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The difference in computing required between just displaying a list of the files in there vs interrogating each file, generating a thumbnail on the fly and possibly sorting based on some metadata

Perhaps it's just me but I would happily trade in all that gimmickery for a usable file manager on OSX. I don't care for thumbnails.

I think I have tried every finder-addon and replacement under the sun. Nothing comes close to the frictionless and fast experience that (dare I say it) Windows98 Explorer gave me 14 years ago.

iTerm + `locate`. It rarely fails to find anything. The solution is a bit "out there," but it solves my problems.

Well, point taken (I'm a heavy shell-user myself).

However there's a range of tasks where a GUI file manager is just the right tool for the job. I maintain OSX should have a proper file manager, regardless how much Apple wants the Filesystem metaphor to die.

I'd add zsh to this combo.

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