Monday, September 22, 2008

Tips for quick searches and using Run commands

1. Quickly get definitions

Would you like to get a definition of a term quickly? This quick grab of a definition works in Firefox 3.0. Say you need the definition of "allopathy." Here's what you do:

1) Hit Ctrl + L when Firefox is open (this selects the URL in the address bar)

2) Type and hit Enter.

Here's what you get:


2. Quickly get English equivalents of Japanese terms from online references

If you have already registered your favorite bilingual database such as Glova in a an earlier article Lightning search of an online database, you should see a blue icon with white lens on the right hand side of the Firefox screen like so:


Well, you are all set to hit a few keys and search for Japanese terms too!

Here's what you do:

1) Hit Ctrl + K (shifts the focus on the search bar)

2) Paste or enter the Japanese term you wish to search and hit Enter.

That's it! Here are the results for 変換:


3. Useful run commands

As a translator, you need to use the keyboard more to reduce wear and tear of your wrist. I find run commands useful and use them whenever I can. You'll find huge lists of 156, 164, 178 and so on, run commands on the Net - but nobody in his right mind would remember or use such a lot of commands. I give here some of run commands that I find useful and which have saved me a lot of mousing around.

Remember all you need to do is hold down the Win Key, press R, then type in or copy and paste the command from the list below and hit ENTER.

appwiz.cpl Opens the Add and Remove Programs in Control Panel
calc Launches the calculator
charmap Launches character map - you can search for those Greek and mathematical symbols you wish to insert in Word.
clpbrd View the clipboard. Shows you what you have copied to the clipboard using Ctrl C.
cmd Command prompt - from where you can run all kinds of DOS commands
control Opens Control Panel to gives you access to all kinds of settings
control folders Perform folder settings
devmgmt.msc Opens the device manager. The moment you find a yellow exclamation work next to a device here, you know something's wrong!
desk.cpl Perform screen resolution, screen saver and other desktop settings
mrt Checks your system for malicious software
excel Launches Excel
mspaint Launches Paint
powerpnt Launches Powerpoint
winword Launches Word
osk Displays your Onscreen keyboard
regedit Make changes to your Registry - take care
shutdown Shuts down Windows
sysinfo Shows information about your system
taskmgr Shows what applications are running; gives you the option to close down running applications
winver Shows you which version of Windows is running

That's all for today folks. Have a great day!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Various utilities and useful links

I was in the US for more than a month and personal as well as business engagements took away time for this blog. I'm back again and hope to record convenient tools and tips during my forays into the World Wide Web. I have put through a smorgasbord  of offerings this time. 'Nuff said - here they are:

1. Launch bar

I wrote about SlickRun many months ago, and I still use this great utility. For a second line of applications that I wish to run, here is a simple method (for Windows that is, and I use XP) that does not involve installing any application. Here's what you do:

a. Right click your desktop and create a new folder;  call it “Launch Bar”.

b. Drag the Launch Bar folder to the extreme top of the desktop screen and drop it.

c. That's it - you have a toolbar.

d. Now drag the applications you need to launch and drop them in  this launch bar.

You can also right click this toolbar at the top and click on the feature to automatically hide it so that it pops up only when you bring the cursor to the top of the Desktop Screen. Here's what mine looks like:

launch bar

2. New patent search site

For all ye patent buffs - here's a new site ( that gives you patents in clean PDFs and as late as last month too. I searched with keywords "planing boat" and found a patent dated Aug. 26, and another with the keyword "semiconductor" and found one dated Aug. 28.

3. Auto-complete at command prompt

I'm sure some of you must be using the command prompt especially when you want to print a list of files (see Quickly print a list of files to a file) but here's a neat trick where you can use Auto-complete to display directories or files using the tab key at the command prompt. I came across this trick in another blog by another techie. The procedure involves making a small change in the Windows Registry, so make sure you make a backup of the Registry before you make changes! The instructions for changing the just one value in the Registry are clearly given here.

This gives you the ability to hit TAB to type out long Japanese file names at the command prompt - see example below.

Auto complete at command prompt

Until next week, here's wishing you a great day!