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-- by Geoffrey Hollander
Pacific Gold Coast's Turbo Browser 5.2a adds high-powered file-management punch to your Windows 95 or NT 4.0 desktop. Though many file managers beef up Explorer's capabilities, none is better for serious system housekeeping.
Using TB's built-in viewers, you can automatically display e-mail, documents, text files, faxes, fonts, spreadsheets, database files, clip art, graphic images, icons, help files, and program and DLL headers, as well as sound, full-motion video and animation files. You can delete files while autoviewing, allowing you to clean as you browse. Graphic file conversion and PKZIP-compatible compression-even across multiple disks-is only a menu or toolbar selection away.
Directly below the menu bar, Turbo Browser has two user-configurable toolbars. Topmost is a standard arrangement of icons to quickly access basic file-management functions. With the Searchbar, displayed immediately below, you can search out and display files in the default categories or create custom buttons with your own criteria. To find files by name, contents, date or attributes, perform an advanced search. Fuzzy (best match) and Boolean search options are also available.
The optional Qbar, another outstanding feature, organizes and automates your work with batch processing power. By dragging and dropping folders or files from any location on your system or Network Neighborhood onto a Qbar button, you can process files simultaneously without copying or moving them into the same drive or directory. As with the Searchbar, you can create custom configurations for either batch processing or launching applications.
Turbo Browser goes a long way toward filling the file-management void in Win95 and NT, but still needs work. The Customize Toolbar utility doesn't offer enough of TB's file-management functions. Also, the Preview window can be flaky with some file formats. With dBASE, file structure and record statistics are always shown at the top-a good feature-but often record contents aren't shown. Default font settings used to display many file formats seem oversized. Even with the Preview Window maximized, your total view of a file is unnecessarily restricted.
I also encountered difficulties in working with compressed files-the Tree Window can't display ZIP files as directories, and the File Window doesn't show compressed files. Further-more, the workarounds are cumbersome. I also found refresh inconsistent with some occurrences of ghosting. Such oversights are surprisingly clumsy for a program of this caliber.
Is Turbo Browser the only file manager you need? Not yet. Should it be in your file utilities toolbox? Absolutely.
Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.