My Windows 7 experiences and setup

One year has passed since my first tryout of Windows 7. The transition from Windows XP was easy and I won’t go back. Well thats not entirely correct, because my arcade machine (coming up blogpost) run a very fast and good version of XP called Tiny XP.

I have had the same ”install” the entire year and tried a lot of things with it. The usual problem with having the same install too long has now began to show itself. More problem than I can handle! The only solution is as usual to reinstall everything. This time I am going with a dual-boot setup with Win7 and Ubuntu.

The most annoying thing with ”Windows 7” has so far been the new ”Windows explorer” (explorer.exe) which I think is bloated. There is no way that I can be productive as earlier with that crap. And I can’t even make it work in ”classical mode”. I have stopped using it! The most perfect file browser in my mind is the classical windows explorer which Microsoft stopped using with Windows XP. I have tried a lot of file browsers and xplorer² is a good replacement. That program is actually the first program I install on a new computer.

Some of my setup tweaks

Lets share some of the tweaks I use to make my Win7 feel good. It is also good for me to have a checklist when I install Win7 the next time.

1) Live Messenger

Minimize Windows Live Messenger to systray

Make Live Messenger cleaner by patching it

2) Taskbar and systray

Bring back good old ”Quick launch”

Unpin all programs from taskbar

Taskbar properties: Check ”Use small icons” and ”combine when taskbar is full”

3) Personalize

In the beginning I switched of all aero stuff and used ”Windows Classic” theme. But by now I am actually used to all fancy aero stuff and it doesn’t feel that my machines performance is that much affected by this.

4) Services and startup

I try to disable as many services that is possible or set them to start manual. Services eat memory and CPU-time.

I continually check msconfig.exe (or registry) to sanitize startup programs. More startup-programs makes your computer boot slower.

5) Programs

I try to keep my program list clean. If I do not use a program I remove it. You never know what services and resources a program uses.

If I want to check stuff out I do that in a virtual machine instead of my ”production machine”. It is very handy to have some lab virtual machines if you are a software developer.

6) Useful free programs

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows
xplorer² (file manager)
Putty (ssh)
WinSCP (moving files with ftp/sftp)
CDBurnerXP
K-lite codec pack (media playing codecs)
Avast antivirus
Filezilla (ftp)
uTorrent
CutePDF Writer
DAEMON Tools Lite
OpenOffice
Firefox
7-zip (file archiver for zip, rar…)
Notepad++ (text editor)

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