Tagged With installers

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Windows/Linux: One of the most irritating things about reinstalling your operating system is installing all the non-OS applications you love. Allmyapps lets you select all your favourite apps and roll them into a bulk installer to make rebuilding easy.

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Next time you wipe your PC's hard drive clean and reinstall Windows with that old installation disc, you don't want to connect your fresh, unpatched and vulnerable system to the internet only to download 176 new updates from Microsoft. If your XP installation CD is older than 2004, once your system is online, you'll have to wait for hefty service packs to download, chained to your mouse while pushing the Next button, watching progress bars, and rebooting multiple times. Wouldn't it be better to start your installation, head out to run errands or grab coffee, and come back to an up-to-date system before your system gets online? It's possible, using some free software and a blank disc. After the jump, I'll show you how to create an automated, customised XP installation CD or DVD, that includes Microsoft's official-but-not-released Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.

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Windows only: You'll often see a no-install, runs-from-its-own-executable program or utility get a special nod on this blog—and for good reason, as a jam-packed "Add/Remove" screen is not a pretty thing. But for those with a lot of one-use apps to wrangle and find, free utility ZipInstaller makes a lot of sense. It does what it sounds like—"installs" the files from their unpacked .zip archives to a dedicated spot, and makes their utilities accessible from the Start Menu (or Launchy or another favourite app-launcher). As the FreewareGenius blog points out, this has the added bonus of helping you remember you have the little guy available in the first place, rather than letting it collect dust in some corner of your Program Files folder. ZipInstaller is a free download for Windows systems only.

ZipInstaller

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One of the very few things that can remind a new Ubuntu Linux user of the long-ago days of ancient Windows is when the system asks for the installation CD or DVD to install a program or utility. That's because Ubuntu keeps the CD as an installation option by default, looking for it whenever a net connection isn't present. To keep CD begging at bay, the FOSSwire blog recommends the following:

In Ubuntu (the normal Gnome version), go to System > Administration > Software Sources. On Kubuntu, head to the Adept Manager application, then go to Adept > Manage Repositories. Go to the Third Party Software tab Note: In Ubuntu 7.10, this option is in the "Ubuntu Software" tab instead Uncheck any entries starting with "cdrom," then reload software lists if prompted

Experienced Linux users likely handle most of their software source editing in the command line, but this tweak should help prevent a few headaches for beginners.

Prevent Ubuntu asking for the CD to install packages

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One of the best parts of getting a new computer for the holidays—other than that new computer smell—is setting up a fresh, clean system exactly how you want it. Your customised productivity apps, your favorite media players, and maybe even some of the software tools you've seen on one blog or another.

But searching out, click-click-click-installing, and keeping all those programs updated in Windows can add up to some serious time. We've covered automation apps like InstallPad and AppSnap, and updating tools such as FileHippo, but I've found that Appupdater, a Linux-like command line tool, can handle both functions, automatically, with just a little tapping in the command line.

Follow along after the jump and we'll get started on keeping a number of ultra-useful Windows programs up to date and making them easy to load on a new system.