One of the things I totally love about the Mac experience doesn’t actually come from Apple. It’s the Quicksilver app, which basically allows the machine to be controlled through keystrokes and keywords rather than having to click all over the place. For example you can bring up the dialog (command-Space) then type “it” and it will list all the apps with I and T in their names, starting with iTunes. Then it’s a matter of hitting Enter to launch the app, or for some applications Quicksilver will show a list of options or features which you can choose to run. The list is refined as you type more letters so you can be quite specific. Plus the app itself is very extensible so you can add Google searching and various other things – I’ve only really scratched the surface in my own use.

Last night I looked around for a similar tool for the PC. There are two or three, the most popular seem to be Launchy and Colibri – I decided on the latter mainly because at first glance it looks similar to Quicksilver and I’m a creature of habit. So far I’m very impressed – it was easy and quick to install and set up, and in the hour I’ve been working this morning I’ve saved tons of time by not having to click around and spend time finding applications and docs. Colibri doesn’t seem to be as customizable as Quicksilver or Launchy but for my use so far it’s looking good.

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