Assembling the actual hardware is easy, as our PC build guides have proven, but the most time-consuming part of the entire DIY process is software configuration. First, you have to download a reasonable web browser. Once that's done, you have to download all the other programs you regularly use, install them, and so on - which can easily take hours when factoring in download times and the occasional smash-head-against-wall breaks.
This is where Ninite comes in. I recently discovered the tool when configuring the [HTPC build I posted about] recently, and it made my life significantly easier. Ninite has a list of programs which can be selected through checkboxes, downloaded, and installed; it automates the process, making your time requirement for setup nearly zero. Although you lose some of the "advanced installation" options in some cases, most of the time, it's simply not important to specify those items (or they can be added on post-install).
Here's a video we made of how Ninite works:
In short, you first checkmark the items you want on Ninite's website, click "Get Installer" at the bottom, launch the installer, then observe as Ninite downloads and installs all these programs rapidly!
It's quick and easy. It almost feels like cheating, really. Ninite batch downloads and installs applications and programs, making Windows configuration and installation much quicker. Unfortunately, there's no way to specify installation destinations for Ninite (i.e. other partitions), but as most of the applications are small and considered 'core' applications, there's not much harm in installing them on your primary partition, even if it's an SSD. We're talking megabytes, here.
Have any questions or suggestions for the next software spotlight? Do you want us to find you a program that performs a certain task? Post below!
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.