As a developer, I have found these tools to be helpful. Some of them are good for any developer, a few are only useful if you do web development. In any case, this will at least serve as a reference for myself should I need to repeat the setup.
Use Version Control
First, even if you are a one-man development team like myself, it is still very important to use a source code versioning system like cvs or svn. Having the ability to easily revert back to an earlier version or diffing among versions with the aid of either a GUI client or a web front-end like ViewVC makes you wonder how you ever got along without them. [expand on this topic…]
Get a Reliable Server
If you do web development, consider subscribing to a virtual private hosting service. I use RapidVPS and pay them $9.95/mo. I noticed that their website now lists the same service I have for $14.95/mo. Good thing I opened an account with them before they hiked the price for new users. The good thing about a VPS service is that you get a dedicated IP address, root access to the shell, and have a host of OS’s to choose from. I used have my VPS host configured to run FC4, but have switched to Ubuntu in 2007. Now it’s running Ubuntu 8.04. Prior to paying somebody to host a server, I dug up my old 386 and 486 boxes, slap Redhat on them and hook them up to my residential broadband. I could get around the dynamic IP issue with a free dynamic IP forwarding service like No-IP, but a few ISPs have started to block certain ports. My Adelphia cable in Westwood in the early 2000’s blocked port 80, for example. The dismal upload speed also made my site feel very slow to the users. Another problem I had was that, for some reason, power outage was a more common occurance than what I would have expected from a modern California powergrid. Anyway, in any case, I made the switch to a very affordable hosting service, and couldn’t be happier.
To be continued…