03/29/2001

Where’ve you been all my life? Yes, I say that to every program I find that I like. But this time I think I might really mean it.

My biggest beef with disk optimizers is that I never found one with an intelligent directory sort routine. You see, the most important files in the directory should appear first for best performance on a FAT or FAT32 volume. Norton Utilities doesn’t offer a foolproof method to get the most important files up top every time. Neither does Fix-It. Nuts & Bolts (now McAfee Utilities) had the best method, but seeing as talking about McAfee Utilities is a violation of the license agreement, I can’t tell you if McAfee Utilities still has the feature, if it’s improved, if it’s worth having, or anything of the sort. Frankly I don’t want to know, unless the answer is no. I refuse adamantly to do business with any company that thinks it’s above the First Amendment. Even Microsoft isn’t that despicable. Apple’s not that despicable. Hell, Apple and Microsoft put together, with ultimate crybaby baseball players Gary Sheffield and Frank Thomas thrown in for good measure, aren’t HALF that despicable.

So who cares if McAfee Utilities is any good? You don’t want it anywhere near your computer no matter what it does. (And I suspect it’ll do a royal job of breaking it, based on my experience with Nuts & Bolts, which was a versatile suite but dangerous if used improperly. And every other McAfee product I looked at before they instituted that license agreement sucked. I mean really sucked. And it’s easier to try to stop freedom of speech than it is to improve your products.)

So… You’ve got the powerful Norton Utilities, with lots of selectable options but a couple of options that should be there that aren’t. And you’ve got Fix-It, which is a lot easier to use but not very configurable at all, so it’s better than Defrag and Scandisk but far from perfect. What to do? Buy one of them. Then download lfnsort .

LFNsort allows you to sort directories intelligently. Using multiple criteria. Fabulous. Download it, then run it (preferably you should exit all running programs first). Here’s the syntax I use:

lfnsort -a-s c: /s

This sorts your directory entries by access date, or, if no access date is available, by size (the next-best indication of importance). In the root directory I think I’d want to go with a manual sort (on my machine, the c:windows and c:program files entries get buried deeper than I’d like) but otherwise LFNsort seems to work really well.

So if you want the fastest computer possible, get a utilities suite, then download this, test it, and if you like the results, register it.

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