Every here and there, I run up against a product that is ‘all that and a bag of chips’. As a die-hard capitalist, the best reward for good products in my view is to purchase it. As it is, I already own Beyond Compare from Scooter Software. It is, hands down, the best compare and merge software available on the market for Windows (and there’s a Linux version as well, but I have no experience with it). With Beyond Compare, you can compare directories, files, and even images. The merge and 3-way merge tool is simply amazing in its execution. I got so addicted to it, I purchased my own copy of it when I no longer had access to a license from one of my jobs.
I started off with it when I was managing a distributed portal. I could point BC to two different directories and it could tell me at a glance which one had files missing, which files were different, and exactly what was different in those files (including images which would show a pixel by pixel comparison).
I just emailed them because, as I’m now doing contracting, I’m not going to be locked into a particular computer and wanted to see how I could purchase a “portable copy” for installing and uninstalling as need be. Turns out, my license at home covers it, so I’m golden. Figured I could at least point them out to anyone here who might be able to use them since it’s damned good software.
For ~$30 for the standard package, it’s beyond reasonable in its pricing and if you do any sort of coding, you owe it to yourself to at least give the demo a shot.