Questions about windows support

H. S. Teoh hsteoh at
Tue Feb 21 12:25:01 PST 2012

On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 11:50:24AM -0500, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> I literally grew up on command-lines[1]. But despite that, I still
> much prefer GUIs for anything a GUI reasonably works for: Like file
> browsers, DB admin, manual DB queries, debuggers, Tortoise*, etc.
> (although for web server configuration I've come to vastly prefer
> config files - MUCH easier to remotely manage, plus the settings for
> files/paths are necessarily tied to the file/path *name*, not the
> physical file, so you don't kave to keep messing with them every time
> something's moved/renamed/deleted/recreated)

OK, this isn't exactly GUI, but have you tried mc?

I remember in the good ole DOS days, Norton Commander (of which mc is a
clone) was one of the best things around. It made DOS usable. In fact,
even pleasant.

> When I'm on Linux, I've come to do most things on the command line
> just because 1. Many things still can only be done on the cmd line,
> and 2. Linux file managers suck about as much as the Windows command
> line. I'm proficient with bash, and I do love it as far as command
> lines go (And damn near anything can be scripted, which is fantastic),
> but I hate using it for file manipulation - just seems really clumsy
> compared to a *good* GUI file manager (which I've yet to find on
> Linux). Although the autocomplete *is* a huge help.

Yeah, you should check out mc. Though I haven't used it for at least a
decade, so I can't vouch for whether it's still usable. I've yet to find
a better file manager than the original NC, though.

> Although that said, even the Windows file manager has been plummeting 
> downhill ever since Vista. I don't know wtf MS has been thinking.

I hate the windows file manager with a passion. It's so difficult to
make it display things properly, there's no way (not easily anyway) to
specify a glob filter in a huge directory, change sorting criteria with
a keystoke, etc.. I find `ls | grep` much more palatable than that
painful 1-pixel wide horizontal scrollbar that leaps several pages per
pixel when you're trying to find something in a truly huge directory, I
mean folder.

> Keyboard/mouse switching comes pretty naturally to me. Part of it's
> probably years of practice, and the other part is that I use
> trackballs which tend to mostly stay put.

I used to do a lot of keyboard/mouse switching too. Until I switched to
ratpoison, a window manager that doesn't require the mouse. Since then
I've found that my speed almost doubled.

Keyboard/mouse switching is much better when it's a laptop with that
"nipple" thing in the middle of the keyboard. In fact, that's the only
case of mouse-switching that is comparable in speed to a keyboard-only
interface. Unless, of course, you're trying to manipulate graphical
stuff like draw freehand curves, in which case you'll want to be on the
mouse 99% of the time anyway. For discrete tasks like typing or
navigating menus, keyboard shortcuts are unbeatable.

> [1] First AppleSoft BASIC and occasionally the built-in memory-editor
> and AppleSoft Logo. Later, MS-DOS 6-ish and occasionally gwbasic
> (normally used QBASIC instead, though)

Ooooh! Another Apple II veteran! Ah, the good ole Apple II. Believe it
or not, my dad actually still has a couple o' 30-year-old Apple II's
that he actually *still uses*. He wrote a little personal accounting app
in Dbase, and has been using it for the last 3 decades. Never felt the
need to upgrade. Of course, now he also has a modern-day laptop and
modern PCs in the office. But that old faithful Apple II is still
chugging away...


Береги платье снову, а здоровье смолоду. 

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