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Author Topic: How do you organize/access tiny portable utilities?  (Read 5014 times)
nosh
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« on: September 01, 2011, 06:40:33 AM »

I have a folder full of tiny utilities collected over time, single exes with maybe an associated .ini or a .hlp file. I suspect a lot of you have a similar collection. I could launch these using a launcher like FARR or Launchy but I rarely seem to remember their names. There are also occasions where I'm not sure I have the right tool for a job and need a quick look at what I have in a certain category... eg:networking

I figured the best way to do this would be to use tags and after trying some tagging software, none of which I cared much for, I've settled for a somewhat unconventional solution. I use Linkman to organize these files. The files can be dragged and dropped to the "Apps" folder in linkman, the Apps folder has ~apps in its comment keywords field. Each util gets a bookmark inside this folder with all applicable tags added to the comment field. So if I'm search for an app I type ~app (to get the url bookmarks out of the way) and follow it with whichever tags are appropriate. I haven't really committed to this system but I really like it. I'm curious what system others use to access these apps... (other than using your superior memories to remember their names, of course! tongue )

Edit: Quicker/"dirtier" approach, just add the tags to the filename and use something like Everything to find them. The name length restrictions shouldn't pose much of a problem. Also takes care of portability. [Edit: Bad bad bad for command line utilities! smiley ]
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 02:17:14 AM by nosh; Reason: technical correction, clarification » Logged
Curt
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 11:55:52 AM »

I use skrommel's "ShortcutTip", so when I point at a shortcut, I get an accurate description of the program's features, copy&pasted from the program's homepage when I first downloaded the file. You already have them installed, so maybe you'll wear out just thinking about this.

http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=14168.0

smiley Try this one!

ShortcutTip - Prompts for a description when a shortcut is created.

Features:
- It watches the Start menu and the Desktop.

You'll find the downloads and more info at 1 Hour Software by Skrommel.

Skrommel

I also used to use FileNotes from jamworkspro, but it has left the Net - at least I can't find it. I don't think it ever was updated for Vista.
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nosh
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 01:08:58 PM »

ShortcutTip seems like a useful utility but it won't help with searching.

I found a Filenotes Organizer on filenotes.com... I'll give it a whirl when I get some time.

Thanks, Curt!
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Curt
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2011, 10:01:34 AM »

-oh yeah, I forgot about Filenotes Organizer, because I couldn't accept the asking price ($49), and expected it to be abandoned (update December 1st 2005).
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nosh
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 01:12:20 AM »

I've settled for this system, it works really well.


Clarification:
I suppose the keywords used in the comment field probably belong in d-uh 'keywords' field, I've been using the comment field for my urls so it's just bad form being carried forward. The search works just fine, though.
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 01:47:42 AM »

Nosh, you don't have to enter the paths manually. Just drag & drop the files from Explorer to a folder in Linkman.
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nosh
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 02:12:46 AM »

Don't know how I missed that... I probably tried to drag and drop to one of the other panes which don't support it and gave up on the idea. This makes things a lot simpler, thanks a bunch!  smiley

[I've modified my original post.]
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 02:29:44 AM by nosh » Logged
CleverCat
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 04:27:40 AM »

Mine all organized with the PortableApps.com Platform - works great!  Thmbsup
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 06:26:37 AM »

Hi Folks,

My master method is also Linkman. (The program is truly amazing, I always like to give Powermarks a bit of thanks for the pioneering work years back.) And I never bother with folders, e.g. I use "sn#" as a keyword for all registered software. I try to have the description sensibly alphabetized so my default view makes sense.  If I wanted something similar with installed apps, I might use a keyword like "appins". And, a trick, I put the keyword in the description field so that if I see even one of the items I will quickly remember the keyword.  

Then I use good old Listpro when I want to custom design a method of maintaining such an item as a database. Of course you could try using the user defined fields in Linkman but I really like Listpro for that type of stuff, even with its lack of tabs and printing limitations.  Maybe I will return to some of the database possibilities this week again.

My start folder is always worked top-down. "Start-Programs-Utilities-File Manager" will show Total Commander and Free Commander and xplorer2.  And I use Total Commander for quick placement of that stuff, a little trick that probably beats using a utility, once you understand where Windows hides the stuff.

And I would use Linkstash or 43Marks to call my programs from a webpage, if I could get around web security easily. I posted a thread on that issue, wondering why disk access from a web page specially designated as ok should require complex steps.  Hmmm.. probably also a localhost webpage as well.  Seems like web security of this nature (not calling a program on disk) should be designed for an easier custom override.

Thanks for the drop and drag tip. I was using navigating "Edit-new-local_file" which works well, I suggested Linkman modify the structure to make that a bit easier to find.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 06:37:55 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
ppass
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 12:31:40 PM »

I use this http://www.pegtop.de/start/
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40hz
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 01:51:55 PM »

Mine all organized with the PortableApps.com Platform - works great!  Thmbsup

+1 w/CleverCat.  Thmbsup

PA's platform is a gem. Especially nice is how it auto discovers new apps you've added.

Quote
All versions of the PortableApps.com Suite include the integrated PortableApps.com Menu (pictured at right) and the PortableApps.com Backup utility along with a set of custom icons, an autoplay configuration, folders and a quick start shortcut.



More info and download here.
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phillfri
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2011, 04:10:44 PM »

For this functionality I create a custom toolbar. I simply create a folder under my user name (though the folder could be anywhere really). Keep the name of the folder short, like "GoTo". I add shortcuts to the programs I want quick access to inside that folder. You can add tooltips to the shortcuts for a short description of the program. You can also create subfolders, e.g. a subfolder with internet shortcuts to sites you access a lot or a subfolder with VNC links. Organize the structure however you want. Then right click on the taskbar and select Toolbars > New Toolbar. When asked, browse to the folder you created and select it. You'll get a toolbar that displays your folder name to the left of the system tray with a little ">>" next to it. Click on that, and and it displays your folder and all its subfolders and the shortcuts.

