How to make a Windows Machine into something usable

Takes some effort but:

-- Install Cygwin, X, putty
-- Install winamp, media player classic
-- Grudgingly install the oldest version of Real Player for radio streams
-- Set up windows to be less annoying: reconfigure IE, install google toolbar, switch off as many of the irritating features as possible, set up Explorer to show details view in all modes, don't hide file extensions
-- Delete anything with Outlook in the name
-- get rid of as much autoinstalled cruft from startup, taskbar, quicklaunch
-- tidy up start menu, try to remove as much useless crap as possible, switch off the annoying 'hide unused items feature'.

Make a cup of tea, and relax.

With time, a well-tamed Windows system can actually become quite usable.


AC said...

Don't use Explorer either; switch to Avant Browser.
Ditch putty; you have xterm and ssh already.

Anonymous said...

You forgot VideoLAN Client. Seems to play stuff that anything using DirectShow will choke on. Dunno bout the win32 version, but the Linux version also plays DVDs, with optional menus, and one can normally jump straight to the movie or root menu without sitting through trailers etc other players won't let you skip...
-- Iain.

Anonymous said...

I'd have thought Firefox + a few choice extensions (or Opera) would be a better option than messing around with IE options or something based on it.
-- Nick