Sunday, May 12, 2013

Macbook Pro file browser replacement

My little Lenovo netbook died of old age, so I picked up one of the new Apple Macbooks with a so called retina display.  The high resolution screen is absolutely worth the money.

My main gripe with a Mac is the horrid excuse for a file browser called Finder.  A file browser that doesn't allow you to browse all files, is really not a terribly bright idea - it doesn't do much of anything really and is quite useless.  Even Microsoft Windows Explorer works better than Finder.

Fortunately some kind souls have coded up a few alternatives including one called Macintosh Explorer (by Rage).  You can get it here:

Mac Explorer is free and it works - a good combination of features - although I like the Linux file browsers such as Dolphin and Thunar better.

Another well kept secret, is to extend the Finder with a plug-in called Xtrafinder (by Tran Ky Nam), which makes Finder a whole lot more useful:

The Mac keyboard is a bit crummy - the Carriage Return key is too small and there is no Delete key, only a Backspace. The Ctrl-D combination usually works as delete.  The X-Windows highlight and middle click also doesn't work - instead it is highlight drag and drop, but you can only drag and drop to something that is already visible.  Some mindless things to get used to again - fortunately there is a configuration button for the mouse to make it scroll the 'correct' way.

The desktop user experience of a Mac is OK, it just feels a bit 20th century.  I prefer KDE - I want my virtual desktops and wobbly windows!  Yeah, I know, "Small Things..."

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