Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 03, 2016, 07:52:11 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared  (Read 43663 times)

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2006, 12:54:42 PM »
Perhaps that's so, it was really just a generality, and intended as a light-hearted analogy to begin with. :D

I'm not sure the ability to use shell extensions really changes the analogy though. Opera is also expandable in various ways, it's just that there are less plugins and modifications available to it. Firefox far outpaces it here, and I get the impression the same is true for TC. Of course if X2 can just use any Explorer shell extension one would think there would be more of those than TC plugins. I don't know the definitive answer.

- Oshyan

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2006, 01:13:24 PM »
JavaJones, for me TC is a lot faster than X2 in every aspect, file management operations and user operation, every command in the program can be assigned to a hotkey. Menues, icons, toolbars, colors, fonts and every aspect of the program can be customized (sorry I repeat this).

Wasker, X2 uses explorer shell extensions, TC also does, but plugins give it much more power than X2. I used X2 for a while, searching for a replacement of TC, but the use of mouse and lack of plugins made me abandon it.

Wasker, let me ask you something, X2 can search inside mp3 files, for example and give you the encoder used or the bitrate of the file? With TC you can, using Content Plugins.

But again, for common file management operations X2 is the second best after TC (for me, I respect other opinions).

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2006, 01:27:53 PM »
JavaJones wrote: "Of course if X2 can just use any Explorer shell extension one would think there would be more of those than TC plugins. I don't know the definitive answer."

I do not think there are more shell extension than TC plugins. TC has four (I made a mistake in a previous quote) kind of plugins: Content, Lister (Viewer) Packer, and File system plugins. These plugins are incredible, for example there is a File System plugins called "Versions" that I use every day to check program's version changes of currently 330 programs. Other to manejar palm files, a really complete Task manager, an Uninstaller.

The first program I install in a fresh Windows installation is TC, because in one program I manage every aspect of Windows. And I just have to copy TC directory and all TC's power is ready, no registry keys to import, nor external dependencies, it is just great.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2006, 02:16:38 PM »
It definitely sounds like TC is very powerful. I will have to take a look at some point. It is unfortuante that no time is put toward updating the UI a bit. That should not be hard and although it is a minor thing, not related to functionality, I think it would make a lot more people look at it and consider it a serious option. For better or worse many people do consider aesthetics when choosing a program.

As for speed, remember that there is a difference between speed of the underlying application (fast to open, fast searches, fast to switch context, fast to minimize and restore, fast to list directories, etc.) and the speed of *using and navigating* the application which can be enhanced by shortcut keys, etc. Just because you can assign a shortcut key to anything - which does make it easier and faster to invoke/do something - doesn't mean doing the thing itself is fast (i.e. searching folders for a specific file_.

Not to say TC is not fast in both respects, but you seemed to mention mostly the speed of navigation and control rather than speed of the application, so I think it's important to note the difference. For example Opera is fast in terms of the underlying application (as well as navigation), whereas Firefox is slower in basic functions, but perhaps "faster" in terms of accessibility and function calling.

- Oshyan

wasker

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2006, 02:23:44 PM »
Wasker, let me ask you something, X2 can search inside mp3 files, for example and give you the bitrate of the file?

Yes.

Wasker, X2 uses explorer shell extensions, TC also does, but plugins give it much more power than X2. I used X2 for a while, searching for a replacement of TC, but the use of mouse and lack of plugins made me abandon it.

Actually I don't use mouse with X2. :P

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2006, 03:50:09 PM »
JavaJones application TC is really fast, even with all the plugins. Try http://www.totalcmd....ugring/tcmdpp17.html TC powerpack, which comes preloaded with some plugins. It is not going to be easy to find all the power of TC in a day, but you should give it a try.

Regards,

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2006, 03:54:52 PM »
Well, I'm a happy XYPlorer user, having won it in a recent drawing here. I have hardly even delved into that yet. Nonetheless I do like using the "best" tools, so I'll look at TC one day.

- Oshyan

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2006, 06:06:04 PM »
I actually think the roundup is pretty good.  Yes, it's not in-depth and complete, but it's pretty good for what it is.  I have a sympathetic perspective since writing the notetaking roundup and understanding how much work it is do do a comprehensive review.  I think the file-manager category is even harder to review than notetaking (more programs, more general purpose...nightmare for reviewing).

My two favorite file-managers are Directory Opus and Total Commander.  If I only had to choose one, it would be Directory Opus, because nothing comes close to it's power and customizeability...I dare anyone to find a program with more features.  Total Commander is really fast, but it's not like the other programs are so slow that it makes them unusable.  I've never really understood that argument, unless it applied to really bloated software.  But most of the software on that list are pretty fast and efficient, and a few milliseconds is not going to affect my bottom line decision that much.  Another thing about TC, yes it has tons of plugins, but very little documention, and also, most of those plugins are not of any use to the average joe.  But there are several plugins that are very useful.  Finally, the one feature that made me discover DOpus when I was using TC was the lack of a directory tree.  In DOpus and most of the other programs, you can have a directory tree AND the two panes, but not in TC.

