Its that time again – upgrading OS. This time to Windows 7.

I figure its been long enough now for the serious kinks to be worked out and I’ve been putting it off long enough. Its not the installation itself that is hard – mostly its a simple as bunging in a DVD, selecting a few options and waiting 30 mins – but installing all the pograms I use and tweaking everyting so its just so will take about a day. I know that you can do an ‘upgrade’ install but long experience has taught me that anything but a ‘clean install’ is a recipie for anger, suffering and hate…

Anyway – a list of programs I use, as much as a note for myself for when Window 8 comes around.

A quick tip fist though – when doing this sort of ting you will invaribably forget to copy off some data that you need or there will be a program that you can’t get working right or maybe something that you use once per year that you really can’t be bothered installing again. I use the free VMWare Converter to convert the physical macine to a virtual machine and store the VHD on a USB drive – if I ever need to get/run someting from this old machine I just boot it up using the free VMWare Server – a nice saftey net.

General Programs

Most of these are opensource,¬†free or donationware but do be careul and check the options so you don’t inadvertantly install crapware like Yahoo toolbar, registry cleaners or that oh so helpful desktop shortcut to eBay (however would you find it otherwise?)

Google Chrome browser – most day to day browsing, so much faster than IE/Firefox and working with downloaded files that doesn’t suck (yes Firefox, looking at you!)

Dropbox – The easiest way to sync files between computers and people, just works.

LogMeIn – Free and easy remote access, just works but they have recently started push the paid upgrades a little harder.

FoxIt Free PDF reader –¬†because Adobe Acrobat reader is so bad it both sucks and blows.

Paint.NET – free basic image editing tool.

Snagit – easy screen capture – yes you can use CTRL+PRINT SCREEN and Paint.NET but this just makes it a little easier.

VLC Media Player – fast lightweight media player that works with just about everything. No computer I own will ever be subjected to running Quicktime or god forbid Realplayer.

Defraggler – seems to do a much better job of defragmening that Windows built in tool especally if you work with large and/or hevily framented files (VHD’s for example)

IZArc – great freeware zipping tool

UltraMon – If you have a desk that looks like mission control.

Virtual Clone Drive – make a virtual drive from an .ISO image so you dont have to muck around burning stuff to DVD just to install it (if you even have a DVD drive in your laptop any more). This really really should be built into Windows.

WinDirStat – figure out what the hell is using up that enourmous 500GB hard drive you thought would last forever.

PasswordSafe – you don’t use the same password for everything, do you?

And of course your office tools of choice – for me its Microsoft Office.

Any killer tools i’ve missed? Next up its developer focused tools.

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