19 Comments

  • Guess I will start myself. :)

    I am looking for free file manager that has (but is not limited to) following:
    – classic dual-pane layout
    – classic hotkeys set
    – as fast as possible and bulletproof interface
    – configurable highlight
    – copy/move queue

  • Dan

    Nice post !

    1.- I am looking for an app launcher that:
    – has auto-hiding panels that shows the icons of apps, docs, … with complete drag&drop support ( drag into panel & drag out of the panel )
    – can be configured to launch programs with another user without typing the password ( save the password for the user in crypted format ).

    The most similar I have found is bbIconBox plugin for bbLean shell.

    2.- A keylogger detector. In my opinion keyloggers are the biggest danger on the net.

    3.- A tool to configure “on-the-fly” file access permissions for processes/programs.
    For example, I want that uTorrent only can access its folder and subfolders without creating an specific user with restricted NTFS permissions only for that.
    I haven’t found anything similar, FolderGuard has some interesting ideas.

    4.- A simple tool for organize windows in tabs, there are several tools but have their problems.

    5.- A sticky, personalizable Alt+Tab replacement with previews. TaskSwitchXP is the perfect example, but in theory only works in Windows XP and is not very stable, probably because uses some low-level APIs.

    I’m trying to code the app launcher, but the need for launching apps with another user wouldn’t exist with the tool #3 (file permissions for processes). I would pay for that tool.

  • Menem

    Time Machine/TimeVault/Flyback clone for windows. A backup utility that works, and a requisite for that is that it does its thing without the user noticing/having to bother/having to interrupt its work. Otherwise you just skip it.

  • szekelya

    1.- I need an application to create my custom desktop-rightclick menu – just like it is created in BB4Win. I’ve been using the bbclean shell replacement, and now that I’m on Vista, I have created most of its awsome features with my own autohotkey scripts, and some 3rd party apps, but that simple and ingenious menu is painfully missing. (I know about stardock’s rightclick which does not work well in vista and have challenges like saving the menu you painfully edit in a poorly designed GUI. I’m using Stardock’s ObjectBar with a custom menu, that is a lot more difficult to edit than bbclean’s pure ascii menu config, and I can’t trigger that with desktop rightclick. I tried autohotkey menu scripts, but those are way too complicated to edit.)

    2.- I need an application to fill the gap of my OS’s poor shell, not to let to steal the focus from the active application in which I am CURRENTLY TYPING INTO for god’s sake.
    I wonder if there is a single person who is not pissed off when typing into a mail body / chat client / web form / whatever input area, and either an application pops up, already beeping for not being able to interpret the typed characters, that were not even meant to be sent to it. Or even worse, when typing, and a dialog pops up, and the letter I’m just typing is a hotkey of a button, closing the dialog even without recognizing what it was about, and what my typing will result.

    3.- I know virtual desktops or virtual workspaces are not too poular over here, but I’d like to see a tabbed desktop, where the tabs represent the various desktops / workspaces, and are located _above_ the taskbar if it’s on the top of the screen.
    Applications could be dragged and dropped to tabs with mouse. (OK, there’s usually a hotkey combination for this implemented in such apps, but for a lot of tabs this would be easier.)
    Tabs could be rearranged like in browsers.

    4.- An automatic application that browses the web instead of me, checks my gmail, searches for keywords in new RSS entries in my greader, new comments and activity messages but not watched items or journals in my deviantart messages, replies on the forums I’m posting, interesting articles on news sites that I rather not take into my RSS reader due to the 100+ daily articles, etc, and send me a text message of the result to my cellphone.
    OK, forget the gmail checks, just send me a mail about the freely configurable data collection, which I can anyway check on my mobile’s gmail client.

  • Ouch, you guys are sure looking for interesting things. :)

    @Dan

    Your security requirements are kinda tough. NTFS security model is build completely around users so it is hard to make tie it with applications instead. Very interesting and I will look into it, but nothing I can suggest right now.

    What language do you code app launcher in btw? I have my own launcher in AutoIt tailored to my portable software. I keep thinking I should polish and release it some day (I have too many things stuck in “polish and release” stage :).

    A keylogger detector. In my opinion keyloggers are the biggest danger on the net.
    I think HiJack This is quite known. But personally I am fond of AVZ (page is in russian, but utility itself has English interface option).

    A sticky, personalizable Alt+Tab replacement with previews.
    I remember using one awesome utility with well done previews (it tiled them, utilizing whole screen) but can’t remember name. I am usually tired of eye candy after some time. Will try to google it up. Found it – ShellEnhancer. Unfortunately appp remained exactly where I left it – in late 2006. It’s a pity. :(

    @Menem

    I don’t have experience with apps you named so I can’t be sure what exactly is experience you are looking for.

    Personally I use Cobian Backup. It can be installed as system service and so runs completely in background without any need for interaction with user. I use it for backups of local files and this blog’s FTP account to Dropbox.

    @szekelya

    1. Not too sure what are you looking for. I tend to code such things as small AutoIt scripts and use them in SendTo.

    2. Interesting idea. :) I am not too anyoed by such, probably I just get rid of software that is too interrupting.

    3. Obviously no idea, I hope someone else will help you with this one.

    4. Sounds like too many things. :) I’d just stuck all of that in RSS and combine with good feed reader software/service. Actually I am doing exactly that.

    Phew, this is so much extremely interesting stuff to think about. That’s what I meant saying that people should be vocal about their software ides.

