For a few $ more

I'm back again at The Agency, fixing bugs for a few dollars more. I'd hoped it would be my last job but there's always one more contract, and then I'll retire/settle down/do what I really want to do.

I'm back again at The Agency, fixing bugs for a few dollars more. I'd hoped it would be my last job but there's always one more contract, and then I'll retire/settle down/do what I really want to do.

The IT head honcho realised that the Contractors add their own software to their Windows machines, and that they wanted to “include this extra software as part of the build to save you time”. Fantastic. Even better, “Can you let me know the sort of bits you install?”

What a delightful and fundamentally unnecessary question to ask a geek. Do bears sit in the woods?! And this in the midst of some bug-fixing-grind.

The vast majority of the software we add is Free Open Source Software, so it really does make sense for the machines to be pre-installed with it, as there's no economic overhead. Here's the list that I compiled:

Notepad++ text editor
Notepad2 notepad replacement
7-zip compression
WinSCP SFTP client
Firefox add-ons
Multiple old IEs (not at all Free)
Profont programmers font (free but not Free)
GIMP Photoshop replacement
Inkscape Illustrator replacement
Irfanview thumbnail & image viewer (free but not Free)
Launchy keystroke launcher

The one that sticks out the most for me is IrfanView. Back in the days when I purchased software licenses (how 20th century!), I used to use ACDSee image viewer, version 7. It was great -- fast, good thumbnail view, easy to tag images, easy to rotate images. IrfanView is the best freeware alternative but I really haven't come across anything as useful which is Free Software, least of all on Linux. The same goes for media players -- I haven't found one that is fast, easy to use, compact and with intuitive playlists, rather like Winamp used to be.