Hot on the heels of my "5 Add-ons That Make Windows Explorer Even Better" article comes the appropriately named utility Right Click Context Menu Extender. It's a recent addition to the freeware world--as in, it was launched five days ago--yet the program shows a surprising amount of prowess for its relative infancy. As for what the little application actually does, you can probably figure out the general context by its name alone. The specifics, well, there's the real kicker.
Install the utility to your system and you'll suddenly unlock a wealth of configurable extensions to your average Windows right-click menu. These are split off into two categories: right-click context options that work in your standard Windows Explorer interface and right-click menu options that only come about when you've performed that activity on the desktop itself. As to what different kinds of features have been unleashed in your day-to-day PC use, here's a brief overview:
Copy / Move to
Administrative Command Prompt (opens to the folder)
Flip Windows 3D Switcher
Control Panel shortcut
Administrative Tools shortcut
Desktop God Mode
Even better, you can specify which options show up in each right-click menu using the application's super-simple configuration menu. That's it. While this isn't the kitchen sink of right-menu context options, nor can you add any that aren't already specified by the program, Right Click Context Menu Extender provides a simple way for increasing the power of your middle finger in a manner that's pleasing to all.
Why do open-source programs win awards? Or, rather, what is it about open-source that makes us so prone to dishing out accolades--as if the very nature of a program being open-source somehow makes it indistinguishable from any other common application you can use.
And, for that matter, why do we keep giving the same programs the same awards?
I'm talking, of course, about Infoworld's recently announced "Best of Open Software Awards 2009." As a frequent downloader, user, and recommender of open-source software, I just don't get it. And neither do my colleagues, who have already weighed in on the strange circumstances surrounding some of Infoworld's picks for best business process management tool, amongst others.
But this isn't some Grandpa Simpson-like complaining about who should have won this, and why Pidgin didn't win that. No, the fault is not the presence of the awards banquet; it's the menu. Awards that focus on the open-source world invariably highlight the wrong aspects of the movement at the expense of areas that should rightfully be noted. While I can't speak to many of Infoworld's enterprise-themed selections--in fact, that's all the site elects to highlight--I think there's something to be said for calling out important software triumphs in the open-source world. We, in the media, are just prone to pointing the spotlight the wrong way.