Sunday, November 09, 2008
I have seen people struggling with the multiple open windows, especially when all or more than one windows are visually important. For example, consider yourself as a graphic designer who has just seen a catchy design on a Website and wants to use the inspiration with your own bit of creativity in your own work. Being a designer in this cheap-hardware era, you are likely to have a 19" or 21" monitor. Of course, it is definitely troublesome for you to keep switching windows from browser to Photoshop to your favourite word processor.
The easier solution is to snap all or important windows to fit into that huge desktop area and do not spend those annoying milliseconds just clicking the windows away and moving back onto them. There are number of tools available for allowing you to do it, GridMove being my favourite amongst all. The software is very handy if you care about productivity and are annoyed at the things which are there but not in their optimum forms.
With all the advantages of this windows management systems available, you can multiply your productivity making use of the customizability it offers. It allows you to define hotkeys and change the UI as you desire. Virtually all the features of the application are at your fingertips without having to move your hands away from your keyboard to the mouse, thanks to the full keyboard support it provides. The cherry on top is the exhaustive and comprehensive help that comes bundled with the application, which makes this software a worthwhile addition to your toolkit of productivity-centric nifty tools.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
P2P Could Be Good At It!
Yesterday was a record download day for Firefox 3. Of course, it exactly was how it was expected. The Firefox3 browser seems to be much faster in user experience. However, there seem to be few problems, such as, many of the old Firefox extensions seem not to work. I simply see it as a problem due to its infant stage when the extension developers haven't still got time to make their products forward-compatible :P
...Umm..Not going into further problems, it's after all a sweet release, except in the fact that wait time for the FireFox3 download seems to be real pain. Although, for obvious reasons it is; the servers despite of (hopefully) being pretty good at load-balancing cannot serve entire world at one time.
I happened to think of making formal use of P2P (Peer-to-peer) sharing for taking the load off the servers hosting the installers. As widely known, the P2P sharing and related things are better known, rather infamous for allowing illegal sharing of copyright material, such as music, video, various sorts of artistic stuff and even, pirated software.
What occurred to me was, if the developer and users communities of various products (especially open-source considering the less feasibility for commercial apps) join hands with the project (or product) owners to help reduce the issue of availability, it may actually come true, and thus, it might be a better and formalized way of performing launches where high demand is expected.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Windows Embedded NavReady 2009 launched as a boon to PND OEMs
Whenever Microsoft launches a platform, it's always a big event. Even this time, when they have launched, Windows Embedded NavReady 2009, they boast of the utilities the users-on-the-move can avail.
The show begins with an announcement of news, Microsoft Introduces First Embedded Operating System Optimized Specifically for Portable Navigation Device (PND) Manufacturers, yesterday, June 16th 2008. As they say, the futuristic platform boasts of having number of features that enable OEMs to make Microsoft again their favourite choice producing their next-gen handheld navigation devices.
Of course, the market opportunities for such an operating system do look bright, and therefore, it is being conceived as a brilliant and useful product. The OEMs into manufacturing of Portable Navigations Devices (PND) can straight way start building on top of the platform. As Microsoft Corp. announce the list of the product features, they really sound impressive, being capable of making use of the most widely used wireless connectivity technologies, including, Live Search, Bluetooth (and almost all useful Bluetooth utilities), user-friendliness on the move with MSN Direct, and Window SideShow functionality.
It seems to make life easier for the private labeled manufacturers of PNDs. However, at the same time it is going to increase the user base of MSN, remember, Microsoft's search engine, that has always been struggling in the competitive battle of the search providers on the Web.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Google India Women in Engineering Award 2008
An initiative by Google, to encourage Indian women to show off their I.T. skills. Google announces an award, Google India Women in Engineering Award, for the Indian women who are still an aspirants to be full-time into I.T. The eligibility criteria is also not a show stopper for academically excellent computer science students, though it rules out many applications.
Well, this is definitely a brilliantly planned way by Google to publicize themselves as great company to work with. Also, this is a step that will enrich Google's HR database of quality profiles and everyone who is into resourcing, knows that it's worth it.
Information Source: Official Google Blog: Google India Women in Engineering Award 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Keyboard Shortcuts: More Than Just yet-another-feature (GMail)
I always loved using shortcuts while working with various desktop UIs. Of course, need for the same was felt while working on Web sites and Web applications too. This requirement was addressed by many leading players in the Webosphere, Google being one of them. However, even with a useful feature such as, shortcuts, there are troubles. Keyboard shortcuts are very useful and increase the work efficiency by a profound degree UNLESS you need not remember them.
Working with different user interfaces, remembering different shortcuts for each one becomes a real hassle. As a result, you end up not utilizing this extra-ordinary feature. As a solution to this problem, various UIs help the user remember the shortcuts by:
- Showing the quick tips : which are sometimes annoying too, but sometimes, very useful.
- Mentioning the shortcuts (keyboard equivalanet) next to the commands/links/buttons, or relevant places in the UI : which is not always possible because many commands as appearing on the UI don't have enough UI space to accommodate a shortcut text.
- Displaying a quick map of keyboard shortcuts: The map of keyboard shortcuts is just one shortcut away, which one can easily remember. An ideal example of this approach can be seen on GMail. It is definitely done brilliantly, the Google way. You can view the following screenshot to view how useful this approach can be:
You can view this shortcut-keystroke map by pressing, SHIFT+?, and then you can make it disappear and return to your original view by simply clicking anywhere outside the appearing chart of shortcuts and keystroke combinations.
This unconventional way of helping the users exploit this less-used yet very useful feature, Keyboard shortcuts, is definitely worth trying out. And, who knows how efficiently this improves your working experience with GMail.
Official Gmail Blog: '?' answers your shortcut questions
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Google again..adds another useful feature to its one of the most widely used products, GMail. Remember those e-mails that were sent out to everybody in a particular department about an announcement, in your last organization? Of course, that is done using Mailing lists. E-mail addresses of all the relevant recipients are added to a mailing list and then, you never need to worry about who hasn't received an important message.
Gmail now supports customizable mailing lists, to which you can add e-mail addresses from the list of your GMail contacts. Once you add your contacts to mailing lists, you are ready to send a common message to all contacts in your mailing list. All you need to do is, entering the name of that group to the To field while composing an e-mail to be sent to the mailing list.
This saves you the hassle of picking each one of the intended recipients before sending mails. Also, this automatically eleminates the possibility of not adding some e-mail addresses while sending messages.
Mailing lists can be used for various personal and professional purposes. For example, you can send invitations for your evening parties to all invitees without missing anyone. Or, you can send quick and easy update about the change of your contact number to all the important people. Well, there is an endless list of applications of mailing lists to your daily lives. So, it's here for you to check out.
You can find the detailed instructions on, how to create a mailing list in GMail from Official Gmail Blog: Create personal mailing lists through contact manager