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How I setup my Windows UI look and feel

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Here is how to setup a Windows 10 client.

TODO: PowerShell script to automate these manual commands.

NOTE: 64-bit programs install to “C:\Program Files” on 64-bit machines.
Older 32-bit programs install to “C:\Program Files (x86)”.

Apps on a 32-bit computer cannot use all 4 GB (RAM) memory installed because of memory used by video cards, network cards, sound cards, and other devices.

No machine?

There are now several ways to do complicated work on a cheap Chromebook laptop.

Even if you have a top-of-the-line laptop, use SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offerings to minimize backup from local drives and other disk space maintenance toil.


You can run Python without installing Python and all that goes with it) by using Google’s Colab at
where you can run even the largest of Python programs as Jupyter notebooks.

See my wilsonmar.github.io/jupyter

Use AWS Workspaces

Quickly spin up server instances in the cloud using Amazon’s Workspaces.

  1. Login to the console:


  2. If you don’t have an account that’s less than a year old so you can use free small instances, click “Create a new AWS account” to use an email not used before.

  3. Define user.

  4. Click the region to select “Oregon”, which is the only region supporting Workspaces in the US.

  5. Click Services at the top black menu bar to type enough of “Workspaces” to select it.

  6. Click “Get Started Now”.

  7. Click the blue “Launch” under “Quick Setup” (Advanced only applies to people who work with Active Directory)


  8. For Bundles select “Standard with Windows 10” because it’s Free Tier Elgible.

  9. Fill out username, names, email, etc. and click “Launch WorkSpaces”.

  10. Click “View the Workspaces Console”.
  11. Click the refresh icon or press control+R while you wait (about 20 minutes) for the Status to go from “PENDING” to “AVAILABLE”.

  12. assign desktop applications to your Windows WorkSpaces users using Amazon WorkSpaces Application Manager (WAM).

    While you’re waiting

  13. While the server is coming up, highlight and copy the Registration code
  14. Open the Amazon Workspaces app
  15. Mouse to the top of the screen for Workspaces > Options > Manage Registrations.
  16. Paste the Registration Code in the form

    After the server instance becomes available:

  17. Click the black arrow to the left of the Workspace ID to expand it

  18. In your email client, open the email with subject “Your Amazon WorkSpace”.
  19. Click the long link for the pop-up in browser:


  20. Generate a password, paste it in and click “Update User”. Save the Login somewhere.
  21. Switch to your Workspaces local client instead of clicking Download.
  22. Mouse to the top of the screen for Workspaces > Options > Manage Registrations.
  23. Paste the Registration Code in the form
  24. Click Continue to login.
  25. Input the user name and password and Sign In.

    If the button is gray and can’t be clicked, exit the program and invoke it again.

  26. Click “Yes” to Remember Me.

  27. ??? Save the .rpd file. Rename it.
  28. Double-click on the .rdp file to open it

    WorkSpaces appears

  29. Say “No” to Network.

    TODO: image here

  30. Start Camtasia screen recording.
  31. Invoke Mozilla Firefox. Wait for “installing updates”.
  32. Triple-click on the URL to specify https://wilsonmar.github.io/windows


  33. Click Windows icon at the bottom of the screen.
  34. Cursor over the list of Programs and scroll down to the bottom of the programs list.
  35. Click on “Windows PowerShell” to expand the list.
  36. Right-click on “Windows PowerShell” to select “Run as Administrator”.
  37. Click “Yes” to “make changes to your device”.
  38. When the PowerShell screen appears, expand it to full screen.

    Make font larger

  39. Click on the blue icon at the top of “Administrator: Windows PowerShell” to select Properties from the menu.


  40. Click the Font tab.
  41. Click 18 instead of the default 12 point Size. Click OK.

  42. Click Colors tab.
  43. Click the black color at the left of the list.

    Install Chocolatey package manager

  44. Go to https://chocolatey.org/install#installing-chocolatey
  45. Highlight and copy command from website for PowerShell:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(‘https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1’))

  46. Click on the PowerShell window and right-click to select Paste.

  47. When done, refresh the environment for the PowerShell session:

  48. clear screen.

    Install Git package

  49. Install Git client:

    choco install git -y
  50. clear screen.