But both programs are fantastic in their own right, and I use both still...however I use DOpus much, much more.  And a lot of those other programs are great also.  This is one of those categories where there are many really great choices, isn't that always great!

PS Navigation, especially keyboard navigation in TC, is the best.  For you keyboard gurus, TC is the app for you.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 06:08:14 PM by superboyac »

Josh

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Points: -5
  • Posts: 3,395
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2006, 06:28:43 PM »
Well, I'm a happy XYPlorer user, having won it in a recent drawing here. I have hardly even delved into that yet. Nonetheless I do like using the "best" tools, so I'll look at TC one day.

- Oshyan

Have you figured out how to set it to intercept explorer calls? I still cant find where to set that so that when I type C:\ into the start run prompt or open my computer, it intercepts the call.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2006, 06:47:18 PM »
Hm, I don't use mouse when using X2... it has plenty of hotkeys. Perhaps not as configurable as TC, but I haven't looked into that - the default hotkeys suit me perfectly :)

And TC doesn't seem faster (at least not when I turn off "extract custom icon overlays" in X2). Fonts etc are configurable in X2 as well.

Quote from: gussan
FireFox, its extensions and speed beats Opera
FF beats O in number of extensions, but certainly not in speed :)

Quote from: gussan
Wasker, let me ask you something, X2 can search inside mp3 files, for example and give you the encoder used or the bitrate of the file? With TC you can, using Content Plugins.
That's the kind of stuff I personally hate in a file explorer - and a thing that I used to turn off in WinXP explorer because it annoys the hell out of me.

But it all comes down to how you like using things. I don't like my file management util to handle ftp and archiving, FlashFXP and WinRAR do a better job for me - cetera.

Josh: you'll need to look at HKCU\Directory and HKCU\Folder - be cautious, though, not many explorer replacements are up to the task of being associated with those keys. Even with xPlorer2 there's a few glitches under XP, because of just how much XP uses explorer namespace extensions for lots of management tasks... but it works okay for me.
- carpe noctem

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2006, 10:48:38 PM »
f0dder wrote "That's the kind of stuff I personally hate in a file explorer - and a thing that I used to turn off in WinXP explorer because it annoys the hell out of me."

Yes, it is your point of view, and I respect that, but in my opinion if a program can do more than just file management, and make other things really well like TC, for me it is perfect. TC can edit registry directly from its tabs, it has a TaskManager where you can filter, order by date, name, memory ussage, edit windows properties, kill programs; it has an Uninstaller; it has a quick search directory, not just bookmarks like X2, it has a directory hot list; Indeed it has a built in ftp program (works perfectly well); TC can hadle every kind of compression format by using plugins, X2 not, but to me it is a strength, not something to hate.  And the list goes on and on. Again if TC makes those things perfect, why would I have to use other programs?. Besides, remember that all of these things are not preinstalled, if you want you can add more power to TC, so if you just want file management, use TC just for that.

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2006, 10:52:49 PM »
But I suggest everyone wait for TC version 7, it will have a lot of improvements, (thanks ICFU, TC power user).

wasker

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2006, 06:59:09 AM »
Quote from: gussan
Wasker, let me ask you something, X2 can search inside mp3 files, for example and give you the encoder used or the bitrate of the file? With TC you can, using Content Plugins.
That's the kind of stuff I personally hate in a file explorer - and a thing that I used to turn off in WinXP explorer because it annoys the hell out of me.

Actually this is very useful thing. Not the search by mp3 bitrate, but, say, search by file's Subversion status. Say, I can with couple key presses find all files that are not in SVN repository yet... This is what X2 does for me.

On the other hand I personally see no reason to have registry editor, uninstaller and memory usage on file manager panels. This could be an excuse for DOS Navigator back in DOS days, but now in Windows we have multitasking environment, and bothering with something on my tabs?... Hmmm... :-[

When I was using FAR Manager a year or so ago (I spent over 6-7 years with this shell!) I was also using plugins like Mail Dispatcher right from the FAR. And you know what? Outlook is waay better. :D
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 07:03:53 AM by wasker »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2006, 09:10:11 AM »
Quote from: wasker
Actually this is very useful thing. Not the search by mp3 bitrate, but, say, search by file's Subversion status. Say, I can with couple key presses find all files that are not in SVN repository yet... This is what X2 does for me.
I assume you use TortoiseSVN then? :) - that's the beauty of X2, instead of requiring specific plugins, it works with standard explorer extensions.

The "extract custom icon overlays" feature of X2 is really nifty with TortoiseSVN, and it's nifty that you can turn it off as well (since it does slow down things). As a compromise, I've configured Tortoise to only check status for my D:\ partition, where I have my source code, documents, ...

I tend to only have {name, size, extension, modified} columns, since that's what I need for file management. Many tab types slow down stuff (things like MP3 info massively so!), and I don't really need that stuff.

