Computer problems

(See update on this. The problem suddenly vanished.)

My three-and-a-half-year-old Lenovo laptop with Windows XP has suddenly become extremely non-responsive. Even the simplest things, like moving the insertion point with the arrow keys, barely happen, or happen after a very long time. I did a full Microsoft Security Essentials scan, and it found no problems. I shut down and restarted the computer twice, with no improvement. Until I have a working computer, I cannot blog and also may not be able to do my more urgent work as well, such as organizing the chapters of my book and sending to the publisher. In fact that work stopped about five days ago because of my lack of sleep over several weeks due to the steroids caught up with me. I became very tired and I haven’t been able to engage in large tasks, only small ones like writing fairly short blog entries and replying to readers’ comments.

I have with me a new ASUS laptop with Windows 7 which I haven’t used yet. But to get that laptop set up for my work—I operate in an environment of hundreds of Word and Windows customizations which I created—would take a lot of time and labor, which I am not disposed to do now. But it may be necessary.

Among the customizations which are indispensable to my work are scores, indeed hundreds, of Windows key combinations by which I perform most of my tasks far quicker than the built-in way. These customized commands were created through a free utility called Winkey. However, Winkey does not operate in Windows 7. So I would have to get a different program to set up the same keystroke commands and recreate them all from scratch.

UPDATE: Better news. While these problems manifest in the VFR editing window (which I access through Firefox) and in my e-mail program, the installation of Microsoft Word on my laptop mysteriously still seems to operating normally. So it appears that someone is sending me a purposeful and helpful message. I am supposed to stop blogging and engaging in e-mail correspondence and instead focus solely on my major and urgent projects, which are all in Word.

- end of initial entry -

Alan M. writes:

Have you tested Winkey in Windows 7? Though it is no longer under active development, the Copernic web page claims it works. Of course, having it actually work is another question.

LA replies:

Fantastic. It appears that Copernic, which abandoned Winkey many years ago (it was just left as a download on the Web), has readopted it and made it work in the more recent Windows versions. I am so happy about this.

This is something that has bothered me for years, that this extremely useful—and, to me, essential and indispensable—program was abandoned by its creator, and not picked up by anyone, including Microsoft itself which should have installed it by default in Windows. It was always so absurd and wasteful to have those two prominent Windows keys on every keyboard (though in more recent years most keyboards have had only one), and they only performed about eight built-in functions, whereas they could be used for hundreds. Almost as soon as I got my first PC in 1998, I installed Winkey. I use it to open frequently opened folders, to load frequently loaded applications and webpages, and to perform a huge variety of specialized tasks.

LA continues:

Whoops, bad news again, at least for me. Winkey only works on 32-bit computers, and System Information on my ASUS laptop says it has 64 bits.

LA writes:

Several readers have told me that 32-bit programs will work in 64-bit environments, and that I should install Winkey in my Windows 7 laptop. I will. We’ll see what happens.

LA continues:

Readers have told me that they tried installing Winkey in their 64-bit Windows 7 computers and it didn’t work.

Apparently the closest thing to Winkey which does work with 64-bit computers is a program called Clavier. So I’ll try that. I’ll have to recreate all the Windows key assignments. I assume many of them will have to be changed, because the folder hierarchy in Windows 7 is probably different from that in XP. For example, I doubt that the Word Templates folder has the same address in Windows 7 as in XP.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 05, 2013 12:26 PM | Send

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