March 1, 2012

364 words 2 mins read

Setting up a new Windows 7 box? Ninite.com is amazing!

This past weekend I decided that I needed to make my MacBook Air more functional, so I Bootcamp’d it to Windows 7, my preferred working environment. Of course after installing Win7 I needed to make it useful by installing a plethora of (my) standard tools. Normally, I do this by hand (I have a list, and don’t really mind it), but I figured I’d give Ninite.com a shot since someone had suggested it to me. Oh, My, dear and fluffy lord. Ninite.com is amazing.

If you stop by their website you’ll find that they have installers for basically every common tool you could possibly want or need, including goodies like Evernote. The downloads are broken up into 12 categories: Web Browsers, Messaging, Media, Runtimes, Imaging, Documents, Security, File Sharing, Other, Utilities, Compression, and Developer tools. I love the fact that they offer a lot of useful Open Source software such as LibreOffice (and OpenOffice!).

If you re-install a lot of machines, you’re probably like me — you’ve got a USB drive filled with all of the installers you need (especially the offline versions for annoying installs like Adobe Acrobat Reader). So why do I think Ninite is so much more amazing than a pile of software I have already downloaded? I don’t have to click ANYTHING. Once you select the software you want from Ninite and run the installer, it downloads and installs everything completely on it’s own. No need to worry about clicking next, waiting 20 minutes for Adobe to download or worst of all — installing some damn “toolbar” by accident. Ninite does it all on it’s own and makes sure to skip the extra junk.

The only app on my list that Ninite doesn’t have is SpiderOak. Even if they miss a few apps, it serious cuts down on setup time. In short, you tell Ninite to do it’s thing and you can go back to playing Battlefield 3. If I ever again work for a company that is predominantly Windows based, I will seriously consider using the Ninite Pro service. Automagically install the base software I want on every desktop machine AND make sure it stays up to date? Sold.