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
2) Taskbar and systray
Unpin all programs from taskbar
Taskbar properties: Check ”Use small icons” and ”combine when taskbar is full”
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.
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)
WinSCP (moving files with ftp/sftp)
K-lite codec pack (media playing codecs)
DAEMON Tools Lite
7-zip (file archiver for zip, rar…)
Notepad++ (text editor)