The way we use tools, whether we like it or not, influences our behavior styles and thinking habits. Utilizing tools is the first stage to grow up a programmer (and a SAS programmer as well). This talk presents a few simple and powerful tools to arm an efficient and productive SAS programmer: a text editor (Notepad++), a files comparing tool (Beyond Compare), and information aggregators (Gmail/Google Reader). Notepad++ is a powerful and flexible text editor (also simple and FREE) to supplement the shortcomings of the built in SAS Enhanced Editor. Using Notepad++ will significantly improve your user experiences and efficiency in your daily typing and editing work. From an ergonomic point of view, it will also save your hands and fingers. The GUI tool Beyond Compare can compare almost every type of file (including pictures, audios). It is extremely useful in both production and validation programming cycles to compare different program versions (.sas,...), outputs (.txt,.dat,.rtf,.pdf,.doc,...) and even folders automatically. Gmail and Google Reader can serve as personal information portals in this age of Web 2.0 to help programmers to access and manage information from blogs, websites, SAS-L and other mailing lists in a single page
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