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New machine installs: the story so far

Way back in January I wrote about my corporate-sanctioned machine, complete with a few pieces of bloatware (sorry kids!). I appreciate the awesome suggestions, although since I need this thing for work purposes, I'm opting to go light and lean whenever possible to begin with. Yes, I realize Microsoft Office is the antithesis of "light and lean" but the suite is required to stay on the machine. For everything else, I want a small footprint.

Case in point: I needed a screenshot app. I chose MWSnap because it was small and unobtrusive, and didn't require an installation. It isn't perfect, but it does the job and I remember using it years ago. Unfortunately, my next series of application downloads wouldn't be so lean.

Note that a collection of applications says a lot about the primary user and what they will be doing day-to-day. A few months ago I ran a Twitter straw poll for TUAW and found a large portion of followers were web designers and developers, judging from the software they were using at that time. My use case is simple: I'm using this machine to test software for DownloadSquad, learn some programming, and take basic screenshots and possibly screen video. So far, I'm almost where I want to be with the base set of applications. To see what I've installed so far, keep reading.

Up first: Netbeans
Oh wait, you cant just install Netbeans, I have to install the JDK as well. This one took a while, but now I've got a flexible, comfortable IDE for dev work (which I'll get into later this year as we reboot our Dev Chair series).

Next: let the browsing commence!
No webhead would be complete without downloading a few extra browsers, right? So far I've installed Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari 4 beta (but not QuickTime or iTunes). I will definitely be adding to this list later. Of course, I had to install Flash as well...

Fun research: Windows 7
I downloaded the ISO and a copy of VirtualPC from Microsoft. Before I realized I could simply capture the ISO, however, I went ahead and downloaded ImgBurn. We'll see if I ever use it.

Data sharing
To easily share research between my machines, I installed Evernote and Dropbox clients. Evernote was added to Firefox as well -- the first add-on to this installation of FF on my PC.

I installed IrfanView because it can handle almost everything I need to do with images, but I may also install GIMP later. Plus, I installed the NBC Video application, but it was later removed entirely.

Next up: Communications
Clearly my excursion is incomplete. So far I've merely set the stage. I have yet to fire up Office, so I'm thinking about setting up an email client and seeing if it'll handle my staggering number of accounts and daily correspondences. Any suggestions, leave them in the comments.

There's still IM, RSS and a notes/everything box for research. My heart is set on Pidgin for IM, but RSS is a wide open field, really. I find myself using a variety of readers for a variety of purposes (friends' blogs vs. work blogs, for example). The note application is also wide-open, as there are just as many cloud-based options as there are desktop-based ones. Evernote is great for capturing, but I need something like a wiki (but just for me) to collect research.

In a few weeks I'll report on what I've decided upon, but keep the suggestions coming! Eventually I'll get around to entertaining myself, and VLC will make a comfortable nest in some random sector on my drive.

Tags: dropbox, evernote, freeware, install, irfanview, mwsnap, netbeans, software, windows 7, Windows7