"The Norton Commander is the most useful DOS program ever written" says the Commander Homepage, a site dedicated to Norton Commander. And true it is. NC was flippin' fabulous. I used the crap out of that program. You think I'm fast now, back in day™ I was fast as lightning on a stac'ered 386sx. Those were the days.
Misha Bergal emailed me recently reminding me of FAR, a text-mode Norton Commander clone with Windows long filename support. Wow, takes me back.
Sure, PowerShell is a better shell. The best ever, even, there's no question of that (Seriously, get on board, the PowerShell is poised to take over the planet, but I digress...) but if you really want to stop dragging files around in Explorer and start doing some serious damage, take a look at these potential additions to your tools list.
The first is FAR and the real story is it's plugin support. Some of my favorite features? Start it up and press Ctrl-UpArrow for a while, then Ctrl-DownArrow. Now try Alt-F9. Try Ctrl-W. It'll take a while to get used to, but wow, you can fly once you've taken off.
My other favorite Explorer Replacement is xplorer2 from Zabkat. There's so much goodness in xplorer2 I will have to blog about it separately. It's got the same familiar Norton Command dual-pane view with the quick switching with "Tab" feature. It has integrated file preview and all the things you'd expect, but also throws in a great folder synchronizer, an amazing "mass file rename" token language for those large tricking bulk renames, rule-based file section, a macro language and it starts up faster than a new explorer window.
Both of these great tools are bound to hotkeys on my systems and make my life easier.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.