Updated setup software list

I had meant to post this sooner, but I recently got a new desktop machine at work.  I didn’t have the login for the new machine, so I took it as an opportunity to wipe the hard drive and start off fresh. I wanted to talk a bit about my setup experience and about the software I put on the new machine.

First off I put Windows Vista Business on the machine.  I was lucky enough to get 3GB of RAM and since I’ve had a decent experience with my home desktop, I’ve decided to stick with Vista for now.

It should be noted that I am a MSDN member, which enables to me to install the Microsoft Suite of Applications & Developer tools:

  • Office 2007 (including OneNote, Project &Visio)
  • Expression Web (for Web Design & Dev)
  • Visual Studio 2008

These tools are wonderful, but I realize they may not be available to everyone.  If you’re a college student (or have a college email address) you can get office for really cheap at TheUltimateSteal.com – a Microsoft purchase program for students.  Also student developers can qualify to get Expression & Visual Studio for free at Microsoft DreamSpark.  This is a great strategy to get students acclimated to the MS applications, which means that it’ll transfer to employees demanding the tools when they enter the workplace.

The next thing I did was go to my favorite software site – FileHippo.  FileHippo is a repository for freeware – a one-stop-shop for downloads.  From here I grab the following (in no particular order):


Apps & Utilities:

  • MS Office 2007
  • FoxIt Reader a PDF alternative to the bloated Adobe Reader
  • PDF Creator – Free PDF creating, although I am starting to try out Primo PDF
  • UltraVNC – The viewer on my work desktop, VNC installed on my home desktop
  • Burnaware – CD/DVD Burning
  • Launchy – Perfect application launcher for keyboard junkies
  • ObjectDock – “Sidebar” application launching
  • Windows Live Writer – What I use for blogging
  • MRemote – To manage multiple MS Remote Desktops/Terminal Servies, I haven’t had great results with VNC though


  • NotePad++ – Best general purpose editor hands-down

Photos & Multimedia:

  • MediaMonkey – Incredible media manager, especially if you have a large library (I paid for this one, but there is a free version).
  • Last.fm – Scrobble and track what I listen to (my profile)
  • VLC Media Player – For videos, DVD’s and single-file playing
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery – Easy way to manage, edit, tag and share photos (there is Flickr integration as well)
  • FastStone Image Viewer – On-the-fly image preview & browsing
  • Paint.NET – More in-depth photo editing

System Utilities:

  • Defraggler – Disk Defragmenting
  • AutoRuns – eliminate annoying startup programs
  • CCleaner – Get rid of crap, cookies and temp files
  • Unlocker – Gets you out of those “access denied” binds during deletions
  • Process Explorer – Task manager on steroids
  • Java Runtime Environment
  • Tugzip – Great alternative to Winzip, not quite WinRar, but free and open-source
  • Synctoy – to synchronize files between my work desktop and laptop, works great if you’re on the same network


  • Windows Vista Firewall works pretty well, but at home I use Comodo
  • AVG Anti-Virus (for the home computer, we use a separate solution at work)

Are there any essential tools that I’m missing?