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To being with, I was saddened to learn that Vern Buerg passed away in December 2009. Old timers will remember the name as his program LIST was one of the best shareware utilities in the history of DOS. Fast forward to 2010 and there’s a real need for a Windows Explorer replacement, at least until Microsoft patches the .lnk file vulnerability. I decided to see if there was a newer version of LIST and this is when I discovered that Mr. Buerg had passed away and that a gentleman named Clark Woodworth has a beta of a LIST replacement that runs on 64 bit Windows 7 and is free. The beta, called ZBLIST, is available at http://www.bizer.com/zblist/, but be advised, as a beta there are still significant issues to work out. It is best to read the documentation so you know how to do things like change the drive and path, etc. The worst bugs I have encountered are when you type in an invalid command or navigate to a CD drive that is empty it generates a runtime error and quits.
I’ve gotten so used to clicking on things with a mouse it took a few moments to figure out why the directory wouldn’t change when I double clicked it. The enter key and the arrow keys really aren’t so bad! At a mere 112 KB and NO setup, ZBLIST is a refreshing blast from the past. Since ZBLIST does not display file ICONs it is safe to use to view a USB drive or network share that might have a malicious .lnk on it, and believe me there will be a lot more malicious .lnk files arriving very soon.
I’ll try to do a little research and see if I can find a suitable free Explorer replacement, but feel free to send suggestions, for free as well as paid Explorer replacements that do not show icons when you view the file system as well. Currently our blog doesn’t accept URLs in the comments, so be a bit creative about how you say where to find things :)
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET