DevToys—an open-source Swiss army knife for developers

DevToys

DevToys is like a Swiss Army knife for software and web developers to help with everyday development tasks such as comparing and converting text and images, testing RegEx, formatting JSON and XML data, compressing images, etc.

It is available for free for Windows from the Microsoft Store.

I wish I’d had this years ago.

Continue reading DevToys—an open-source Swiss army knife for developers

Espanso text expander

Editing the default phrases file for espanso in Sublime Text 4.

If you are not already using a text expander application then I highly recommend that you start. It will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of keystrokes every month.

As the name suggests, a text expander application is a utility that runs in the background and looks out for you typing predefined phrases which it then replaces with usually a longer text version.

For example, when I type --@e, my text expander replaces this with my full email address: gareth@garethjmsaunders.co.uk, saving me 25 keystrokes.

Continue reading Espanso text expander

Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

It’s now late October, the clocks have gone back an hour to GMT. In Scotland the nights are fair drawin’ in—it is getting dark earlier. All the more important then to make sure I look after my sleep hygiene.

For the last 14 years I have been working mostly sitting in front of a PC. I’m also a bit of a geek so I find myself sitting in front of a PC even when I’m not being paid to do so.

For years I found it hard to get to sleep at night. It turns out that staring at computer monitor for hours is not great for your sleep. The blue light emitted by a screen affects our attention, reaction times and mood (Source) and, crucially, our sleep.

In 2009, I discovered an application called F.lux that detects where you are in the world and automatically adjusts the screen colour temperature to gradually remove the blue as the sun is setting.

Continue reading Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

PowerToys for Windows 10

Back when I was using Windows 98 and then XP, I installed Microsoft PowerToys—utilities that added new features to maximise power users’ productivity or add more customization.

The good news is that PowerToys for Windows 10 is now available and it offers some great little utilities:

  1. FancyZones
  2. File Explorer preview
  3. Image resizer
  4. Keyboard manager
  5. PowerRename
  6. PowerToys Run
  7. Shortcut guide
Continue reading PowerToys for Windows 10

Groupy—grouped tabs for any application in Windows

Two Explorer windows (This PC and Downloads) grouped with tabs

Every now and then I discover a Windows utility that really makes my life easier and my tasks more productive. My latest discovery is Stardock Groupy.

Groupy allows Windows users to drag and drop multiple applications and documents together to group them into a tabbed interface for easy access and reference.

Continue reading Groupy—grouped tabs for any application in Windows