New Windows install? Here’s how to get everything set up

I’m installing Windows 8 on a computer, and I wanted to blog the process of getting everything installed because it may help someone in the group / or that does similar work remember all the software they need!

Free Software

1. Connecting to the cluster. I use Cygwin to do terminal commands and also GUI programs using the XWin server. When installing Cygwin, if you have the hard drive space, select all packages so you never need to worry about not having something you need. For file transfer I use WinSCP.
2. Chrome/Firefox
3. Dropbox desktop app
4. Skype
5. Media players: Apple iTunes or a media library if you need it. Also, I like VLC Media Player for a free open source alternative.  I also use MediaMonkey as a free alternative to the iTunes library.
6. Java development kit. Needed to do tasks related to MOEAframework.
7. Text editors. Recently I’ve been using Notepad++ and SciEdit.
8. LaTeX. We have a site license in the group for WinEdt, but there are free alternatives. You may also need a TeX package like TeXLive.
9. Thunderbird for email
10. AeroVis, as well as the Microsoft Redistributables, available over at
11. Data analysis: Python and R
12. Integrated Development Environments such as Eclipse

Paid/Licensed Software

1. Adobe Creative Suite, for editing figures.  There are some alternatives such as Gimp and Inkscape, as well.
2. Matlab.  Note that you can do a lot of the things that classically are done with Matlab using alternatives, such as Octave (the Matlab clone), Python, R, or other scripting.
3. Microsoft Office.  Again, there are alternatives such as using LaTeX for everything, or office packages such as OpenOffice.
4. Specific compilers such as Visual Studio


One thought on “New Windows install? Here’s how to get everything set up

  1. Pingback: Water Programming Blog Guide (Part I) – Water Programming: A Collaborative Research Blog

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