Rob's Ramblings

Friday 14 May 2010


It's rare that I find myself detesting a piece of software, but I'm sorry, I've got to the point where I now do. And what is the subject of my hate, you may ask? Why, it's Windows 7, and specifically the file Explorer.

In windows terms, I would probably be described as a power-user. I do a lot of work at file level - I prefer to use the file manager, see the files, and decide what I want to do with them there and then, usually using the right-click context menu and often the send-to options. To this end, I usually run explorer in "details" mode, with the folder list enabled, and most of the time I'm using the keyboard to move about in it!

Windows 7, however, has broken me. The folder list is, well, dreadful. No + and - boxes and lines linking folders. Just little triangles that come and go as they feel like it. Change the folder you have selected using the keyboard, and the list of files doesn't change. Not without pressing Enter or clicking. If I'm scanning down a long list of folders looking at the files, this doubles the keypresses, and more than doubles the time, as they are different keys!

And the damn breadcrumb thing in the address bar... what's that all about? I just want the path to the folder.

Oh, and a status bar that doesn't have anything useful in it - like spare space, total of file sizes, etc.

This is, by the way, on a new laptop. Which to add it's own brand of misery has a different keyboard layout to the old one. So I'm forever pressing End instead of Home, and Fn instead of Ctrl and turning the screen brightness down! .. sigh...

I've got Ubuntu installed in a VM. I might see how well I can work in there for a bit, and if I can cope, I will wipe this goddamn awful windows 7 and install an operating system fit for grown ups. Or XP at least.

(Originally posted at

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