capsule review

Commander

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Commander

In the beginning, there was the Command Line, and it was... not all that good, really. Then came all kind and manner of replacement programs, and some were good, and some weren't. One of the best was Norton Commander, and it was so good many people stuck with it long after DOS started running in a Windows shell, rather than the reverse. Thus we come to Commander, which is, basically, Norton Commander for Windows--and nothing more. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to you.

There are many Explorer replacements that take the Norton Commander interface and build on it, bundling in gewgaws galore. I will admit to a bias towards such programs. However, there is something to be said for keeping it clean, neat, and simple, and Commander does all of those things. Commander gives you two panes--no tabs or MDI windows. Commander doesn't give you file viewers, hex editors, or Web browsers.

Commander seems to assume you are a long-time Norton user and know what you're doing. The "Help" function is limited to one-sentence descriptions of the program's functions, even when they need more. Choose "Move Files To Subfolder", for example, and you are presented with some options to build a "mask", but no real indication of what the mask will do or where your files will end up. The entirety of the Help for this function reads: "Move selected files to sub folders based on time stamp or name."

Ultimately, if what you want is Norton Commander in its late-90s glory, but capable of dealing with long file names and non-FAT disks, then Commander does the job.

Note: This program is donationware. It is free to try, but the author accepts and encourages donations towards further development.

--Ian Harac

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Commander

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