Creating a Windows 2008 Server x64 Developer Workstation

For about a year now I have been running Ubuntu on my personal laptop. A stab at diversity. I was playing with Rails in my spare time and also needed to brush up on my Unix. I was young… willing to experiment. My direction changed back to .Net, I am loving C# 3.0 by the way, yet I kept my Linux laptop because it was so swift and easy to use. A poor man’s Mac Book really. The only thing I couldn’t do with Hardy Heron, yes that is the name of the distribution, was .Net development with my familiar toolset. I am very very addicted to Visual Studio.Net IDE (sorry MonoDevelop, I know cop out.) Doing some development with ASP.Net MVC has had me wishing for a development machine that supports IIS 7 and I saw all the cool kids Chad and Jeremy doing development on Windows Server 2008 so I thought I would give it a try. Here is a short running log of the whole ordeal.


  • Spent a lot of time rounding up Vista drivers for my Lenovo 3000 V100 ultra portable yet pretty darn powerful laptop.
  • Install Drivers, Reboot, Drivers, Reboot, rinse lather repeat.
  • Lots of Windows Server 2008 Workstation tweaks. This part is really key to making Windows Server feel like a desktop OS.
  • Install Firefox a browser for the Internets.
  • Finally found chipset and video drivers at Intel that would install on Windows Server 2008. Reboot. Reboot. Grr, only basic Aero support.
  • Looks like this is going to work! Start Downloading VS.Net 2008.
  • Notepad++ – Notepad replacement
  • Adobe Flash Player. Really just a pavlovian response. (No Silverlight yet.)
  • Skype – Phone
  • Twhirl (needs Air) – Twitter Client
  • Digsby – IM Client
  • Launchy – keyboard shortcut launch utility
  • Winsplit Revolution – great window management via keyboard shortcuts. But… not working so well with out a full numeric keypad.
  • Windows Live Writer – Grr only the technical preview works with x64
  • Magic Disc – my new favorite tool for mounting/burning ISO images.
  • Get me some source control support via Svn, Tortoise SVN, Git
  • Started trolling through Scott Hanselman’s Tools List
  • Foxit Reader – PDF viewing
  • Finally start installing VS.Net 2008 via USB key
  • TestDriven.Net – Test Runner for VS.Net
  • Visual SVN – SVN integration with VS.Net
  • Resharper – It is like I am standing around naked at a red hat society meeting uncomfortable if I don’t have this going.
  • Query Express – Handy SQL Query tool
  • MS Sql Server 2005
  • I am sure I have a lot of little things left to go but I am tired and it is late.


The trouble of doing all of this is quite horrible when I compare it to installing packages in Ubuntu. Microsoft needs to do better with an actual coherent software installation experience. Windows Installer is quite the backwater compared to what Apple and the Linux community have to offer. Selecting all my favorite software using something like this would be pretty nice.

An Ubunty Package Managment Tool