Data Centers

More suggestions for the sysadmin toolkit

Jerry Smith compiled some of the best reader suggestions on his popular post from last month, "The well-stocked sysadmin toolkit."

Earlier in December I posted an article on a well-stocked sysadmin toolkit. Your comments were great, so we gathered up some of the best suggestions here as a follow up. To see all the items in the toolkit, they are combined in this gallery.

Portable Apps

The most popular comment, posted by rindi1 is Portable Apps. An excellent suite of applications you can carry on that USB drive I told you about.


TechRepublic commenter, tristanhood shared his choice of all-in-one toolkit with the CyberTool, definitely a great choice for the backpack pocket.

Telescoping magnet

Jfrange added in a telescoping magnet for picking up that server screw that fell behind your server rack.

You can find one here, and probably a lot of other places.

And how could I forget possibly the greatest invention in the last 100 years?

Zip ties!

Here's one more diminutive office supply hero. If you've ever needed to retrieve a stuck cd or had to hard reset many devices you've turned your desk upside down looking for one of these:

Bent paperclip

Other items not pictured but worth mentioning:

  • Linux boot disk. Many different options here.
  • Carabiners
  • Dedicated flashlight rather than app
  • Anti-static strap
  • Console cable
  • Hemostats
  • Ziploc bags
  • Canned Air
  • Duct Tape
Still other readers came up with their own homemade tools, like this one from Ron:

Way back when, working my way through college installing air conditioning and heating systems (this is pre-computers), I had to run thermostat wires in some awfully tight locations. I found a 6-foot length of beaded chain, to drop down inside walls invaluable!! Now I carry it to fish cables up from behind desks, etc. Just a cheap hunk of chain with an alligator clip on the end.

Any other good ones out there not mentioned last time? Have you invented any tools or put something ordinary to an ingenious use? Still looking for a tool that solves a particular problem? Tell us about it below.


Jerry Smith is an IT Pro with over 15 years experience. He currently is a Systems Engineer for a leading SaaS firm in Birmingham, AL.

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