Online Tools That Make My Life Easier

Imagine a situation where you’re sitting in front of a colleague’s computer or one that is publicly used. By definition you’re missing all your favorite tools that you’re used to and you can’t install them even if you wanted to. Here’s a short list of online tools that help me a lot when I’m using a computer other than my own. These do not fully replace the desktop equivalents, but they’re good enough. Though it’s not a list of tools that replace desktop applications, but rather a list of online tools that complement them and some provide functionality that does not exist in desktop based applications.

CIS Security Benchmarks

This one is for the security conscious. If you are performing a hardening procedure for your OS, application/web server, other applications you might wonder how are other people doing that and where can you draw the line by saying that it is secure-enough. A great place of resource in such a case is the CIS Security specifically their resources download page. There you’ll find a form that allows you to choose and download a whole bunch of security benchmarks for various products like Apache HTTP server, Tomcat, Apple OSX, FreeBSD, Windows OSes, Firefox, MySQL, Oracle and various others. When presented with a list make sure to download a copy that’s relevant to the version of the product you’re using. There are archives for some products which include older versions that are less popular now. Newer documents have a very nice layout that include the following

Free stuff and some R&R music

As always there are too many ideas in my head, stuff I want to learn, books and blogs I want to read, things I want to share with others. When there’s too much going on it becomes more difficult to write about any of those, but I’m trying to become more organized so I’ll do my best to post regularly and more often, whenever I have something to say.

I’ve found some really cool free online magazines about BSD operating systems and hacking:

Free technical books and resources

Recently I’ve been thinking about how quickly technical books go out of date or sometimes just can keep up with the new versions of software constantly being released. I do like holding in my hands a nice printed book and enjoying the process of reading it, but for IT books it’s just a whole different story. You don’t usually need to read the entire book cover-to-cover, most often these books are used as references to help solve a specific problem. And after the solution is found they can lie there collecting dust for months if you don’t run into more trouble that would require you to open it up again. My point is that there are lots of great free books online and I decided to start my own little list of places where they can be found. Now I’m not saying that I know exactly where every little online book is or that it’s the list of the best of them. These are just some of the resources that I personally like. I don’t want to have a huge pile of downloaded books that l will never ever even start reading.

A couple of useful resources

A while ago found this great page that aggregates various posts relevant to developers. Just to remind myself and maybe let others know, if you haven’t seen it definitely check it out –

Recently I had the need to alter an SVG file that was produced by someone else. Now although you can do this by opening it in a text editor and make the changes by hand, but you would need to know the SVG tags, attributes, etc and more complex graphical changes are just too difficult. In my search for a tool I came across an open source vector graphics editor called Inkscape ( It supports files like SVG, EPS, EMF, PDF and some other formats. It was of great help for me, try it if you need to create/modify vector graphics.