    Use Git Bash

1, Highlight and copy command from the git-basics website


  1. At the lower-left corner of the screen, click the Windows icon for a menu.
  2. Click “Git Bash”.

  3. Click the icon to select Options menu.
  4. Click “Text”.
  5. Click Font 12 (point).
  6. Click Save to exit dialog.

  7. Click to expand screen full screen.
  8. Paste

  9. When done, refresh the environment for the PowerShell session:

  10. clear screen

Versions of Windows 10

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10_version_history and https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows-10/release-information

Keyboard settings

Do you get a double-quote “ instead of @ when you press shift-2?

  1. First, try pressing left ALT + shift to see if the layout changes. This is the key to swap language setttings.

  2. Click the Windows icon on the keyboard.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click TIME & LANGUAGE.
  5. Click Region & Language.
  6. Select United States since the default is United Kingdom.
  7. Click X to exit dialog.
  8. Try typing again.

Dark Edge Browser

PROTIP: Use a Dark theme. That uses less electricity, doesn’t burn up screen, and is gentler on your eyes.

  1. Click the three dots at the upper right corner.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Dark theme.


When a new Windows desktop is established, there is this dialog:

PROTIP: If you click “Recommended”, you’ll have to click “Add” many times. For example, go to Google.com and you’ll need to add several URLS:

  • https://www.google.com
  • https://apis.google.com
  • https://ssl.google-analytics.com
  • https://2542116.fls.doubleclick.net
  • https://www.googleadservices.com


  1. Uncheck “Continue to prompt when website content is blocked”.
  2. Click “Close” button.

Install Cisco VPN

This is only needed within a corporate enterprise environment.

  1. Open an internet browser for the URL supplied.
  2. If there is a certificate issue, connect anyway.
  3. Type in your credentials.
  4. Save password.
  5. Click to install the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobile Client.
  6. Click Run, accept license, etc. and Finish.

  7. Click the Windows key or click the omni-search box.
  8. Type VPN for Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobile Client.
  9. PROTIP: You’ll be invoking the VPN a lot, so alt-click on it to Pin to Taskbar.
  10. In the client pop-up, enter the URL (usually with a port number).
  11. If you see an error, see the Cisco’s Troubleshooting Guide.

  12. If “Untrusted VPN Server Blocked”, click Change Setting.
  13. Uncheck “Block connections to untrusted servers”.
  14. Switch back to the dialog with the URL and try again to Connect.
  15. Type in credentials when prompted.
  16. Close the download page.

Open Command Window

There are several ways to open a Command Window on Windows 10 or Windows 2016.

A). PROTIP: This is the easiest (to me):

  1. Right-click the Windows “Start” icon at the lower-left corner


  2. Select one:

    • Command Prompt
    • Command Prompt (Admin)

B). Pick from menu:

  1. Click the Windows “Start” icon at the lower-left corner.

  2. If the Command Prompt appears, right-click on it to Run as Administrator.


C). Type program:

  1. Right-click the Windows “Start” icon at the lower-left corner

  2. Even though there is no form field, type cmd until Command Prompt appears in a list.
  3. Press Enter or click on the desired item.

While you’re there for the first time:

  1. Notice the default location is C:\Users\Administrator
  2. Type dir to list folders.

Windows package Chocolatey

Install Chocoteley

  1. Open a Command Prompt as Administrator.
  2. Copy this text and right-click on the command window:

    @powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin

    This is from the Chocolatey website at https://chocolatey.org

  3. Press Enter to execute the line. The response should end with:

    You can call choco from anywhere, command line or powershell by typing choco.
    Run choco /? for a list of functions.
    You may need to shut down and restart powershell and/or consoles
     first prior to using choco.
    Ensuring chocolatey commands are on the path
    Ensuring chocolatey.nupkg is in the lib folder
  4. Type exit and press Enter to close the command window.

    Install Chrome

  5. Click the Windows start logo.
  6. Right-click Command and select Run as Administrator.
  7. Copy (or retype) this command:

    choco install googlechrome -y

    The expected response is:

    The install of googlechrome was successful.

    Alternately, download the Chrome browser installer from: https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/index.html

  8. PROTIP: Pin the icons to the taskbar, then remove icons from the Desktop.
  9. Enter Chrome the first time. Select the default browser dialog opion.

