Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Trying to remember

I’m trying to remember things I’ve done. Of course highlights of one’s life do live in the memory, but sometimes putting them in order or remembering which year they were in is challenging. Luckily, the electronic trail left behind gives plenty of clues. Those old credit card statements that you thought about throwing away (and that’s another story) hint at exciting times. Just HOW many times have I visited the Meson Don Felipe? What WAS I doing in Ilkley?

As you might be able to guess, a forthcoming birthday prompts such memory-hunting, along with (the other story) an ongoing paper reduction task to digitise old records and then throw them away. That’s the hard part! Not quite as extreme as these guys, but it is liberating to see mountains of paper that you were saving just in case disappear.

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My favourite PC tool

Most folks have a number of favourite tools that they install on their home PC, work PC, workstation or whatever. Plenty of those love to show them off to friends and colleagues. Some even send some electronic money to the author of those tools to provide some level of appreciation for the quality/function/benefit they gain. More than likely they find that when they use someone else’s PC they feel bereft if the tool is missing. That means that the first ten minutes are spent downloading that tool to make the job “easier”. A very small number carry these tools around on a memory stick to save even that level of inconvenience (always assuming you’re allowed to stick your USB key into just any machine).

Of course I have some favourite tools too – Keepass, Process Monitor, PureText, SyncBack, PDFSAM, MailWasher, IrfanView and Notepad++ are just a few of them. But there is one application I use ALL the time, EVERY time I open up my work laptop, or use my home PC or need to serious housekeeping on my partner’s machine. It’s xplorer¬≤, a two-pane Windows Explorer replacement from which you can see a screen shot below. Since my computer interaction style is keyboard- rather than mouse-heavy I find opening lots of windows to do simple things like copy/moving/comparing files a pain in the conventional Explorer. With xplorer¬≤ on the other hand it becomes a few short keystrokes. To move a bunch of files from one folder to another is simply a question of selecting them in one pane, hit F6 and then watching them magically appear in the folder in the other pane. There are many, many functions typical in a mature multi release product so I’m sure I’ve not even scratched the surface. There are also plenty of other dual-pane file managers around, probably equally as good. Either way, try one and stop using Windows Explorer (or perhaps ask why Microsoft never put this function into Explorer). Enjoy!

xplorer2 Screenshot