Cool tools to avoid suffering with Windows

After two years working only with Linux and Mac OS, I received a new task that requires using Windows for two months (only two months, happily). It’s hard to get back to this bugful, unstable and confusing world: I do believe Linux and Mac OS are easier to use than Windows, that big world of icons that lead to icons that lead to icons that lead to nowhere, but I’m doing my best.

I tried to find a set of useful and free (as in “free beer” and/or as in “free speech”) tools to make my work easier. They are:

Classic Shell Setup

I don’t know why Microsoft removed the toolbar from Windows Explorer since Windows Vista, but this application tries to put it back there. It also allows you to get some customisation of Start Menu, and get a simple, fast and useful menu like the Windows 9x/ME/2000 times.


I like gedit and kate, and the native alternative for Windows is Notepad++: a good editor for plain text files, like source code.


With support for MSN/Live/whatever network, Google Talk, ICQ, etc. Pidgin is one of the best chat clients. I’d rather use it than the fancy MSN Live Messenger.


Why use iTunes or the suffering Windows Media Player if you can use Winamp? It has a clean interface, a good way to organise library (although it’s a little bit iTunesy) and a simple playlist, everything in the same screen. I really love the good and old Winamp.


Winamp can play some videos, but I think VLC is a better tool for this job. Besides, it has a great support for a huge range  of video formats and features for users with any needs and all experience levels.

Windows 95: someone still loves you

Or at least uses you.

I use StatPress to get statistics of the last readers of this blog. One of the informations I have access to are the operating systems that the last visitors were using. And how surprising it was to discover that I still have a visitor that was using Windows 95:

I really hope this person is using some extension to change his/her browser’s user agent header or just woke up from a sleep of 10 years or more.

Instalando o bom e velho StarCraft no (argh) Windows Vista ou 7

Hoje vou falar de algo que nunca achei que citaria aqui: Windows. Fazer o quê, o Windows é um bom video game. E, enquanto o novo StarCraft II não sai, a gente fala do bom e velho StarCraft e sua expansão Brood War, que continuam divertidos.

Ontem, no trabalho, um colega meu me mostrou na internet um site vendendo o antigo StarCraft + expansão Brood War, juntos(!) por US$ 5,99 (cerca de R$ 10,50 na cotação do dólar de hoje). Esquema simples: você paga, baixa o jogo e consegue uma CD-key válida para jogar online.

No caso do StarCraft, você compra no link citado acima, cria uma conta na, informa o código que você recebe por e-mail da loja onde você comprou o jogo, recebe uma CD-key válida e baixa o jogo.

Depois de algumas horas apanhando, aqui vão algumas considerações para você que deseja instalar o StarCraft, essa pérola de 1998, atual e divertido até hoje:

  • Quando for conectar na pela primeira vez, ele vai reclamar que você está usando uma versão antiga e tentar instalar um patch. Desista. Baixe o patch e instale-o manualmente, como administrador: