Clickin' It Old School: Page 2

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Macros are tiny programs that can be created by non-programmers and are useful for automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Creating macros is not only a huge time saver, but it's also fun and challenging. Think of it as a hobby.

I'm a huge Macro Express fan, but there are other macro utilities out there you might like.

The hardest thing about boosting your computing speed with macros is not the creation of macros, but figuring out what to automate. Once you pick your macro utility, spend some quality time with the software maker’s Web site and help programs, which will spark plenty of ideas.

The Command Line Interface

Before the graphical user interface, all computing was done via a command line -- a single place where you typed in commands to be executed by the system.

Modern operating systems still support command-line interfaces. The advantage is speed. Rather than drilling through layers of nested folders or menus, and hunting for an icon associated with an executable, you can just use your new-found keyboarding skills to instantly launch the very same program.

In Windows, you can use the Run command on the Start menu, or Windows' command-line interface (type cmd in the Run dialog box and press the Enter key). Here are the major commands.

Each of these three lost arts can dramatically boost your speed when computing. As a bonus, they cut the risk of repetitive stress injury associated with using a mouse. But used together, and combined with new hardware, software, services and techniques, these old school techniques can launch your own personal Renaissance in computing.

To boost your productivity and performance, by all means learn the many new ideas and master the new technologies and services out there.

But also don’t forget to learn from the past.

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