Gotta-Have-It Stuff

I've subscribed to Frans Bouma's blog for quite some time. He wrote a post earlier this week that echoed a meme floating around various development blogs and, at the end, he "tagged" anyone who was reading the post.

Let me just pass on the torch to every dear reader of this blog. So if you read this item, you are up next.

Not having been "tagged" before (it doesn't happen much when you have two readers -- and they're both just different browsers on your own machine ;-) ), I started to give it some thought.

What are the things in my life that I've just "gotta have"? The must-have gadgets and tools that I wouldn't want to do without.

I should make two very important distinctions... first is that the most important thing I have in my life is obviously my family, but they're not "things". The stuff below is a list of simple, material possessions. Secondly, let's ignore for the moment that all any of us really needs is sustenance, shelter, and safety. The point of the meme is simply to point out the gadgets, tools, or prized possessions you enjoy... so here's what I came up with.

Gadgets and Toys

Xbox 360 - While it was originally just mine, it's become something the whole family uses now. From the media center capabilities to family-friendly games on Xbox Live Arcade, there's plenty here for the non-hardcore gamer.

Nikon D70 - I wish I were better at taking photographs than I am... I do alright, but I try to avoid the Auto modes and my best pictures usually still require some trial-and-error.

Roland V-Drums - Rupturing my Achilles earlier this year was a big setback in my drumming. I'm able to do it for short periods now and it's very relaxing to put  my iPod on the 'Drums' playlist and work up a sweat.

Tivo - Once you've time-shifted television, there's no going back. And don't tell me about your Comcast or Dish Network DVR... it's not the same.

iPod - It's not my first MP3 player, but it's by far the best I've had. I just wish iTunes weren't such a P.O.S. under Windows. Mine is a 60gb iPod Photo... but I wouldn't mind moving to an 80gb 5G iPod at some point.

Software Tools

CodeRush and Refactor Pro - These tools are like crack for me. I get twitchy if I have to use a machine that doesn't have them installed. I think my team is tired of hearing me preach about how much I love using these.

SlickRun - Probably the first thing I install after Windows... there are so many ways of using it and many of the shortcuts I've defined are etched into my muscle memory.

FeedDemon - Sure, Google Reader's good... but for my money, you can't beat a well-written, fast desktop application. Plus, with the automatic syncing to NewsGator Online, I get the best of both worlds.

Reflector - I can't imagine any .NET developer not installing this on their machine right away.

SnagIt - I generate a LOT of screenshots. From graphics for our dev wiki to quick examples I attach to email messages, a picture is usually the quickest way to get a point across.

I think that's it... I could come up with a lot more (and may do a list like this one at some point -- if only as a Google-indexed reminder of the things to install), but this my current Top Ten.

(Sorry, Frans, that LLBLGen Pro isn't on that tools list yet. I've been meaning to try it out, honest! ;-)