File management. Not the sexiest prospect on the freeware front, but something that has to be dealt with, especially if (like me) you have moments when your carefully-considered filing system falls apart and you need to remember where you put that crucial report into the lifespans of various types of solar panels, and how that relates to your summary of available green technologies.
Normally, many people would struggle on with the built-in Windows file manager. For information magpies like me, however, that can be a bit slow, clunky and less than intuitive. Luckily, Marek Jasinski has developed Free Commander, which is far better at dealing with my needs.
Free Commander is an file manager for Windows 2000, XP and Vista. I have no word on whether there will be support for Windows 7, but hopefully there will be, or I am never going to upgrade. Not only is there a dual panel viewing option that allows you to assess and move files between directories with ease, but you can also examine the content of compressed file archives in ZIP, RAR and CAB format. For somebody who downloads articles to “read later” as much as I do, this is invaluable. I do have moments when I’ll be arguing with my boyfriend and remember that there was an article in 2007 that proves my point and go hunting for it. This is why he now refuses to bet against me.
My domestic shenanigans aside, Free Commander is brilliant at shuffling files and handling their behaviour. In addition to the dual panel view, there is also the option to have each panel show you a tree view for each directory, and it also has tabbed browsing. Not only that, but there is the ability to rename files in batches – all those “arguments with idiots in a forum” can become “Silly Conversations” in the blink of an eye. And! You can also synchronise folders to make sure that all versions contain the same content. The sneaky amongst us can even change the date and time attributes of files that we are dealing with.
Coupled with the awesome power that this gives users is also a nify file searching facility, far more flexible than the inbuilt Windows search facility, and a simple and effective FTP facility. Quite frankly, I do wonder how I managed without File Commander. Actually I don’t. I know that my filing system was a mess and that I despaired of ever finding files once I had forgotten where I placed them. Still, since installing File Commander, my sanity has been restored, and I have not lost an argument in the last 18 months.
One extra bonus of File Commander is that is it can also be installed as a portable app; that’s right, not only can you clean up your own hard drive, but you can also clean up others that you are working on (provided you have the correct privileges). This just makes me love the program even more. Not only can you bring order to your own hard drive, but also to others that you are working on. The control freak in me is pleased. The file is tiny, the program is amazingly good for so little space (and free!). If you’re a Windows user who is sick of chasing files around, download Free Commander today and take all the stress out of handling your files.