For those of you that have followed my recent soap-opera/PC-saga know that it has indeed been trying at times. All starting with my HP Omen suddenly becoming less and less able to open an Explorer window and display the contents.
Oh, it would try. I could just imagine that little PC hunched over using all its might to display information that was second nature to working computers. The collective time lost to vainly waiting for something… anything… to show in the explorer window was more than slightly frustrating.
Then in a fit of extreme enlightenment, at least I think that is what it was as I don’t have those types of things happen very often, a thought crossed my mind to look for some open source or just plain old freeware type of Explorer application.
It didn’t take long for a search to home in on Q-Dir, a four-paned Explorer type program that remembers where you left it last time.
Now, instead of various shortcuts and other methods, I simply open Q-Dir and all four explorer panes are right where I left them.
Use your picture directory a lot? Mine is loaded with textures and alphas, now it's always just a click away with Q-Dir while also showing me my Documents folder, Music folder and wherever I left the fourth pane last time I used it.
Very handy. Time saving and efficient. Just the opposite of my qualities and that is why I have, in cyber terms, fallen head over heels for it.
It corrects my weakness. It organizes my disorganization. It keeps my old and deadline-addled brain on task by always having the info I need in front of me or just a few clicks away.
No need for multiple explorer windows open all the time as Q-Dir gives me all the information I’m looking for in one place.
And yes… it works with network locations too. I mean... it would kinda have to, to be functional in today’s interconnected computing environments. While it's not the most robust in terms of network functionality it covers the necessary basics of putting information in front of you from network drives and shares.
If like some of us, you might have years of computing data spread out amongst several computers and backups. Keeping that info in front of you can be a daunting task. Just to keep up with Q-Dir… you would have to launch four Windows Explorers, which take up resources. Now I have no idea if Q-Dir takes fewer resources, but it does take less real estate to display those results.
Again… in today’s world… desktops can be crowded with notes, shortcuts and all manner of methods to get to existing data. Q-Dir helps clear some of that up.
Now we get to an even better extra in Q-Dir, which are the Tabs in each window pane. That's right. You can have multiple tabs (locations) available to you within each of the four panes! By default, this feature is set to only show tabs when two or more are loaded. It's an important feature that can be easily missed.
I have to admit that I’m always hesitant to download software that is not mainstream and install it on my main system. I look to see if CNET (download.com) has a version available as I’ve had fewer problems through them than downloading directly from little-known websites. There is nothing wrong with downloading from a source you trust, and many little-known websites are safe but do your homework before downloading.
That being said… whilst I like the product, I will not guarantee what kind of download you will get as there are a lot of places to download this puppy from but I will provide the links from CNET and the Q-Dir website.
I can’t guarantee this freebie will help you in organizing information but if you retrieve data from a few of the same locations this four-paned wonder can be a boon to productivity by the time it saves.
And… as some of us age… it just makes things easier to keep up with.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.