After having used Windows at work for a while, and trying it out at home, I’ve discovered that Windows XP is a LOT better than the last Windows I used regularly, Windows 98. Things work as easily as they do in Linux. Well, at least most of the time. A few things are better implemented in Linux. For instance, I cannot believe how dumb the command line is in Windows. I don’t require something as cool as BASH or as powerful as zsh, but at least tab completion, better listing, piping, command-line scripting, the *basics*! Then, GNOME has so many more applets than the Windows taskbar. Of course,I could go on and on, but let me come to the point of the whole post.
Windows XP is Good, but there are some applications that need to be installed to make it operate better. Here is my current list of top applications for Windows XP, heavily biased from the point of view of an everyday Linux user. Feel free to send in your suggestions. Note that all applications must be freeware. I have spent a bomb for my copy of Windows XP when I bought my ThinkPad; I don’t have any more to spend.
- PuTTY – the best ssh/telnet/rsh client for Windows there ever was.
- Cygwin + Cygwin/X – I use this primarily to run an X-Server for Windows, but you can get a complete UNIX environment with Cygwin,
- Firefox – Duh.
- Thunderbird – Outlook Express? Yech!
- Winamp Lite – Windows Media Player may be good for videos, but who can beat Winamp for audio playback? Of course, I use it only because XMMS is so much like it.
- Trillian Instant Messenger – GAIM replacement. Log in to Yahoo and MSN at the same time.
- Vim for Windows – HOW can you use Notepad all the time?
- MPlayer for Windows – Windows Media Player may be good for videos, but better then MPlayer? No, sir!
- IrfanView – View any picture file. Quick.
- OpenOffice.org – for the plethora of OO.org files that clutter my “My Documents” folder.
- PowerPro Virtual Desktop – There isn’t a thing that this can’t do. I have barely scratched the surface of the functionality of PowerPro. Currently, it gives me four virtual desktops, numerous keyboard shortcuts like the all-time favourites Alt-F9 minimise and Alt-F10 maximise. Power users of this software rave about it all the time. Must be fantastic.
- Explore2FS – Access my Linux partitions. It needs to be better integrated with Windows Explorer, for sure.