Chip Quik
SMD removal. This is an excellent product that removes SMD devices without damaging the printed circuit board. Chip Quik is inexpensive, requires only a soldering iron and flux. Very good video tutorials on using this product are on the site.

Prototyping boards - SMD, Through Hole boards, jumpers and a wide range of prototyping accessories

Curious Inventor
Tools and accessories for hardware designs as well as video tutorials


* Many systems will work across multiple operating systems, all below work on Windows 7 (64) and Windows XP (32).

Merging and Differencing software (Free)
This is a very stable, intuitive and well designed system for source file management. WinMerge allows comparison of source code by entire directories (all files in a directory are compared to files of the same name in another directory) or by individual files.

Tortoise SVN (Free)
Version and Source Control software. This integrates with Windows Explorer on and third party windows file explorers through the right click context menu. Tortoise SVN allows archival, tagging and branching of the code into a local host or server host repository.

Bug tracker, project manager. Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database." This is a web based system for tracking bugs and coordinating team members work. It can be run on a local machine and accessed remotely across the internet if setup correctly. The installation requires no setup for a local machine and installs all the components needed from within the install.

Port Forwarding & Network Utilities (Free - most app's)
This software actually works as advertised and can very simply set up routers to allow remote access to Web applications on a non server PC over the internet. There are several networking utilities as well and you can learn the network gear setup by watching the script run. The utilities can be used to configure remote access for Redmine.

Programmable Text Editor. This is an exceptional source code editor and stable. Multi-pane per file, tab per file with source code highlighting and multiple monitor support. The editor is programable using a structured macro system similar to C and has a learn mode using the keyboard and Boxer has Perl RegExp search and replace.

Drop Box (Free)
Collaborative File Sharing. A great tool for specs and documents being collectively updated by a group. Instead of emailing documents (which get out of sync) one document is maintained by everyone and updated across all the groups PC's along with a current web copy. Drop Box can also update to an iPhone and iTouch. Site has video tutorial.

Windows System Restore and Backup. We have tried many different backup systems and found Macrium always works. It will even back up a raid based system and restore it without special driver installs. This has saved us several times, after being helped by Microsoft to a totally dead non recoverable state on a critical engineering workstation, we were able to recover it in a few minutes.

Windows File Manager replacement. A remarkable and stable windows explorer replacement. You can run all your applications using the XYplorer catalog interface. It is excellent for rapid traversing a complex development environment that may have thousands of files. It allows coloring of working directories to mark active development roots and has an optional reduced tree view that shows only the files structure that you have currently accessed. This file manager is multi paned, multi-tabbed, programmable with more features than can be recounted here.

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