After many years (I'm guessing 15) of using the same file manager, I find myself searching for a replacement.
The purpose of this topic is two-fold:
- Share my experiences - from the beginning - with XYplorer's powers-that-be
- Log an unbiased, running review for others in search of a file manager
By no stretch of the imagination is this post meant to be a how-to guide.
I hope my efforts benefit others searching for a file manager. I will continue adding entries until I decide XYplorer is not for me, or I purchase the program and become efficient enough to offer an informed opinion. Either way I will end the topic with a final succinct, conclusive review.
A Little History
I have been working with computers (programming, repairing, teaching, etc.) since the late 1970s. When the IBM PC was released in the fall of 1981, I was fortunate enough to have a father working for Big Blue who purchased one. One of the first utilities we installed was a useful little TSR called File Command (FC3 was the last, most stable release), a brilliant DOS file manager. After Windows was released, I used the built-in explorer until I discovered a suitable replacement. At one point I even attempted to write my own FC3 Windows clone, but I was quickly hampered by my lack of programming experience (this is the reason I learned assembly and C/C++). But, alas, I never returned to the project.
The file manager I am replacing is PowerDesk Pro. I don't think there is any reason to go into all the details, but PowerDesk Pro is now defunct (if you are interested, pop some popcorn, Google the program, and enjoy the show).
The XYplorer decision
Why did I decide on XYplorer? After searching the WEB and reading reviews, I narrowed it down to three possibilities:
- Directory Opus
Many reviews say that Directory Opus is a great file manager, but go on to say it's settings are extensive and can be quite confusing. Also, I refuse to pay what they ask for the program and, as far as I know (their site is down), they offer no pricing schedules or alternatives. This left FileBoss and XYplorer, so I downloaded trials for both.
One of the features I look for in a file manager is the ability to add my own programs to a toolbar. Though neither program advertised this feature (they both say only customizable toolbars) this is the first customization I tried. I could not find a way to complete this task in FileBoss or XYplorer, nor could I find this topic in help (I did not spend a lot of time searching, I figured this feature would be prominent). I was about to give up and start my review process over again when I luckily looked in XYplorer's customize toolbar options dialog box once more and found user definable buttons at the bottom of the list. Using XYplorer's robust scripting to setup external tools on the toolbar was very easy and I look forward to fully learning and exploiting this feature.
Another feature I like is separate columns for a file's dates and times. Unfortunately, neither of these programs have this particular setting. Next I tried different file views (though I spend 95% of my time in details view, I do need other views) and was surprised to find FileBoss did not offer any other besides details.
My decision was made; to me, XYplorer is the clear winner. I hope my search is over, but before I make my final decision, and as my testing progresses, I will be posting my experiences to this topic.