Archive for the 'keyboarding' Category

First Look at Windows 7

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I recently downloaded and installed the Windows 7 Release Candidate. Installation was quick and painless. It didn’t detect my sound card (SoundBlaster X-Fi), but I was able to find an updated driver, and everything else seemed to work out of the box. Overall it looks similar to Vista (tellingly, the internal version number is 6.1, [...]

Google Just Removed Its Best Feature!

Friday, November 7th, 2008

For the last couple of years, Google had an experimental search feature called Keyboard Shortcuts available. I found it indispensible for navigating search results via the keyboard. Well, today that feature is gone (results can no longer be navigated via the keyboard and the message “The experiment you’re trying to access is no longer available” [...]

First Look at Google Chrome

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

The internet is abuzz with comments about Google Chrome, the newest entry in the browser wars. Within the first day, it had already exceeded Opera’s market share, and we had several questions about support for it in Ultra Recall. So I decided to download and install it to see it for myself. In true Google [...]

Developers: It’s a Context Menu, not a Right-Click Menu

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Well-behaved GUI software should make all functionality easily accessible from the keyboard. For Windows, most of this is covered by the Windows User Experience Guidelines. But there a some subtleties not covered there which many developers get wrong. And one that I see quite often is the improper display of context menus. Many people refer [...]

LaunchAssist: Improving Application Launchers Everywhere

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

None of the popular launcher applications, nor Windows itself, do a very good job of integrating launching vs. activating an already-running application. LaunchAssist is a little utility I wrote to improve this situation. It works with most application launchers as well as the Windows Start Menu, Run dialog, Explorer, etc. To install, download it here, [...]

The Zen Of Windows Application Launching, Part 2

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Several categories of Windows application launchers have evolved over the past several years. In this post, I’ll look at the best and most popular products in each category. I’m only going to mention products that are either quite stable or that have been updated recently. Auto-Config Products in this category typically provide a polished GUI, [...]

First Gmail Spam!

Monday, August 13th, 2007

A few months back, I switched from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail for my personal email account, primarily because of its excellent keyboard accessibility. Yesterday, I encountered the first spam message to erroneously end up in my Inbox. Compare that with Yahoo! Mail, where I averaged a couple of uncaught spam nearly every day. Very impressive [...]

The Zen Of Windows Application Launching, Part 1

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Launching and switching between applications are two very common activities when using Windows. Keyboard aficionados will naturally seek to minimize the work involved in such common tasks. For launching applications, Windows provides the Start Menu (accessed from the keyboard via the Windows key or Ctrl+Esc), the Quick Launch toolbar (Win+Tab, Tab), desktop shortcuts (Win+D), and [...]

Review: TouchCursor

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

As an avid keyboarder, one thing that has always slowed me down is having to move my hands to reach for the navigation keys (arrow keys, home, end, page up/down, etc.). Methods to reduce the problem are available (for instance, space bar scrolling in browsers, special navigation modes in editors like vi/vim, etc.), but they [...]

Windows Vista Keyboard Annoyances

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Vista adds some neat new behaviors for mouse users, but keyboard users seem to have taken a back seat. Just a few annoyances I noticed after using Vista for a few hours: #1: Vista adds a new “message box on steroids” called the task dialog. It adds some sorely-needed features, but unfortunately, one handy Windows [...]