Brandon Rhodes once presented a very good talk on the need to sharpen your (IT-)tools from time to time. In short, it pays off to stop once in a while and fine-tune your workflow. Try out new tools. Automate repetitive tasks.
This site contains write-ups of various tools and techniques that can make your (scientific) computing environment a little more comfortable.
Please do not take the information provided here in the way of: “if you are not using this, you are doing it wrong”, but browse through it as if you were shopping at a furniture store. Like furniture, the tools we use are usually the ones we have lying around. Many have been lovingly used for many years. Still, it can be pleasing to change things up from time to time. Invest in a better sofa that fits your back just right. Replace that rickety table with something more sturdy and which seats more people. Get a cool new lamp, not because it is better per sé, but it just makes you smile every time you switch it on…
If you are a researcher/programmer like me, chances are you spend most of your day behind your computer. And when you’re living inside a virtual environment for most of your waking hours, it’s justified to spend some time to tweak it to your liking!
I’ve organized the write-ups in categories. You can find them at the bottom of this page.