    Install Firefox

  10. This:

    choco install firefox -y

    Alternately, manually download installer from https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/?icn=tabz

    Install JDK

  11. This:

    choco install jdk8 -y

    At time of wirting, the message was “Downloading from http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u92-b14/jdk-8u92-windows-x64.exe”.

  12. Exit and invoke cmd again to verify:

    java -version

    Sample response at time of writing:

    java version "1.8.0_144"
    Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_144-b01)
    Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.144-b01, mixed mode)

    Install Git for Windows

  13. This:

    choco install msysgit -y

  14. Click the Windows “start” icon.
  15. “Git Bash” should appear among the application icons.



    There is SourceTree free visual Git and Hg client for Mac and Windows

    Install 7-zip

  16. Install 7zip (instead of from http://7-zip.org/download.html)

    choco install 7zip -y

    PROTIP: After downloading .iso, I use 7-zip to expand the file into a regular folder.

    Install Visual Studio

  17. Install from https://chocolatey.org/packages?q=Visual+Studio

    Specifically: https://chocolatey.org/packages/VisualStudio2017Community

    choco install visualstudio2017community -y

    NOTE: https://chocolatey.org/packages/VisualStudio2017Professional

  18. Type “exit” to exit the Command Prompt.
  19. Click the Microsoft Windows “start” icon to see the list of apps recently installed.
  20. If you will be using Visual Studio a lot, drag “Visual Studio 2017” and drop it on the Task Bar at the bottom of the screen.
  21. Double-click on a Visual Studio 2017 icon to open it.
  22. Click “Maybe later” or Sign-in to your Microsoft account.
  23. The first time, select a theme and click “Start Visual Studio”.

    Install Other Developer tools


  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Node

Text editors:

  • Notepad++
  • Sublime Text
  • Eclipse

File storage:

  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Box.com
  • Dropbox.com

Bin folder

  1. Create a C:\bin folder to hold programs accessed from the Windows command line.
  2. Specify that path in Environment Variables.
  3. Put files in that folder (from cloud Google Driver, etc.)

    • Putty for SSH into Linux machines
    • WinSCP for exchanging files with Linux machines
    • Windows Powertools
    • zip.exe (WinZip licensed version)
    • curl.exe (HTTP command line)

Invalid client-side certificate

If a website has a certificate warning such as this:

NOTE: This may be due to several root causes:

  • Time and date settings incorrect on either the client or server.
  • Anti-virus program (Kaspersky and BitDefender) is blocking the connection.
  • SSL certificate name mismatch error.
  • SSL certificate used is self-signed, is not issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA).
  • SSL certificate is untrusted.

Firefox ignore add-on


Save certificate in Chrome

To avoid needing to click ADVANCED:

  1. Click on the broken certificate icon.
  2. click the Details link that appears.

  3. Click View Certificate.
  4. Click tab Details tab.
  5. Click Copy to File for the Certificate Export Wizard.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Choose Cryptogragphic Message Syntax Standad - PKCS #7 cert.
  8. Click Browse to select the folder.
  9. Type a file name (such as itw-tfs2016) for the default .p7b file extension.
  10. Click Next. Click Finish.
  11. Click OK to the successful pop-up.

  12. Use File Explorer to navigate to the file just created.
  13. Alt+click on the certificate file to choose Install Certificate.
  14. Click Next.
  15. Leave “Automatically select the cert store” and click Next.
  16. Click Finish.
  17. Click OK to “The import was successful” pop-up.

  18. Close Chrome and open it again to try the URL.

    This time, you should only need to confirm the password saved by the browser.

  19. You may have to export it as a der encoded binary x.509 instead and then when you import it bring it into the local machine.

    Add client-side certificate in Chrome

  20. click include all servers in the cer path if possible
  21. click next

Sharing VMWare Fusion

This is only for VMWare Fusion instances:

  1. Click Enable Shared Folders.
  2. Check Downloads among Mirrored Folders.
  3. Click red X to exit.
  4. Click OK to confirm and log off and on again.



These are not needed if the machine is within a virtual box.

  • Skype
  • Slack

PowerShell Scripts

Windows Privacy

Set Windows 10 privacy settings by running a PowerShell script from https://github.com/MichiMunich/Windows10-Privacy/blob/master/scripts/Windows10_Privacy.ps1

Bash Scripts

In 2017, Microsoft enabled in Windows Bash Shell scripts previously only on Linux and MacOS.