What I installed (and uninstalled) on my new computer

I just bought a new desktop. Right before it arrived I was listening to Chris Dixon on Mixergy opine that Skype probably couldn't happen today because people don't trust downloads anymore. Somewhat tangentially it got me thinking that people probably download less software now as well because of the ascendence of the cloud, and I probably don't need to install/download much software on this new computer. 

I'll let you decide whether that was the case or not. I wrote down everything I installed (and uninstalled), in order.

  1. Windows updates. I had to go through a few rounds of rebooting to get them all installed. That's pretty amazing (and annoying) since Windows 7 just came out, but whatever.

  2. Google Chrome. My Web browser of choice (at the moment). I love how it syncs my bookmarks now too, which is one of the main reasons I installed it first.

  3. Adobe Acrobat Reader. First thing I did was check my email and someone sent me a PDF. Really, you can't pre-install a PDF reader? There might be a better one to install, but I just went with what I know.

  4. Adobe Flash Player. Next thing I did was go to a Web site that required flash...

  5. Skype. I use Skype all the time, especially to enable video chat between my son and my parents.

  6. Vodburner. This is a Skype add-on that I pay for to help me record Skype video chats for my traction interviews. While I was installing Skype I figured I might as well get this set up too.

  7. Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 drivers. I have two 28" HannsG monitors (HG281) at 1900x1200 resolution (1080p). Yet they were rendering at 1920x1080 and everything was blurry. First it took me a long time to figure out the resolution was wrong. Then it was was really annoying to fix because it wouldn't let me set a custom resolution. So I went to the nvidia site, which sent me to the hp site and their their download said it wasn't compatible with my computer. So I went back to the nvidia site and found the latest drivers. After install, everything worked fine. Side note--now Windows wants to install an "update" of the old drivers. I told it to "hide" that update :).

  8. Putty. Once the text was clear, I wanted to check something on my servers. I use putty for that.

  9. Sonos Desktop Controller. This whole time I was listening to Pandora over my Sonos system. A sucky song came on and it was clear it was also too loud. So I installed the controller that lets me control the music in the house from my desktop.

  10. PGP Desktop. I keep my passwords and other important docs on an encrypted virtual drive that gets mounted as a regular drive by this software. I needed my passwords for facebook, twitter, etc. (I use random passwords), so this was next.

  11. Adobe Illustrator CS2. I have a folder for software to install with this and partition magic in it as I purchased both of them via downloads a long time ago. I saw it next to my PGP folder, so I went ahead and installed it next as I know I'll need it soon enough.

  12. ITunes. Eli (my son) watches videos through here, and it syncs my iPad and iPod Touch, which I use for development.

  13. Firefox. I debug stuff in Firefox, and got an email about a bug, so I decided to download it next.

  14. ForecastFox, Web Developer, Firebug, YSlow. These are the Firefox add-ons I use regularly. While I was installing Firefox I thought I'd go ahead and add these.

  15. Safari. I use it just for testing. But while I was doing Firefox I thought it would be good to just do now.

  16. Opera. Same story.

  17. Uninstall Norton Stuff. Ugh, I hate this stuff and wish I had an option not to have it pre-installed in the first place.

  18. ClamAV. This is my replacement for the virus part of Norton. The other parts I'm fine with the pre-installed Windows firewall and Windows Defender. I have a smoothwall setup in my house for more firewall protection.

  19. WinSCP. This is the other piece of software I use to routinely connect with my servers (for transferring files). I needed to transfer an image, so this was next.

  20. Quickbooks 2008. I went down to the basement to get CDs. This was one of them. I use it to do company accounting.

  21. Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. On CD. I use it to do image manipulation. Great deal actually--I've found I've never needed more than this "elements" version.

  22. Picasa. I manage my photos in picasa. Photoshop made me think of it.

  23. Adobe Premier Elements 2.0. On CD. I use it to edit video sometimes, though I don't recommend this program. I just don't have a good alternative at the moment.

  24. Vmware Server. I use it to develop with. I have a FreeBSD image that mimics my servers. I wanted to fix some bugs so this was next.

  25. Uninstall Microsoft Works, Office Home and Student Trial, PowerPoint Viewer, Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office System. I wanted to install Office 2010 (from BizSpark), but it wouldn't let me install the x64 version before installing all remnants of x32 versions (this stuff). I find this odd since I have an x64 version of Windows--so why would they pre-install x32 versions.

  26. CutePDF. While the uninstalling was going on, I needed to PDF something (I save receipts this way).

  27. WinRAR. Someone emailed me a giziped file, and this is my decompressor of choice.

  28. Microsoft Office 2010. Once that other office crap finished uninstalling, I installed this.

  29. Gmail notifier. Alerts me of new emails.

  30. Gmail notifier https patch. Come on--are you ever going to update the notifier to include this natively? I use https gmail and it doesn't work with notifier without this patch.

  31. VNC. I use this to connect to my desktop from my laptop (usually to get a password). When I went back to my laptop I noticed it was missing :).

I could be an outlier, but that sure seems like a lot of software to me! All in all it was ~20 downloads and 3 CDs. If I wasn't a developer at all, I think I'd still have done ~10 of them.


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