Coffee is just a name but what’s in a name? Sometimes nothing”¦just as Shakespeare meant to say. But the whole point is in the function that this free software performs. Coffee has nothing to do with the brew; it is a small utility that enables us to change the default program used to launch a file type. But here you might pause and say that this function can be performed adequately by the Open With dialog box of Windows. Rightly so, but Coffee does better as we will observe as we take the little program through its paces.
Coffee (v0.1 R3) is a file association software. That’s a kind of software you might not use generally but once you start using it, you see the whole point of it. It is also a portable application meant to be carried around in your USB drive. It is a part of the Lupo PenSuite of portable apps. Great! I don’t need to install it and muck up my registry. It can be just as easily used outside the suite as an independent application. Plus, like all portable apps, it works just as well with all the installed programs we have on our computers.
Coffee runs from the system tray and when a file is double clicked, if it does not yet have an association for that file type, it will then display a window asking which app you wish to associate it with. This auto-associate function is on by default. It can be disabled from the preferences settings.
The five things that Coffee does for me
- The program allows the user to open files with a double click using applications on the USB flash drive or an iPod in the disk mode. That is, instead of the default programs on the computer, you can use your portable software (or any other app) to open the file automatically.For instance, if the default program to open a ZIP file is WinZip on the computer, I can use Coffee to set up the ZIP file to be opened with a portable version of 7-zip on my pen drive automatically instead of manually browsing and opening it. In the example scenario, it’s better for me as a user because I am more familiar with my portable 7-zip program than I am with WinZip.
- From a user’s point of view, these file type associations can be carried along on the pen drive. So the associations once set using Coffee can be reused across multiple computers.
- The other distinct advantage is that the file type associations can be reverted back to the default programs on the computer by simply pausing or switching off Coffee.
- It is in the fourth function that I have found the most use for Coffee (though, it might be different for someone else). One can set another alternate application to handle a file. The alternate application can be launched to handle a specific file by pressing the ALT key while double clicking the file. For instance, I can set an image file to be opened either by Photoshop or IrfanView.
- Coffee also has a Type and Run box which can be used as a shortcut launcher. Store the path of the application and set a shortcut for it. Subsequently, launch the program using just the shortcut letter from the Type and Run box.
If any of the five quick tasks appeal to you then you will find a use for this little portable software.
Coffee (v0.1 R3) is a free 413KB software package and is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Seven.
As a footnote, let me just try to clear up the probable reason why the free portable software is named after our midnight brew. Coffee according to its developers owes its origins to a similar app called CAFÃ‰ (again renamed as eXpresso). Apparently, Lupo PenSuite have improved upon the original code. So far that explains all the coffee related naming and the icon of the coffee bean on the system tray!
So, is the brew strong enough for your use? Let us know.
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