Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Fish out of water

I've been forced out of my safe zone and into Windows. It came with the job... Now, 6 months later, I've collected a few tools that makes the daily headake set a little later in the afternoon. True X-Mouse: The first thing I missed was beeing able to copy and paste simply by selecting and clicking. Fortunately, True X-Mouse solves that. Open Command Window Here: Part of the Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP. Right click on any folder and select "Open Command Window Here" and you'll have a cmd.exe with CWD as that folder. Must have saved me hours of typing... Perfect if you use darcs as version control system and need to type a few commands. GnuWin32: Don't like the Windows Search function? Neither do I. I miss my bash shell, and the coreutils :/ Imagine my smiling face when I found a port of many common GNU tools. You can get far with the coreutils and grep package. Virtual Dimension: Another thing that's hard to live without is virtual desktops. I use them all the time on my linux boxes, and constantly hit the keys to switch desktop even on windows machines. This tool makes a pretty good job at faking virtual desktops, but you do notice that it's not real virtual desktops. If (when!) a program hangs, it will appear on all desktops, and if you're unlucky you're stuck on your current desktop for a while. Still a great tool, I'd probably miss this one the most of them all. Vim: You don't get very far with notepad or wordpad. Using vim in cmd.exe is just weird as cmd.exe is far to crappy. GVim works perfectly though. Emacs is available too if you're into that kind of thing. Putty: Putty is your new SSH client. Nice! Winrar: Opens your .tar.gz and .tar.bz2 (and a bunch of other) files, yay! Daemon tools: Mount your CD images as virtual cdrom drives. Browsers: Same same... I use both Firefox and Opera. With a few of these tools your Windows experiense won't be as frightening, and you might even get some work done instead of just being frustrated. Bonus: All these tools are free (as in beer). Although I hope that none of you ever need to use these tools, I wish you good luck!