Wednesday, December 19, 2007

hey everyone. how's it hanging? i was wondering - what do you do if you have a program that does almost everything you want it to do - but it fails in one or two areas? install two (or more) of them? but then that would violate Occam's Razor. for instance, i use XnView for most of my (decidedly horrible) image management. the full version is a little hefty, but i love it. it supports lots of formats (mostly view), including audio/video files (it seems to have crashed when previewing a Flash Video (.flv) file just now, though) and PDF documents (you'll need Ghostscript installed, though). and it's free for non-commercial use. i love it - but it always crashes when i use it to browse a certain folder on my computer. that folder has 667 image files (and no, i didn't make that up - it really has that many images), a few of which didn't download properly (so only part of the file displays). i'm not sure if it's because of the number of files or the corrupt files, but since it crashes regularly, i had to move the files into subfolders so XnView handled fewer files per folder. that worked, but since i use those images rather often (and have to choose a few from them everytime), i moved them all back into the same folder again and use Windows Explorer's thumbnail view instead. i was on LifeHacker and found out about FastStone image viewer, and while it doesn't have as many perks as i'm used to from XnView - it doesn't crash when browsing that folder. i may not need to use that folder so often anymore, and i'm going to format my computer soon, so it doesn't matter now - but i'm going to reinstall Windows, and will need to choose an image browser. should i install both, or have to choose between them?

it's easier to choose when the difference between the programs is relatively minor. an an example, i blogged about Linotype FontExplorer X recently. it has a lovely iTunes-style interface and it's pretty good (i've not used it much, so be wary of my opinion) - but the one thing i miss from Proxima FontExpert is the ability to temporarily activate a font until the system reboots (it works on the Mac, but it seems the feature didn't - or hasn't - made it to the PC, at least not in the beta). it does the same thing as Bitstream Font Navigator (creates a shortcut to the installed font in your Windows fonts folder). i think it was also on LifeHacker i got a link to Veign CFont Pro. while its interface leaves much to be desired (aesthetically speaking - don't knock it if it works), it does what i want it to do - activate a font temporarily until reboot. so - i should just ignore FontExplorer X and use CFont Pro, right? wrong, because CFont Pro has so far not recognized any font not in the TrueType (.ttf) format. Postscript (.afm + .ini + .pfb + .pfm) and OpenType (.otf) fonts were ignored, a major minus. checking on the features page, it's supposed to support them - so i have no idea what's happening on my machine. maybe there are some missing system components. ah well. we don't live in a perfect world.

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