As an engineering student, I'm forced to use Windows for certain software, including SolidWorks, MATLAB, and Ansys Mechanical. Unfortunately, Windows is a truly terrible operating system that works against the user in every way possible. Here is a collection of things that I do to make it a little bit more usable.
Windows 10 is still well supported as of writing, and Windows 11 offers me no benefits besides an even less coherent UI and new dialogs to learn.
Paying $100+ for Windows and Office is unreasonable, so I use these scripts to activate it for free.
Unfortunately some apps I need are only downloadable via the Microsoft Store, which is not included in Windows 10 LTSC, so to add it back, you can follow the instructions published in this MakeUsOf article.
Even Windows LTSC still ships with user-monitoring and spyware built into the operating system, so I use O&O ShutUp10++ to remove most of it.
Most unix systems have a setting called "focus follows mouse" where the window under the mouse is brought to focus so you can, for example, quickly alternate entering text between two windows just by hovering your mouse over the one you want to use. Windows has something similar to this feature, however it also raises the requested window to the top, which takes away much of the convinience of traditional focus follows mouse behaviour.
X-Mouse Control is an open-source application that you only need to run once to set Windows to behave with this traditional behaviour.
I use it to enable my Colemak-DH keymap, and to remap caps/control/escape.
Last updated on 2024-01-16