Software Recommendations:

Here is a list of really fantastic software that I would recommend. Sometimes using the right tool can save you a lot of time and effort.

  • MobaXTerm: Linux-style terminal for Windows. By far the best linux terminal emulator for Windows. Packed full of features that make life easier: Saved sessions, package manager, graphical FTP browser, remote unix and Windows desktop, text editor (can be used on servers you are SSHing into), password management, etc.

  • TeXStudio: Fantastic LaTex editor with preview option. Has advanced completion features, macros, etc.

  • Visual studio: A lot of Linux fundamentalists hate everything made by Microsoft, but there is no argument that Visual Studio has the best debugging features. Certain things are probably best done in Linux. One of my favorite features is “peek at definition”: When you don't know what a function does this feature opens a little window for you to look at the function's definition.

  • Zotero: I used to use Mendeley because of text searching, but honestly, it's more trouble than it's worth. Zotero has less features, but in the long run, it's going to be a better option.

  • LyX: Graphical LaTeX editor. After using paper and pen for 10+ years, I actually do all my proof writing using LyX now. It's actually faster than writing when you use macros and copy-paste. Documents can be converted to .tex format easily.

  • SmartGit: Graphical Git program. I'm usually pretty skeptical about these kinds of things, but Git is the best way to collaborate on projects or to back up versions of documents or code that you're working on. SmartGit makes it easier because you don't need to remember all the commands, and is generally a fantastic piece of software.

  • Resharper: Massively useful tool for refactoring code and many other tasks. For instance, you can make a selection of code lines, and generate a function that does the same thing. This can make code better organized and easier to understand.

Smaller programs and tools

  • Chrome custom search engines: This is a massive time saver. There are lots of sites that you regularly search: e.g. your Gmail, Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Amazon etc. For Amazon for instance, I type “ama ”, and then the navigation bar turns into a search engine for Amazon. When I type “dir ” the navigation bar go to Google maps, and give me directions to whatever address I type in.

  • ProkKeys (chrome extension): Tools for text macros. For instance, say that you're tired of typing in your address. When I type “num”+shift+space, this will generate the text for my address.