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Developer Tools For Windows#

how must have it is to me
strike-through recommended in past but discommend now

Windows Privacy#

  • ⭐⭐⭐ open-source tool to enforce privacy & security best-practices on Windows and macOS
  • github repo
  • ⭐⭐ O&O ShutUp10++: Free antispy tool for Windows 10 and 11
  • ⭐⭐ O&O AppBuster: uninstall useless preinstalled windows apps/bloatware
  • WPD: windows privacy dashboard

Making Windows tolerable#

  • Chocolatey: package manager for windows
  • Keypirinha: launcher like alfred/quicksilver
  • Cmder: terminal emulator
  • Everything: fast search
  • Rapidee: environment vars editor
  • 7PlusTaskbarTweaker: saner taskbar settings
  • MS PowerToys: better window manager and other niceties
  • XYplorer: better and performant file manager
  • uBlock Origin: ad block
  • Sioyek: PDF viewer designed for reading research papers and technical books
  • BleachBit: disk space cleaner, Privacy Manager and System Optimizer
  • Safing Portmaster: excellent firewall
  • WizTree: fast disk space analyzer
  • BCUninstaller: bulk program uninstaller with advanced automation
  • Remote Desktop Connection Manager
  • 1Password: password manager with better integration across mobile apps/sites
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Uninstaller
  • if you install adobe stuff, do yourself a favor and remove the 12 services they install for lulz even when you're not using any adobe product
  • you can uninstall CreativeCloud desktop app while keeping photoshop/premiere/etc
  • Firefox
  • Tree Style Tab Extension: Tree column view of all your tabs
  • Stylus Extension: make youtube distraction free and remove notifications/likes showing up on page
  • Clover: Tabs in explorer
  • Display Fusion: virtualize desktop; use it to split my 33" monitor into two virtual monitors
  • Duet + iPad Pro 3rd Gen + Pencil: Turn my iPad Pro into a Cintiq

Media Apps#

  • yt-dlp: youtube-dl fork with additional features and fixes for downloading videos
  • YouTube Transcript: web-based youtube transcripts
  • yt-wsp: script to transcribe live stream VODs using
  • yt-whisper: automatic youtube subtitle generation
  • LosslessCut: swiss army knife of lossless video/audio editing
  • ScreenToGif: screen capture


  • ⭐⭐⭐ Houdini: Deserves its own post but hands down my favorite program in recent memory. It's more like a platform with a built in DCC app. I use it for prototyping, machine learning, math visualization, everything
  • ⭐⭐⭐ PureRef: This is a god send for pulling references
  • KeyframePro: video player for animators; allows markups and stuff
  • 3D Max: what I started with
  • Maya: only use it enough to get around
  • Marvelous Designer: for clothes
  • RedShift: for renders; fast GPU + constant development unlike Octane
  • Photoshop/Premiere

SysAdmin/Poor man's devops#

  • ⭐⭐⭐ SysInternals: Awesome set of windows sys tools
  • ⭐⭐⭐ AllTools: another awesome set of sysadmin tools by Pavel Yosifovich of Windows Internals fame
  • ⭐⭐⭐ SystemInformer: Built on sysinternals, it's a user friendly taskmanager/process explorer replacement
  • ⭐⭐ TotalRegistry: advanced registry editor by Pavel Yosifovich
  • ⭐⭐ O&O RegEditor: better registry editor
  • Rohitab Api Monitor: Amazingly well written; use it for api hooking
  • Fermion: UI wrapper for Frida, a dynamic instrumentation toolkit
  • NTLite: I use it to help my ghetto bare metal provisioning for windows
  • Powershell: Powershell Desired State Configuration for poor man provisioning
  • boxstarter

Research/Personal Productivity#

  • ⭐⭐⭐ RescueTime: Auto track where my time goes
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Houdini
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Workflowy: tasking software
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Obsidian: Knowledge management alternate since OneNote isn't progressing
  • Trillium: Currently trying this out as my onenote replacement
  • Notion: Knowledge management alternate since OneNote isnt progressing
  • Diigo: Knowledge repository integrated with google search
  • Mathematica: Preferred it over matlab but has annoying learning curve
  • Geogebra: powerful Math graphing calculator
  • Desmos: online only Math graphing calculator
  • Mathcha: math notebook bc screw latex; it's 2018
  • SpeedCrunch: cli driven, high precision scientific calculator
  • Qalculate!: multi-purpose desktop calculator
  • OneNote: This was such an amazing program but hasn't seen much innovation in 4 years I've abandoned this since it's been rotting over the last 4 years.
  • Mendeley: Knowledge repository for papers (where I store all my Siggraph papers) Turned to shit post Elsevier acquisition


  • ⭐⭐⭐ liveplusplus: imho, absolute necessity with UE4. Makes iteration bearable with fast hotreload. With plugin, you can get up & running in 2 mins
  • BeyondCompare
  • Sublime Text
  • Sublime Merge/Git Extensions
  • UIForETW: Use this over Very Sleepy; pays dividends
  • VS2017:
  • visualassist: Makes large C++ codebases manageable
  • Visual Commander: easy scriptable modification of VS UI (eg: autoattach to ue4 process with a button)
  • Debug Single Thread
  • RenderDoc
  • Nvidia Nsight Graphics/PIX
  • WinDbg: still has features vs debugger doesnt
  • VSCode: Okay, I was a hater/skeptic but now I'm drinking the koolade. It's replacing sublime for me bc it's almost as fast/snappy
  • vcpkg: C++ library manager that surprisingly works
  • PVS Studio: Static Analyzer


  • Python: MiniConda3 distro. Libs I use as python novice
  • click: Make easy CLI apps
  • cogapp: use it for our inline C++ codegen
  • boltons
  • glom
  • colorama
  • winregistry
  • requests
  • pybars3
  • hsluv
  • p4python
  • Powershell
  • Shadershop: Dont use it bc its proof of concept but wanted to sneak it here so someone can fully flesh it out. Silly in 2018 we still have to do this in our heads (but real motivation is my brain is getting older and can't do it as well anymore #MathIsASportForTheYoung)

More Resources#