies have to run code on my computer to display the news.
A mere Forbes article can execute a lot of code on my machine. What is it all doing?

(Still regarding Firefox, its profile system can be quite useful, especially when paired with the right extensions. I have talked about it in another post, by the way.)

Finally, back to the terminal, I have to recommend The Silver Searcher, aka ag. I rarely user grep (or ack) those days in the interactive terminal. After all, ag is recursive by default, supports extended regular expressions, have facilities to search only files of a type and, well, is shorter to type. Naturally, grep will always reign on my scripts but ag proved to be a great alternative.

And you, have you ever used any of those (or alternatives to them)? If no, which less known tools do you use? Let us know in the comments! :)

(Banner by Biser Todorov from Wikimedia Commons)

Discussion

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hhommersom profile image
Henk Hommersom

Using sift instead of ag. Way faster (certainly on windows). Ditto as windows clipboard manager. Greenshot for screendumps

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adambrandizzi profile image
Adam Brandizzi Author

Now I'm really curious about sift, mostly due to it conditionals feature. I keep myself asking for it all the time! Let's check it!

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aodev profile image
AoDev

tmux + tmuxinator

They let me start any development environment / scripts quickly. The only thing I do when I arrive at the office is mux start myjob and boom everything ready. Same for any project.

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Adam Brandizzi Author

I didn't know tmuxnator. That's awesome!

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vinneycavallo profile image
vinney cavallo

Thanks for reminding me to install a clipboard manager on Ubuntu! Your tools look a lot like mine :)

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adambrandizzi profile image
Adam Brandizzi Author

Happy to help :) Are you using ClipIt or something else? I used to use Parcellite but it just became unusable at a point, especially in the command line...

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vinneycavallo profile image
vinney cavallo

A couple of weeks ago I started looking at the various options but hadn't settled on one. Will probably go with ClipIt if for no other reason than you mentioned it :D

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crazy4groovy profile image
crazy4groovy

AgentRansack is a pretty good grep alternative in a Windows environment, what with having a GUI and all :)

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Adam Brandizzi Author

Interesting, it can search even Microsoft Office documents, right? This is quite advanced!