Friday, September 18, 2009

The First Two Apps To Install On A Windows Box

The other day, I was asked to investigate a Windows based setup. I Remote Desktop'ed in and started poking around. Quickly, I realized I was going to need to install some software to make myself at home and effective. I quickly tired of depending on Windows' Notepad.

I found that by installing the following two apps I was off and running:

  • Notepad2 - This is a tiny, yet featured packed version of notepad. It's lighter-weight than Textpad, and doesn't force me to contend with licensing warnings. Oh, and it's trivial to install - download the zip, copy the .exe into a directory. As a bonus, it has color highlighting for PHP and other languages.
  • UnixTools - OK, technically this isn't really an app. It's really just a zip file that contains a whole bunch of standard Unix commands. For a complete setup, I prefer Cygwin - but cygwin can take forever to install. The UnixTools zip takes a few seconds, and means that basic commands like grep and tail are immediately available.

As I settle in on this machine, I'll no doubt install more software, but for a crufty Unix Geek, the tools above definitely satisfied my short term needs.

Update: Ooh, I think I forgot one more: Firefox. Can't live without it.


  1. I'll have to give Notepad2 a try, on a side note, do you know of a 'tabbed' console window for Windows?

  2. Nope, I don't know of any tabbed consoles.

    I do use cygwin+screen - which is the old school way of supporting this, and the one that I naturally prefer :-).


  3. I've used JP Software's 4DOS/4NT for 15+ years. Their latest offering is called Take Command v10, which does support tabbed console windows. It's not free, though, but if you like using the command prompt in Windows, and are not comfortable enough with cygwin to use it for all your commandline needs, then it might be worth it.

    Personally, I'm still using an old, licensed copy of 4NT, and cygwin+screen, and usually have both open.

  4. Anonymous9:05 PM

    Console2 is a good tabbed console for Windows

  5. Thanks for the tip anonymous!