  • kelltic

    OLDIES I’d love to have back:
    1. Once I had a program that allowed me to add notes about files that I could access from Windows Explorer by just running the mouse over the file. Because I keep large files with similar names and/or different versions, it was very useful. – I did find ONE of these for XP but it did nasty things to my system and when I uninstalled it, it ate all my favicons. I could only get them back by re-installing.

    2. Then there was this tiny – tiny in size (about 5″ x 5″), tiny in resource usage – word processor. Menu bar only. It allowed for a choice of maybe 6 different fonts and a few formatting options, bold, underline, and maybe italics. It would open a max of 10 files and it was easy to switch between them. There was also a size limit for each file; I don’t remember what that was, but I never overran it.

    SOMETHING NEW I’d like to find:
    1. A program that works very much like the standard recycle bin: A container for files and folders I’d like to be rid of but am not sure it is safe to delete, and from which I can restore back to their original place with the click of a button. (Yes, this can be done with the Recycle Bin but it is very cumbersome to save a few files when your system deletes hundreds of files a day.) To make it even better, a once-a-month pop-up that gives me a list of anthing that has been sitting there for over 30 days (or 60 or 90 or however many I choose) and offers to send them to the recycle bin.

    2. Something that works better than Window’s Restore Points.

    The other posters have given me even more to wish for.

    Thanks for this topic! I am really enjoying your site.

  • @kelltic

    1. Hmmm… Can’t remeber anything exactly like that but take a look at Infotag Magic.

    2. I had recently discovered Q10 which is rather nice and tiny text editor but more tailored to writing (single file). Also try Tiny Office it specializes in just that – tiny minimalistic apps and has few editors.

    1. No ideas here. If I delete things I want them really gone. As variant Dropbox keeps very extensive revision history in the cloud.

    2. They work?.. :) Maybe Tiny Watcher.

  • Dan

    @Rarst

    exactly, Windows security is build around users and this security layer can’t be avoided. Another layer ( that not uses NTFS ) can be builded like FolderGuard that has a nice GUI to edit permissions but also uses the “user” as the central concept.
    Launching programs under different users can be very secure but drag&drop between Windows with different credentials doesn’t work :(

    I’m coding my launcher in PureBasic ( payware 79 euro ). Before I used AutoHotkey, that like AutoIt is very powerful for Windows programming ( nice function libraries, easy API calling ) but I tried Purebasic’s demo and wow, tiny executables, low memory usage, good debugger and pretty decent Windows libraries too.
    Anyway, the important thing is “give me something that I don’t have”, I suppose you developed your launcher for working with relative paths or some other need that you had in the past, and if it works for you surely can work for others :)

    About keylogger detection I want something very specific, a tool that detects if the WinAPI functions that capture keys are called because home-developed keyloggers are not detected by antivirus. But of course tools like HijackThis are very helpful.

    I tried ShellEnhancer years ago but for mouse gestures, it’s really a swiss knife.
    And I like szekelya’s idea about tabbed desktops/workspaces

  • @Dan

    drag&drop between Windows with different credentials doesn’t work

    Well, script that uses runas would work but won’t be secure. I could probably create shortcut-like AutoIt script that remembers credentials but I am not experienced with properly encrypting stuff. I can cache encrypted password easily enough but that would require script to have unpack password (unsafe) or ask for it on launch (kinda defeats purpose).

    Maybe ask for masterpassword on launch and use it to encrypt credentials? What would work for you?

    I suppose you developed your launcher for working with relative paths or some other need that you had in the past

    I name portable stuff starting with _ so my launcher scans flash drive for such and allows launch by incremental search. As is it is now – too specific solution to be useful in general. :)

    tool that detects if the WinAPI functions that capture keys are called

    Tried AVZ yet? It detects bunch of API-related stuff, not sure if it falls under your needs.

  • Kev

    Will have to have a good think about older programs that I miss, nothing off the top of my head.

    But for your file browser @rarst, have you tried http://www.freecommander.com/ I particularly make use of the folder compare function.

  • @Kev

    I know Free Commander but I don’t like it much. Interface feels sluggish. It’s like hybrid of dual pane file manager and Explorer.

    Maybe it can be tweaked to fit my taste better, I have portable version around to poke at some time.

  • WhACKO

    I’m looking for kind of a HULU browser, just some overlay of the folders and files which I can browse with larger font size, nothing else, the files can be launched using either windows of internal associations, and that’s it. I found one firefox based browser, but it was still with online video browsing, and that’s too much for what I’m looking for…

    As for a two pane file browser, I can’t live without Total Commander http://www.ghisler.com (sadly it’s not free but very powerful)

    For alt-tab switching give Switcher a try http://insentient.net/

  • @WhACKO

    Hulu you mean that video site? It blocks me out by geography so no idea on that one.

    Yeah, Total Commander is close to ultimate file manager but it doesn’t pass as freeware. It is ok to use it as endless trial (developer said that in interviews) but still.

    Switcher looks interesting but I am still on XP. Hope it will fit Dan who is on Vista as I understood from comment context.

  • WhACKO

    Basically I’m looking for a lightweight file browser that I can control using my remote, just to display the local file/folder structure using large font sizes.

    HULU first came to mind, although I don’t use it myself, here’s an alternative but it’s still too bloated for my needs.

    http://zeevee.com/zinc/simple-navigation

  • i need windows os archives like old os..
    i want to use it..

  • teejay

    I am looking for Windows alternative of Mac software Yep (yepthat.com) I asked the developers but they are Mac guys and won’t develop version for Windows.
    Benubird is a program that comes close to Yep but extremely buggy. In my opinion, Yep the THE program for all your document organization.

    I am still waiting, somebody would make such program.

  • Patrick

    tried freeCommander?

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