If it hurts, do it more often

I’ve been thinking that I should refresh my Surface Book, especially in light of the findings of Consumer Reports and Microsoft’s objections and my own freeze/dark screen problems, but I’ve been putting it off because it’s painful.

Reinstalling multiple applications, restoring my configurations, and retrieving my data all seem like big chores. Once I realized that, however, I reflected on one of the batch-size principles: if it hurts, do it more often.

So I started to look into automating the process and ran across an old, eye-opening series of blog posts about “Scripting the setup of a developer PC.”


While I knew about Chocolatey and plan to use it, the biggest eye-opener was Ninite, which bundles up a bunch of free software installs into one big download-and-install.

I still need to take inventory of everything, but the idea is to ensure that I know where my data and config files are, and then do the following:

  1. Clean re-install of Windows 10
  2. Scripted/bundled install of my applications
  3. Scripted configuration restore or configuration of as much as possible

All of my non-config data should be accessible via some sort of sync, except for my virtual machines, although that really points to the immediate need to start backing those up somewhere handy.

If it hurts, do it more often

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