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Desktop Enhancement

Activatebynum -- Task-Switching HotKeys on XP and Vista

ActivateByNum adds task-switching hotkeys on XP and Vista -- like on Windows 7. You just press the Win key plus a number to switch to the nth program showing on your taskbar. For example, if your taskbar shows NotePad, Word, Firefox, and Excel in that order, pressing Win+1 would switch to Notepad, pressing Win+2 which switch to Word, etc. If you like to keep your hands on the keyboard, this little utility is very nice.

Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista
Version: 20090613

FARR -- Find and Run Robot (Version 2)

Find and Run Robot (FARR) is a program for Windows users who are keyboard maniacs -- it uses an adaptive "live search" function to rapidly find programs and documents on your computer as you type.

Press your chosen hotkey to display the FARR window, then just start typing the first letters of the application you want to launch and the results appear instantly. Hit enter to launch the top result, or refine your search with special modifiers and commands.

GNOME Menu File Browser Applet

Sometimes you just want to open or execute a file in a directory you use a lot. Opening a file manager, browsing to and opening the file and then closing the file manager is a lot of work if you have to do it often enough. The Menu File Browser Applet is an applet for the GNOME Panel. It lets put one or more directories of your choice on the GNOME Panel as menus. You can browse and open files in these directories (and their subdirectories) directly from the panel, without having to open a file manager.

KDE 4.0 Released -- Not Really Ready for Everyday Use

KDE 4.0 has been released, with a large number of improvements to the KDE desktop. I tried it. Unfortunately, I don't think it is really ready for everyday use yet as there are lots of (mainly minor, at least from my brief trial) problems and issues. I'm going to stay with Gnome for the time being, but I will probably need to re-evaluate this decision in six to nine months as KDE 4 is very nice -- or looks like it will be very nice once more of its problems are worked out.

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WinMover -- More Ways to Move Windows (Discovery)

WinMover enhances the Microsoft Windows desktop environment by giving you more ways to move and position windows on your desktop. For example, if you hold down the Alt-key with WinMover running, you can move or resize a window by pressing the mouse button anywhere in the windows and dragging. This is very handy when a program displays its windows mostly off-screen where you can't get to the the title bar and/or the edges to click and drag.

Sizer -- Resize Any Window to an Exact Size (Discovery)

Sizer is a tiny program that lives in your Windows System Tray and allows you to easily resize windows (including many windows that do not normally allow you to resize them at all) to an exact size. You can resize your current window to a preset size from the Sizer menu in the system tray, from the window's system menu or from a menu that appears when you right-click a window's maximize button. You can define what sizes appear in these menus.

Outlook Calendar on the Desktp (Discovery)

If you use Microsoft Outlook 2000 SR-1 or higher, Outlook on the Desktop will put the Outlook Calendering System on your desktop. It's not just a picture of the calendar, it's the Outlook Calendar so you get all of its functionality. You can edit entries, drag and drop files to it, etc. If you live in the Outlook Calendar as many people do, you will want to take a look at this application.

Custom Folder -- New Folder Done Right (Discovery)

Do you have a number of "New Folder" or "New Folder ##" (where ## is some number) scattered about your hard drive from times when you create a new folder with Windows Explorer's context menu but were too lazy to give the folder a meaningful name? If so, Custom Folder can help.

ClickOff -- Automatically Say You're Sure (Discovery)

Many programs have annoying dialog boxes that ask you if you are really sure that you want to do what you just told windows to do. Sometimes these are useful safety features ("Do you really want format drive C?") but often these dialogs are just pointless and annoying. ClickOff with "press" the necessary button to just continue on any dialog box you set it up to watch for -- without actually moving your mouse pointer.

Taskbar Shuffle 2.1 -- Shuffles System Tray Icons Too

I have written about Taskbar Shuffle before. It is a nice little program that allows you to rearrange buttons on your taskbar by dragging and dropping them. A new version (2.1) adds the ability to rearrange system tray icons (although this requires using a hotkey).


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by Dr. Radut