No Comments IT, Productivity, Tuning

[Productivity] FreeCommander: another explorer alternative

TL;DR: FreeCommander and Replace “Win+E” shortcut to open it (start from point 3).

For a long long time, I have been using Explorer++. It was a really nice improvement from the native Windows explorer but I was not totally happy of it though.

If you ever used Explorer++, then you might have already felt the pain of opening a directory, a simple task that might take ages. And when it is not frozen, it might simply crash, making you lose all these so precious tabs you frenetically opened during your session.

You, if you are also frustrated by Explorer++ – or even if you are not – have a try with FreeCommander. Its GUI is a bit different, it would remind FileZilla to some of you, but it is really handful for browsing and copy / pasting operations with its two panels and tabs. The shortcuts might look weird at the beginning but you really quickly get used to it.

No Comments IT, Tuning, Windows

[Tuning] iTunes Multimedia Keys

You are on Windows, you like iTunes but your “Play / Pause”, “Next” and “Previous” multimedia keys are not working for it?

Try to install mmkeys.dll.

If the mmkeys.dll trick does not work for you, as it didn’t for me, you may try iTunesControl:

  1. If your laptop is not an Asus (specifically a G73J), go directly to the step 6.
  2. Install Asus notebook keys v1.3 to enable your multimedia keys.
    By default they only work with Windows Media Center / Player (for this point, Asus really sucks…).
  3. If you are running Windows 7, do this step to fix the “Can’t synchronize with existing ATK0100 event!”.
  4. Launch AsusNbKeys.exe. It won’t display anything and it’s normal.
  5. Launch AsusNbKeysCtrl.exe and customize your multimedia keys. You must specify a keystroke (e.g.: Ctrl+Alt+Shift + down arrow = play) for each event.
  6. Install and launch iTunesControl. With some configuration, here the kind of interface you can have:
  7. [Optionnal]
    1. You may disable some Windows features like the Magnifier to set the “Win+-” or “Win++” shortcuts to Volume Up or Volume Down for example. To do so, use a autohotkey script:
      #NoEnv  ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
      SendMode Input  ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
      SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%  ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.
      ; Disable Magnifier.
      #NumpadAdd::return	; Magnifier zoom.
      #NumpadSub::return	; Magnifier dezoom.
    2. Create a shortcut to your autohotkey script, then cut and paste it to your startup directory (on Windows 7: C:/programdata/microsoft/windows/start menu/programs/startup).

Note: the iTunes style I’m using is Silent Night by Davi-1.

2 Comments IT, Tuning

[Tuning] Another iGoogle dark theme for Stylish.

If you don’t know Stylish, you should try it if you are a fan of these eye-candy things on your browser! What it does exactly is to override default websites CSS with custom ones you can create or find here for example.

You can download here my CSS for iGoogle.

It’s a merge of “Dark IGoogle Mine” and “Google – Dark Shiny Blue, transparency” with some fixes and customization.

Another iGoogle dark theme

Another iGoogle dark theme

1 Comment IT, Tuning

[Tuning] WinSplit Revolution

I’m currently working on a project that ask me to have three debuggers, two applications and a command shell running at the same time. I cannot put all these windows on different virtual desktops as I need to always see all of them. So, before using WinSplit Revolution, I was manually resizing the windows each time I was compiling, and it was really a pain…

With WinSplit Revolution, you can position your windows quite intuitively with shortcuts using the NumPad. e.g.: “Ctrl+Alt+4” to put on the left, “Ctrl+Alt+6” to put on the right… You can also resize them by 50% (like the native windows 7 built-in feature “Win+left” and “Win+right”), 33% or even customizable parts size of the screen.

Note1: If WinSplit Revolution crash when you try to position you windows, try to reinstall using the portable version.

Note2: If like me you use Chrome, you may want to disable some Chrome shortcuts that conflict with WinSplit Revolution. I’m thinking to the “Ctrl+1”, “Ctrl+2”, … shortcuts that open the Xth tab of Chrome. In my opinion, they are useless Chrome shortcuts. To do that, install Shortcut Manager on your favorite browser.

WinSplit Revolution scheme

No Comments IT, Tuning

[Tuning] Virtual desktops.

If you are a Windows user and have also touched a bit of the Unix world, you may have noticed that Windows lacks the virtual desktops feature. With virtual desktops, you can put your windows and your icons on different desktops. It’s very useful especially when you have a lot of windows.

Dexpot is one of the multiple software that meet this demand. It is simple to use and you can even add a “Cube” effect when you change of Desktop, like Compiz Fusion on Ubuntu for example.

dexpot window preview

2 Comments IT, Tuning

[Tuning] Overriding your explorer!

When I’m working, I often have several explorers opened. When you have a double (or triple) screen config, that’s ok but when you are only with your tiny laptop screen, it quickly becomes a pain to handle all your explorer and other applications windows!

So I searched for an explorer alternative and I found Explorer++. It handles tabs, shows directory size and some other stuffs I’m currently discovering. There may be better explorer alternatives so don’t hesitate to put a comment about that… ┬ábut here is the idea, whatever the explorer you are choosing.

  • Installing your custom explorer => Explorer++
  • Bind the Windows+E shortcut with the custom explorer => AutoHotkey
  1. Install and unzip Explorer++ somewhere on your hard drive.
  2. Launch Explorer++ and in Tools > Options, choose “Replace Explorer for all folders (Vista and later)”.
  3. Install AutoHotkey.
  4. Go in your Explorer++ directory > Right Click > New > AutoHotkey Script.
  5. Paste this code inside and replace “PathTo” with your Explorer++ path. It will bind Explorer++ with the Windows+E shortcut:

    #e::Run "C:\Path\To\explorer++.exe"

  6. Right click your AutoHotkey Script, “Create shortcut”.
  7. Cut and paste the shortcut to the startup directory. In Windows 7, it is located in “C:/programdata/microsoft/windows/start menu/programs/startup”

You’re done! Now you can create explorer tabs in the same window, like in Chrome or Firefox (or IE now)!