vendredi 29 décembre 2006

Switching from a Linux to a Windows Desktop

When I'm using a WinXP desktop I'm searching for an equivalent "Linux experience". Here's what I find useful so far (a mix of freeware and Free Software).

1) Look and feel

I don't like WinXP theme. have great themes, wallpaper, icons, etc. I use the Microsoft "Royale Noir" a nice dark and sober theme.

Also very handy is iColorFolder to manage folders icons and the ability to quickly set their color for a better visual organisation.

You may also be interested by a Virtual Desktops Manager or want to access the "contextual" command line window from a right click on a folder or maybe to customize completely you're right click menu.

2)Shell and processes

This was the weakest point of winXP for me. Microsoft now released Power Shell and I must admit I find it good (it is just a little long to start). There are also aliases for usual Linux command (ls, pwd, cd /, etc) but I think Power Shell commands are very neat and clear.

Also, if you want to see the running processes in a graphical way Process Explorer is a great tool to replace the Task manager.

3)Copy/Paste and Screenshots

WinXP doesn't keep an history of your cut and paste actions and this can result in a loss of data. Cliptray is a freeware which solve this problem.

Linux distros always come with handy screenshots utilities. Cliptray can also do it but I prefer to use irfanview (tuto).


Microsoft OS is unfortunately a big target. Apart from an antivirus and a firewall I feel safer to use Firefox and this KeyScrambler extension against eventual data loggers for login/passwords.


Software are not a problem since I'm using either web services (gmail, google reader,etc) and/or multi platform software (Vim,Python,OOo,Firefox,etc).

Also to work with a Linux PC or server Putty and WinSCP are a must.

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