"A unique, wry and often satirical look at the Internet, the modern age and life in general" (there is way too much search-engine competition for the phrase "incoherent ramblings")

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The PC mouse to become history thanks to Launchy!

The mouse is soon to be no more! A time is coming when we will finally be able to rely on the keyboard alone to use our computers!

Now, you may be used to not taking this blog entirely seriously, so let me just say I am taking a little rest from the cynicism, satire and parody to tell you about a neat little open-source program you may not know about, called Launchy (all credit to its writer, Josh Karlin).

If you are like me, you find the mouse a real hassle if you do a lot of typing. Why? Because it is a real pain to keep moving your hand over to the mouse and hunting around in menus for what you need when your hands are in full flight over the keyboard. I far prefer to learn the keyboard shortcuts in the common programs I use, such as MS Word, it drastically speeds up work, and I don't know about the business you are in, but in mine, time is... $$. And it is especially a pain trawling through your Windows Start Menu when you know exactly what you want anyway.

Launchy is a neat little program which lives invisibly on your system (Windows only AFAIK!) and is only activated when you press ALT-SPACE (configurable). When you do so, you get a floating window like this:

Launchy indexes all the programs on your Windows Start Menu (so if you want it to work with a particular program, you have to make sure you put a shortcut to that program on your Start Menu), and when you type in the first few letters of the program you want to run (in this example Firefox), Launchy offers you a suggestion, or more than one, as to which program you are after.

As soon as the desired program appears in the main window, or you have chosen it from the dropdown menu (not usually necessary), you press enter, and away you go, the program will be launched!

If your response is, "What's the point of that, surely it's much easier just to find what you want with the mouse?" then this program is probably not for you.

For passionate (and impatient) keyboard users, this program is a life-saver because it saves TIME, not to mention increasing productivity.

Now if only I could just do, "ALT-SPACE - Go make coffee"...


markowe said...

P.S. Launchy has loads of other features, including the option to search Google, and to specify other directories from which to run programs from! Check out the details at the link given above in the article.

BTW, I have no affiliation with Launchy, just think it's a cool program.