Some nice things about XP

As much as I’m finding many things annoying about XP there are some nice things. Well, some nice software. I’m using one example now.

I wanted a text editor and discovered Vim had been ported and has even had menus added. So that was pretty cool. Then I discovered a neat Firefox extension that adds ‘Edit’ to the menu when you right-click in an input field and sends the current contents to any editor you like, including Vim. Really cool.

I’ve also installed Gnu Emacs. Since I don’t have BBEdit on this box I may have to bite the bullet and learn it for those occasions when Vim doesn’t quite have the power. Any suggestions for an inexpensive yet powerful text editor gratefully accepted.

Installing Emacs was the first ocassion when I found Cygwin totally necessary. It was the perfect tool for un-gzipping and unpacking the tar file in which Emacs comes from Gnu.

For doing some FTP work I found FileZilla on Sourceforge. An excellent FTP client and free for the downloading. It has a myriad of possibilities for proxy settings but I still can’t get it to work through hte Uni proxy servers. I may have to go and talk to the networkers and see what they recommend.

Something strange happened to the copy of Norton Anti Virus installed when I got this laptop. It was complaining about being broken when I opened a Word document an insisting that it didn’t support self-repair. I removed it and replaced it with Symantec Anti Virus, which I got through the Universities license, and it is now behaving itself. Live Update works a lot better on XP than it does on the Mac.

Oh, it’s also nice to have a CD player with a tray – my new Targus Palm Keyboard came with a mini CD install disk that wouldn’t go in either of the slot load Macs I own.

Now to install Google Desktop Search. I’m starting to enjoy Spotlight on my Mac so a decent search on the Sony would be nice.


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