Chapter 2. Acceleration

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Using a computer requires a fair amount of ritual and ceremony. You have to boot it up, you have to know how to launch applications, and you must understand the interaction model, which can differ between applications. The less you interact with your computer, the faster you can go. In other words, eliminating ceremony allows you more time to get to the essence of the problem. Time you spend digging through a long filesystem hierarchy to find something is time you could be using to be more productive. Computers are tools, and the more time you spend on the care and feeding of the tool, the less work you get done. The science fiction author Douglas Adams had a great quote: “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”


Concentrate on essence, not ceremony.

This chapter is all about figuring out ways to accelerate your interaction with your computer, whether it’s launching applications more quickly, finding files faster, or using the mouse less.

Launching Pad

Take a look at your computer’s list of applications. If you are using Windows, click on Start and choose Programs. How many columns do you have? Two? Three? Four!? As hard drives have gotten bigger and the kinds of applications (and therefore the tools we must use) have gotten more complex, the number of applications we use has exploded. Of course, with commonplace 100 ...

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