So, last month I bought a new laptop. I actually bought two laptop. The first one is an Acer laptop. Use it for a week, not very happy with it. So I bought Asus.
I spent several days to set up and install the laptops. I think it’s a good idea to documented it here.
I hope this post will be useful for folks who want to do web development in windows.
My minimum requirement is very low. Probably because I’m not a gamer. If you can afford it, get at least i3 processor. But using latest (2015) Atom or Celeron processor is fine to run these apps. Some software such as photoshop might need higher spec.
I recommend 4GB of RAM. 2GB is fine, but it’s too restrictive and could be frustrating to use.
Dedicated GPU is not needed.
I always develop and test locally. My XAMPP setup process is long and complex. I will write another blog post just to explain how I set up XAMPP.
But what I did to set up XAMPP is basically:
- Increase memory, upload limit, etc.
- Create several local dev site: general dev, multisite, site with beta version of WP, etc
- Have a clone of every site I manage to test each code.
Tips: If you have difficulties to run apache. Quit XAMPP and run it again as administrator. And I also set my UAC (User Account Control) to “Notify” but “Do not dim display”.
This is my primary text editor for coding. And this is the plugins I use:
- Customize Toolbar
- XBrackets Lite
Make it simple
Notepad++ have a lot of feature that I don’t need. So, the first thing I did was to clean up the toolbar using “Customize Toolbar” plugin.
Disable Auto Link for URL in Notepad++
I don’t know when did they start adding this feature. But I didn’t like it. To disable this go to “Settings > Preferences > Misc > Clickable Link Setting”.
Show Space and Tabs
I like my code clean with no extra spaces in the end and unnecessary tabs. But tabs and spaces is not visible. But fortunately in notepad++ we can show that. To display white space and tabs, go to “View > Show Symbol > Show White Space and TAB”.
The color is very light, so it will not distract you when writing code.
Enable Word Wrap
I hate horizontal scrolling when writing code. To enable Word Wrap, go to “View > Word Wrap”.
Faster Coding with Web Edit
Web Edit plugin add a feature where we can create hotkeys/shortcode to type common/long code.
This is the custom hotkey I use:
; Custom Tags f=function d=/**\n * \n * \n * \n */ n=/* */ c=content:".";display:block;height:0;clear:both;visibility:hidden; i=content: "";\nfont-family: "dashicons";\nvertical-align: top;\n-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
To install this hotkeys:
- Install “Web Edit” Plugin
- Go to “Plugins > Web Edit > Edit Config”
- Add the code above in the end of file
- Go to “Plugins > Web Edit > Load Config”
How to use the hotkeys:
- Type the hotkeys
- Type ALT+ENTER
In my code above I assign “f” as shortcode for the word “function” and the letter “c” as shortcode for clear CSS declaration.
Windows Explorer is getting better in every version, but it’s not very powerful. I use Q-Dir as Windows Explorer replacement because:
- I can use up-to 4 panel in one windows (usually only use two)
- In each panel I can open multiple tabs (like in browser).
Disable Click Sound in Q-Dir
It’s very easy to disable click sound in Q-Dir explorer: “Extras > List-View > Click Navigation Sound”.
Adobe Photoshop CC
My primary Image editing software. There’s plenty alternative software for image editing, but I have to say it is currently the best and market standard. So it’s kinda required for me.
Download $8/Month ?
This is my primary browser. I use it extensively and I will write a post about how I set up my Firefox and what add-on I use.
Google Chrome Browser
My preferred office productivity software. Mostly to create invoices and write quotation to prospect.
FastStone Image Viewer
A very neat Image viewer. A free alternative for ACDSee. FastStone also have a powerful bulk image editing software. You can resize, convert, even add watermark for multiple images easily.
I use this for editing .md (markdown) file.
This free utility software can extract and compress to any format. Awesome.
Media Player Classic
The actually app is K-Lite Mega Codex. Which is a bundle of various video/audio codex with Media Player Classic Video Player. It can play anything.
To translate WP theme and plugin.
To connect to my server using SSH.
FileZilla is somewhat fishy. Sometimes I get the installer with malware and virus ❓
The only way I can use SVN. Command line is just not my thing.
The same with above. It’s the only way I could use GIT comfortably.
Git for Windows
This is a required library for Tortoise GIT.
My proffered cloud storage. I’m a Google Apps user, so I have several Google Drive Pro accounts, I also have Microsoft One Drive Account with 1 TB storage. And here’s the reason I choose dropbox even though I only have less than 10 GB max storage:
- I can create direct link to my (public) files. Just right-click and “Copy public link”.
- Never have problem syncing multiple devices. All work smoothly.
- I only need a little storage.
Note: Direct link feature is no longer available for new free user. However it can be activated on request for new paid/pro user(?)
Very cool utility to display my computer information in my desktop such as CPU, RAM, and drive usage. Total internet connection speed (download and upload), etc.
Well, that’s all. that’s pretty much the only apps I use in my computer.
Most of them are free and/or open source software, except for Photoshop. But if you are on the budget, you can use Photoshop 2 for image editing. I still use it until couple month ago.
Thank you so much for all the developer who work hard and release their work for free and/or using open source license. You are the best! 🎇
What is your favorite Windows apps/software ?