Setting up the Desktop from the Cloud

Over the last week I have done 2 clean installs of windows 7, one for my Work computer and one for my home desktop. The process of setting up a computer can be time consuming, but for these installations I used two different tools to help make it easier. Ninite and AllMyapps, though I like the idea of both I found that each had its issues.

Ninite Categories
Web Browsers
File Sharing
Developer Tools


Its all about being simple, the website lets you choose applications by categories. Each category has between 3 and 9 applications to choose from. When you are done your section you download a single executable. You run it and it installs all the selected applications. There are a limited number of apps but they have all but one of the applications I included in my Apps for a new system post back in may. The only one missing is a commercial application so that isn’t bad.

The installs themselves seem to be done in sequential order and seem pretty fast. There also seems to be plans for a business orientated version with additional features and of course a fee. It will be interesting to see what the looks like.

Some of Categories on Allmyapps:
and many more….


Is a much more ambitious concept, instead of being just a way to build a custom installer for your favourite programs. Its a site for managing and installing applications. It consists of the website for selecting the application and a desktop client that does the actual install. You can install all the applications in your List in one go, it also provides allows you to do one click installs for all the applications in its repository. Which seems to contain a lot of programs, including games.

Another added benefit is support for multiple operating system.  The site also supports Ubuntu Linux, and though I don’t have a computer running Linux to test it on, there seems to be more Linux applications then windows.  If face as I looked over the blog and other parts of the site, it would seem that Windows isn’t there primary focus, which could explain why some of the Windows applications I installed weren’t up today. There also seems to have support for commercial applications in the interface, though everything I looked at for windows was free.


Both of these sites make setting up a new computer easier, Lets look at each and what I liked and didn’t like. I want to touch on one of the biggest strengths and weaknesses of these tools. They are both wrappers for installers. For both you choose the applications you want download the wrapper and execute it. It then goes online to get each program you selected and installs them using default selections. These is great in theory but in practice it can fall short. First off if the repository used by the application is out of date you don’t get the newest versions. Second the thought of adding another few hundred meg to my post install downloads seems like it could be excessive if you are setting up more then one computer. These could be solved if there was a cache that could be used instead of always pulling from the Internet.

In the end I’m impressed with both these Sites and will be watching them in the future to see what surprises they have in store for us.


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