A text editor, a decent graphics program, and seven web browsers is usually sufficient.
Which text editor and graphics program you use are not all that important as long as they do the job. More important is that you have IE6, IE7, IE8, and the latest Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera installed for testing.
I would use Notepad if you are a first-time designer. I think it is important to understand the code writing because it helps you read others code and learn from that. I’ve heard great things about dreamweaver but as a newbie myself, I am still in notepad and haven’t invested in Dreamweaver yet.
Oh, is this Virtual PC 2007? I’ve since done a little research and found that this was released for WinXP back in 2008. Your setup sounds great. Is this something that can be turned on only when you need it? Or does it not take a lot of resources? And I’m also wondering if it can be installed on an external drive.
I am running Virtual PC on Windows XP to provide me with IE6 and IE7 (as well as Linux, OS/2 and Windows NT). I have five separate setups within Virtual PC on Windows XP that provide me with all those aloternatives.
I use Evrsoft First Page 2006 which can be downloaded for free.
This free version does everything I want for my website but on occasion it does feel the need to freeze so I just make sure I save regularly and it is OK. I have thought about upgrading to something else but not got around to it.
I use Notepad++, PaintShop Pro 7 / SnagIt, SmartFTP and all 8 web browsers (the 7 you listed plus Lynx).
I don’t know about the one mentioned, however I did some testing a while back and I know for a fact that both IETester and the spoon installers do correctly trigger the right jScript runtimes for the browser version Whether the results are entirely accurate is up for debate, but they do use the right files through API calls.