Greatest Windows tool set of all time

Think you know what I'm talking about? Read on to find out what I think, and be sure to register and post your comments if you think I'm out to lunch!I've always been a fan of Vince Lombardi's "This is a football" message -- you can't be successful at the hard stuff if you don't get the basics.

Windows is magnificently complicated. That it appears simple sometimes to some people is a mark of its success. It's a miracle that some of the people who use Windows are able to do so -- you've met these people, too, and you know what I'm talking about.

One of the side effects of Windows shielding us from this complexity, though, is that we often have to deal with black boxes when debugging problems. There's an awful lot of the Windows iceberg that we never have to look at, and can't -- even when we want to see it.

In this spirit, I've got to cast my vote for Sysinternals tools as the best ever. Never mind that they're free. They also just happen to the best tools I've ever seen to get to the bottom of what's really happening under all the fluff we call Windows.

Armed with these tools, you no longer have any excuse to not know what files are being touched by which processes, which processes are writing to the hard disk, and so on. As with any tool like this, you can easily lose yourself in the details, so you have to have enough grey matter to interpret what you're seeing.

The right tools mean never having to say, "I don't know..."