06-20-10 - Windows 7 Niggles

1. When you edit a file name in explorer it by default doesn't include the extension. I constantly do "F2 , ctrl-C" to grab a file name, and then find later that I have the fucking file name without extension. .URL files are the worst, they for some reason just absolutely refuse to show me their extension. God fucking dammit, LEAVE SHIT ALONE.

2. Fucking folders can't all be set to Details as far as I can figure out. Yes yes yes I know you can do "set all folders to look like this one". But that only applies to folders that you have ever visited at least once. When you go to some random folder which you have never visited before - BOOM you're looking at fucking icons again. I despise icons. There must be a way to set the default options for folders, but I can't find it on web searches.

3. Fucking backspace not going up dir in Explorer really chaps my hide. I need to fix that. I guess I'll do that after I write my own AllSnap replacement (Grrr).


Matt Enright said...

#2 bothered me enough to hunt around for a third party file explorer. I ended up settling on xplorer2, which supports backspace for up dir as well.

Gilles said...

I mean, the fuck win 7 does for you guys? Because you do a lot to reach basic usability with it, thats sure.

cbloom said...

Native 64 bit, and you've gotta get with the future some day.

But actually there are a lot of good fixes in Win7. The kernel is way cleaned up, in general it's more stable, more robust, the file system is much better, support for SSD's, USB3, etc. much better driver model generally (harder for drivers to crash you, better memory window model), etc.

In fact Win7 is almost 100% goodness, except for the fact that some fucking UI designers just crap shit up for no god damn good reason. Fine fine if you want to make the default suck balls then go nuts, but at least give me an option to make it behave normally.

Aaron said...

Gah the backspace thing is driving me nutsoooo.

I'm split on the filename thing. Most of the time when I f2 something it's to rename it, not to copy-paste the filename. But it's not 'most of the time' enough, it's more like 75%, so it still trips me up sometimes.

Why the can't these things all just be options, MS?!!!?

I agree with 7 being almost all goodness. On a proper workstation, I don't even bother turning off all the superfetch, auto-indexing, scheduled defrags etc... the machine just swallows them up fine. The lappy did need a bit more fussing.

Big McLargeHuge said...

So, wait, how come you're not using a decent file manager like Total Commander? I for one can't get anything done without it. Just the fact that you can look inside any file you please by pressing F3 (in text or hex mode) saves me tons of clicking and alt-tabbing and whatnot, not to mention that you can actually browse your files without any of the exploder crap getting in the way.

Then, it can go inside archives, iso files and all that and doesn't take ages to copy stuff out of zip files (I'm still wondering how MS managed to fuck that up), you can copy between directories without having two windows open, you can select by mask, it doesn't have a dog in the search dialog, looking for files with a given text in them actually works unlike exploder (and it has regexp for that if you want), it's got tabs, it's got keyboard shortcuts for everything, you can invoke your favorite editor on any file with F4, you can create new files by pressing Shift+F4, you can type in commands directly (I mostly use that to start cmd in the current directory) and the list can go on for pages.

To some people it feels very 1990 to use something based on Norton Commander in the present day, but really, it works.

I find its default settings to be pretty dumb, but it's fairly configurable, and you can remove all the useless button bars.

cbloom said...

Yeah I used to use junk like that, but really I use the CLI for all my file management and browsing.

(actually a fucking clickable CLI would be awesome, I need to do that some day. Make it so that any printf to stdout that writes a URL becomes a clickable link on your CLI, and words that you click are selected and you can ctrl-C, and "dir" lists of files are runnable or CD'able just by clicking on them.

Autodidactic Asphyxiation said...

I, too, have thought about the clickable terminal. Maybe because I've been drinking the kool-aid, but I thought it would be nice to make it a browser extension, then it would also be scriptable and could easily access the Internets, and integrate tools similar to


Brian Balamut said...

Here's my fix for #2 - setup a folder the way you want (details, proper columns), and do the normal "Apply to All Folders" thing. Then go to properties on the folder -> customize, and change the type of folder to music, pictures, etc and repeat the folder setup + apply to all folders thing.

