Pitaschio

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Pitaschio is an explorer shell extension that introduces a number of interesting functions and tweaks, including allowing small (details-view) icons on the desktop, snapping open windows to other windows.

restricting windows to the visible screen area, customizing mouse shortcuts to control various window functions, and others.

Here’s a listing of my favorite Pitaschio functions:

  • Small icons on the desktop: ever wondered why you cannot use small, detail-view icons withtin the desktop. With Pitaschio you can do just that (see screenshot). While the effect is definitely interesting, I tried to use small icons on my desktop for about a day and I must admit that I have doubts about their practicality. Still, definitely an interesting idea.
  • Open windows snap together: i.e. the edges of open windows behave as if they were magnetic. Quite a nice effect, really.
  • Windows forced to stay within the visible screen area: 100% of any window will be visible at all times.
  • Mouse shortcuts: for example, I was able to set it such that right clicking on the title bar of any open window will cause the window to ’roll up’ so that only the top bar is visible, while right clicking while pressing shift caused it to switch to 50% transparency. Note that mouse shortcuts can control many effects/functions, such as restarting the computer, standing by, switching off the monitor, running a screensaver, moving to the center, and many others.
  • Parent folder by double click: double clicking on the area inside the folder moves up one folder.
  • Window transparency by mousewheel: when mouse is positioned on the taskbar, you can use the mouse wheel to vary window transparency.

Here’s a listing of more functions that I like less than the ones above:

  • Disable stuff: such as the caps lock, windows , and other keys. Disable minimize, maximize, close buttons on windows. Also includes a function where mouse or keyboard are disabled for cleaning.
  • Autoraise: a function that enables toggling active windows simply by mousing over them and resting for a pre-defined number of seconds.
  • Adjust volume by mousewheel: you can do this when volume dialog is visible; sounds good but doesn’t work very well.
  • Minimize to system tray: this one didn’t work properly in the version I tested. Both TrayIt and ShellEnhancer offer this if you’re looking for it.
  • Window management: for specific open windows, you can set size, position, transparency and other variables. Settings seem to be discarded when you close the window and are not preserved when you re-open it, so I’m not sure what the point is.
  • Other functions: ’laser pointer’, which shows a green blob instead of the mouse cursor, and calculating the moon’s age,

This program encompasses some nice and unusual functions; however, like other shell enhancements of its kind, it is burdened with a confusing, less-than-straightforward interface and rather too many options. On the other hand it takes up only 6.5 megs of memory so if there’s a function (or functions) here that you think you would like by all means download and try it out.

Version tested: 2.10

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP.

Go to the download page to get the latest version (approx 55K). Also visit the program home page.


 
 
 
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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
  • m0nstermike

    Yet another tool that has changed my everyday use of Windows — thank you, freewaregenius! One important feature that wasn’t completely described in the original post and I discovered after some digging is that the “Mouse shortcuts” are 100% customizable, so you can enter your own application paths and launch your own programs.

    I’ve combined this feature with RoboForm’s “Fill & Submit” and I now have Control/Shift + Double Click access to my two most often used web applications!

  • Jeff

    No sooner than I downloaded and installed Pitaschio on my XP computer, I started having problems with my mouse function. Any window opening at less than full screen is now being minimized by movement of the mouse. Thus, using a newly openned window is difficult to access using the mouse. A similar problem was also noticed using MSOutlook, whereby a window with scheduled reminders opens up, but goes away with any movement of the mouse. Outlook has yet another glitch I attribute to Pitaschio. Setting a reminder (i.e., 2 hours, 1 day, 2 weeks, etc.) is done through a drop down window, however, after clicking on the button to drop down the reminder choices, mouse movement causes the drop down list to disappear.

    Pitaschio has no facility for being deleted from my computer. Windows’ Add-Delete Software function did not list it as being resident on my system. Manually deleting the files did not restore my mouse’s original functionality.

    How do I get my old mouse functions back?

  • Samer

    Jeff,
    First disable Pitaschio then exit. You can then uninstall as follows (I am quoting the website):
    “A special procedure is not necessary to uninstall Pitaschio. If it is not to your taste, please delete the related files”

    There you go.

  • Pedro

    Great post, as always! I’ve got here, to this particular app, while trying to see if you listed deskview. It is a software i just saw mentioned on the howtogeek site and despite the fact that its author is unknown and therefore no guarantees as of it being freeware or not, it does the “desktop icons as list” thing rather good, on xp. It does not do anything else, but that’s the only function i wanted, so there. It’s available at jimcofer.com/personal/?p=208

  • Pedro

    Oh, I forgot something… when you double click deskview again to bring icons back to their original size, it does not remember their original position. Not really a problem for me, since i’m not going back to those big, clunky icons, but i though i should warn you all. Pitaschio does seem to remember, though.

  • Jazz

    This program is genius!
    I use to have alot of icons on my desktop, but now i can see my wallpaper again 😀

  • I Tryed it, Its The Pits ! That Is, IT SUCKS !
    It F###in Skrewed Up My Desktop As Soon As I
    Clicked on What I Thaught Was An Install ICON
    Instead It Opened Imidiately Next To The Clock
    and Re-Arranged All My Desktop ICONS & Folders
    MANY ON TOP OF EACH OTHER !!!
    I Went To The Site For Help Fixing This But
    THEIR IS NONE !
    It Made a Notepad File Listing All My Desktop Items
    Like It Was Ment For Some Kind of Retrival Later By-SpyWare
    I WANT TO RIP THE GOOKS HEAD OFF THAT MADE THIS
    AND PISS IN HIS DEAD SKULL!

    AND LETS BE FAIR I DID GIVE IT A CHANCE EVEN AFTER
    IT SKREWED MY DESKTOP UP I WENT TO ITS SITE BUT
    IT GIVES NO REAL INFO ON HOW TO SET IT UP RIGHT!
    OR TO FIX THE PROBLM IT CAUSED!

    JUST SEVERAL HEADINGS WITH INFO ON WHAT PROBLEMS IT CAUSES! AND A LIST OF BUG FIXES!

  • Midas

    @Daves Freedom

    You better not SHOUT at people if you really want to get some help.

    Pitaschio is freeware so you get what you get what you paid for — put another way, thread careful while experimenting with thing you are clearly not very proficient…

    Pitaschio does have a website — it’s at http://pitaschio.ara3.net/ — which provides a rather good user manual, if you consider that it’s author native language is Japanese.

    There’s is unfortunately the default choice to gridlock your desktop icons and even make them small, which might not be the best option, but it can be easily undone by right clicking Pistachio icon in the system tray and get to the ‘Settings’ dialog.

    It seems reading really is a lost art, after all.

    But I guess I am just wasting my time trying to enlighten some biggot who clearly can’t read and shouldn’t ever be allowed to look at a computer screen, much less operate any kind of logic device, even a pocket calculator.