Opening programs from the Start – All Programs menu is painful. For many years, I relied on the quick launch bar.
But it’s space constrained. There are only so many applications you can place there. I want space enough for frequently used documents as well. Recently, I decided that I need all the space on the screen. So my task bar is on auto hide, and that makes the quick launch bar a little tougher to use as well. And finally, I can’t use the quick launch bar with the keyboard. That’s important.
So I switched to the pinned menus on the Start Menu.
This works better with the keyboard. I access Word, I just type the Ctrl-Esc, W. Excel: Ctrl-Esc, E. But I run short of letters soon. I have trouble between Powerpoint and processing, for instance. And I can’t store documents.
Given that I almost always have one or two command prompts open, I write my own little tool to do the job now. It’s a command line launcher I’ve written in Perl. I call it “o”. At the first run, it indexes my hard disk. (Well, not all of it. I’ve picked what I need.) Now, if I want to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I just type:
> o harry potter hallows
If I wanted to pick a Harry Potter book, I could:
> o harry potter 0: D:/Entertainment/Books/Hugo Awards/2001 - J K Rowling - Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire.rar 1: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.1.Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone.pdf 2: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.2.Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.pdf 3: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.3.Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.pdf 4: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.4.Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.doc 5: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.5.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.pdf 6: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.6.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.pdf 7: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.7.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.pdf 8: D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.The Harry Potter Encyclopedia.doc 9: D:/My Pictures/2005-06 London/2005-07-16 06 Waterstones Oxford Street Harry Potter release.JPG ... more > (0-9, q, any word): prince D:/Entertainment/Books/J K Rowling.6.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.pdf
The program lists the files matching the words I typed, and lets me filter within that.
I just wrote this yesterday, and already, I’ve used it dozens of times. Here’s the source.
PS: While I was at it, I downloaded a Flickr uploader for Perl. So I can now upload images with the command line. This easily saves me at least 5 minutes per article.