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Author Topic: Mini-Review of FileBoss  (Read 16236 times)
wraith808
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« on: May 17, 2008, 12:14:55 PM »

As promised:

Basic Info

App NameFileBoss
App URLhttp://theutilityfactory.com/
App Version Reviewed2.002
Test System SpecsWindows XP Pro SP2
Supported OSesWindows XP, Vista
Support MethodsWebform, e-mail, phone
Upgrade PolicyNot explicitly stated*
Trial Version Available?Trial is available at http://theutilityfactory.com/download/download.htm.  Time limited, but no limitations during that time.
Pricing Scheme49.99USD for Single-User license.**




Intro: FileBoss is a robust and full-featured file manager replacement for Windows.  Some of the features include: multi-pane multi-tabbed file groups allow you to browse your files in many different ways.  Advanced copy features allow you to copy files with robust error recovery so the copy does not fail because one file failed.  FileBoss includes a powerful batch renaming function,
and the ability to touch files and manipulate attributes of many files at the same time.  It has an advanced file find function that allows you to specify search definitions and save the searches in virtual folders that can automatically update when you open FileBoss again.  This is a file manager literally chock-full of tools to let you manipulate files the way that you want to.


Who is this app designed for:

This application is designed for anyone that wants to more efficiently manage their files.  The features are for the most part unobtrusive, so even the beginner can use this file manager as simply as they would use explorer.

The Good

The interface is very straightforward, and includes not many non-standard windows controls.  Personally, I found the toolbar a bit heavy, but it is in the Office 2007 format, and I feel the same way about that suite of programs.  The buttons on the toolbar are contextual, i.e. they change depending on the context of your focus; I didn't like the fact that they disappeared at times.  But again, that is a subjective judgement.  The interface is completely configurable as far as where things are, and the windows are dockable, and can be auto-hidden as needed. 



It has a lot of features- and not useless ones, but things that I use a variety of utilities to do on a daily basis.  It's like they packed the kitchen sink into the product!  Searches with virtual folders to allow you to work with your search folders at any time.



The search was a lot faster than the windows search, and I do like that you can save these virtual folders.



This screen shows the dialog presented when you save for the first time.  You can save virtual folders as definitions (this has the disadvantage that it has to re-perform the search whenever you open FileBoss), or a complete virtual folder.  I also like that the tree is completely traversable, and filters out files so that only the ones present in that part of the tree (including subfolders) are visible.  You can also in the list view choose to show folders or not, and the folders will be colored differently.



You have to be aware that when saving these virtual folders, if they are open when FileBoss is closed, by default they will be open when you re-open FileBoss, resulting in a definite slowdown as the application is opened; none of the other open folders are shown until the search is complete.

Speaking of searches, FileBoss also has a drop down menu of saved searches, shown below.



Or you can define your own search parameters.  There are quite a few already defined, but the search can be as easy or as complicated as you like.



Once you instigate a search, a progress dialog is shown; I like the manner in which it shows the pattern that is being searched for.



In my evaluation time, I could not discern how to add to this menu; the edit menu option only allowed you to edit the existing definitions, and this particular help topic did not work.

As opposed to a search, a filtering function is available only on live folders.  If you click the filter button, the menu below is shown.



This filtering is pretty much instantaneous, and stays on until you turn it off again from the filter menu.  I like that in this mode, a line is shown above the files, to let you know not only that the files are filtered, but what the filter is.



If you have a filtered window open, and click explore, the filter will be maintained in the new tab.  Speaking of the explore button, it seems that some functionality is duplicated; the menu under the explore button brings up the exact same menu as the favorites button.  I'm not sure if I'm missing something there, but it is a minor point in any case.



Another feature which I enjoyed was the fact that when you right click on an item in the file list, FileBoss doesn't assume that you want the FileBoss menu.  So many applications assume this, and it drives me crazy; many applications add to the file menu, and to have to go through extra clicks to access these menus is annoying.  FileBoss merely adds a menu option at the bottom of the standard
file menu, as shown below.



A few other features I wanted to touch on before going on are the Create Duplicate Files, File Touch, Backup, and File Rename features.  All of these are useful enough to be separate applications on their own.  But they are included here, and with the ability to modify how the file dates are shown to accommodate ages, modification date, and standard windows date formats, allow you a great degree of control over your files.











