Switching to Windows

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 06 Sep 2011

A few months ago I switched from Mac to Windows. The reason was work. At Memonic we develop a consumer application which should work well for non-geeks and average consumers. But a while ago I noticed that at our office every single one of us was either on Mac or Linux. While you can test Windows apps well enough using VMWare that just didn’t happen in practive — not least because of the heavy memory tax of running Mac and Windows side to side.

So I decided to switch to Windows full time. Not only that, I vowed to make Internet Explorer my main browser. That of course means that my IQ is below average (or not).

The switch wasn’t nearly as painful as I had expected. Here’s a list of tools I need to make it worth the while.

  • TotalCommander — TotalCommander is a magical file browser. It’s the very first thing I installed and the app I missed most on Mac and Linux.
  • Launchy — An application and document launcher like Mac’s Quicksilver. I’m not 100% happy with Launchy and from time to time look at alternatives.
  • Vim — Finding a good TextMate replacement wasn’t easy. With most editors I tried it came down to project support that just wasn’t to my style. If I remember correctly that’s also why I ditched E. But with Vim and the Project plugin I’m happy for for now. The individual vimprojects files are index by Launchy so I can easily open a project.
  • PuTTY — Every server I use is set up as a bookmark and indexed by Launchy.
  • Console — A proper console for Windows. Using Tabs you can run Windows’ own shell, Cygwin bash or the Powershell. I even have tabs for various Python versions and for a tail command I use often.
  • VirtualBox — For those times I need an old Windows version or want to try something on Linux I use VirtualBox.

If there is any important app that I should be checking out, please tell me.