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by Jan Wedel

Living with Windows

How to make your life with windows a bit more comfortable

In Why I hate Windows, I was doing a huge rant about what I don't like. Still, I have to live with Windows at work (unfortunately), both using it as developers workstation as well a using it as a deployment target for some customer. So this article is about how to make life a bit more comfortable.

General Tools

I usually install a set of tools on new machines (not covering REAL development tools like IDEs etc):

  • Chrome browser because IE is obviously crap. Nice feature: Adding custom search engines with shortcut tags.
  • FreeCommander XE becuase the Windows Explorer is crap. I need a NortonCommander style file browser with two columns, tabs, folder bookmarks, hotkeys for editing, viewing, creating files and folder. This one is not pretty but pretty good.
  • SublimeText - Best, fast and prettiest text editor so for with plugins. I own a license that allows using it on my computer at work as well.
  • Notepad++ - If I need to do some work on other Windows machines, I install Notepad++
  • Launchy - Similar to Spotlight on Mac or pressing Windows key, but better.
  • Cygwin - Because I cant' stand neither the Command Line nor the PowerShell. I need some proper *nix style shell. The disadvantage is that you need to install a shit load of packages to a decent set of tools
  • [] - A bit like the Mac keychain. Stores passwords. Nice feature: Hotkeys to automatically enter the pasword while having the focus on anather app. Usually I press CTRL-ALT-K to foxus KeePass and then CTRL-V to auto enter the credentials
  • Greenshot - Nice tool to capture screenshots and edit/annotate them.
  • Putty - Becaus Windows still doesn't have a built in SSH tool
  • WinSCP - Graphical SCP tool. I rarely use it (using ssh commandline instead) but from time to time it gets handy to copy stuff from local to remote.

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