Free Developer Tools

Free Developer Tools

These are some of the tools I use on a daily basis for work and for my own projects. I will keep a running list on this page that I will update whenever I find a new tool I like.

Visual Studio

The code editor I can’t live without.  I use Visual Studio everyday in one form or another.  At work I’m using VS2017 Enterprise and Visual Studio Code.  At home I’m working with VS2017 Community.

Notepad++

If you are a software developer, you can’t get by with just notepad. Notepad++ is more like a notepad for power users. I has color coding for a ton of languages and plugins.

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Is it Better to Build or Buy a Computer?

Is it Better to Build or Buy a Computer?

I have built many computers over my lifetime. I do it mainly because I like doing it. But, like most things, building or fixing something yourself is often cheaper. So, is it better to build or buy a computer?

There was a period of time that I mainly used store bought computers. I have built computers on and off for most of my life, but found it convenient to just buy computers off the shelf. The replacement period for an off the shelf computer was about 3 years for me. Over a ten year stretch of buying decently appointed computers, I estimate that I spent close to $9,000 for three computers.

But, when I started to get back into PC gaming, I knew I needed a computer that could keep up with the demands of the games and could grow with my needs. So, I decided to build again.

I have had my current computer for over 9 years now. Obviously it looks nothing like it did when I first built it due to upgrades. And, I’m not sure you could call it one computer anymore. So for transparency, I’ll call it two computers.

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How to Make the Most of Your Day at Disneyland

How to Make the Most of Your Day at Disneyland

I’ve lived in Southern California most of my life. I was born here and grew up within walking distance to Disneyland and I have been, in my best approximation, over fifty times. I have been there on special company events, grad night, holidays, busy times, not so busy times, and rainy days. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way on how to make the most of your day at Disneyland.

Space Mountain

Always try to ride Space Mountain first thing in the morning or try to make it your first fastpass of the day. It is common for the fastpasses to go quick on this ride. I have even seen the return time for 5pm early in the morning. As the day gets later, the line gets longer. The last time I was at Disneyland, I was able to ride Space Mountain three times with a fastpass. This is generally unheard of, but I was able to do it because two other time I got the “golden ticket” through MaxPass.

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Why Telecommuting is Good for Employees and Employers

Why Telecommuting is Good for Employees and Employers

Over the past decade or so, telecommuting has grown leaps and bounds in industries suited to remote work. With the current state of technology, it is now easier than ever to work from home. However, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, only 7% of companies are allowing their employees to telecommute. Here is why telecommuting is good for employees and employers.

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You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget

For years, my wife and I just winged it when it came to money. We paid the mortgage, car payments, utilities, and credit card bills. We spent whatever was left over on ourselves and it seemed we didn’t ever have any extra money. There was hardly ever a time that we weren’t out of money before the end of the month. The worst part about it was that we didn’t even know where all of the money was going. If you want to get ahead financially, you need a budget.

Our spending was way out of control. When the money was gone, the arguments started. I would spend some money on myself and my wife would feel like she should be able to spend the same amount and visa-versa. This often led to hurt feelings and more debt.

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Top 6 Best WordPress Plugins

Top 6 Best WordPress Plugins

I’m often on the hunt for WordPress plugins. Performance and functionality are main things to consider when selecting a plugin. If you select a plugin that is written poorly it could adversely affect you well your site loads. Plus, I can’t stand code that makes my browser throw JavaScript errors. Also, functionality is a consideration. A plugin could be awesome, but unless it does what you need it to do, it is useless. Here is a list of what I think are the top 6 best WordPress plugins.

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ASP.NET Core Active Route Tag Helper

ASP.NET Core Active Route Tag Helper

This C# class will create an anchor tag helper for use in ASP.NET Core. When the current Controller and Action match the specified attributes in an anchor tag, the value “active” will be appended to the class attribute.

To use it, you will need to import a tag helper into your _ViewImports.cshtml file.

@addTagHelper *, CoreWebApplication

Then, wherever you have a navigation anchor html tag, you can add a ASP.NET anchor tag helper. Notice the attribute “asp-nav-item”. Setting this value will active the logic.

<a asp-controller="Home" asp-action="Index" asp-nav-item="true" class="nav-link">Home</a>
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Angular Alert Service

Angular Alert Service

This Angular service is used to display alerts on the screen in a floating box. The alerts are based on Bootstrap version 3.3.7 and are styled as info, success, warning, or error. Bootstrap is required.

Place the app-alert tags in your main page. Then, to add alert messages, use the AlertService in your component, like the example below.

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Get Out of Debt

Get Out of Debt

Debt is bad! It can cause all kinds of problems from the occasional anxiety to financial ruin. Yet, millions of Americans are going into more and more debt every year. Debt is sold with the myth that you can have everything you want in life and pay for it later. This is a disastrous way of thinking. Borrowing money is one of the dumbest things you can do in life and it can rob you of major wealth and happiness. Maybe you stumbled upon this post and you need to get out of debt. The good news is – it’s never too late to get out of debt. Let me show you how you can succeed in getting out of debt.

Changing the way you look at money is really a key component of getting free from the bondage of debt. It takes a major attitude change on how you view money to really change your life. I wanted the best of everything. But, not many regular people have the promise of everything they want. Instead of looking at money as an object that should be spent, it needs to be looked at as a tool to build wealth. Yes, we all need to buy things to live, but if you are paying on cars, credit cards and student loans every month, you are giving up the tool that can potentially make you a lot of money. Money that you are using to pay off loans and debt now could have been worth a fortune with the right investments.

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Structured Data WordPress Plugin

Structured Data WordPress Plugin

Major search engines use structured data to show rich and meaningful search results. For example, if you have an article published on your website, you can tell search engines exactly what the title, content or image is. This keeps the search engines from trying to guess what information on the page is important to the article. Schema.org was founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex in a collaborate effort to standardize the vocabulary used for structured data. In the past, structured data was typically added to the html. However, current implementations use JSON for Linking Data (JSON-LD). I wrote a structured data plugin for WordPress that I use on this site. It includes organizational, article and navigation schemas. While this won’t necessarily give you any better search ranking, it will help search engines show the information you want it to.

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