Earlier this month, I wrote about my experience using Windows 7 thus far, highlighting a few small changes that I really liked in a post I dubbed the "It's the Little Things" edition. While this episode focuses on a slight irritant, it's a warn, sunshiny Friday, so I'm going to look on the bright side of modern computing life and frame this discussion in an upbeat manner.
With Windows 7 came tweaks to performance, security and the user interface, not to mention new features. Many were slight in comparison to older versions of Windows, especially Vista, but some were quite significant. Others may seem small but actually have a real effect on the user experience and thus productivity.
One small change that slowed me down at first was the removal of the Run dialog, or "Run box," that appears on the Start menu by default (it was removed for the Vista release but, as I mentioned before, my company bypassed Vista altogether). As I often use this dialog for a variety of tasks, I was confused and a bit alarmed when I realized it was no longer present (I know I could have clicked Windows Key + R or gotten to it through the Accessories list, but that wasn't my usual way of doing things). But, once I did some digging in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog, I was able to restore it to the Start menu and get back to using the Run dialog to open files, folders, programs and Internet resources. Of course, the other big reason to use the Run dialog is to perform tasks using the Command Prompt and Run commands.
One resource that's been very helpful to me when I need to look up commands or brush up on syntax is the Windows Command Prompt and Run Commands list. It provides a quick and easy way to use the command prompt to do many things, like get network information, expose folder structure, delete files or get help.
Now that I've restored the Run dialog to the place where I've always wanted it, I can return to my normal workflow and not have to click around more than I'd like. And now I await my next Windows 7 learning experience.
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