Rocket Retriever Now Free

(Looking For Rocket Retriever? The legacy site is here, the download is here, and check below for a general key making the program now free for all)

In 2002 I wanted better access to my files – running a DOS “dir /s *.*” command for searches was painfully slow. So I wrote a tool, Rocket Retriever. Not only was it a chance to do really fast searches (billed as “as fast as you type” or nearly so) and solve my own problem, but it was a great excuse to do low-level Windows painting (see the legacy pages for an example of the ‘skins’ it had). This was time when a quality program could be made in under 1 meg!

It was received quite well, for example with an ‘Excellent’ rating and a review from PC Mag

Imagine finding any file in Windows as quickly as you can type its name. For those used to Microsoft’s built-in search tool, this may be hard to believe, but that is exactly what Rocket Retriever does. Always just a Shift-F1 away, the program filters progressively down your entire file list to isolate the file you’re looking for as you type each letter of its name. The only thing missing is the ability to right-click on a found file and access the usual list of Windows options.

If you feel like using the program, you can (download it from here) – if so, do the following:

  • Once installed, it will run automatically – look for the button to add a key and enter the following:
    ID: Dave Says Enjoy!
    KEY: 5986-2241-47B3-ACAD
  • Left to its own, it will index your whole system and take a long time for it – it was written at a time when 100,000 files was a lot – now my C:\ drive alone has almost a million! So once it’s running, click on the little ‘S’ in the top left corner, and go to the Directories tab. There you can add/remove directories as well as drives, and just index the files you want, improving the speed.
  • While in Settings, there’s also a speed setting (Scanning/Startup) – set it high for the first scan, and then slower for later scans, or even turn off automatic scanning

Of course, given its age, I can’t provide tech support, no warranties, etc., etc. But for historical purposes, it is an example of decade-old program that stills runs fine under Win7 – proof that API-level coding lasts and lasts…

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