The needs improvement section

This is a very well put together application, and in this section, I'm really nit-picking.  First, the interface is a little more candy-like than I'm used to.  It uses a lot of the Office 2007 interface guidelines, which makes it a program that seems to need the whole screen.  It doesn't, but unless I have it maximised, it doesn't seem I have enough real-estate.  There are a *lot* of options and tools-so many that it's hard to get your head around it.  Take for example the copy files dialog.  The standard dialog is below:



If you click the advanced button, this increases to what you see below.



Then you click the global options button, which gives you another dialog of options.



I don't know of another way to do this, and the options seem well laid out.  It's just a bit overwhelming at times, and I come from using Directory Opus.

Continuing, as I stated above, I haven't quite figured out how to use the stored search function; my stored searches don't appear there, and when I edit the menu, there's only options to delete the searches and the help for that particular topic isn't linked.  But the biggest issues I have, ones that make me unsure of whether it could be my full time file manager replacement (and they could be easily corrected, but I haven't found an option for them) are 1) that the copy/move operations don't default your destination path to the other pane or allow you to just copy without going through the dialog, and 2) when selected, only the filenames are selected, the rest of the file details are not selected in a complete row fashion.



Something that I have also grown used to is having an FTP client in my file manager.  There is not one here- not really a shortcoming of the application, it's just one way that it does not dovetail with how I've grown to use file managers.

How does it compare to similar apps

I've used several File Managers: Xplorer2, XYplorer, Explorer with extensions, and many more that have not made an impression on me the way that these have.  Directory Opus is my file manager of choice.  This comes quite close to unseating Directory Opus as my file manager of choice.  The ease of use, but obvious power, along with the plethora of tools included really give it a leg up
on the competition.

Conclusions

As I said above, this comes quite close to unseating Directory Opus as my file manager of choice.  I will definitely use it to replace many of the tools I have to batch rename, search for files, touch files, and general file management.  But for day to day use, Directory Opus is light enough for my use and does what I need it to.  This could just be a bias since I've used Directory Opus for so long, but only time will tell.  I would definitely recommend it for a look for anyone that is looking for a powerful file manager and general toolbox.  It's a definite value, and the price is not out of line with similar file manager alternatives, let alone the extra toolset that this gives you.

Links to other reviews of this application

Though I had never heard of this application before it appeared on Bits Du Jour, there are several reviews.

Shareware Junkies lists it on can't do without it software.
http://www.sharewarejunkies.com/without.htm
http://www.sharewarejunki...s.com/05zwd8/fileboss.htm

Tucows gives it 4 cows
http://www.tucows.com/preview/416069

* After I left the review on Bits, Dexter Bell from The Utility Factory responded with this to say about upgrades:

Quote
The review wondered about upgrade policies. The all minor (i.e. 2.X) are free. You are upgrade protected for all major upgrades for at least one year. The upgrade price to version 2.0 for all previous customers was a nice, big, fat zero. There will be a small charge for version 3.0 but that is over a year away and compared to other programs it won't be much.

** Plain text license

Quote

Single-User License
The single-user license allows you to install FileBoss on one computer. You may install FileBoss on two computers as long as they are both used by you and will not be used by others. For example you can install FileBoss on your computer at work and your computer at home or you could install FileBoss on your main computer and your laptop computer.  If you are using FileBoss at your home and not at your office you may install FileBoss on up to five computers at that single-family residence. (If you wish to use FileBoss on your office computer and on more than one computer at home then you
will need two licenses, one for your home and one for your office.)

Multiple-User Licenses
Multiple-user licenses allow you to install FileBoss on the number of computers the license is for or for the number of people who will be using those computers, whichever is less.  For example if you
have five computers shared by ten people then you only need a five user license. If you have five people that share 10 computers and only those five people use those computers then you still only need a five-user license.  FileBoss is not licensed on a concurrent user basis. Concurrent user licensing is where the number of required licenses is calculated by the maximum number of user that
will be using a program at the same time. 

