Less is More, Revisited

Since it's my wife's birthday and I won't be wasting time checking my RSS feeds, I'm going to borrow a gimmick from every TV cooking show and put up something I prepared earlier.

So here it is: I thought I'd jot down a few notes on what I decided to install on my Windows laptop this time around. The list is pretty obvious, but there are a couple of nuggets that might be useful to other folk.

  • Firefox and Thunderbird are the usual no-brainers - it should be obvious by now that they're essential timesavers and great work tools, and that the only things of note are their extensions:
  • Cygwin and coLinux, so that I can keep doing real work on a Windows box.
  • I'm also trying out AppRocket, because I can't fight the Quicksilver habit of Alt+Space for everything.

Next up, things to lower (and tune) Windows visual clutter:

  • Iconoid - a little gem I found that removes the desktop icons after a given period of time and switches them on again when your mouse hovers on the desktop. Has a couple of other neat little features (like hiding the taskbar and all), but all I wanted was a clean desktop.
  • Stickies - I only use them when I'm really stressed, but they have never failed me. Plus, they go away at a click of a button.
  • UXTheme Multi-Patcher, to use the sharp-edged and minimalistic Blackcomb Pro theme.
  • YzShadow, to waste a few CPU cycles.
  • PowerMenu, to make sure I can change priorities on long-running tasks.
  • Samurize to keep track of my network traffic in an unobtrusive taskbar.
  • VirtuaWin for simple, lightning fast virtual desktops with zero bloat.

And finally, iTunes to survive in an open-space office.

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