July 7, 2007

Application Launchers – Be Amazed!

Posted in Application Launchers, Beginner, Intermediate at 6:02 pm by gloriouscomputing

If you are still digging through your Windows Start menu to find programs manually, you are wasting a lot of time. Ever wish you didn’t have to try and remember which company made that quick utility that you are looking for?

With Application Launchers, you just type the first few letters of the program you want to start, and hit Enter. Boom! There’s your program.
For example, when I want to run Notepad, all I have to type is “no”.

These things are smart, and will remember which applications you launch a lot, and give them preference. So if you’re a Notepad junky, “no” means “Notepad”, and not “Norman – Destroyer of Words”. If you did want to launch “Norman”, you would type “nor”.

So, ready to make launching program exponentially easier? Here are some programs I can recommend for this purpose.

It’s hard to deny that Launchy is the number one Windows XP application launcher right now. And that’s understandable. It’s very easy to set up, and powerful enough to make most users happy as pie.
If you have never used an application launcher before, install Launchy now!
Get Launchy here

Find And Run Robot
I’ve been using Launchy for a few months now, and was only recently introduced to FARR (Find and Run Robot). I’m very impressed. Personally, I prefer FARR. However, there are downsides here too. It’s a slightly harder to configure, and fuzzy searches do not work out of the box. If you have indexed your music, and you want to find a song with the name “Bob_Likes_To_Sing.mp3”, but you search for “Bob Likes”; you will NOT find it. This is the biggest downside to FARR.

However, at the cost of a slightly more confusing GUI, I find FARR to be more powerful and adapt to my needs. Typing “no” still gets me “Notepad”, that’s a given. I can also type “search Ice Cream”, and am presented with a choice of 9 search engines, including a dictionary. This is extremely customizable. Pressing Enter searches in the first choice of search engines, here configured as Google, but easily changed. To search via search engines 2 through 9, I can just hit the corresponding Number Pad key. So I type “search HTTP”, press 6 (on the Number Pad) , and I go to the wikipedia entry on “HTTP”. Well, personally I don’t have time to type in “search” every time, so I changed it to just “s”. 🙂

If this is the sort of craziness you love, you’ll love this program.
Get Find And Run Robot here



  1. Robin said,

    Oh, let me add to that. If you use a Mac, you of course want to use QuickSilver.
    Since I personally don’t have one, I can’t tell you any more than that.

  2. […] our good ole’ friend, the Find And Run Robot (Application Launcher) is about to get an update to version 2. Yes, I did a say is about. FARRv2 is not technically […]

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