From St. Louis Hackerspace Wiki
It is a good to use some programs that Linux has to offer without having to completely install Linux.
Must Have Software
A full list of what I have installed will be posted later. I haven't been able to get Cygwin/X set up, and frankly, I don't really see the need to do so. Yet some components still want to use Cygwin/X components anyway.
The best way to enjoy Cygwin is to NOT click on the Cygwin icon. Instead, in the setup.exe program, look for a terminal emulator program called MinTTY. Cygwin's default shell program (the one that will appear when you click on the Cygwin icon) is terrible. MinTTY is a better alternative. It supports copy and paste functionality and behaves much like Linux does.
When you write programs in MinTTY, you can write them just as you would if you were using Linux rather than in some kind of clunky Windows adaptation. MinTTY uses the bash shell.
There is a version of Vim for Windows, but Cygwin also has Vim available. It is one of the few softwares that Cygwin keeps up to date. (That's not to say that Cygwin isn't up to date with all of its programs available. The people who work on Cygwin are aware of this issue and are working on it.)
Before you use Vim, you will need to be in the home directory (~) and type the following command.
This will allow the arrow keys and the backspace to work. However, it doesn't completely fix all of Vim for Cygwin's nasty behavior. Editing the .vimrc file is a MUST to correct a few other issues that Vim has. How to fix those issues, will be posted in this wiki in the near future.
You could install ActiveState Perl, but Perl has been ported to Cygwin. It is usually kept up to date with its Linux counterpart.
GNU Compiler Collection
The most difficult part about the GNU Compiler Collection is that it is split into several parts. On the other hand, this is a good thing, especially if you don't use GCC for any of your FORTRAN, Java, Ada, or Objective C programming. You can avoid installing those packages.
Cygwin generally has a stable version of the GCC packages available.
Python is very easy to use. So easy, you can even use it to create Graphical User Interfaces with minimal effort. Python is a good way to prototype programs that you can probably write in C or C++ later.
The Cygwin team is working on getting Python to be up to date. (At the time of this writing, Cygwin still uses Python 2.5 where as Python 2.6 and Python 3.1 are available. Most Python programmers agree that it is too early to upgrade to Python 3.1.)
IRSSI is a text-based IRC program. When used in MinTTY (where copy and paste functions are available), it is even more user friendly. BitchX fans will definitely enjoy IRSSI. IRSSI is an outstanding alternative to GUI based-clients like X-Chat and mIRC.
IRSSI supports themes and scripts. Scripts are written in Perl.
Install this, then connect to your site using
and your done!