I’ve made some progress on this front and I was quite surprised at my findings. My resolution to stay a Linux user is starting to shake now that I’m trying to find tools that will allow me to focus on content rather than tweaking. In short, I’ve given up on Colibri and started using Launchy.
As I wrote in my previous post on this subject, I’m attempting to find a Quick Silver-like tool on the other platforms I’m using. In the Windows world, I started playing with Colibri, a free application from Michael Walter. I had the tool installed with a couple of it’s plugins in for about a week. In the last week I’ve been working pretty hard on some website issues for another site I’ve been building. So I was busy popping into and out of programs etc. A real good test for a tool like Colibri.
Well.. to be honest, the tool was found lacking. There are three main issues with the tool:
- It didn’t have that "ESP-factor"… what? yeah, you know what I mean. "ESP-factor" is that Mac-like feeling that the application knows what you want, even if you don’t. It didn’t know what you wanted, but rather listed items that matched what you typed. This is fine the first or second time I type in "fire" for Firefox, but the third time.. offer that as the first choice when I type in the same string.
- Memory Hog – this tool took up 32megs of memory to run. That’s a lot of memory for a ‘simple’ launching tool. I discover this while troubleshooting some adware nonsense that literally made me remove my entire IP stack.
- It seemed very slow in responding – now this is subjective of course. I don’t have the fastest machine in the world, but I do have 2 gigs of RAM and when I’m in Windows, I’m still on Windows XP. So I should have more than enough memory so that I’m not swapping to disk, etc. The application just felt sluggish.
My new tool on the Windows platform is now Launchy. Launchy has that "ESP-Factor" — in spades. I’ve been using it for the last two days while working on that other site and I am amazed. Between Launchy and Microsoft Live Writer, my resolution to be a Linux user is being shaken. I’m now able to concentrate on just providing content and using the computer as a tool rather than laboriously wrestling with the machine to get my work done.
Although the two programs basically perform the same service, they couldn’t be any more different. Launchy was the exact opposite of Colibri:
- ESP-Factor in spades – two outstanding items here. First, it knew I what I wanted after the first time I had to look for an application/whatever. Second — I could make typos in my entries and Launchy still showed me the right application I wanted. Very cool.
- Takes up only 12 megs of memory – I’ve notice that it has gotten as high as 20 however.
- FAST. and I mean F.A.S.T!
There are a bunch of other great features that the tool has that I’ll explore later – but it’s the closest thing to Quick Silver in the Windows platform. Version 2.00 was just release this week so there is a lot more to look at (maybe that’s the reason I went from 12 to 20 megs?) The only thing I’ve done to customize my setup now is to change the theme that Launchy uses.
I did find a Quick Silver-type tool for my Ubuntu platform called GNome-DO. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but I haven’t really played with it yet as I’ve spent most of my time on the Windows platform lately. I will be going to back to Ubuntu tomorrow as I think I’m done with Windows for now.