Every single computer user – beginner or savvy – will experiment someday the benefits of using keyboard shortcuts, and adopt them fast enough. The good old copy-and-paste, used with the Ctrl combination key, allows saving precious seconds in the lives of both a programmer and a secretary.
As an IT manager, I am of course a regular computer user. I want everything to be as fast as possible. In fact, I realize that I’d rather use the Run command to start up my programs, web pages and files than take the time to (find and) double-click the appropriate icon. That explains the 100+ icons on my desktop and in my taskbar that became useless over time. Therefore, I need speed and efficiency in both my personal and professional use of a computer.
I never set up a macro in my computer ever before, and my keyboard is so standard there are no macro-automating system. I never thought of building pre-typed commands to work faster. It is only then that I found out about the Enterpad P120 Programmable Keyboard – but let’s say the keyboard found me: I did not look at the product as to buy something like such, but more as a tool to improve my efficiency.
The Enterpad is a programmable keyboard that is smaller in surface than a letter-size paper. Light and portable, I can use it wherever I need to, even if I am not in front of my desk computer. Moreover, it is USB-compliant, meaning there is no driver, no installation to do prior to using the keyboard.
At the very beginning, I used the standard version of the keyboard, which suited me well at that time. With the standard version, it is possible to program a sequence of keys for each button on the keyboard, which I used for repetitive tasks, such as typing my name and e-mail address, getting to my favourite websites, copying and pasting, launching a Run prompt, and so on. I was more efficient and everything was so easy to learn: once set up, you save your macro file and upload it into the Enterpad in seconds, and it’s done!
As I found the system very powerful, I went on to the company’s website (www.cedeq.com) and they led me to the AutoHotkey freeware, an open-source application that can run code from a macro. As the Enterpad is compatible with AutoHotkey, I installed it and configured my Enterpad to work with it.
Since the standard version of the Enterpad was limited to simulating me typing on the keyboard, the Enterpad with AutoHotlkey could get me a step further. AutoHotkey runs with a programming language that is very simple to understand (it looks like a cross-over between VBA and Java). From now on, I can reproduce mouse movement and clicks, make pauses, use conditions, copy files and run programs only by clicking on one single button on the Enterpad. With all the documentation on the Internet, I could easily make my way through the language and commands from AHK, an impressive addition to my Enterpad.
My Enterpad is far more than a simple keyboard. It has become a precious tool that I would never be able to replace. Working with it keeps me going faster, and that makes me think of new ways of using it. It is so simple I wonder how I managed to work without the Enterpad!