The First Five

I recently wiped my PC in preparation for installing the release candidate of Windows 7. It used to take a couple of hours to install Windows from scratch and then a couple of days before I had all my applications reinstalled and configured just right.

But those days are over. I’m spending more time on Facebook and Twitter and have replaced a number of applications with simplified web apps. I replaced Microsoft Outlook with Gmail last year and haven’t looked back. Google Docs has nearly replaced Microsoft Office.

Yet I still rely on a few applications that haven’t been replaced by web counterparts. Here’s a list of the first 5 applications I’ve installed on my Windows 7 computer. I’m going to assume the FIRST program you install is a new web browser. I prefer Firefox but Opera, Chrome or Safari will do.

 

digsby

Digsby is a simple chat program. It replaced Windows Live Messenger for me when it added integrated Facebook chat and Gmail notifications.

Last.FM is an unbelievably cool app. If you’re familiar with Pandora or Slacker Radio you’ll love Last.FM. Discovers new music I enjoy and allows me to share it with friends. Check out my favorite artists here.

image

Threatfire is the one program to install if you try only one of these apps. I’ve run it for the last two years without any AV software. That’s how much I trust it. Threatfire detects and stops harmful behavior to your machine.

ultramon_logo

UltraMon fixes a big hole in Windows 7: Dual monitor support that works. Adds   an intelligent task bar to your second monitor and allows you to configure desktop backgrounds independently among other features.

Mesh

Microsoft Live Mesh is my favorite product from Microsoft. I wrote about it in January and rely on it everyday. Mesh syncs files between my home and work computers.

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