Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting rid of the mouse

I'm making a serious attempt at learning how to use Windows without a mouse, primarily because I feel that moving my hands between the keyboard and the mouse is slow. So, here goes.

  • The very first item on the list is to install the Mouseless Browsing add-on (MLB) to Firefox. It adds little numbers to every hyperlink, allowing you to click on any link using a number instead of tabbing.

  • Know the necessary windows shortcuts.

  • I have a multi-monitor setup, so I want a shortcut for moving windows between monitors. Since I have an nVidia graphics card, I can use nVidia's desktop manager to add a shortcut (Alt+` in my case).

  • Learning Eclipse keyboard navigation. 10 Eclipse keyboard shortcuts every programmer should know.

I've already discovered problems with several programs. (If I'm wrong, please tell me!)

  • Digsby's preferences page does not have any support for keyboard navigation.

  • WinAmp doesn't have any way of minimizing itself (Alt-F10 does not bring up the window's system menu)

  • Blogger preview function is not keyboard accessible, and the HTML compose widget interacts badly with MLB, since the numbers inserted by MLB are kept in the HTML code for the blog post.
EDIT: this did not turn out the way I hoped. There are simply too many things which are difficult to navigate by mouse: the windows task bar, quick launch field, and notification icons, Eclipse multi-page editors (plugin manifest editor, product editor, feature editor, update-site editor), etc. MLB was neat, but I think I need to be forced to live without a mouse and suffer a couple of weeks of pain before actually getting used to working without a mouse.

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