Gone are the days of abject terror in the face of a Windows re-installation or computer upgrade thanks to cloud storage, cheap external hard drives, and tools like Ninite. If you are still storing all your precious documents, pictures, and music strictly on your local hard drive, stop everything and implement a backup plan or at the very least make a copy of all your digital stuff to an external hard drive or use a Pogoplug to have your own network storage.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been keeping a running list of my must-have programs with their respective links so that I wouldn’t be starting from scratch when I get a new computer or need to perform a major repair on an existing one. While that is useful, going to all those sites to download the apps then install each one individually is a huge time sink. Another strategy is to keep the program files in a folder in cloud or network storage. The downside there is that those files can be fairly large, but worse is that software is a moving target and inevitably those files are going to be out of date by the time they need to be used.
Fortunately there is Ninite, a one-stop-shop for a majority of your must-have Windows apps. While the apps available on Ninite are just those available free to users, it covers the major categories of necessary software including: browsers, messaging, media, security, and utilities. All you have to do is select the apps you want and click the “Get Installer” button. Ninite provides a single executable file that will then install all your selected programs without any further action from you.
This is when the real beauty of the service shines. Not only does it eliminate all steps for each of the individual program installations, it also automatically declines toolbars, chooses the correct version for 32 or 64-bit system (great for parents or complete novices), and ensures that the latest version of the software is installed. Best of all, it doesn’t require registration to use the service. Just choose and install.
Don’t you wish moving in real life could be this easy? Ninite is currently available for Windows and Linux users. For Mac users feeling left out, there is a similar type of service from Bodega that is worth checking out.
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