Below is a list of software I use very often, and resources for the same. I also have included a list of programs that I install on every Windows install I use.
- A good tool for creating documents, but it has a learning curve. LaTeX (pronounced la-TEK) enables you to write in plain text and generate good-looking PDFs for a wide variety of target audiences. The bundled templates are appropriate for many types of document/publications including presentations with Beamer, IEEE publication, and the standard report and thesis work which has lifted it to dominance in the realm of academic publishing. Add-ons are numerous and include the excellent TikZ package, Sweave, and many others.
- A great text editor and my editor of choice. I am starting to maintain a page of Vim tips for the interested.
- Software for creating and maintaining [mind maps], a highly effective tool for organizing thoughts or projects. FreeMind has a very intuitive set of default keybindings that allow you to “just use” the software from day 0.
- A web-based HTML-to-PDF converter. It is distinct from the many other web-based tools because it treats HTML anchors correctly (i.e. generates a link within the PDF which goes to a different page rather than to the website). There is usually a better way to save web pages, but in a pinch I turn to this one.
- I have contributed patches for this one. It’s a great tool for those of us with an autofeeding scanner because you can easily split PDFs.
- Firefox/Tree style tab/Vimium/YouTubeEnhancer/UBlock/YouTubeAdBlock
about:config, I set
security.dialog_enable_delay = 0,
app.normandy.enabled = falseand
browser.backspace_action = 2
- Configure GTK themes–especially useful for those of us who don’t use KDE, GNOME or XFCE.
- Window resizing in Microsoft Windows is annoying once you’re used to it on <insert name of other GUI here>. This helps.
- Allows for easy configuration of Synergy using a GUI.
- Fast PDF viewer for Windows. It’s good to have Acrobat Reader installed anyway because some PDFs only seem to print properly in it.
- File manager that serializes the current directory listing to a file, and allows you to use
$EDITORto rename, delete, etc. files.
- The best GUI file manager I have found; it is highly customizable.
New installation of Windows
Here is a list of programs that I normally install with Windows. This is mostly for my benefit when I am reinstalling for other people. Links below are to the canonical latest version when possible and will automatically start the download in some cases.
- CCleaner, Defraggler
- Java Runtime
- Acrobat Reader, Flash
- K-Lite which adds support for a lot of audio/video codecs as well as thumbnailing for “weird” file types
- Another browser, such as Firefox
- ShellExView, ProcExp
I also make some other modifications, such as
- Installing the Task Manager replacement
%WINDIR%and launching it to activating
- Drop a copy of
- Change the screen saver to Electric Sheep
- Run a decrapifier for Windows 10
A shortcut is to install Chocolatey and just execute:
choco install firefox git clink pandoc filezilla tortoisegit altdrag winmerge libreoffice ack.
As of 2016, the following were useful for virus removal. I stopped using Windows machines around that time, and have not had to deal with virus removal. Better programs likely exist after 2019.