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niniteHeadSo when you get a new machine or you do a reformat what is the first thing you do? If you are not imaging your system, chances are you will need to install the pieces of software that enable your machine to be a tool instead of a big paper weight.

I find myself downloading Putty, [NO LONGER WORKS] VLC, Firefox and a multitude of other applications each time I install. The ones I downloaded the last time around are easily outdated.

It is important to grab the latest and greatest versions to protect against bugs or other issues with the software. So you have a list of 10 items you need to download and install. Wouldn’t it be MUCH easier if we could select these applications from  a list or website and have IT download and install my applications?

It sure would be! And now we will show you how you can do just that! Head on over to Ninite and once you are there it will be a breeze to get the applications you want on your system with a limited amount of clicking. (Note: Ninite currently works only on Windows PCs)

Once you hit the installer app site you will see a screen that looks like this:

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Under the instructions you will see applications and check boxes. You can install from a vast array of applications ranging from Skype to Firefox, Dropbox to Google Earth and back to Putty and Notepad ++.  You will see the applications broken up into categories that include Web Browsers, Messaging, Imaging, Documents, Anti Virus, File Sharing, utilities, compression, tools and other items. The list is quite extensive but if something is not there you can suggest it!

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Let’s run through the list and check the check box next to each item you want to download.  If you want FoxIt reader installed simply click the box next to it – it is that simple. When you are done selecting the items you want in your installer app, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen.

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You will see directly under the entry for Eclipse there is a grey button that says – Get Installer. All you need to do is hit this button and a custom installer app will be created for you on the fly so you can install all of these packages with ease. I selected 3 items and hit Get Installer.

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The screen changed and told me the download would start shortly – I can only imagine they are compiling your download at this point. And sure enough in about 1 minute another window popped up.

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My new installer app was ready to be downloaded and installed. I clicked Save File and Firefox saved the file to my normal download folder. I navigated through the jungle that is my hard drive and double clicked on the executable. The file’s name has all of the applications listed that you selected. That’s nifty!

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Once I ran it it started preparing to run which took about 30 seconds.

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Then the application started downloading my installers at the speed of light. The three of them were complete in under 1 minute.

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As soon as the downloads were complete Ninite started installing each of the applications silently. I saw NO prompts. Very cool!

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And as quick as it started – it was complete.

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Upon checking my start menu all of the applications I choose were installed with the newest versions. This is a very handy tool!

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Does anyone else use something like this on Windows? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

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