Its a totally user controlled, simple and easy solution for quick access organized as you want it to be that has been in Windows for years. It even accommodates drag and drop, e.g. drop a Firefox address bar icon onto the ">>", and it will be placed in the GoTo folder. You can also open the custom toolbar and drag and drop icons into subfolders. Never could understand why people never made much use of this feature for organizing content :>)
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superboyac
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2011, 11:58:40 PM »

A tool that often gets overlooked here is mouser's launchbar commander.  I use it every single day as my portable toolbar.  I even have Zentimo set up to launch it as soon as I stick my usb drive in.  Then, an LBC toolbar sits in the tray with all my programs in it.  I tried the portableapps thing also, and it's good.  But for me, LBC is much more flexible and can do a lot more cooler things.  I love my portable LBC menu.
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superboyac
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2011, 12:01:35 AM »

PA's platform is a gem. Especially nice is how it auto discovers new apps you've added.
That's definitely a cool feature (not available on LBC).  mouser...I'm getting a feature request, don't mind it unless you want to:

So, this would be bad ass...add a menu function, maybe in the database maintenance area, where when clicked, LBC will search a specified directory(ies) for new, additional programs that have been added.  I guess it would search for new exe files.  BUT, here's the catch: obviously, you don't want to add every single exe it finds, so another window pops up asking you to check the exe's you want to add.  Etc.  That's pretty cool.
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sazzen
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2011, 11:51:10 AM »

I have a folder full of tiny utilities collected over time, single exes with maybe an associated .ini or a .hlp file. I suspect a lot of you have a similar collection. I could launch these using a launcher like FARR or Launchy but I rarely seem to remember their names. There are also occasions where I'm not sure I have the right tool for a job and need a quick look at what I have in a certain category... eg:networking

I figured the best way to do this would be to use tags and after trying some tagging software, none of which I cared much for, I've settled for a somewhat unconventional solution. I use Linkman to organize these files. The files can be dragged and dropped to the "Apps" folder in linkman, the Apps folder has ~apps in its comment keywords field. Each util gets a bookmark inside this folder with all applicable tags added to the comment field. So if I'm search for an app I type ~app (to get the url bookmarks out of the way) and follow it with whichever tags are appropriate. I haven't really committed to this system but I really like it. I'm curious what system others use to access these apps... (other than using your superior memories to remember their names, of course! tongue )

Edit: Quicker/"dirtier" approach, just add the tags to the filename and use something like Everything to find them. The name length restrictions shouldn't pose much of a problem. Also takes care of portability. [Edit: Bad bad bad for command line utilities! smiley ]

I use a laucher - BUT - For the times I don't remember the name, I use the old Win 3.1 method. On my desktop are several folders named:  Arty,  Games,  Apps,  Pims,  Chores,  Write,  and Little Ones (for what you just said, those little ones).  Inside each one are shortcuts to related applications.   Click-click,  click-click.  Up jumps the program. smiley
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2011, 11:40:04 AM »

Thanks for the drop and drag tip. I was using navigating "Edit-new-local_file" which works well, I suggested Linkman modify the structure to make that a bit easier to find.

Modify structure in which way?
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2011, 12:06:59 PM »

Hi,

How about something like a "TIP" box when you go " "Edit-new-local_file" where it says "You can drag and drop from ..."  with a checkbox "Do not show this tip again".

I dunno if the TIP structure built-in to many programs (is it OS ?) is flexible in that way, but the idea would work if you can implement.

=====================

Thus it becomes exceedingly easy to use Linkman as a launcher and/or program cataloguer by running through your places under c:\program files\ and dragging and dropping and then assigning keywords like "startup", "trialexp" "dunno" "security" etc.  Also any programs you have that might be elsewhere (I try to be sure even the non-install programs like some utiltities of NirSoft have a c:\program files\ folder).  

Note: I did note that if the link is already there, it does not come up for edit (or dup or anything) on drag-and-drop.  Not a big deal, since while I am adding them I have "c:\program files\ in the search bar (I only use one folder, nothing heirarchical, all search). However, I know you will want to check that. Perhaps a configuration thing "on drag-and-drop" "add and edit", or "add" or "show" (which I never use).

========================

Thought:
We could have a thread for the "Responsive, Friendly Dozen" (or 25) - "commercial" software where the individual or small team is totally responsive.  Thomas for Linkman is nominated, that fellow Jaros from Hard Disk Sentinel. There can be superb software without such daily give-and-take (e.g. Revo Uninstaller) and the is often super-responsive DonationCoderWare and Freeware.   I just think the actual biz companies that are really dedicated with products especial can get a nod.

Steven

« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 12:18:06 PM by Steven Avery » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2011, 04:12:40 PM »

We are planning a "10 things you may not know about Linkman" video.
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superboyac
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2011, 09:16:03 PM »

Thought:
We could have a thread for the "Responsive, Friendly Dozen" (or 25) - "commercial" software where the individual or small team is totally responsive.  Thomas for Linkman is nominated, that fellow Jaros from Hard Disk Sentinel. There can be superb software without such daily give-and-take (e.g. Revo Uninstaller) and the is often super-responsive DonationCoderWare and Freeware.   I just think the actual biz companies that are really dedicated with products especial can get a nod.
I agree.  I've learned this past year how much people value customer service, and I thank all of the great developers here who make life easier for me, both with their words and actions.
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nosh
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2011, 11:30:14 PM »

Quote
We are planning a "10 things you may not know about Linkman" video.

Sounds interesting. Hope to learn a few new things.
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