Why go half-assed when whole-assed is just as cheap?

The actual Indigo Magic File Manager

The actual Indigo Magic File Manager

This is the software that SGI wrote.  It’s damn sweet if you’ve ever used it.  But unless you could afford to purchase an SGI workstation, you couldn’t work with these awesome tools.

When SGI dumped their own Irix OS in favor of Linux, they recommended using ROX-FM for a file manager.  Under MaXX Interactive Desktop, it looks like this:

ROX File Manager under MaXX Interactive Desktop

ROX File Manager under MaXX Interactive Desktop

Personally, it drove me nuts having to work with such a watered down file manager.  I wanted the real Indigo Magic Experience.  So I set about reverse-engineering another Motif-based file manager:  Xplore.  After cutting through the evil custom tab widgets that Xplore used, I got to the heart of the beast:  the XmIconGadget widget.  I constructed a nice-looking (read bland) interface around it and came up with a minimally-functional and very ugly file manager.  I wrote to a fellow MaXX Interactive Desktop developer asking for advice on how to implement the thumbwheel widgets.  After I explained to him what I intended to do, he advised me to abandon the file manager project.  He explained that he had already built a working prototype of the Indigo Magic file manager but that SGI wouldn’t let him release it under the MaXX desktop license.

Well, that sucks because I’m still stuck with a crappy half-assed file manager on my kick-ass desktop.  Enter PCManFM – a minimalist tabbed file manager.  After some editing of the config files, I came up with this:

PCManFM under MaXX Interactive Desktop

PCManFM under MaXX Interactive Desktop

It’s still nowhere close to the authentic Indigo Magic file manager but it’s a LOT nicer than ROX-FM and fits more cleanly into the desktop environment.

My next project is finding a replacement for the Irix Icon Catalog, a cool Program-Manager-thing where all your applications live:

Irix Icon Catalog

Irix Icon Catalog

I’ve got no leads yet but if someone can think of an application similar to the Icon Catalog for Linux, please let me know!

  1. #1 by Peter Siroka on January 12, 2012 - 9:12 PM

    original look or nothing…

  2. #2 by zizban@live.com on April 10, 2012 - 5:08 PM

    You should come to #maxx on Freenode. We are forking and reviving MaXX.

    • #3 by Joshua on April 10, 2012 - 5:13 PM

      Hell yeah! Sign me up! Thanks for the tip!

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