I really should be working on my project, but here is a quick tangent on some application launchers I tried out.

Find And Run Robot – (launches with Ctrl + Space by default)

  • Pros: Simple, easy to use interface with small icons; low resource usage; free
  • Cons: Searches can take a long time for programs/files not accessed recently; no keywords/other operations besides finding and running.

Dash Command – (launches with Ctrl + Dash by default)

  • Pros: Pretty interface, smooth animation; customizable commands
  • Cons: Not free

Launchy – (launches with Alt + Space by default)

  • Pros: Beautiful yet simple interface (sort of like Dash Command) with pictured icons; speedy search; very customizable; other features like web searching and calculations, free
  • Cons: Heavy resource consumption, upwards of 90% CPU usage, my fan almost immediately quiets down significantly when I end the Launchy process.

Keybreeze – (launches with ; by default) – what I am using right now

  • Pros: free, simple no-frills interface without icons, very fast, very customizable with a plethora of keyboards (very easy to add your own to the presets), many additional features including website launching, web searches, calculations, and sticky-notes; very low resource consumption.
  • Cons: default hot-key is a bit convenient for someone who programs :-], but this is easy to change (I changed it to Ctrl + ; ); the indexing that Keybreeze does does not seem to be as comprehensive as that of the other programs, but keywords can be easily added.