I’m slowly getting my Windows 7 install on the Boot Camp partition of my Macbook Pro up and running. It’s required revisiting the Start Menu on my old machine to filter through all of the applications I’ve installed and come up with the ones I really use on a day-to-day basis.
1. Slysoft Virtual CloneDrive – this creates a virtual CD/DVD drive on your machine, used to mount ISO imagines for installing software. Since virtual machines will also use these ISO images, I now save every OS or application cd/dvd that I use as an ISO file on my hard drive. They do chew up a lot of disk space but it’s great not having to go hunting for discs.
2. Microsoft Office – I’m currently running the beta release of Office 2010.
3. Dropbox – I’m using the free service to backup and sync my Office documents and as a quick way to move files between machines. I also use it to save ebooks or documentation in pdf form that I want to be able to open on my iphone – the iPhone app works great.
4. Bomgar Representative Console – we use a Bomgar appliance at work to be able to provide remote support to customers, so this is another must-have for me. There are a few other options out there but I haven’t found anyone that provides all of the same functionality at a lower cost.
5. Teamviewer – I mainly use this for providing personal support to friends and family. In addition, there are very few machines that I can’t reach with Bomgar, but when it has happened, I’ve been able to use the Teamviewer application to get in. Very slick, and there’s a free iPhone app!
6. VMWare Workstation – It’s kind of spendy, and I could probably get by with VMWare Server, but when I’ve had to install some of the latest web components for Dynamics GP, it’s been a lifesaver to be able to snapshot before each step and be able to roll back one or many steps if I run into a problem. I’ve got virtual machines for versions 7.5, 8, 9, 10, and 2010 of Dynamics GP. I’ve also got a few XP virtual machines with various VPN clients that are required for connecting to customers’ networks – these never seem to play nice with each other so I can keep them all separate.
7. visionapp Remote Desktop 2010 R2 – this is a another app that’s kind of pricey when you see somewhat comparable free applications out there, but it’s been well worth the $$ to me. I love being able to save my connection settings and credentials for customer servers using RDP, Citrix ICA, or VNC. The connection logging is invaluable come billing time.
8. Spb Wallet – in addition to saving my credential information in visionapp Remote Desktop, I also keep a database of usernames and passwords in Spb Wallet, which uses my Gmail account to be able to sync on-demand with the Spb Wallet app on my iPhone.
9. Xmarks – I started using this when it was Foxmarks, but it’s now a must-have since it will back up and sync my bookmarks between Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. This is great for bouncing between different Windows machines, an occasional Ubuntu machine, and the new Mac.
10. Lastpass – I used to be a Roboform user, but when I tried Lastpass, I was sold. Being able to save my web passwords and have that information in any web browser on any platform, is great.
11. Evernote – I love the functionality of Evernote – being able to sync notes, screen shots, photos, embedded files across machines and platforms takes the cake. I used to use OneNote, but the syncing ability of Evernote made it seem silly. Great iPhone app, too.
12. Microsoft Security Essentials – when I do install a security package, this is what I use because it’s light and non-intrusive, and works just as well as any other premium security package. It just works.
13. SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition – I usually only keep one instance of SQL and the latest version of GP on my primary machine and use virtuals for the rest.
14. iTunes – I hate it, but it’s a necessary evil for the iPhone. I’m trying to run it on the Mac OS, as I’ve heard it runs better there, but it’s still very annoying.
That’s pretty much it – I will inevitably install any number of applications just to try them out, occasionally I find a winner. I’ll try to come back and update the list when that happens.