More comments by Dexter Bell:
Quote
The comment about the candy-like interface is valid for some. Many thought our previous interface to sour. :-) The good news is that you can change both the general style and the that of the tool bars to take some of the sweetness out of it.

As for the other two points. We are working on 'Copy Again' (actually any action again) logic that will just use the previous parameters. It should be out in about 2 months. In the mean time you can configure the Drag & Drop copy engine to act with the settings you want and then use Drag & Drop for simple copy operations (FileBoss Drag & Drop is a lot more sophisticated than Windows Explorer. (See: www.theutilityfactory.com/summaries/drag-and-drop.htm for more and for how to set it up see: www.theutilityfactory.com/online_help/index.html?hidd_options_advanced_2.htm)

edited: removed link to download.com review and updated prices to USD.  Thanks for the corrections.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 05:11:04 PM by wraith808 » Logged

Darwin
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 01:35:40 PM »

FWIW I purchased V. 1.7 in December and received the upgrade to 2 in April (or perhaps late March?) Free of charge. I've not yet found an upgrade policy so can't be sure that I didn't benefit from a 90 or 180 day or perhaps even a year of free upgrades or something.

Nice little mini-review, wraith - thank you for taking the time to post it. I like FileBoss quite a bit, but can't bring myself to replace DOpus with it.

 Thmbsup
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wraith808
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 11:29:14 PM »

As promised, I updated it to a full fledged mini-review.  Enjoy. smiley
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kartal
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 11:34:27 PM »

How do you change between details, list, thumbnails? For some reason I could not find a way in this app.
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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 11:39:02 PM »

I'm not sure... I always use details view, so I never even noticed this.  You might want to try to contact them to see f this s possible; from a quick look through the help and the menus, I didn't see any way to do it (which would seem to indicate to me you probably can't).
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 11:56:19 PM »

Quote
for day to day use, Directory Opus is light enough for my use and does what I need it to.  This could just be a bias since I've used Directory Opus for so long

Couldn't have said it better myself... and I've tried! I've been playing around with FileBoss this evening, since reading your mini-review, and I *really* like it - re-affirms for me why I bought in at version 1.7.

kartal - I had a look for a way to change the views as well, and couldn't find anything. Like wraith, I'm a details kind of guy so hadn't noticed this before.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 11:57:12 PM »

Really great job wraith -- excellent mini-review.

Everyone: please remember to support the work of mini-review writers by sending them a donationcredit or two.
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kartal
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 12:09:22 AM »

Well I guess I will be negative about this issue then. Seriously everyother software on the market offers list view change including free ones. For example thumbnail view is crucial for images-photos. The reason I would pay for an explorer is that it would offer convenient solution to me. I guess not this time smiley

Nice review btw wraith808
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KenR
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 08:52:33 PM »

VERY nicely done Wraith! Man, I'll bet that review took some time.

Also, I would like to second mouser's request to support authors (financially and otherwise) who write these. After I wrote my last mini-review, it really meant a lot to me when people wrote to express their appreciation and gave donations to me.

So, again, great work Wraith. Now, I'm off to donate ...

Ken
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Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2008, 01:34:22 PM »

Thanks for the great review Wraith. I have just a couple of comments and clarifications and will try to stay away from the sales pitch.

Search templates/definitions
In my evaluation time, I could not discern how to add to this menu; the edit menu option only allowed you to edit the existing definitions, and this particular help topic did not work.

I have to admit that it is not very intuitive especially - as I now look at it - the terminology is different from where they are added and the menu. The search definitions are really just all the entries in the Advanced Search dialog (Find | Advanced Search...) that have been saved as a template. These templates are stored internally in FileBoss rather than externally as files.

No Thumbnails
As to the absence of thumbnails in the list view. For better or worse that was a design decision when FileBoss was first started (and I have to take the blame or credit as I designed it). The reason for the decision was that FileBoss has to work, quite literally, with millions of files in Virtual Folders and there was a conflict between the code that enabled that and the code that enables thumbnails. I don't mean to imply that it is impossible and we are looking at how to best offer both. But it won't be available soon. Sorry. We certainly realize that one file manager can not satisfy the needs of all people. I probably shouldn't admit this but even I use Windows Explorer sometimes and there are other commercial file managers I recommend to others when I know that FileBoss is not suitable for them.

