Thursday, August 17, 2006

Software Review - SlickRun

SlickRun is a must-have program for techies like me, who are used to a *NIX environment and hate having to leave their keyboards to double-click icons on their desktop. I can't even remember what my desktop looks like or what wallpaper I have anymore! (Hmmm... I bet its something to do with Space though.)

SlickRun is a small command-line floating window which sits in the bottom right-hand corner of my screen. I simply press Win+Q and it flies up to my cursor and grabs focus, allowing me to enter any one of my favourite magic words. A "magic word" is basically a shortcut to various frequently used programs. All you do is type it in and press Enter and it launches your program(s). You can set up as many magic words as you like and even pass in arguments to your magic words.

For example, the magic word "firefox" would launch the Firefox browser and typing in "define Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" would take you to the web definition of the word. (For those interested, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is the 34 lettered song title from the 1964 movie Mary Poppins. As a song title, it is a proper noun, but the word, and variations, has entered the English language as an adjective. It is one of the longest words in the English language.)

Any Windows commands such as "calc" are magic words anyway, so you don't need to set them up. You can even set up a single magic word to run multiple commands, so that after a reboot, you can simply type it in to start up all your programs.

SlickRun also auto-completes magic words for you and you can use the arrow keys to scroll through your history of previously invoked commands.

The main thing I love about SlickRun, is how simple it is. It doesn't get in your way or take up much CPU power. It just sits innocently in a corner, responds quickly to your commands and allows you to be more productive!

Here are some of my magic words that I thought I'd share with you:
  • define - goes to google definitions
  • eclipse
  • excel
  • firefox
  • google
  • jsql
  • mail - launches Lotus Notes
  • mydocs - goes to My Documents
  • paint
  • pf - goes to C:\Program Files
  • player - Windows media player
  • putty
  • shutdown
  • startup - launches all my programs after a reboot
  • toad
  • weather
  • windiff
  • word
  • xmlspy
  • ymail
  • ymsgr
  • ! - runs cmd /k e.g. ! ipconfig
  • lots of folder/drive shortcut names
Download SlickRun here!

2 comments:

  1. I have recently tried the alternative "Launchy" and don't think I will be switching anytime soon:

    - Launchy has a bloated interface - why do you need such a big window anyway?!.
    - It doesn’t allow me to quickly set up new “magic words” using an “eye dropper” to select an application ala SlickRun.
    - It adds all my files so if I type Firefox, I get links to Firefox Central, Firefox Start Page etc.
    - It can’t display the current date/time when not in use.
    - And its slow!

    I’ll be sticking to SlickRun, thanks.

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  2. Anonymous3:09 AM

    Thanks for the "!" inspiration and the cmd /k hint, really useful. Btw. if you want to execute commands with options, e.g. ipconfig -all, you should enter "ipconfig/all", otherwise SlickRun will pass "ipconfig+-all" to the commandline, replacing the whitespace with a "+".

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