Of course it will never compare to WinAssociate (which is the rolls royce of all association apps), but you virtually have to be a rocket scientist to drive WinAssociate and possess a fairly advanced knowledge of context menu handlers and how the registry classes root system works - so there is also a helluva lot you can seriously break with it if you don't have that knowledge.
XP Associate v0.2
SIZE: 261 KB
Description: Windows file association editor for XP
Op System: Windows XP & 2003 (x86 only)
Title: XP Associate
Installs to: "%programfiles%\Utilities\XpAssociate"
Uninstaller: Removes program files, shortcuts, reg entries
Sorry Dave I can't let you open that file
Once upon a time, when you double clicked a file the application that was associated with that file's extension would be opened to view/edit the file. Well not anymore, try as you might Windows XP will stubornly use IT'S choice of program, not yours. So you try going into the folder settings, and change the association, and a) it doesn't remember your setting and b) it's still doesn't work.
There is an arcane, difficult and obscure way of using regedit to hack XP into submission, but it's so arcane and obscure that I can't remember it. It's pretty horrid really. (This applies to common types, like graphics files for the most part) And don't think that "Open With" is going to save you. It's clever idea is to give you a "Browse" button that you can manually associate file types with a given EXE. Heres a run down of what happens:
* User selects "Open with -> Choose Program..."
* User clicks "Browse"
* User selects an EXE file in the file system, and clicks Ok
* User notices that the currently selected "Recommended program" is NOT the program they just chose, but plows on regardless.
* The wrong program tries to open the file.
* User stares blankly at the screen, not quite believing what they're seeing for a moment, then the simmering anger sets in as they try and try again... fighting the horrible UI and flailing uselessly against the horrible XP.
Oh the humanity! It's enough to make me consider breaking down and buying a Mac. Oh thats right Apple screwed Be. What was I thinking! But no, I program, hear me roar! I've written a quick and dirty little utility to edit XP file associations. Works for me.
Enjoy (or not)