Just got my new work laptop set up in record time thanks to:
Firefox (of course). Thanks to our benevolent Google overlords, so much is in teh cloud that I’m most of the way there with a browser window.
Digsby, for all IM client needs, including GTalk and my work-specific Jabber account. Plus a Twitter client. Digsby stores everything in the cloud so there’s no re-configuration. Just install, login, and done.
XAMPP, which I discovered upon setting up my new personal laptop two weeks ago has improved greatly and now installs Apache and MySQL (and FileZilla server if you want) as services like a breeze and then has a tiny little “control center” running in the tray in case you need to stop/start /check-up-on anything.
That’s all I really need to get to work. There are a few other minor things, FileZilla client to pull down a fresh copy of the site I’m working on, and eventually I’ll need to install Tortoise SVN to pull down and/or manage (all mine are a mess at the moment) all the various repositories I work with, but that’s really about it. Being a work machine, Office came pre- installed, so I’m using Outlook for the work IMAP account (if I could pull that into Gmail I would, believe me, but it still beats Thunderbird).
The only thing I failed to mention above is Photoshop, which is both the beefiest application on my must-haves list, and the only one that’s not free!