Sunday, June 1, 2008

XNeat Windows Manager Not Worth It (review)

I've run into XNeat Windows Manager here and there the past few months of scouring the internet for ways to improve my desktop experience, but could never get into it. Its featureset wasn't enough to make me excited to have it installed, it didn't do anything that completely blew me away, and its website lacked screenshots that showed me how its more abstract features worked.

For some reason I can't recall, I tried it yesterday night, and found it, simply, a nightmare to use. What the website never really describes is that what it essentially does as a program is add a couple of right and middle click menu choices to your Taskbar and Active Titlebar, such as Make on Top, Transparency, and a bunch of others. It also adds options to drag and drop rearrage taskbar buttons, and add extra options to the Save As Dialogue. Not bad, for now.

When you launch the XNeat program itself, you get options menus for each of those things it changes. Except the interface of the option is completely unintuitive. With no introductory lesson on the program's functions, I had no idea what the options represented. Turns out it just lets you pick which of the menu options to pop up when you right or middle click on the Taskbar/Title bar.

Anyway, this wouldn't be terrible except for when I accidentally made my taskbar completely disappear by middle clicking on the taskbar and hitting "send to tray." I don't know why such an option would even exist, since it makes no sense. That's like saying "put garage inside car." And that's basically what happened; the taskbar disappeared with no way for me to access it at all. I had to mess around in the Taskbar and Start Menu option in the Control Panel before it reappeared.

It was such an overall unpleasant experience that I couldn't even enjoy the Save-as function, which lets you append dates and clone a document instead of overwriting it. It's such a novel and good option that it's a shame that it's packaged with other features that treat even an advanced user with such contempt. For something that's supposed to make my Windows experience more intuitive, it certainly has a long way to go to make itself user-friendly. Definitely uninstalled and not recommended.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is the version you were using ?

I have xNeat v on my PC and it works perfectly.