Although I use Ubuntu more and more, I still have to spend a large portion of my day working in Windows, primarily because of my job. Gaming and navigation software are other reasons why I boot up Windows.
Whenever I load a box with Windows, I usually install the following programs.
- OpenOffice: OpenOffice 3 has become a very polished alternative to Microsoft Office.
- Firefox: With additional addons, Firefox is the best browser available.
- Irfanview: Irfanview is a great image viewer that also boasts a number of handy editing features. Be sure to also install the plugins.
- K-Lite Codec Pack Full: This software bundle includes a long list of useful media players and codecs.
- Notepad++: You will only use Notepad by accident once you try Notepad++.
- Filezilla: If you need a powerful and easy to use FTP client, Filezilla is a good choice. I also always install WinSCP.
- Lazarus: Lazarus is an Open Source cross platform version of Delphi.
- Peazip: Developed in Lazarus, Peazip is a flexible archiving tool.
- aMSN: Featuring webcam and voice support and working on Linux, aMSN is the best alternative to Microsoft Messenger — and it is advertising free. Don’t forget the plugins.
- Qt4: If you download the version with mingw bundled with Qt4, you’ll have one of the most power C++ development toolkits around. Although Qt integrates well with the popular Eclipse IDE, QDevelop is faster and easier to use. To get debug features to work, you must install gdb.
- KDE 4.2: It is now possible to install the KDE 4.2 Desktop inside of Windows giving you access to a lot of powerful KDE applications.
- MySQL: MySQL is a rich and highly polished Open Source relational database that can be accessed from network locations. Also take a close look at the slick utilities that are available like MySQL GUI Tools and MySQL Workbench. If you plan to code and interface for MySQL, you may want the ODBC connector. And don’t forget Ruby. HeidiSQL is very nice.
- GIMP: No, it’s not just like Photoshop, but the GIMP is still a great photo editing package.
- Gnumeric: This is a good spreadsheet that handles data pasted from other applications very well.
- VirtualBox: VirtualBox is a great product for installing operating systems within operating systems. The virtualized environment can then be run on any computer powerful enough to handle it. VirtualBox is also cross platform.
- Thunderbird: While the editor is still clunky and primative, Thunderbird is probably the best free email client available.
- Komposer and BlueGriffon: These are decendents of Nvu, a WYSIWYG HTML editor.
- ActivePerl: This is an outstanding perl implementation for Windows.
- FreeCommander: FreeCommander is probably the best free file browsing utility for Windows outside of the KDE world.
- WinMerge: Although there are several very good, free file and folder comparison and merging tools for Linux, the Windows world is not as blessed. Thankfully, WinMerge exists and it is a super program. FreeCommander, above, also has helpful folder comparison features.
If you have any suggestions for this list, please let me know or leave a comment.