Software for Windowsby
You've just installed a Windows based operating system from scratch. Now it's time to configure, customize, and improve your workstation. Here are some favorite packages.
Of perhaps the most importance is getting the most recent up to date version of InstMsiW.exe, the Microsoft installer. Check the version number on your executable to make sure it's up to date.
You'll want to install Pretty Good Privacy afterward, it has the ability to detect things like Outlook and ICQ and install encryption extensions for them. I prefer the International version which has its source code available to the world, so you can be sure no funny business is going on. Visit http://www.pgpi.org/ and snag the platform and version that's right for you.
There are two excellent resources for this.
This first is free and has source code available, it's called putty and can be located at http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html. Installation is simple, just drop the files as-is into a folder (I call mine C:\putty) and make short cuts to them.
The second is a very nice commercial package. Snag CRT (telnet), SecureCRT (ssh), and SecureFX (secure ftp) from http://www.vandyke.com/. You'll need to install the software.
One, hop over and get Firefox. It's at http://www.getfirefox.com/. If you like customizing your workspace, this is the browser for you. There are tons of skins for it, and you can even make your own.
Optionally, JEdit has lots of professional features too, and it's written in Java; find it at http://www.jedit.org/.
If you're a Unix junkie in disguise, get a copy of Vim from http://www.vim.org/.
Emacs can be obtained as well, check out the Emacs for Windows FAQ for details at http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/windows/, but you might want to consider the version that comes with Cygwin instead.