Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the stuff I use

This, second, part should be more interesting. Here I will cover software environment I work in.

OS
Unfortunately I am still bound to Windows. I do not use Windows 7 pre-installed by Sony. Not only because there is a lot of so-called crapware but because... Sony tweaks its Windows installation by removing some components which are instrumental for a geek. Like gpedit.msc. Therefore - even though I will loose all these fancy-shmancy Sony shortcuts (like Fn+F2 to mute, etc) I get rid of Sony version of Windows 7 and install my own.

The source I have allows me to install Home, Professional and Ultimate. And you know what? After I looked into the differences I decided I do not need nor want all those extras that come with Pro or Ultimate. I install Home, of course 64-bit version. Which, as it happens - is just the very version I had installed by Sony - no licence breach here ;-)

As soon as I have brand new OS I launch Internet Explorer and download Google Chrome. Once it is installed I am ready for major surgery - I boot Fedora Linux from my USB drive, mount Windows drive and remove following directories:

Program Files (x86)/Windows*
Program Files (x86)/DVD*
Program Files (x86)/Internet*
Program Files (x86)/Microsoft*
Program Files/Windows*
Program Files/DVD*
Program Files/Internet*
Program Files/Microsoft*
Windows/Cursors
Windows/Media

This way I get rid of all Microsoft crapware (like DVD Maker, Photo Viewer, Media Player, Defender, etc, etc, etc) and still have fully working Windows 7 operating system. Interesting thing is even after I physically remove Internet Explorer I still get things like Windows Update working just fine.

Now I can start installing my applications...

Environment
It is kind of interesting that it seems I included web browser (Google Chrome) as a part of OS...

I install Microsoft Security Essentials to protect my OS. I remove UAC, remove System Protection and disable Pagefile. Why Pagefile? Because I use system hibernation and MS Windows actually uses both - pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys as cached memory. So why duplicate, when even in the best case scenario Windows will not utilize more than your physical memory? It just saves me 4 GB of HDD space (yes, I have 4 GB or RAM on all my machines).

I use Rocket Dock and Start Killer to get rid of Windows Start Menu. I have my own set of selected icons and cursors that I insert into /Windows/Cursors, set up my own wallpaper. Then I install old version of Total Commander I inherited as I was leaving Siemens...
On the tiny, work-machine I install Rainmeter to have my projects' status on the desktop. I change by boot screen to match my desktop wallpaper with LogonStudio. To install application I use Daemon Tools Lite. Why? Because I have all of them as ISO images stashed somewhere on external HDD encrypted with TrueCrypt.

Applications
To access all my Unix machines I employ Ponderosa (Thanks, Mark). Awesome tool (again - to unify my environment I set the same wallpaper in Ponderosa as my Windows wallpaper and as my login screen background)

To rip stuff I use DVD Decrypter. Not much of ripping these days, as all I need is available via net, but you know - just in case.

I used to listen to the music using Bang Olufsen Beoplayer for a really long time - I liked the clean, dark UI. But Beoplayer relies on Windows Media Player so I had to switch to my main multimedia player - VLC.

For picture viewing I use Fast Picture Viewer, which has very clean UI. If configured properly it has no UI at all ;-)

For photo management I use Adobe Lightroom. Also use it for minor touches and corrections to my photographs. For more serious fiddling with photography I use Adobe Photoshop with two addons - Silver Efex Pro and (used less often) Color Efex Pro (Thanks, Beata).

For office work I am forced to use what corporations use. I have version 2007, planning to migrate to Office 2010 as soon as I manage to lay my hands on non-beta copy. Office only on small machine.

Ekhm... Games. I know, I know... I have here old Operation Flashpoint + Resistance. Completed all missions and all campaigns from each possible side. Kinda bored with it, but so far nobody came up with anything better ;-( I recently obtained Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising, but after initial playing it for a couple of days I kinda got bored and disappointed... It does not have this thing... I have Company Of Heroes with all addons, finished all campaigns and all missions on Expert level from all sides... Also a classic in RTS'es but also done deal ;-(... Recently went through Call Of Duty - Modern Warfare 2. That was fun while it lasted, but now is gone from my machine... Most of games are like logical puzzles - one you know how to solve them they are just boring... Last time I played was when I was stuck at Brussels Airport for the night. Perhaps I am getting old?

Conclusion
These steps allow me to use heavily customized Windows environment, enjoy all benefits of using Windows without most of its drawbacks. Some of my friends advocate Linux, others OSX. But I kinda like my Windows ;-)

P.S.
I remove Windows splashscreen (run msconfig, go to Boot tab and check No GUI boot).
I disable CapsLock key via Sharp Keys, no need to physically remove this damn thing.

1 comment:

November said...

Czesiu - przetłumacz (via Google) dla Rafalskiego ;-)