Showing posts from May, 2008

A little more on Windows Drag and Drop

A few days ago I complained about the silly drag and drop behavior of several ZIP tools, my favorite 7-Zip included. My post contained a remark that this is actually a Windows problem, but I did not have any further information on it other than a few links to the 7-Zip forum where people talked about this. Thanks to an anonymous commenter on the earlier post I can now point to a good source of more information: The also fabulous WinSCP tool comes with a special drag and drop extension that works around the limitation of first unpacking to a temp file and then copying to the final destination, making unzip operations very slow. From the documentation page at you can learn this: Here is short explanation: Windows drag&drop mechanics does not allow source application of drag&drop operation to find out easily, where the files are dropped. It is up to target application (Windows Explorer usually) to transfer files to destination. It is r

Vista still stands in its own way with USB drives

Some things will apparently never change. After I learned that the notorious temp-dir-copy-cycle most zip tools go through is probably a Windows feature, today I came across an issue I thought should finally have been addressed in "Windows 6" (Vista). I had inserted a USB pen drive ("USB DISK") earlier and just wanted to eject it. From my point of view this is a fairly typical scenario. When you insert the drive Windows will offer to open it in an explorer window. This is just what I did. I copied a file from there to the desktop and wanted to remove the device: "Auswerfen" is the German word for "Eject". Guess what... The same old story once again... This lengthy message tells me that some application is using the drive and that removing it might cause data-loss, kittens could die and the whole blah blah. Of course I can click on "Fortsetzen" (Proceed), but this is not what I would expect of a 21st century user inter

7-Zip, drag and drop and the temp-dir mystery

Today I downloaded the Eclipse Ganymede M6 Java EE package. It is a 178MB ZIP archive containing the IDE. Downloading took a few minutes and then I was ready to go. Well, almost. Of course the ZIP needed to be extracted first. I use 7-Zip as the archive tool of choice. It has proven to be reliable and fast. However it shares one "habit" I have seen so far with every archive tool I tried: Wherever you want to extract the contents of the archive, it will first put all files into the %temp% directory - often on the system partition - and only then copy the unpacked content to the final location. With the Ganymede package this means 217MB of data in 4180 files and folders are first read from the archive and stored in a folder. On my P4@3GHz this takes about 110s. After that a copy of that some data - almost 4200 files - takes another 90s. Apart from that, instead of 217MB I now need twice as much almost half a gigabyte to store both the temp copy and the final one. Why is t