For the past couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with lots of software,
trying to find the best solution for some things I needed (indexing solution,
source control, etc..)
Well, I think now I have finally found my perfect setup, it probably won’t last
for long since I’m always looking for the next application, for the better
solution, and my requirements from the computer keep changing. But... for now
- Windows XP Pro, I honestly don’t have any complaints about it, I’ve been using
it for years and it never crashed on me.
- Total Commander, the best file manager ever
written, with so many features, tabs, multi-rename, synchronization,
thumbnails, ftp, open all sorts of compressed files, and so much more.
- Launchy, the best application launcher I have ever
used. I change the hotkey to Win+Space (because Alt+Space opens the window
context menu). Version 2.0 is a little heavy, so for now I’m staying with
version 1.25. I also use the Mathy plugin for some advance math.
- Sysinternals, now owned by Microsoft, contains Process Explorer (Task
Manager on steroids), FileMon (find out who’s accessing the hard drive),
Autoruns (finds every application that loads on startup) and lost more.
- Locate32, this is my indexing solution, it works
like Linux’s locate, there’s a database file that is updated manually (or with
a Scheduled Task), it contains only filenames, dates and sizes. Just press
Win+F and you can search the entire hard drive in a second.
- 7-Zip, a file archiver that supports lot of formats,
including their own high compression ratio format, very comfortable and
- Tweak UI, change lots of hidden windows configuration items.
- Avast Anti-Virus, I’m using the free version, and so
far didn’t have any problems with it.
- TrueCrypt, Creates a virtual encrypted disk
within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
- KeePass, password manager.
- Notepad++, I don’t use text
editors much these days (I used to be a VIM-junky, but I’ve become a spoiled
programmer after working with Visual Studio and Eclipse...), but when I do
need to edit some plain text, html, or a short python/batch script this tool
really comes in handy.
- AltDrag, an Autohotkey script that I tweaked to work the way I like it.
Basically what it does is simulate Kde/Gnome’s alt+mouse-click to drag windows
and alt+right-mouse-click to resize windows).
Audio & Video
- Foobar 2000, the best music player I’ve ever
used, quick, lightweight and full of features (tag editing, ReplayGain, file
conversion, file operations, etc...).
- VLC media player, open source video player,
supports almost every codec (no codecs required for installing).
- Quicktime Alternative, I only use it for watching trailers because it’s
got this cool features of downloading the entire trailer, saving it as a file
and playing it (I like watching the HD trailers, and it’s annoying to watch
them in streaming).
Firefox, Best web browser ever made!
I use it with the following extensions:
- Delicious Bookmarks
- Better GReader
Thunderbird, I use it with Gmail
IMAP, works great!, I use the CuteBird theme to make it
look more Mac-ish, and I use the Lightning plugin to add a calendar.
- Miranda Instant Messenger, GoogleTalk, Icq,
Messenger, all in one lightweight package. I’ve been using it for years.
- WinSCP, free SFTP, FTP and SCP client.
Supports scripting, synchronizing between local and remote directories and
- Windows Live Writer, Very
comfortable blogging tool (I’m using it right now to write this post), you
write the post as you’ll see it on the blog (see my previous post.
- Google Reader, Not a desktop application
(although you can use it with Prism and make it sort-of-a-desktop-app),
but a still very useful application.
- IrfanView, Very handy image viewer/editor,
supports EXIF, simple editing (cropping, brightnest/contrast, smart rescaling
and a lot more).
- Gimp, The GNU Image Manipulation Program. I use it for
enhancing photographs, doing HDRs, adding effects to photographs, making web
design graphics, icon editing, animations and all sorts of other generic
- Inkscape, Vector graphics editor, the latest
version is a lot more stable. Very useful for web design.
- AutoStitch, I use this one to make panorama shots (combine single
photographs into one giant photo).
- Visual Studio 2008 Express, for all
non-commercial C# work.
- Eclipse/Aptana Studio, for most of my web work
I’ve worked with, Intellisense works very well (a little buggy, but much
better than anything else I’ve tried).
- Python, best solution for quick&dirty scripting. I
used to use it with wxPython to write GUI applications, but once I started
using Visual Studio for C# GUI applications I couldn’t go back to wxPython.
- IPython, an enhanced Python shell, makes
testing pieces of code a lot more comfortable.
- TortoiseSVN, Explorer-extension for SVN
source control (also works inside Total Commander...), very easy to use and
you can create a local repository with no web server required.
- WampServer, easy-to-install Apache+MySQL+PHP
package, has a tray icon to quickly start/stop the services.
- OpenOffice, the open-source Microsoft Office
alternative. I actually like better than Office, since it doesn’t try to
figure out what I wanna do, If I want something I just do it and that’s it, no
false-positives. Another thing I like about it is the PDF export feature, you
can easily create a PDF with bookmarks, hyperlinks, encryption, and more.
- PowerPoint Viewer, Unfortunately OpenOffice isn’t 100% office
compatible, especially for presentations...