Restart: Setting up the new laptop

-   Mar 29, 2008 -   Software -   ,

I recently picked up a new laptop.  After getting Vista installed, I made list of everything I'd need to get started.  Most were from my head as I use many of these things daily, while others I noticed from my work machine, after I had made the list.


  • Camtasia Studio - I use this for my screencasts now.  I love this program.
  • Daemon Tools Lite - ISO support is always needed, especially around installing time.
  • Digsby - This is my IM client of choice these days.  I wish the twitter support was better though.
  • FireFox - Do I need to say anything else?  This has its own section below.
  • FoxIt Reader - Much nicer than Adobe Acrobat Reader for my needs.
  • Guild Wars - One game to rule them all...
  • Live Writer - The best blogging tool I've seen yet.
  • NotePad++ - My text editor of choice these days.
  • Office - Word, Excel, PowerPoint,... you know the drill.
  • Paint.NET - A great free .NET based graphics program.
  • PDF Creator - Great for making PDFs.
  • Skype - IM and Voice chat.  A must have tool these days.
  • SQL Server - It is an occupational hazard.
  • UltraMon - Multi-monitor support at its best.
  • Visual Studio - Both 2005 and 2008 installed.
  • VMWare Workstation - I prefer it to Virtual PC.
  • Window Clippings - A nice little screenshot maker.
  • WinZip - I know there are lots of others but this is what I'm using.  With all the other new stuff on my box, you can consider this my "comfort food" software.
  • Witty - My Twitter client of the day.  The current beta works fine or me, but I'm not completely sold yet.  It is .NET based and open source, so I could look into the changes I'd like to see, I guess.

Development Specific Things

  • ASP.NET MVC - An alternative to ASP.NET Web Forms in its current state.
  • MbUnit - Unit Testing Framework of choice.  (I'm interested in trying xUnit, but I haven't yet.)
  • Ragnarok Grey (VS Theme) - My current favorite Visual Studio theme.  Both for VS2005 and VS2008
  • ReSharper - A awesome tool.  I've been using the early 4.0 with 2008.  So far, so good.
  • Rhino Mocks- Mock objects anyone? While it doesn't need installed per se, I like to have the files in a known place.
  • SVN Bridge - The only way to use Subversion at CodePlex.
  • TestDriven.NET - Great testing add in
  • Tortoise SVN - Great Subversion Client
  • Visual SVN - TortoiseSVN that works perfectly inside Visual Studio
  • WinMerge - Nice Comparison Utility

Browser Specific things

Well, that is what I've downloaded and setup to start.  I have a lot more stuff installed elsewhere, but I decided to start with the basics and add things as I need them.  I'm sure there will be plenty of adding over the next few weeks.  If I've completely missed something that I shouldn't be living without, you can let me know in the comments.


Commented on 3/30/2008 10:51:47 PM
Is Window Clippings necessary? I use Vista's Snipping Tool and it works great
Commented on 3/30/2008 11:17:42 PM
I never knew about the snipping tool.  It seems like an extra step in the view window to me, but it does make some common adjustments easy.  I'll try it out for a bit and see if I like it better.

Thanks for the suggestion.
Commented on 3/31/2008 2:17:28 AM
Thanks for the list.  It's always cool to see what other people are using on their computer.

I prefer to use VirtualCloneDrive for ISO mounting.  Much cleaner product than Daemon Tools.  I also prefer NotePad2 over Notepad++...  And lastly I choose WinRAR over WinZIP because WinRAR allows for multiple versions of a single file in a rar archive.  This way I can recover previous versions of a script while I edit it...  Oh yeah, don't forget WinSCP for making that secure connection to your home server over SSH (running FreeSSHD).
Commented on 4/6/2008 6:03:15 PM
Nice list Smile  I prefer Ultraedit for text editing.  I've used it for a long time and it is a pretty awesome editor.  Also, ISOBuster for handling ISOs is about as good as it gets.  
Commented on 4/7/2008 9:45:08 AM
Are the two versions of VS side-by-side or is one of them on the VM? How much RAM is on the laptop? Curious Smile
Commented on 4/7/2008 2:59:19 PM
I have 4GB on the laptop.

The VS versions are literally side by side, but I hope to get rid of VS2005 in the coming days.  VS2008 can code against the 2.0 framework, I think I just need a separate solution file and I'll hopefully be able to work on a VS2005 project without any issues.
Commented on 4/14/2008 11:06:50 AM
Commented on 4/14/2008 1:58:01 PM
Did you manage to make 2008 work with 2005 projects? Want to do the same but can use advise from some one with experience ;)
Commented on 4/18/2008 12:00:07 AM


Commented on 4/22/2008 12:59:30 PM
I am going to steal your list Laughing
I already have most of them in mine, but we use here the Team Foundation Server so I need the Team explorer rather than the SVN.

Thanks for sharing.
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