I’m not a Windows user primarily. The vast majority of time my computers and laptop boot into Linux, specifically Ubuntu, as of recent. However, I do have several of my machines set-up with both Ubuntu and Windows 7.
One of my major gripes with Windows, which has always been there, is that after a clean reinstall, you have no programs of any real use installed at all. In comparison, a clean install of Ubuntu gives you a graphics editor, photo manager, fully featured e-mail client, personal information management suite and a full office suite. Of course, you now get the Ubuntu Software Centre, which lets you install find and install full size applications with the same ease as using the iPhone App store or Android Marketplace.
Windows has none of this. A brand spanking new Windows install does very little for productivity without a few essential apps installed.
Usually this involves the labourious task of:
- Manually searching for and/or heading to the website of the program you want to download
- Finding the current version/build to download, starting the download and waiting for the download to complete
- Running the installer and waiting for its completion
- Repeat steps 1 – 3 for every program you wish to install
Recently, I’ve discovered Ninite, which is a fantastic website/program which lets you cut down the above procedure (which could possible take hours) to a quick procedure that takes a few minutes at most. This is how you’d do the above, with Ninite.
- Go to https://ninite.com/ and select the programs you want to install.
- Download the installer it generates
- Run the installer and wait for its completion.
And then you’re done! No repetition, as Ninite cleverly puts the installation of many, many possible programs behind a single simplistic installer.
It supports installation for the most popular web browsers, messaging applications, media players, imaging programs, document editors/viewers, security software (such as anti-virus and anti-malware software), plug-ins (such as Flash and Java), file sharing applications, general utilities and even certain developer/administration tools.
Basically, after every (annoying) reinstall of Windows that I have to do, the first place I’m heading is to Ninite’s website.
As a final note, I’m really hoping they add official graphics drivers to their list of automatically installed items. That would be very useful for a lot of people I know. Suggesting new apps is a feature they offer right at the bottom of the Ninite website.