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  • Classic Shell: A Great Utility for Windows 7

    Posted by Jonathan on July 5th, 2011 (All posts by )

    If you use Windows 7 for any length of time you will notice that it is very slick and mostly works well, that Windows Explorer now has an annoying bug that sometimes makes the current directory jump to the bottom of the screen when you click to expand it, that the search system has been made unusable, that the Start menu has been changed for the worse, and that the Shut Down button has been redesigned in a way that makes it easy inadvertently to turn off your computer when you want to restart it. XP was easier to use, but if you need 64-bit you need 7 and it’s the current PC standard. Searching Microsoft’s support forums reveals that MSFT refuses to do anything about the Explorer bug, and helpfully suggests that users learn a complex syntax of DOS-like commands in order to use a search system that once required nothing more than checking boxes and typing search terms into clearly labeled search fields. This is not progress but I digress (or maybe regress as MSFT seems to be doing). What to do?

    Classic Shell is a free, open-source utility that appears to solve most of Win 7’s UI problems by reverting the bad parts to pre-7 functionality. It makes the Start menu, search etc. work as they did when Windows worked. I am not certain but I think that it also corrects the Explorer bug.

    My one caution is that I’ve only been using CS for a week and therefore might be missing something, but so far so good. Check it out.


    4 Responses to “Classic Shell: A Great Utility for Windows 7”

    1. Michael Kennedy Says:

      And then there is the Mac, although Safari has become annoyingly unstable.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      It’s always something.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      I would be smug about using a mac but…

      … under the old Mac Classic, which I used for over a decade, pressing cmd-n in the Finder (file manager analog) created a new folder/directory. When we went to MacOS, suddenly command-n opened a new Finder window and it took command-shift-n to create a new folder.

      Ten years later now and 50% of the time when I want a new folder I still hit command-n and get a new window instead.

    4. tomw Says:

      That great sucking sound you hear is the Microsoft “installed software base” footprint being lifted out of the ooze as it take a step … forward or back we are not sure, but a step none the less.
      Their foot print will suck along all kinds of things… Your Shockwave Flash will no longer work as they have added new ’embellishments’ to the original, and you ‘MUST’ upgrade to the latest and [not]greatest to get the ‘full feature’ panoply. Ditto Java, Javasoft, and HTML. They lift their foot, shake it about a bit, and the muck flies everywhere. What worked well before no longer functions at all.
      Why? Cash flow. The new must displace the old. Period.
      Why do they change the interface? Because they can. It drives training revenues. It drives ‘training the trainer’ revenues, as each and every Microsoft Certified Systems Anything must now learn the new. Those old certificates you earned last year are now declared obsolete, and you must train and take the test all over again. At Microsoft certified training sites…
      Nice work if you can get it.