New posts Mondays and Thursdays (usually). RSS.
Tell me what to install next:

Launchers: What is their deal?

I wanted to do a post about program launchers this week. This is somewhat because I find it relevant to being a writer and having to navigate between a bunch of different programs to find a synonym or look something up or what have you, but mostly because I think launchers are really sweet. I’ve gotten so lazy these days, pressing Ctrl+Space for everything. Makes working so much more efficient. I’ve never really gotten the hang of menus, anyway.

The problem is, I’ve been using Kupfer and Synapse pretty heavily, and I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to compare the two of them. It’s as though I’ve opened up the comics page to find a “spot the differences” puzzle and it looks like both dogs are piddling on the fire hydrant in precisely the same manner. Okay, it’s not a perfect metaphor, but still.

There’s one obvious difference in that Synapse looks much, much nicer than Kupfer does. For this reason alone it’s become my default. As launchers, they both seem to disappoint me in different ways. Kupfer can launch a website, but it can’t do symbols or spaces. Synapse does symbols and spaces and can perform a Google search, but it can’t launch a website. Both of them have mysterious methods for determining what file or folder I want, and it seems to vary with every launch. Both of them give me completely irrelevant results from time to time – especially Synapse, where I’ll start typing a phrase and it will pop up a filename and my keywords in parenthesis next to it, despite those keywords appearing nowhere in the file or folder name.

In short I find their logic equally confusing. For programs and commands they’re both fantastic, for website launching or file searching not so much. If I can convince myself to keep plowin’ away at this problem maybe I’ll post about it eventually, but for now, I’m just stumped.


Launch your applications of choice with Kupfer

Just a quick one today since yesterday’s post was a tad on the long side.

With all the different kinds of software I’ve mentioned so far – a thesaurus, a note-taking program, a bunch of word processors – getting everything started up once you decide It’s Writing Time can be a tedious process. For example, even though Artha is tons more efficient to use, I keep finding myself opening a new tab for instead. It’s just easier than going to Mint’s menu and searching for Artha – or if you’re on Ubuntu you don’t even have the option to search, you have to know exactly where it is in the menus.

Kupfer solved this problem for me. It’s a simple program launcher that works like this: press Ctrl+Space, then start typing the name of the program you want to open. With Artha I don’t have to go past “Ar” before it knows what I mean. Once you see the program you want, hit Enter to open it. Done.

Beyond programs, Kupfer also has support for documents (though I’ve had to open mine at least once before Kupfer could launch them), webpages, and even your clipboard. If you want to see all it can do, check out this in-depth article.