Monday, May 19, 2008

Windows without Windows...

I am a die-hard Windows fan. OS X is too weird, and Linux is too crappy... Recently I've been under fire about not using the Windows GUI manager (Under the process tree as "explorer.exe"), I've been told, "Why are you using Windows without Windows Explorer? It kind of defeats the purpose of using you favorite operating system...".

The essence of this comment was that this person defined the GUI manager of any given operating system as the operating system. I will admit, Windows Explorer is a nice little thing to have, but I prefer, on occasion, to use Windows without the GUI manager.

Now I'm not talking about DOS, or strictly command line OS interface, but something in between the CMI and the full-blown GUI...

What I use is this funny little program called the "Task Manager". Anyone can easily access this program by hitting (in Windows) Ctrl+Alt+Del. From there I proceed to end the "explorer.exe" process, which will then kill the task bar, desktop, and any pesky explorer windows that I have open. Once all of these features are gone, how does one go about running programs??

Funny thing here, most people only use the Task Manager to End tasks, but it is, after all, a task "manager", not just a task executioner... Those witty programmers at that Microsoft place decided to put in a few tools to /Run/ programs as well.

Up in the top-left hand of the Task Manager window, one will see a "File" menu. When opened, this menu system reveals a "New Task(Run)" command who's sole purpose is to "Run" programs...

This tool gives the user a nice little dialog box, with the optional browser window, to search for and execute programs. If using the browser it is also possible to switch the folder view from "Programs" to "All Files". When this change has been made in the drop-down menu box one can also open an file with an application associated with it.

Now the obvious question is, "Why would anyone want to use this method over simply using the Explorer, Explorer is so much easier!!". The answer, my friend, is processing power and RAM. I'm a power freak, I use a lot of processor a lot of the time. The explorer process can have a heavy tax on the system's resources. I don't need it, so I don't use it...

Also, without explorer running, Windows is a lot less vulnerable to viruses, but that's for another post...

1 comment:

BB_DaKraxor said...

Ok, this is a little messed up.

1: OS X being too weird - for who? I bet an old Apple fan would say the same for winblows.

2: Linux being crappy - excuse me? Please explain, I don't get you, sorry.

3: The actual power of win lies in two things: good hardware support and easy-to-use interface, that is basically provided by explorer.exe. If you choose not to use it, you're just taking away one of the main advantages of your OS. Without explorer, it's rather hard to switch between processes, and it's a nightmare to start most programs, especially ones that are heavily integrated and sit in a dark and hidden corner of your system directory. When I was younger and lived in the dark ages (I used to use Windows), I wrote a small app launcher in C++ so I could start programs and spare about 20 MB of memory - by that time my machine had only 256 MB, so that was almost 10%!

By the way, explorer.exe uses so little amount of memory... nowdays nobody cares about dozens of megs when they have several gigs.

Anyway, while you can't get rid of explorer in Windows, you may know Linux is all about choices. You may or may not choose to use a graphical user interface. If you do want GUI, you can choose between heavier and more lightweight ones (amazing, imagine the simplest window manager that is about 1 MB). Also, Ubuntu and openSUSE (two popular Linux distributions) have advanced so much in the last 2 years that they are really easy-to-use for everyone, not just experts. Not to mention that they are FREE.

Or if you truly are a power freak, try Gentoo Linux - you'll taste the true power of your box when you compile your own kernel. No unnecessary drivers, nothing, just a pure system that fits to your (and only your) machine. Now thats something!

Cheers,
BB_DaKraxor

(If you want to contact me, send mail to bbdakraxor at gmail dot com, I really love helping people get out of the dark ages :P)