NY Times and James Fallows discover ActiveWords

All around interesting piece from James Fallows in today’s N.Y. Times. My good friend Buzz gets some well deserved praise for ActiveWords, which I’ve used and recommended for several years now. Here’s what Fallows had to say about ActiveWords:

Tinker With Your Computer, and Reap the Rewards

The most striking improvement in basic computer function comes with ActiveWords, $19.95 for the basic version and $49.95 for the advanced, from a small company of the same name in Winter Park, Fla. Most computer users understand the concept of macros, or shortcuts – abbreviations the computer expands into full words or phrases. ActiveWords applies that concept to nearly everything you would like the computer to do. It lets you create keyboard shortcuts – say, typing “WH” to visit the White House’s Web site – for a wide variety of functions. With just a few keystrokes, you can start a report, edit a specific spreadsheet, address an e-mail message to your brother, place an Internet phone call to the home office, go to a particular Web page or fill out a form. (You press a key to signal that a shortcut is coming, then type the relevant letters.)

This is especially useful for those who, like me, hate using the mouse. I had known about this program for years before trying it seriously; now I regret the lost time. But I figure that its efficiencies give me enough extra time to keep tinkering with the list of shortcuts, until it’s just right.

I’m also using this to experiment with a new tool to support my blogging – Qumana.