Greensoftware GSFinder+ 1.04

GSFinder+, by Greensoftware, is a freeware Explorer-style program for Handheld PC (it is also available for Pocket PCs). GSFinder+ owes more to the desktop version of Windows Explorer than the adequate version built into the Windows CE operating system. GSFinder+ is also open source, based upon Y. Nagamidori's GSFinder, and the code can be downloaded and modified if users wish do to so. GSFinder+ supports MIPS, SH3, SH4, and ARM processors.

To begin, GSFinder+ allows one to view files and folders in a two-pane view. On the left is the folder tree view of the Handheld PC. On the right is the view of the files and folders within the currently selected folder (Figure 1). It looks straightforward, but once one begins digging, the power of this application becomes apparent..

Figure 1: GSFinder+ when first launched

The user can drag and drop between windows. Doing so moves files/folders by default. When a flash card is inserted in the device, it shows up in the tree view as "Storage Card" with a disk icon rather than a folder. Even the My Documents folder has a different icon, similar to the desktop Windows icon. Highlighting a folder and going to FILE > PROPERTIES provides a count of the files and folders underneath, as well as the amount of space being used. Typing ALT+ENTER can also access file and folder properties. Keyboard shortcuts abound within GSFinder+, and these little touches are what give this application a polished and professional look.

Figure 2: The File Search option in GSFinder+

At the bottom of the tree view is something called File Search. This is where the results of file searches appear. One brings up the file search dialog box by going to FILE > FILE SEARCH (or hit CTRL + F). Here, one can search for files or text within a file, and fine-tune the search by date and size. The results appear in the File Search window, and will remain there even if the user moves to another folder and come back, until another search is run. My search for *.doc on my device wielded results very quickly, finding 149 files scattered across numerous subfolders on my flash card in just a few seconds. The only complaint about this feature is that the search results does not provide the path to the discovered files. This would be a nice option in a future version, if the author decides to update the application.

Figure 3: GSFinder+'s Open options

Another great feature of GSFinder+ is that it has built-in support for ZIP and LHA files. The download for GSFinder+ includes the needed DLLs for this support, and it works smoothly. Just right-click (or ALT + tap) on the ZIP file, and select OPEN. This is a cascading menu that brings up a few options, one of which is Extract. This will unzip the file into the \Temp directory.

Figure 4: Selecting multiple files allows one to use the Send To option to ZIP files

Not only can one unzip files, but they can be unzipped as well! One simply selects the files to be zipped, and right-click on them. The first option is Send To, and then select ZIP/LHA Archive. This will bring up a standard File Save dialog box, where one can select where to save the zip file. Then GSFinder+ will create the zip file. This is a fantastic feature, and amazing that this is in a freeware product.

Speaking of the Send To file menu, the user can add programs to this by putting shortcuts in a folder of one's choosing (by default, \Windows\SendTo, which needs to be created. The user can change this under the extensive Options dialog box). Right-click on a file, select Send To, and select a program whose shortcut has been placed in the SendTo folder. If a new shortcut is later added, GSFinder+ needs to be closed and re-opened for it to be found.

There are other great touches. If the user right-clicks on a file and select Open, an option called Parameters is displayed where one can add command line parameters for opening that file. The Send To menu has default options for sending files as shortcuts to another folder, moving and copying, as well as sending through IR. And GSFinder+ can be used to connect to network shares.

Figure 5: GSFinder+'s Options dialog box

The Options dialog box is very extensive. It almost eliminates the need for a utility such as SmallTweak, because GSFinder+ covers most of the bases. Here are some things that can be done:

  • Options to show hidden and ROM files.
  • Eliminated the "Shortcut to..." prefix for new shortcuts.
  • Changing the icon font and size.
  • Various options for compression, such as where to unzip files to by default.
  • Creating, editing, and deleting file types
Figure 6: The File Types tab in the Option's Dialog box

This all comes in a package that takes up 320K (including zip/lha DLLs) on a Handheld PC.

GSFinder+ does not come with an installer. Instead, one must unzip the files and copy them to a folder on the Handheld PC. It would be nice to have an installer, but this is small compliant once the user delves into the application.

Support can be reached by going through the home page to a purpose support BBS. The developer is to be commended to even offer support for a freeware application such as this.

To conclude: GSFinder+ is an outstanding application. One not only gets a file explorer in this application, but also a zip file manager, weak CE settings, access network drives, and perform file searches. Considering that this application is free and consumes very little space, how can not have this application on their Handheld PC? Download and install this with all due haste. It is highly recommended.


System Requirements:

Supports H/PC Professional, HPC2000, Windows CE 4.x .net
MIPS, SH3, SH4, StrongARM, ARM720, XScale

Cost: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Usability: 4 Star Rating: Recommended
Built-In helps: 3 Star Rating: Average
Customer Service: 3 Star Rating: Average
Overall: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional

GSFinder+ can be found at the following URL.

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Julio Ortiz
Handheld PC Reviews