Life keeps getting easier

Well, in terms of anything to do with using computers, that is. My PC at work just got "refreshed" (to a 3.2 GHz, 1Gig, 80 Gig machine). Previously, I drove my PC with a Sun keyboard & mouse through a multiplexer. I used to drive both a PC and Sun with the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor, but now I'm down to just PC, and the whole point was that I just wanted a keyboard with the CTRL key next to 'A' (Sun-style), not down in the corner (although Sun keyboards now optionally come Windoze style). Since I edit code and other text files in Emacs, I am on the CTRL key all day long, and down in the corner, my little left pinkie can get quite sore!

But along comes free, open-source, windows application AutoHotKey. And with one simple text file stored in my Start Menu::Programs::Startup,

Capslock::Ctrl ; Make Capslock become a Control key.
Ctrl::Capslock ; Vice versa

the functionality of my Ctrl and CapsLock keys are swapped — even the keyboard CapsLock light toggles correctly with Ctrl now! And I'm only using the tiniest corner of AutoHotKey. It seems it's actually more of a whole scripting language, such that I might be able to, for instance, program it to automatically play minesweeper by recognizing images/pixel colors and taking appropriate action. Wow. And the best part is, now that I am back to all Windoze, I have a mouse with a scroll wheel again!

Also, I took advantage of this opportunity to switch from IE to Firefox. I gots to have my tabs. But there's another cool feature: "Live Bookmarks". If you are using a new enough version of Firefox, when looking at this page (or any page with an associated syndication, like an Atom or RSS feed), you should see a little orange icon in the URL box that looks like this: livebook.png Clicking on that will bring up a dialog to "Add live bookmark". Once you do that, you will see in your Bookmark drop-down that it turns into a folder, and inside the folder are dynamically-updated links to whatever the most recent posts are! Amazing!

These two unbelievably useful functionalities have bolstered my confidence that computers can do anything we could ever need! I'm sure Google can find for me someone who has already solved any problem I have.


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