Microsoft has just released a preview release of IE 9; it is all for public to download and take a test run. It’s a preview release in a “truest” sense because the preview version has lots of limitations: no toolbar, no address bar, no navigate back/forward options, no printing capabilities, etc. etc. However you can press Ctrl+L to navigate to new URLs but cannot go back or forward in the browser history (even the keyboard shortcuts don’t work). It is intended to show the capabilities of the new browser engine in terms of HTML 5 support, CSS3, ACID 3 browser test, and few other standards.

I browsed few of my most-frequently-visited pages and found no hick ups. Looked at the IE9 demos as well and found some of them to be not working.

Get it from

I am sure every developer will have his/her own set of free software tools/utilities on their dev rig. I just love utilities & tools! They save lot of time and effort; some have eye-candy UI and trust me I use them just for that reason alone though they don’t provide any useful features. Since I am a bit concerned that I might lose my toolbox (most of them require no installation), all my favorite utilities are under a single folder for easy copy/move whenever I rebuild my machine or get a new one. Here is my list that I always have on all my laptops (business, personal) and desktops – not in any particular order:

  • Process Explorer (find just about anything about running processes)
  • Process Monitor (big brother of Process Explorer, an integrated tool with real-time registry, file system and process activity monitoring)
  • Paint.NET (simple yet powerful image processing tool)
  • Notepad++ (Powerful code/text editor yet as simple as Windows Notepad; for its features, portability is what I admire about it)
  • Red Gate Reflector (I doubt if there will be any .NET developer without knowing or using this tool)
  • Diff Merge (A neat file and folder comparison tool)
  • 7-Zip (Open-source archiving utility)
  • Autoruns (Find all background applications/executable that run automatically when Windows starts or you log on)
  • Depends (Find all dependent modules of a 32-bit or 64-bit exe, dll, ocx, etc.)
  • Revo Uninstaller (Simple software uninstall clean up utility; serves my needs)
  • Universal Extractor (I have hardly come across any archive or compressed file format this utility cannot handle)
  • VLC (a Swiss-army media player cum streamer)
  • Ultra Magnifier (A screen magnifying utility, not updated for about 7 years now, but does its job very well. I mostly use it to get the RGB color value of a pixel on the screen)
  • ImgBurn (a sleek CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning application; it also dump optical discs as image files and hosts even more features!)
  • MagicDisc (load CD/DVD image files without burning actually them)

I will post you all as and when I update my tools list!