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: El nuevo Señor de los Anillos: lanzador de aplicaciones
Your computer’s desktop is no longer what it used to be. Some users abuse it by employing it as a simple folder and placing myriads of items on it; and this, despite the fact that there are plenty of methods to organize your files with Windows alone (folders on the taskbar, toolbars and QuickLaunch area are just three of them). Third-party software can also lend a hand in this regard under the form of application launchers that can be easily customized in order to give you fast access to various items.
Out of the enormous pile of application launchers out there, we pulled up SliderDock, a very minimalistic program designed to help you organize files and any other items you have on the desktop or any other place on the computer and need fast access to. SliderDock doesn’t cost a penny, but requires .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to function
Installing the application requires no effort or special attention from your part and you’ll see its shortcut on the desktop in no time. If you wish to carry SliderDock with you on a stick, the application also comes in portable form
, allowing you just that.
SliderDock’s interface consists in a single main element, which looks somewhat like an orb, called IconSeeker. As soon as you add items to this application launcher, you will notice that they’ll group in the shape of a ring. This ring will start becoming better defined as you drop items into the IconSeeker. The principle is that everything you drop in there automatically gets a shortcut added to the ring. Selecting multiple elements and dropping them in the IconSeeker is not beyond SliderDock’s capabilities.
Customizing the program can be achieved by right clicking IconSeeker and going for “dock settings.” The developer put at your disposal an interesting array of options, starting with general settings, which permit you to enable the app to start with Windows, lower the priority of its process, make it portable (transfers all its settings in the installation folder, thus allowing you to move it to a different location); theme-related changes, as well as modifications of the way the program is controlled or shader effects are present on the list of settings.
Under “Controls” section, you can customize the size of the ring, of the icons or rotation speed. In the case of the last option, it’s a trial and error job because you have no preview. But when it comes to the other two, you will be able to see the modifications as you drag by the corresponding sliders.
Even if it is simple, yet original-looking, SliderDock has other aces up its sleeve. You can create multiple rings to hold specific types of files. As soon as you do this, all the shortcuts of the previous ring will vanish as they are replaced by the new, empty ring. There is no restriction as to the key combination you can assign for any of the various tasks (rotating shortcuts clockwise, counterclockwise or ring navigation). However, some users may feel confused by the generous amount of options in this regard, especially when seeing “Return” key among the choices, or keys like D0, D1, D2, etc. To shatter all puzzlement, these are actually “Enter” key and the regular numbers on your keyboard, although there is no explanation of the choice of the Mac terminology for Enter instead of “Windows.’
What we noticed during our testing was that the shortcuts assigned work as global keys (but only if SliderDock ring is visible) that function regardless of the program you’re in. So, care is advised when setting these up lest you want them to overlap with the functions in other software you work with. Also, shortcut keys can be created only for browsing through the set of items, switching the rings or launching the element in the IconSeeker.
SliderDock is not the powerful application launcher an experienced user looks for, it cannot hold all the items an advanced user needs and does not feature the possibility to define various parameters when launching the items. Instead, it addresses the average Joe that requires a simple way to organize access to different files and folders stored on the computer. So, it is a simple solution to clean up the desktop of all the shortcuts pinned on the wallpaper. Also, the ring perspective and rotating of the elements with the mouse wheel are cool effects that will definitely resonate with average users.The Good
The application is intuitive enough not to need a help file to guide you through. Adding elements to the ring can be done by simply dragging them into the IconSeeker while the mouse wheel helps you browse through.
SliderDock is extremely easy to configure and use, looks good and can be manipulated straight from the keyboard. You can employ it in portable mode and add portable applications to it because it has support for relative paths (you can set this under Icon Settings section, where there is also the possibility to add arguments).The Bad
From an advanced user’s point of view, the lack of features such as command line parameters is disappointing. Also, it would be a good improvement to have a view at all the rings that have been created or to be able to organize them into groups.
Another feature on the wish list would be the possibility to decide which shortcuts should function as global keys.The Truth
SliderDock is not complex but looks very good and can be handled with the greatest ease. The current version is quite stable and fits the needs of many users. Ease of use and lack of complexity are representative for this application but they can also be viewed as flaws by more experienced users.