Tagged With file explorer

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Windows/Mac/Linux: Navigating through your hard drive contents can be slow and tedious at times, requiring double-click after double-click as your drill through your filesystem. Hawkscope addresses that by showing the contents of your drive—quickly—via a dynamic popup menu.

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If you're any sort of power user, you've bumped up against the limitations of your operating system's default file manager on countless occasions. The fact is, for advanced file browsing and manipulation, sometimes the default applications—like Windows Explorer or Mac OS X Finder—just don't cut it. Today we're looking at your choice of the five best alternative file managers.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Windows Vista only: Vista's Preview Pane can be helpful in determining exactly which file you're looking to open, and PreviewConfig lets you extend its usefulness beyond the handful of files Vista automatically provides text or image previews for. The no-install utility provides a list of file types registered on your system, and you simply select the file and choose to add a text or multimedia preview. Multimedia previews generally work with any video or audio file that plays in Windows Media Player, or pictures that can load with a double-click. PreviewConfig is a free download for Windows Vista systems only. For a registry hack that accomplishes the same thing (with more effort), see the How-To Geek at the via link below.

PreviewConfig

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Windows XP/2000 only: We've advocated the value of non-native file browsers like Xplorer2 and FreeCommander, but not everybody wants to switch out the native Windows file browser they've come to know so well. Enter DMEXBar, a free plug-in app that add custom power-browsing options to Windows Explorer. Run the installer and you get to choose whether you want to enable dual-pane browsing (with folder synchronization), adding "favorites" and other shortcut buttons to the taskbar, opening command prompts from any directory, or many, many more options. I noticed a little bit of slowdown when opening directories off the desktop in XP, but plug-ins worked without a hitch during a quick test. DMEXBar is a free download for Windows 2000/XP only.

DMEXBar

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Windows only: When it comes to finding, manipulating and browsing files, everybody has their preferences—which is just one reason why Windows, Mac and Linux handle the job quite differently. So while Gina's shown us how to replace Windows' built-in Explorer with Xplorer2, some may find a better fit with FreeCommander, a free file browser and Explorer replacement. The first thing one notices is the two-pane browsing, which certainly comes in handy, but FreeCommander can also change almost any file attribute (including timestamps for sorting problems), compare and synchronize directories, securely wipe files off a drive and basically treat .ZIP and other archives like real folders. It's also a fairly non-intrusive installation, so you can try it out without shoving Explorer out of the way. FreeCommander is a free download for Windows only. Thanks Kenny!

FreeCommaner

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Windows only: Dual-booters have long been able to get at their Windows-formatted files, but Windows certainly doesn't make it easy to go the other way 'round. Enter Linux Reader, a free Windows application that emulates the look and feel of the Windows XP Explorer and allows read-only access to ext2 and ext3-formatted drives, the most common formats for Linux installations. Linux Reader can also search through Linux images and mount images for browsing, and runs as a stand-alone application—for a driver-based reading tool, check out Ext2 Installable File System. Linux Reader is a free download for Windows 98 and later.

Linux Reader