Thursday, January 24, 2008
Launchy app link: (Windows)
Quicksilver app link: (Mac OS X)
... or so they say!
This post has to do with making your everyday life on a computer easier and more productive. And I am not talking hard stuff for the technologically savvy, but something that even my grandmother can find useful.
Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of a Windows desktop getting frustrated because it is full of application shortcuts and documents and links and blah blah blah ... ?
Well since you need them all, is there a way to get rid of this whole mess, but still be able to access them quickly and effortlessly on demand?
Fear not, because Launchy is here!
For any Mac user the word "Quicksilver" should ring some joyous bells.
The Windows equivalent is the Launchy application that is a nice simple yet functional keystroke launcher. What that means is that you can just press Alt - Space (although you can change that to any combination that makes you happy) and then a little window will pop up.
Then the magic happens:
Just start typing the name of what you want to open - that can be pretty much anything - from applications like Firefox or Word, to Web links in your browsers history, to documents - and Launchy will find your item.
I can tell you that once I got introduced to it, I can't work with out it! It's fast and right in your hands, so you never have to leave the keyboard.
Give it a go and let me know if you like it!
P.S. Its highly customizable and you can add all kinds of plugins and skins to it!
Oh and Quicksilver for Mac is better, but what can you do, that's what happens when you get a Mac ... ;-)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I was recently introduced to Design Patterns by a colleague of mine, as a very useful and efficient way of identifying problem trends and their solutions in the Object Oriented world.
Java code has never looked the same since ... !
Object Oriented Programming (OOP) had always given me the feeling of a “neat and clean” way of organising software in nice little boxes enclosing Data and their handling Methods, always abstracting commonalities into higher levels, keeping everything tidy and structured.
What I had never thought, given all that OOP existing inter and intra object architecture, is that beyond the class and object principles, there exist well understood higher trends and ways of designing and manipulating objects to solve a specific set of problems.
Hints about their existence had been thrown at me from time to time. It’s one of those things where you see a problem and you are thinking “I am sure I have dealt with something similar before ... if only I could remember what I had done”. Chances are that unless you have done something a bunch of times, you won’t remember much about it after a while, unless it was a painful experience ...
And this is where these patterns come into play. They don’t tell you what the solution is, but they navigate you in finding the right approach. They are a handy set of recipes containing information abstracted from common sets of problems found everywhere in OOP development.
Being a musician I have realised that for someone to be creative they first need to develop a certain set of tricks that can help them identify and deal with the routine, boring stuff efficiently so that they can focus as much energy as possible on the novel where true creation is found.