Short selection bands
2) when selected, only the filenames are selected, the rest of the file details are not selected in a complete row fashion.

This is intentional and is because FileBoss uses a concept not present in other file managers (at least I haven't seen it - I'm no expert on the others) and that is the distinction between selected files and the current file. Selected files are denoted by the blue band on the file name and the current file is denoted by a light-blue band across the whole entry. The advantage of this scheme is that when selecting a large number of files before some action such a copy and you find that you want to do something to one file, such as delete it, you can right-click and the context menu will have separate actions for the selected files and the current file. This allows you to act on the current file without affecting the other selections. Many will never use this feature but when working with thousands of files in a Virtual Folder it is really handy, especially when Sticky select is turned on.

A few quickies....
The review pointed to at Download.com is for another FileBoss (their name uses a space between 'File' and 'Boss'). It is a program for working with MP3 tags and, as far as I can tell, is not being maintained.

Upgrade Policy
Upgrade protection is for one year or all minor upgrades for the version you purchased, whichever is longer. We did not charge for the upgrade to Version 2 but probably will have a minor charge for version 3 though that is over a year away - there will be a lot of tools added in the various 2.x releases during the coming twelve months.

Thanks for the comments everyone!
Dexter
File Manipulation to the Max
www.TheUtilityFactory.com

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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2008, 01:38:29 PM »

Welcome to the site Dexter, and thanks for the constructive clarifications -- it's always nice to see an author stop by  thumbs up
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008, 03:07:17 PM »

Hi Dexter! I'll join Mouser in shouting out a big "Welcome" to DC  Thmbsup
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 03:15:05 PM »

Dexter, welcome to Dc
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 03:37:37 PM »

Quote
Pricing Scheme:   49.99 for Single-User license.**

The 49.99 is US$ incase anyone was curious which equates to £25 (for Brits) or E31.66 (for Europeans) or 2,136 Indian rupees.

Other than that (small) oversight, a nice mini-review, and great to see the author drop by too smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 10:36:40 PM »

Hi Dexter
Quote
This is intentional and is because FileBoss uses a concept not present in other file managers (at least I haven't seen it - I'm no expert on the others)

FWIW this has been the standard mode of operation used by Altap Salamander for years.

I was all ready to download FileBoss and try it out, but lack of support for thumbs is a killer for me.  Maybe I'll try it out when thumbs mode is available.  Please keep us up-to-date about that!
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2009, 02:29:44 AM »

FileBosss was just updated to version 2.5. There might also come a version 2.6, but after such, FileBoss will take the major leap into version 3.0, which finally will fully support Unicode. Good! Because of the lack of genuine Unicode support, I have so far never used my FileBoss, more than on rare occasions.

------
Just a little something from tips & tricks:

Quote
Tips and Tricks

Meta-Variables

Did you know that you can use meta-variables when entering paths (such as destinations for copying) or when renaming a file. For example when renaming the file Family.jpg you could type Family <today>.jpg and FileBoss will replace <today> with the current date. If you enter <now> FileBoss will replace it with the current date and time.

In the same way you could enter the target for backup operation as:

   D:\Backups\Accounts\<today>

and FileBoss will create a folder named with today's date and copy the files and folders to it.

I don't expect version 3.0 to be launched this year.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2009, 02:31:16 AM by Curt » Logged
Curt
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2013, 01:54:37 PM »

[hint] It would be really nice if someone will upload an updated mini review of the new "second" version of version 3 [/hint]

http://www.theutilityfact...m/buy/upgrading-to-v3.htm

click to enlarge:


« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 05:15:39 PM by Curt; Reason: sorry, AbteriX » Logged
AbteriX
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2013, 05:10:51 PM »

It's not nice, Curt, to use such a big picture -which looks like text- as link.  tongue
I just clicked on it to scroll down... and executed the link. I don't want to get this with NSFW links while i am at work   thumb down
(i know that was not your indention, and i am not cross  cheesy, just had to mention)
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Greetings, Stefan.
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2013, 09:13:35 PM »

Good review, helps a lot..  Kiss
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