Oh well, the TC mindset just isn't my thing :)
- carpe noctem

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2006, 10:26:19 AM »
I tend to only have {name, size, extension, modified} columns, since that's what I need for file management. Many tab types slow down stuff (things like MP3 info massively so!), and I don't really need that stuff.

Oh well, the TC mindset just isn't my thing :)

That is the beauty of TC, you can have many tabs opened, with a registry editor, a taskmanager and many columns with lot of information and it is fast, even it has a branch directory feature really rocks; but if you think X2 is the best, well, I would say "X2 mindset just isn't my thing" too. I think we have to respect everyone opion, but for those who does not have tried other file manager options, do not forget TC.

Regarding standard explorer extensions TC can hadle them too, but plugins are faster to execute.

Now to compare FAR with TC is not fair at all, FAR is a DOS looking app, really ugly for me, powerful I would say, but not as powerful and versatile as TC.

edit by jgpaiva: fixing quote tag
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 05:57:12 PM by jgpaiva »

wasker

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2006, 11:17:17 AM »
Now to compare FAR with TC is not fair at all, FAR is a DOS looking app, really ugly for me, powerful I would say, but not as powerful and versatile as TC.

Oh, we can debate on FAR vs. TC for years, and this would be THE religious war... :D

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2006, 11:47:06 AM »
Now to compare FAR with TC is not fair at all, FAR is a DOS looking app, really ugly for me, powerful I would say, but not as powerful and versatile as TC.

Oh, we can debate on FAR vs. TC for years, and this would be THE religious war... :D


If FAR is for you so powerful, why did you abandon it and replaced it for X2? Was it the GUI? I do not think that X2 is as powerful as FAR.

I said FAR is powerful, but its DOS looking is what I do not like.

wasker

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2006, 11:54:22 AM »
FAR is a raw power with very old-fashioned UI, but I could live with that. My primary reason was tight integration of X2 with Windows Shell, and then, yes, UI.

Speaking of UIs, I never liked TC's. ;)

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2006, 12:29:35 PM »
FAR is a raw power with very old-fashioned UI, but I could live with that. My primary reason was tight integration of X2 with Windows Shell, and then, yes, UI.

Speaking of UIs, I never liked TC's. ;)

No problem wasker, matter of taste, I love TC.  :Thmbsup:

Best Regards.

gussan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2006, 12:37:39 PM »
wasker wrote: "Oh, we can debate on FAR vs. TC for years, and this would be THE religious war.."

I do not think so, FAR development is no as active as TC development at all, so TC is getting better and better while FAR is almost dying, since Eugene Roshal is not in active development of FAR. FAR is in v1.70, while TC v7 is comming soon.  :D

wasker

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2006, 12:44:49 PM »
I do not think so, FAR development is no as active as TC development at all, so TC is getting better and better while FAR is almost dying, since Eugene Roshal is not in active development of FAR.

That's actually true, and yet another one of the reasons.

Plasma Man

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2006, 09:46:32 PM »
Just to get back to the orginal post for a minute ..

The problem with these sorts of shoot-outs is that so often no evaluation criteria are clearly set out or at least some basis for inquiry.

In this case, I'd be thinking of questions like:

AS IT IS
- what are the useful / inadequate features of Win Explorer? How can Win Explorer (as it is) be tweaked to make it more useful? What simple shell utilities could you use to make file management easier?
- how does Win Explorer stack up against other file explorers / managers in other OSes?

I WANT MORE
- why would you want a replacement?
- what are the typical features of Explorer replacements (e.g. installed or portable, footprint, extra plugins needed, dual/ multi pane, dedicated hotkeys for file manaipulation etc etc)

WHAT I WANT TO DO
- what sort of new or added functionality would be beneficial for you? "You" (your needs) would then need defining. Are you working with a lot of text, multimedia, imagery only. audio only, video only etc.? Are working within a networked environment? For business or general messing around?

OTHER IDEAS
- going a little deeper - what are the advantages of using an actual shell replacement?

and so on ...


Andre



f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2006, 09:51:13 PM »
Plasma Man: it would be pretty useful to have a set of criteria for comparison, indeed - and the ones you list aren't half bad.

Anyone up for doing a *real* comparison? ;)
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2006, 06:51:54 AM »
Plasma Man: it would be pretty useful to have a set of criteria for comparison, indeed - and the ones you list aren't half bad.

Anyone up for doing a *real* comparison? ;)


Buff, that could be the end for the reviewer. It's a very hard task

HankFriedman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 140
  • A computer nerd whose also a psychic & astrologer
    • View Profile
    • Welcome to Hank Friedman's Website
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: 12 Windows Explorer Alternatives Compared
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2007, 10:59:50 AM »
I like working with many panes displayed, each showing a different folder. A nice free file explorer that opens four panes and has many functions (including an OLE preview of many file types) is called File Commander 5. Its author has recently improved it quite a bit, and he's open to suggestions too.

You can download it at:

http://www.godlikesoft.de/