Monday, October 26, 2009

Managing Sims Downloads

I have found several things that have made managing Sims downloads fantastic and all are free. Because of this, I thought I'd share it with the world. My little secrets. Enjoy!

Mass Zip/Rar Unpacking

My first and favorite is this great little thing called Unpacker (alternate site), which just happens to be free and he could really get away with making it a pay app, but thankfully this is not so. It's not just handy for Sims, but for graphics designers too who (if they're like me) are constantly downloading fonts, brushes, etc. Also mp3 lovers will appreciate it as well. Unpacker is a little gadget that works in just about all versions of Windows, to include Vista, though I'm not sure about 7. I can vouch for Vista and XP myself though.

Once you download and install it. It's simple. Wherever you directly download compressed files to, whatever folder or directory you use, just...
Right click on that directory folder > Select "Scan ... with Unpacker" (it'll now scan the folder for compressed files; e.g., zip, rar, etc.) > Under "Found Archives" check the little "Extract" box and done.
 In a matter of seconds all your files are unpacked. It's like magic!

Now the really cool thing is that rar files, which Windows does not natively support, works like a dream with this. You don't need Winrar like so many recommend.

Mass Install

I was getting so frustrated when I had tons of little installs that I had to double click on. I didn't like Sims' native installer because I had to do them one at a freaking time. I read about Sims2Pack Clean Installer and that pretty much did the same thing, though you could rename files easily by previewing them. So it's decent enough to be included further below, but it didn't meet my "Mass Install" need.

Enter Q-Xpress Installer by none other than MTS! Genius I tell you! GENIUS!

At first it was just so simple that I didn't even think it worked. I ran it again and still wondered. So I fired up the game and to my dismay, it worked like a dream.

Here's how it works...
You start it > Select Install Install tab > Browse to where your downloaded install packages are > Click Install.
That's it. That's all you do. Within a second or two, hundreds and I mean... hundreds will be installed and working perfectly. This is even more magical than Unpacker, but they really do need to go hand in hand.

Fairly Painless Renaming

Have you ever become annoyed when trying to rename files because you either exited Sims and now have to wait for it to reload because you forgot the name of the shoe which is completely inappropriately named 8965571?!

Well if so, then this is for you and it's also from the wonderful MTS.

Consider a piece of software that will automatically give you a thumbnail when you mouse over the file. Sims2Pack Clean Installer also installs files, but only one at a time and for me that is not good enough (see Q-Xpress Installer above). This app really is only good for organizing and not installing, despite it's name. It's also rather complicated to use in the beginning and I'm not going to try and explain it here. You can get the tutorial at the download page. For me this is probably a 3 on a scale of 1-5. It's one selling point is the thumbnails, but even that doesn't work on all of it.

 That's it for now, if you have any further recommendations, then feel free to post them in the comments!

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