Matthew Miner's Pretty Reliable Product Recommendations


Program Recommendations

Seeking superb software suggestions?
Disk Space Visualizer
WizTree is the best, fastest disk space visualizer for Windows. It keeps the same visual style of WinDirStat is over 40 times faster by analyzing the NTFS MFT directly.
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For Linux (and maybe MacOS), QDirStat is the best substitute. It does the same thing, and it does it pretty well.
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If you're fed up with Windows 10's massive regression in search performance, you need to use Everything. It searches all files on your computer (unless you choose to exclude some), and it does so incredibly fast by directly accessing the NTFS MFT. I've never even noticing its indexing, compared to most OS search programs notably lagging the computer periodically. And it supports path searches and regex. It's amazing.
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Everything Toolbar
If you want to use Everything but prefer Windows's built-in search interface, the Everything Toolbar will integrate Everything to the taskbar to make it look seemlessly native.
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Agent Ranksack
If you need to search inside of files, Agent Ransack is the clear choice to do such. It seems to search every file type, with the pro version even using OCR if needed. It even supports regex for both the file name and the sought text while still being very user-friendly. The support for the program is great, and they have solved my issues extremely quickly. While the free lite version should be more than enough for most people, I have found the paid version very affordable and worth it as well.
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Terminals seem simple. You can type commands in, they run the command in whatever shell you use, and they print out the result. It's just text. But terminals have a surprising amount of complexity with different shells being available on different systems and being used by different scripts. Some programs use lots of picky drawing, some use colors, some use line numbers, and some use the mouse! Although historically rather neglected, in recent years, there have been major efforts to use new terminals. One of the main new terminals is the new Windows Terminal. However, I do not reccommend it as this modern attempt has let the modern programming trend of runaway dependencies slip in. All this unneeded code running means it wastes your disk space, your memory, and most importantly, your CPU. This leeds to "printing text", the most basic historical output, to become a resource hog and just incredibly slow and inefficient.
I suspect that this newcomer Rust-based terminal will supercede all other terminals. It runs on BSD, Linux, macOS, and Windows; it's very fast; and it has many more features than Alacritty, including multiplexing and ligatures. It also has a much better community around it. The only real downside is that it requires a fair bit of configuration at install to get it just how you want it. (It defaults to cmd.exe on Windows.)
Regardless of your OS, the answer to a slow terminal is Alacritty. It runs on BSD, Linux, macOS, and Windows. It's programmed in Rust, one of the fastest and safest languages, and it's GPU-accelerated. This means it's fast, probably the fastest terminal. It isn't made to include every feature ever, which would bloat the program and slow it down, but it's still quite full-featured. The main downside is that its developers can be a bit…pretentious? Alacritty still doesn't have ligatures, despite an issue being open for 5 years; and the default colors are a bit odd, and the creator attacked people for suggesting they be changed.
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If you have a Mac, iTerm2 might be preferable for you, as it does have more features and is also still GPU-accelerated and very fast, although not as fast as Alacritty. I cannot comment on it personally as I do not own a Mac.
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Video Playing
VLC plays everything on every OS with lots of features and no cruft. It's the de facto champ of video playing.
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Volume Control
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