Running Windows is like having a closet full of shoes with laces you cannot tie. You know you can’t run around barefoot so you have to wear them. You look down at your feet and think, “I’m eventually going to trip and fall, but there’s nothing I can do about it. If only they used Velcro…” Yet version after version they never change things. Instead they expect you to figure out the workarounds. Duct tape the laces. Try staples or zip ties.
Today my office tripped and fell. Here it is, Microsoft. Fuck you!
Posted in Geek
Tagged microsoft, windows
This is a completely uninteresting post, but I hope this will be useful for people trying to figure out how to adjust screen brightness in Bootcamp. It took me far too long to search for this answer, and I ended up having to figure it out myself.
If you dim your screen on OS X and then boot into Windows, you end up with a darkened screen. The F1 and F2 keys that normally adjust brightness do not work in Bootcamp.
What you can do is go to Control Panel > Boot Camp > Brightness. Even if the slider is showing it’s on brightest, slide it all the way down to darker and back up. It should make the screen nice and bright. Hopefully that helps.
To make a long story short, I broke my computer. It’s fixable, but I don’t have the software tools at my disposal right now to do the work. So what am I writing this post on then? I have my MacBook set up so I can boot into Windows for work, but for all my design tasks for work and my personal computer use, I boot back into Mac OS X. So pretty much I am at work without Windows. I’ve been trying frantically to borrow the disc from someone, not because I want to get back to work but because I don’t like not having my computer running in top form. Until I get my disc, I’m kicking my feet up and browsing the web.
Work is hard.
As I type this from my work laptop, I realize that a lot of us would love to use our Macs 100% of the time, but unfortunately the sad truth is that Microsoft has a pretty good hold of the corporate market. So while you’re stuck on your Windows machines for work, you can make the best of it with a few applications I’ve come across.
Every time you take your hands off the keyboard to use your mouse or track pad, you are losing efficiency. Keeping your hands in one spot allows you to be more productive, whether it’s actual work you’re doing or chatting. I’ve talked about one keyboard launcher before, but here is another one. Qliner hotkeys is an application launcher, but it goes a step further than most other application launchers. Rather than being text-based, it has a very simple visual interface so you can keep track of your shortcut key binds.
If you are absolutely married to your mouse as an input device, there are some good mouse-based application launchers. We all know the Start Menu is absolutely worthless when you have a lot of applications installed. You have to look at a long list, which takes a long time, even when filed alphabetically. The Quick Launch toolbar built into Windows is also useless if you need to launch anything with a generic icon. Just try and figure out which document template you are trying to launch out of the half dozen you might use daily. You have to hover over the icon and wait for the name to appear. Stop wasting your time. Take a look at STabLauncher.
The last thing I want to share with you is not for work productivity. It’s for the productivity of your sanity. It’s an old game I used to play. Have yourself a break with Desktop Tower Defense.
I wrote an extremely long post already, detailing some applications that make using Windows more bearable, but the post got blasted into oblivion. I upgraded my blog software and had an incompatible plugin, which messed up while writing to the database. Instead of the well thought out post, I am going to just list programs with links.
Launchy. RunMe. PDFCreator. VirtuaWin. Firefox with Adblock Plus.
There are a whole lot more applications I use and they were listed last night, but the frustration of losing the post made me less than enthusiastic to post it again in its entirety. These little applications keep me from pulling out my hair when using Windows. They’re great and they’re completely free. I have a whole list of free applications that I use, so if you need to accomplish a task, ask me. I’ve probably encountered the same problem and might have a solution.