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Is the Windows start menu dead?

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I tend to use Direct Access and Quick Launch, and sometimes the Vista Start Menu.

Lately I've been wondering about some of the launchers out there. Other than Direct Access, I haven't used any.

One of them, Launchy,, gets a lot of good feedback.

Another one called Skylight looks like it has some promise, but its in beta and needs Microsoft .NET 3.0 Framework, which it will download along with the program.

laughinglizard , do you hold anything against .NET 3.0 ??  :tellme:

One thing that seems to be forgotten is that the start menu can be navigated with keystrokes PROVIDED there is only one entry that starts with the letter/keystroke that you use.  For instance, you can type {winkey}, e and if you have your email named Email and there are no other entries that start with "e" and you have just launched your email program.  Similarly, {winkey}, p, o, e would start Excel on my system.  P opens the "Programs" menu, "o" opens the "Office" Menu and e launches Excel.  You have to rename a bunch of entries to eliminate duplication of starting letters - My Documents became Filing Cabinet and My Pictures became Art - but it is doable.  You also have to set the number of "Recent Programs" to zero, since the random appearance of unknowable names on the start menu messes up the whole scheme.  I have also set a number of commonly used programs on the "Pinned" menu with numbers in front of their names, so {winkey},2 opens nero burning.  The entry on the start menu is: 2. Nero Startsmart, so the 2, being the first "letter" of the name launches the program connected to it.  The Programs menu has the following categories on it: Accessories, Burning Tools, CyberSecurity, Disaster Recovery, File Utilities, Graphics, HP Utilities, Information tools, Lens and Shutter, Maintenance, Net Wares, Office, Printer Utilities, Reference, Utilities Misc., WordPerfect Office, and, of course, Startup.  As you can see, there is only one entry for any given letter of the alphabet, so you can use the keyboard to navigate it.  The sub-menus have also been similarly renamed to allow keyboard launch - with a few exceptions.  In the case of unavoidable duplications, you can press the letter repeatedly until you are on the desired entry and then press "enter". 
The most irritating thing about the whole process is that Microsloth had a way of customizing the Start menu in Win98 and has deleted that from the current version.  They also have made it impossible to add self-opening folders to the top level of the Start menu.  You can't pin a folder of "Office" icons to the front of the menu - it has to go into the "Programs" menu!  But, even so, it is possible to wring some use out of the thing.

Actually you can pin it like that very easily, at least in 2000/XP.  Where you do that is (by default) in C:\Documents and Settings\******\Start Menu where the ******* is either All Users or a specific user(s) depending on who you want to see that pin.  I am not so sure in Vista, though my guess is it would be similar.  Just place a shortcut there and it works.

BTW:  You can also drag and drop it into location in XP and 2000.

Sorry, I misspoke.   I meant that the folder that you get on the top level of the Start menu opens into an explorer folder window when you open it and that ends the use of keystrokes.  After that you have a window with shortcut icons in it and you have to mouse over to the one you want and click it - hardly an efficiency.


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