Today is my first day at my new assignment. My company gave me a new(er) corporate laptop with a plain vanilla install of Windows XP Pro to use at my client site. Last night I had the joy of looking upon that fresh computer and thinking of the wonders that could be. I got ready to install the base programs that take a windows machine from factory to awesome. Here is my essential install list.
- Firefox – The first and only time I interact with Internet Explorer is to go download Firefox
- Heaven.cube theme
- Delicious Bookmarks extension
- Echofon extension
- Firebug extension
- FireGestures extension
- Flash plugin
- Programming Languages
- Haskell Platform 2009.2.0.2
- Java EE 5 SDK Update 8 (JDK 6 U17)
- CLISP LispBox
- Python 3.1.1
- Ruby 1.8.6 (I would have rather gone with 1.9.1, but the one-click windows installer is lagging behind and I one-click was all I wanted to do)
- Development Tools
- Dia – a drawing program
- ClipX – best clipboard manager
- Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers
- PSPad – awesome free editor
- Tools Windows should come with
Then I spent plenty of time monkeying with the filesystem, the wallpaper, things that don’t particularly matter, but make the laptop feel like home to me. I made my icons and text smaller, since I’m used to a giant monitor and the 1280×800 resolution felt a little cluttered to me. Now though I feel right at home with this machine, and feel like this is the best possible time of laptop ownership, right after you’ve got it set up just the way you like it, right before you add stupid things that pollute the registry and mess up your beautiful filesystem.
The other clean slate, the less fun one, is my brain. I have all kinds of knowledge in my brain about my last projects, but today I find myself swimming in a see of paths and acronyms and weird buildings, and a chair that isn’t quite high enough to be comfortable. I’m starting to wrap my mind around the acronyms and getting a grip on what exactly we are doing here, but I fear it will take more time to feel as comfortable with this new position as I do with my new laptop.
Suffice it to say it could be much worse, I can clearly still push to my blog, so that’s sweet. The people I am working with seem cool and fun, the project seems like a lot of work but nothing that we can’t handle. I will probably have a whole different viewpoint in a week when I truly realize the scope of the project and settle into a nice little routine.
So far, so good, I’m off to read another IBM pdf that is half marketing / half documentation. Wish me luck.