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Request For Tips On 3 Specific Customization Issues


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#1 Damaru

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 03:08 PM

Okay, here are three questions that Google has not helped me find satisfactory answers to (yet - I haven't completely given up the search):

1) Are there any cool desktop shortcuts that can be created to save time and/or increase convenience besides the ones for shutting down, restarting, logging off, and switching users? I would REALLY like to have a desktop shortcut, for example, that automatically emptied the recycle bin every time it was double-clicked. (I mean, Jesus P. Keerist on a pogo-stick, how many clicks should it take to get rid of what you've already designated as trash, people?) Is there some way of doing this that doesn't involve modifying the registry?

2) Is there any way to circumvent or override Active Desktop's behavior of turning desktop icons' text backgrounds black without turning Active Desktop itself off or modifying the registry? (Secondly, and as a kind of corollary to that, is there any way of making the people who designed Active Desktop feel PAIN, excruciating PAIN...)

3) What is the best way (in your experience) to initiate a Google search from the desktop (i.e., without first opening a browser window and waiting for a page to load)? I have experimented with adding the Google main page to my desktop using Active Desktop and then downsizing the resulting window until just the search bar is visible, but Active Desktop's behavior of overriding my drop shadows setting and rendering my desktop icons' text backgrounds black is highly dismaying to me. I also have a bookmarklet which initiates Google searches via pop-up script prompt, and I have tried sending this to the desktop in various ways, but the resulting shortcut is never operational, even though the bookmarklet works when activated from within an open browser window.

Tips or insight on any of the above would be greatly appreciated ㋛

Edited by Damaru, 26 December 2007 - 03:15 PM.


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#2 Tomo2

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 05:10 PM

Hi,
in reply to your questions...

1) There are various commands you can add to the end of a shorcut to your favourite program. If you want to automate boring everyday tasks like connecting with dial-up through several dialogs you try writing a macro. I have no programming knowledge at all so I used AutoIt 3 to write many scripts like checking for emails, logging on to a website and off again (to keep my account) and many others. But hey, whats wrong with right-clicking on the recycle bin and selecting "empty"?

2) Not that I know of. I had that problem too, and the "desktop icon drop shadows" setting doesn't work on it.

3) I have google sidebar. You just tap ctrl twice and a search box opens in the middle of your screen. There are also some programs to assign hotkeys to functions.

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#3 frankp316

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 06:51 PM

There are also Google search widgets that you can get from sites like Widgetbox.

#4 Damaru

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 09:13 PM

Tomo2 and frankp316,

Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I haven't had a chance to look into your recommendations in any great detail yet, but at a glance, some of them look very promising (the quick search I did for info. on AutoIt 3 just now definitely has my interest piqued). The information in your posts has also got me reading about `deskbars' and `widgets' - two terms I was unfamiliar with prior to searching the web for info. about Google Sidebar and Widgetbox, heh. :]

"...whats wrong with right-clicking on the recycle bin and selecting "empty"?"

Here is my simple answer to that question (which I understand was a mostly rhetorical one): if I had a desktop icon located, say, at the bottom center of my screen (which is probably where I'd put it), I could accomplish in 1 to 1.5 seconds what it currently takes me 3.5 seconds and 1 full screen's worth of mousing to accomplish. Now, let's say that I empty my recycle bin 5 times per day on average (which is probably a pretty fair estimate). That means that every day I waste a minimum of 10 seconds performing this menial task. Now, that may not sound like much, but it equates to 3,650 wasted seconds, 60.833 wasted minutes, or 1 wasted hour per year. I'm not about to give out my exact age, but assuming I don't step under a bus, take a header into the big cats exhibit at the zoo, or check myself out in some equally unfortunate and premature manner, I give myself at LEAST another 24 years of life on this earth (and probably another 48). But even if it is only another 24 years, that equates to a full 24 hours off my life. After careful consideration, I don't think I have that day to waste fighting my way through a ridiculous triple redundancy safety net like the Windows recycle bin. When there are blue skies, green growing things, fresh air, and a virtually endless variety of amazing experiences out there to be had, man?

Then again, I could probably see my way clear to just empty my trash a little less often... Definitely something to take into consideration. ;]

All in all, I think your posts are going to prove very helpful to me once I have a chance to investigate everything more fully. Thanks for the time and for the excellent rec's, maties. =)

Edited by Damaru, 26 December 2007 - 10:14 PM.


#5 frankp316

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 06:17 AM

I have CCleaner set up to empty my recycle bin each time I boot up.

#6 boopme

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:42 AM

Per item 3. Highlight anyword(s) in a text,right click and search. The Google (or whoever you define) page popsup with a completed search instantly.
search.htm - Search from IE's right-click menu..by John Fitzgibbon

http://www.jfitz.com/tips/search.htm

There's an automated link for set up

I use this with IE 6&7
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#7 Damaru

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 03:01 AM

Hi boopme,

Haha, thanks for the tip, friend! I've been using search.htm for almost a week now. :thumbsup:

I use it in preference to my web-search bookmarklets whenever the word or phrase I want to perform a search on is present (and highlightable) in the window I am currently viewing (which is a lucky incidence).

When I want to do an image search, include operators in my search query, or search for something that can't first be highlighted as a text selection, then I resort to one of my Google search bookmarklets.

A decent sampler of search bookmarklets can be found here:

http://www.bookmarklets.com/tools/search/srchbook.phtml

A handy tip on the efficient use of bookmarklets in IE (if you don't mind having a little extra browser chrome showing): when you initially add a bookmarklet, place it in the `Links' subdirectory of your favorites folder (unless you have implemented a tweak to delete/remove it). Make sure that you have the Links toolbar displayed as a full toolbar at the top of your screen, too (you may have to unlock your toolbars and drag it down a bleep or a bloop in order to get this to happen, but go to the extra effort - it's worth it). Once you've done this, any bookmarklet can be accessed with a single click from within IE. For all practical purposes, bookmarklets displayed in this fashion will now function as toolbar buttons rather than queer little objects sharing room and board with your favorites. ㋛

(Also, it helps to give your bookmarklets short, easily recognizable names like `next', `up', `google', `images', `site', `bury', `duplicate', `revert', `snapback', `go to', `translate', `zap', `cache', `wayback', etc., so that you can fit more of them onto the visible part of the toolbar.)

Still looking for a Google search bookmarklet that will successfully drag to the desktop and work as a shortcut from there.

Edited by Damaru, 28 December 2007 - 07:08 AM.


#8 Harpoon

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 07:06 AM

Speeding up recycle bin clearing is easy,

Option A is to Right-Click Recycle Bin the select empty,

OR

Option B is to go into Recycle bin properties and check the box marked Do not move to Recycle bin delete files straight away, or something similar.


Number two may be assisted by this Link but may cause problems with number 3

but someone might have an answer.




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