I know, I know, what the hell am I doing talking about windows, right? Well, unfortunately, even I get stuck having to run it in some instances, like when a vendor we work with uses a vpn that is only supported in win32. On the bright side, it is just a vm.
Anyways, on to better things, some tools. I have been playing with a few different tools for windows for years. Recently, I even had to run one of them because minicom and screen were not interpreting the console output correctly from a Dell switch that had some junk data (and yes, my baud and everything else was correct :p).
After writing this post the first time, I found an impressive tool that replaced a number of the tools all at once. I don't have a need for quite as much when I use the right tools to begin with.
Updated tools that I use under windows (ALL Free/Open Source!):
Pretty extensive list, and of course, I am not including things like firewalls/antivirus/malware, yadda yadda. It is worth noting, contrary to belief, a VM can cause trouble on your network. It really and truly depends on your given setup. I prefer not to use windows, so I try to keep it to a light set of tools I need to use.
Now, a bit about each of these tools:
TeraTerm Pro is a Terminal Emulator, but the main reason I like it is for Serial support. I have had the most success with TTP over other tools for this purpose.
MobaXTerm - I replaced a number of tools with this single tool. It has replaced my linux shell tools, as well as replaced cygwin and console2. Using the plugins, you can extend it and it has most things you could really want.
Classic Shell — Ok, now here is one that many windows 8 users long to discover. I hate what MS has done with the windows 8 desktop (It's better in windows 10, if that makes you feel better). It is such a huge hassle. Well, Classic Shell is here to save the day. Install it, and it brings back the classic start menu concept. I usually run Aero, just so that I feel somewhat at home. Between Classic Shell and the widgets extension, I am “appeased”.
Notepad++ — I use this as one of my mainstay editors on windows. I like to tinker, so you may find me in one of two others too: Atom (I used to depend on Sublime Text but replaced it), or GViM — Hello Solarized — Terminal: Dark. Gvim – Light.
Securepoint OpenVPN Client – Yes, I know that openvpn has its own gui. Yes, I have used it. I find that it sucks. I came across this one and happily and readily traded it in for my old openvpn gui. Has been solid for me so far.
Peazip — Had been using jzip, it's adware sponsored now. 7zip doesn't have as nice of a ui, so Peazip it is.
So, there you have it. A list of tools to help you improve your windows environment.