That's worked pretty well for me. I think the problem crops up whenever you view a folder that has a few images in it and suddenly it detects it as a pictures folder, and wants to show everything as giant ass thumbnails. Now all folder types will be shown in proper details mode.

Nicolas said...

I am bothered by #3 too, I found out that 'Alt-up arrow' (from memory, I'm in front of a Mac) actually goes up a folder, and not back in history like 'Backspace' now does.

Could be a replacement, but needs both hands... ahf.

cbloom said...

Brian Balamut ! You are my hero, that is exactly the problem!

I wish I could just disable all the fucking customized folder shit - everything is General please! but that is a decent fix for now.

Luca Rossato said...


I have been lurking around on your blog for quite a while. There's always some interesting and fun stuff to be found here, and I have to say that I happen to agree with your view of the world most of the time (at least that which transpires from your posts).
Problem #2 used to drive me mad, so much so that I seriously considered reverting to XP just to get some basic usability back.
That, and the godawful UnClearType that became virtually mandatory with Vista. I sure want some color on my monitor, but not in the form of fringes around each wannabe-black character. Yeah, I see them too.
Anyway, #2 can be fixed once and for all. See here for instance.

Kevin Gadd said...

A graphical CLI is definitely something I've always wanted - not anything crazy, but something that goes beyond the UX you get from shells like cmd or Terminal on OS X.

I played around with writing one a long time ago and made some good progress, but I never quite figured out how to properly emulate the stdin/stdout characteristics of a real shell... partly due to lack of experience, I expect. It definitely changed my workflow, though, in particular being able to just *see* the files in my cwd instead of having to type dir, and being able to click on them and see tab completions as I typed.

Unfortunately all that's left of it now is a couple screenshots on archive.org. Sigh. http://i.imgur.com/eJPE8.png

Tom said...

The Oberon interface (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberon_(operating_system)) works in a clickable terminal sort of way, apparently. I was reading a good description of it a while ago (don't remember why, and I can't find it any more... the Wikipedia article is very brief) saying that you could middle-click on any word, wherever it was, and it would be interpreted as a command.

This sort of sounds cool, even though I'm not sure how good it would actually be in practice. But I bet I'd end up finding a thousand uses for it if I used it every day.

Mostly I just use QuickEdit mode, and double click stuff to highlight the word, press Return, then right-click to paste it into the command line. (My PROMPT has spaces around the CWD so that I can do this on that, too.) This is a bit lame but it (mostly) works for me...

cbloom said...

I started writing my own CLI before I discovered how good 4NT was, so maybe this will motivate me to finish it. I have most of the built-in commands already, and I can just invoke 4NT or CMD to do the batch file handling for me.

Definitely a good one for the project list.

nothings said...

Man, they got rid of control-navigate in explorer means "open a new folder" -- this is my standard way of getting multiple folders for comparing/copying/moving and stuff.

I'm tempted to install some of these: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/shell/classicshell.aspx

nothings said...

In case it's not clear, the one I linked to comes with full source so you can mod it further.

nothings said...

Man, explorer is just so busted in so many ways. They basically just killed all the expert features.

In XP you can right-click the top-left icon (that normally opens the windows menu) and instead get the right-click menu for the folder you're currently in. So you create an explorer context menu item for folders that when you right click a folder has a "run cmd.exe in this folder", and then if you want to run it in the folder you're currently looking at, you right click the top-left and select "run cmd.exe in this folder" from that.

That top-left-is-own-context-menu seems to be gone in the Win7 explorer as well. Maybe it's available through some other secret UI trick, but I'm doubtful. It's definitely NOT available on right-clicking the folder in the bread-crumb list.

nothings said...

Yet another major UI feature they deleted that I rely on:


nothings said...


nothings said...

There are "quick launcher"/toolbar implementations out there, but the one everyone recommended and that I installed doesn't support cmd.exe shortcuts properly (it doesn't allow configuring the font/screen-size -- my normal thing is to have three different cmd.exe shortcuts that launch it in different modes).

Suckage all around, and I'll stop posting now.

old rants