Every month in MSDN Magazine, our Toolbox column, written by Scott Mitchell, highlights handy utilities that simplify development tasks and extend the reach of your applications.

In the December installment of Toolbox, Scott shows you the .netLIVEHELP live chat help solution for your ASP.NET Web site, automated code converters like that take your Visual Basic code to C# or C# to Visual Basic, and the UltraMon Smart Taskbar to efficiently extend the taskbar across all screens of a multi-monitor setup.

Scott's book highlight reviews Head First Design Patterns by Eric and Elisabeth Freeman (O'Reilly, 2004), which covers all of the essential design patterns in an entertaining manner.

Back in the November installment of Toolbox, Scott covered tools that let you add Excel-like spreadsheet grids to Windows Forms, add date-picker controls to your Web site, and quickly compare and merge files. Plus Scott reviews Matt Gibbs and Dan Wahlin's Professional ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX (Wrox Press, 2007).

To keep up with the latest utility highlights, subscribe to the Toolbox RSS feed today.

Enjoy!