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29 Apr 2010 » Unknown Windows shortcuts Most keyboards these days have the Microsoft logo'ed Windows key. This key is simply magic.

For example hold that key down and tap the 'E' key.
My computer just pops up, bam! Navigate away.

Windows key + 'R' : The run prompt shows up ready to do your bidding.

Couple this with the different service consoles or applications (services.msc or notepad++ for example) and you are just getting around without even taking your hands off the keyboard.

Windows key + 'D' : Minimize all visible applications, OR re-display visible applications as their previous display. Try it, its amazing.

Most of these are known and used everyday, however there are a few people I show are still wowed by. And recently Lifehacker posted some Windows 7 tips that wowed me.

If you're using Windows 7 with multiple monitors you just have to use these.

Windows + Up Arrow = Maximizes active window
Windows + Down Arrow = Un-maximizes active full screened window OR minimizes active windowed application.
Windows + Left (or Right) Arrow = Cycles window in direction of arrow key across monitors. Amazing!

I've been loving this since I learned about it, just changes everything!

27 Apr 2010 » Lull point I've not posted in so long, my massive audience has now probably stopped following. Sorry loyal followers!

I must admit, I feel I just don't offer enough as a developer to post compared to other avid/interesting bloggers. And as of recently I've been in a development lull.
No interesting discoveries, no new tools I've dabbled with, nothing really.

Recent work has changed from a News harvester to a rewrite of a very high traffic site.
While it is exciting/new/challenging, I'm just tanking in enthusiasm.

Ah well, pity me huh?

Recent things I can blurb about:

-Read Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition By Steve Krug.
Thoughts: Very easy read and sensible book on usability. Life changing? No, but sometimes I think you need to get smacked in the face with obviousness to realize things. For example the chapter on web usability I found really informative.

-Going to Spain! As we try to do every few years, we are getting out of the U.S. for a duet of weeks to see exactly what Spain is about. Very excited about this, and the excitement is growing as the days counting continue downward.

That's about all I can dump off the mind at the moment. I believe it is a glimpse at my lull.

Ah well.... as Johnny Cash said, Drive on...

21 Jan 2010 » Dear Microsoft Ever since I was a gaming noob or programming wanna-be (I guess I still am this though) I've been interested in computing ergonomics. Ergo mouse, ergo keyboard, ergo desk, ergo monitor configuration etc. While this puts me out as the dude at work with the weird setup, it is surprising to see how many career developers don't even consider it. The risks are real.

I currently use the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000+ v1.0

This is a great keyboard. Honestly...

But there is one thing that I can totally do without. Take a gander at that gigantic number and arrow pad section. It's basically 1/3 of the keyboard in total. Imagine an ergonomic style keyboard (with wavy keys) without a number pad. This gigantic number pad requires me to move my right arm an additional 8ish inches to the right causing some discomfort after long periods of use. Now when I'm whipping out design elements on a windows form dragging and dropping things all over; the additional mobility cost spent to rename default name properties is fatiguing.

I imagine what it would be like to have my keyboard not off set from the front of me or my mouse in an ideal location. The first keyboard maker that comes out with this will have real market for this. With the continued research into repetitive stress injury and computer related injuries (I realize that sounds crazy) will come the increased knowledge and want for extremely ergo items.