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Software & setup for new PC

I just got a new laptop, and I'm making a list of all the software I need to install and every configuration and performance tweak I need to make.

For software I have: Firefox, ZoneAlarm, an anti-virus (probably Norton).

For tweaks I have: enable ClearType, partition hard drive for programs & data sectors.

It's a pretty skimpy list so far.  I know that with past PC's I've done far more than that over their lifetimes, but I'm just drawing a blank.

Looking for ideas here.

Student A
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

TweakUI (from the microsoft power toys collection).

A better text editor. I use Crimson editor, other people prefer other stuff.

Chris Tavares
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I would throw in the entire Norton suite.

Good for ghost, defraf, deletions, process managing etc. Plus, the antivirus is very good.... it seems to play very well with all my apps and whenever I get files from networks (both lan and internet/intranet).

Another thing you might want to look at is the adbusting software (yes, along with the firewall!!). Generally run once a a week or so, and kill tons of stupid cookies.

Tapiwa
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

another utility I always have is Irfanview... small footprint image viewer/manipulator

http://www.irfanview.com

Tapiwa
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

You might want to give a bit more detail about what you intend to use the laptop for. I recently rebuilt my laptop, and  so have a few ideas still fresh ....

WinZip or WinRAR always good
Acrobat Reader or GhostView also your friend
WinAmp is pretty friendly too
... I could go on!

Tapiwa
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Oh yeah... my laptop does not have a floppy.... lost in transit about 1 yr ago, and I am probably going to get flamed for this, but the one RESCUE disk I need is Knoppix Linux.

http://www.knoppix.org/

Tapiwa
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I purchased Norton System Works before and wasn't really thrilled.  I thought it would include Ghost, but it only has a scaled down backup utility.  The defrag annoys me because it puts the seldom used files at the end of the drive (a pain if you want to partition the drive).  I just never end up using most of the other stuff. Also, in the anti-virus, enabling auto-protect slows the systems to a crawl.

So, I'll buy Norton Anti-Virus and Ghost, but skip the other stuff.

Student A
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Also, I need a drawing utility. Basically, I'm looking for a free alternative to Visio.

I tried Dia about 3 years ago, but it just didn't feel intuitive. However, it did have built-in programming design templates which were handly (e.g., UML, ER, etc).

I've also tried OpenOffice's drawing program, which I liked better, but it had no built-in programming design templates.  And, since I have MS Office Pro, I don't really need the rest of the suite that comes with the huge download.

Student A
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Well, for a Windows PC, I always install cygwin 'cause I can't live without a bash shell and the basic unix commands.

And some sort of virutal desktop program (see an earlier thread for various options).

Bill Tomlinson
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

1. Spybot Search & Destroy
2. Disable all unneeded services, especially the ones with security holes in them (a Google search will turn up lots of information).
3. Uninstall MSN support and Messenger, if they're already there.

Junkster
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I recommend Kerio Personal Firewall to ZoneAlarm (though I must admit the comparison leading to this recommendation is now two years old).

7-Zip as an archiver.

ConTEXT as an editor (free, lightweight, good as a notepad replacement)

Cygwin, if you're command-line friendly.

Ori Berger
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

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