Over the weekend I took the plunge and installed Windows 7 Professional on my Studio XPS. Starting with a brand new hard drive and a Windows 7 installation DVD made for a surprisingly pleasant upgrade experience. The whole ordeal (installing both the new drive and Windows 7) took less than an hour, an unbelievable improvement over previous Windows installs.
Once Win7Pro was up and running, I was ready to install my must have, go-to apps. Thanks to Ninite (free for personal use), I was able to select 15+ of my favorite freeware/open source programs (Firefox, Avast, Pidgin, Skype, VLC, Hulu Desktop, etc) and merge them into a single downloadable installer.
It really is that simple. Go to Ninite.com, pick all the apps you want to install, click ‘Get Installer,’ run the downloaded executable, and you’re done. All the programs are installed with default settings and no toolbars or other junkware is included. The installer works with 32 / 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7 machines and leaves no trace when its done.
What can I say, I was impressed. The Ninite installer worked like a charm, turning my barebones install into a near complete setup with the click of a button. Doesn’t get much easier than that.