How to make Windows Livable
Whenever I go to a new Windows environment, I like to customize it to make it
more livable. Here are a few bits of software that I use:
- Cygwin, Unix tools for
- Vim, a great editor
a great SSH client
- Mozilla, which I use for reading
news, as well as offline
mail reading and composition. (I use Internet Explorer for day-to-day
- WinSCP, a GUI interface for SCP
- BulletProof FTP, a GUI FTP client.
Actually, I use WinSCP almost exclusively.
- Ghostscript and Ghostview
for viewing postscript files
Acrobat Reader for viewing PDF files
- Paint Shop Pro for editing
- VMWare, which allows me to run
Linux under Windows
- RedHat Linux, which I use for
writing LaTeX and doing software development. An alternative is to do LaTeX natively on Windows with MikTeX
- Norton AntiVirus, to
protect against viruses
- The Proxomitron, an internet
proxy which disables web pop-up windows, animated GIFs, X10 ads, and more.
- Zone Alarm, an internet firewall
which helps prevent spyware from "phoning home", and also keeps the nasty
Internet from seeing my computer. Lately I've been experimenting with Tiny Personal
Firewall, since ZoneAlarm seems to not play well with VMWare's
- TaskInfo 2002,
which provides much better info than Windows' task manager
which allows me to view and control Windows and Mac computers remotely
- TrayThis! , which allows me to force taskbar entries to go to the system tray. For example, I minimize my VMWare window to the task tray, and just SSH into it. (In fact, I have Cygwin's sshd running, so I can ssh into the windows side as well. PuTTY for everything!)
- Effective Desktop
has a lot of features, but the one I like the best is the ability to hide
tray icons a la Windows XP
which provides a graphical view of how space is being used on the hard drive
- WinAmp, the premiere audio player
for Windows. Also check out WinAmp Slider
for hotkey bindings for controlling WinAmp as well as an easy way to get
WinAmp out of the way. I also use out_ds for crossfading, and TomSteady
for maintaining a consistent volume across songs.
- WinMerge, a powerful visual
differencing and merging tool. (Beats all that I've seen for Unix.) Be sure
to download the beta version from the Files category on SourceForge.
- Daemon Tools provides a
quick and easy way to mount CD images as drives. No need to burn CDs!
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