Customizing Windows

At work, I often have to use a Windows machine. Despite my opinions regarding FOSS software, Windows is a fact of corporate life. Often, I cannot even dual boot. *sigh*

However, when I do have to use Windows, I do not like to go far without my *nix power tools. Here is a list of tools and tweaks that I use to make my Windows experience tolerable.

FOSS tools

gvim – the windows install lets you “edit with vim” from the right click, perfection.

winscp – because ftp uses plaintext

putty – does everything with terminals, telnet, ssh, everything…

emacs – is a little harder to install than vim, but if you use it, you use it.

wireshark – why even bother debugging a network without it?

proprietary tools

Google Toolbar – indispensable if you use gmail

Google Desktop – save time searching your own computer

Adobe Flash Player – because Youtube is just not the same without it

Adobe Reader – because you need to use pdf’s

lifehacker apps

I will update this post as I find things that are totally irreplaceable. However, there alot of ways to improve the Windows user experience, besides making it more like *nix. The best place that I have found for new and different ideas for Windows productivity tools is the LifeHacker: Featured Windows Download category.



2 thoughts on “Customizing Windows

  1. Nice list, but I’m not sure why you’re using some of those proprietary tools.

    Google Toolbar – Just use firefox with the gmail add-on. There are a number of them out there. I personally use the one that lets me track multiple gmail (officially google apps) accounts. I don’t think the Google Toolbar can do that either.

    Adobe Reader – Try Foxit. It loads 100 times faster than Adobe’s reader (unless you disable all the bloatware they add and then you have problems one day when one of the PDFs needs the bloatware)

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