Tools / Utilities – I love using December 29th, 2011

Vinod Kumar

With the New Year 2012 not far off, let me take a moment to tell you some of the tools that I have used for almost ages without even thinking twice. These get installed almost every time I do a refresh / rebuild on my Laptop. Couldn’t resist and hence thought of sharing. (Order of the tools are just random)

1. Sysinternals – ZoomIt and Process Explorer

I have been using the SysInternal tools for such a long time. As a presenter, the ZoomIT tool is a must have for any session. It gets used almost in every session I am involved. The second tool that I use with passion is the Process Explorer. When used correctly, there is so much learning that you can get from this tool. I have also used Process Explorer sometimes to understand how SQL Server works – that powerful this tool is.

2. TreeSize – Free Version

Finding the space utilization of your HDD is something I grapple with almost when my HDD runs out of space. HDD space is so cheap and we have so much to learn.

I still remember the days when I had to use floppy disks to boot and work on BASIC, FORTAN etc. Those were the days :). Now even with 500GB HDD I seem to be looking out for where to get that extra ounce of space free – what an irony !!!

How many of you use a Paging file in your machines? Ever since I got 6+GB of RAM I stopped using them.

There is a Professional version of the Tool giving you great color formatting and other extra features, but if you are a home power user, the Free version just fits the bill in my opinion.

3. WordWeb – Free Version

This was a wonderful utility that one of my friend pointed long time back. Ever since I started getting into a typing routine, this tool has come handy. With a flip of CTRL + ALT+ W, I have a dictionary for quick reference. Loved the shortcut when highlighting and selecting the shortcut I get to the meaning directly. Atleast, this is one step easier when compared to Copy and Paste this over a website for the meaning. The Free version here again has worked wonders for me.

4. SpaceMonger v1.4.0

I don’t know how many space visualizing tools I will use, but apart from TreeSize I also use this nifty tool. Check the free software of v1.4.0 and it is quite handy. This is similar to the SQL Internals Viewer available on CodePlex now for your HDD space.

5. Slickrun

This is another tool which once my good old friend Sanjay Shetty from INETA introduced to me. This tool reminded me of the old days TSR programs that I wrote in my college days :). The sleek blue mini-bar can be placed at any location over the screen and it so prominent. I have used this to watch my timing when doing sessions. The super cool part of this tool is the concept of MagicWords which can be used as shortcut to commonly used programs. Powerful and interesting tool.


This is not an exhaustive list of tools I use, but this was a start that I thought was worth sharing. Also, tell me if you have used these tools or you have better tools to suggest that you use almost daily at work.

Do pass me your comments to if you want to see something similar list for working with SQL Server? Your comments are most welcome !!!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 15:46 and is filed under Personal, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Tools / Utilities – I love using”

  1. All Sysinternals tools and TreeSize are my favourites!

    This list is a good one. Thank-you for taking the time out to consolidate the same.

  2. Thanks for providing the list.
    I am already using ZoomIT and WordWeb. These are very useful.

  3. Phani says:

    Hi Vinod,

    Very recently I observed that you moved your blogging to new space. Post that I have seen almost 3 blogs which are at a different level (more catchy) than earlier (my impression. Thanks for all your service to community. I really love it personally and currently I am involved in MSDN forums.

    Thanks for the list you provided. Obviously I am (infact every one) interested in getting to know about the tools that you use for SQL Server trouble shooting. Hope they include RML utilities, SQL Nexus, PAL tool and SQLDiag etc. It would be really helpful if you can suggest for which scenario, what kind of tool would be of use and also for general assessment of SQL Server health which tools needs to be used from the list that you are going to provide.

    Looking forward for your blog and Wish you a very happy new year and bright future. :) Have a great time ahead.

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Phani – Thanks for your note. Glad to hear you are enjoying the posts these days.

      Wow, the SQL Tools were indeed those only. Would want to write about them when time permits. Each one is a Gem all by itself – trust me :).

  4. Pinal Dave says:

    ZoomIT is my favorite.

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