I got a new toy! It's a netbook, an MSI Wind U100 specifically bought for its dual-boot capabilities. I've got it booting the 2 OSes I use, (as well as the Windows 7 beta, but that's a whole nother post), but setting up all the partitions was a pain, and I ended up having to install Windows a few times.
So I got really good at installing software, and it also helped me separate the software wheat from the software chaff. Here's the shortlist, the free software I find useful enough to immediately install on a fresh OS:
- AVG - always the first install.
- Firefox and Thunderbird - my Internet Explorer history will only ever contain one entry - getfirefox.com.
- DropBox - my wife and I share a dropbox because hamachi's mac support is woefully lacking.
- CDBurnerXP - tiny and handy for when I have to plug in a USB burner...
- Deamon Tools - ... but most of the time I just mount an ISO on the network.
- Hamachi - so I can get secure access to the contents of my PC anywhere.
- Evernote - this has gradually overtaken Onenote for my personal datastore.
- TweakUI Powertoy - mostly for its autologon feature. The cleartype tuner on that same page is also handy.
- Digsby - facebook chat aside, the feature this has over trillian is that your settings are stored online, so you don't have to reconfigure anything, just install, login, and you're done.
- DOSBox - cause Impulse Tracker won't run directly under Windows, but runs under here using an emulated gravis just great.
- FoxIt Reader - this is the PDF reader that acrobat should be. I think the guys who made Acrobat and the guys who made Vista search should get together and build something that doesn't matter.
- Launchy - great little app for launching programs via keyboard.
- Songbird - I hope they put in iPhone sync soon. Death to iTunes!
- VNC - another tiny tool that lets me remote desktop in (over hamachi!)
- VLC - the best movie player out there, if you're cool with your movie files having traffic cone icons.
And no, I didn't forget about chrome. The abridged chrome rant: a) no plugin support, b) UI sucks (we've had minimal UI for years now, hit F11), and c) why suckerpunch mozilla?
Google chrome is like the Ralph Nader of browsers. Ha, well, that's a far cry from where this post started, so I'm taking that as a sign I should stop. :)