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Friday, September 21, 2012

Screen Real Estate Upgrade

So I got a new HP Elitebook 8460p laptop at work, and it's very nice. Having an SSD makes SO much of a difference. Therefore, I had to reinstall everything. What a pain. While I was waiting for the 100+ Windows Updates to install, I decided to look around the web and see if I could find any new and useful tools. I do a lot of multitasking (this laptop has 16GB of RAM and I have a docking station running dual 22" monitors), so screen real estate is quite important to me. Here are 3 really cool apps I have found:

qttabbar - This gives you tabs in Windows Explorer. Did I mention that it's free?
Office Tab - This gives you tabs in Excel, Word, and Powerpoint! There's a more expensive version that does Project and Visio, but I struggle so with Visio that I'm of a single purpose when I'm in that app. It costs 30 bucks, and I'm still in eval mode, but so far so good. I really only need the tabs for Excel.

And the prize for most amazing app of this decade (I'm really excited about this, can't you tell):
Actual Multiple Monitors

I can't say enough great things about this software. I was reading about other apps that fit this niche and everyone had one complaint or another about them. I downloaded this and was blown away. I can pin stuff to either screen, and the items on the screen only show up in that screen's taskbar. I can have seperate toolbars for each screen's taskbar. It even allows my desktop to be continuous horizontally and vertically! Seriously, if I take my mouse off the left side of my second monitor, it appears on the right. How cool is that? I used it for 5 minutes (and most of that was configuration) and immediately plunked down $30 for it. It's worth its weight in gold as far as I'm concerned.

I'm also playing around with Launchy, which is a ... er.. launcher that you just type things into. This seems a lot like me just hitting the start orb and typing, but I'm checking it out. I know it's pretty popular, so it must be useful in some other capacity. The less I HAVE to use my mouse, the better.

In Powershell land, I discovered a very nice function called New-PSDriveHere that allows you to easily create PSDrives. Mad props to The Lonely Administrator.

Here's a way to "Open Powershell Prompt Here" from Windows Explorer, like we used to do with DOS back in the day.

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