5 of the Best Application Launchers for Windows 10 to Improve Productivity

In the beginning there were only keyboards. Then, some guy made a mouse. It was a bright day for computing, but we’re still dealing with one of the problems of mouse-based input: it’s so slow. And true hackers only need keyboards anyway. If you’re as annoyed as I am by the inferior input paradigm that mice represent, then check out the keyboard-only application launchers for Windows below.

Lauchy might be a little old, but it’s well-respected, multi platform, and fully functional. Launchy is invoked via akeyboard shortcut which is bound to “Alt + Space” when the application is first installed. Outside of launching applications, Launchy comes with some plugins that expand its functionality. The default set of plugins can run quick calculator operations, execute web searches on a variety of search engines and sites, invoke shell commands, and more. This functionality can also be expanded with a library of user-made plugins.

Of the application launchers for Windows 10, Wox looks the most like Alfred, my go-to launcher on the Mac. Like the other programs on the list, you can bind Wox to a specific launch key (the default is “Control + Space”) and begin typing to select programs.

The app is open source, and it’s not yet bug free. The installation is also a little wonky. You’ll need to install not only Wox, but Python, as well as a separate program called Everything, which gives Wox the hooks it needs to browse your file system from outside Windows Explorer. You’ll find links in the install documentation.

Like Launchy, Wox will also run basic calculations, initiate web searches, and execute shell commands. You can also sleep or shut down your computer through Wox and bind those operations to custom commands. I use “Zzz” to sleep my computer because I think it’s cute.

While Executor is a program at its core, the application can do so much more. Using a system of keywords, the application can run all sorts of advanced tasks that are outside the scope of other launchers. It can search within files, grab your IP address, set alarms, show your clipboard history, and more. The downside is that it’s a bit less intuitive than the other applications here. But if you’re willing to learn the keywords, it can be much more powerful. There’s no denying its aged look, but it’s still a powerful program.

Keybreeze is similar to Executor in that it’s much more than it initially appears to be. It includes the basics for launching applications, of course, but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve. Keybreeze can perform keyword-based tasks like Executor, but it also allows you to set custom keywords for specific applications or URLs. So, for example, you might set a “gmail” keyword that automatically opens your webmail in your default browser. Text actions allow you to copy long blocks of pre-written text in your clipboard, which is great for form emails. And for the inventive, actions can be changed together into macros. The app’s readme is instructive, and once you get all the deep customization set up, you won’t want to use anything else.

Find and Run Robot is all about one job. It drops the tangential actions that other launchers run and redirects that energy into performing powerful and flexible searches. It’s the only launcher that can search using regular expressions, if you have the arcane magic to make that vocabulary work, and specifying search scope on the fly makes finding a specific file easier. FARR’s memory footprint is small, making it ideal for systems where low-overhead is important, and cached searches makes the whole thing just fly. But be ready to read through a longmanual before you fully understand everything the program can do.

The specific application launcher you use is largely a personal choice. Launchy blends power and ease of use, so that’s probably the best choice for most folks. If the application’s appearance is especially important to you, Wox is a good bet. For a more powerful launcher, Executor or Keybreeze will be more appealing. If you don’t need an all-purpose tool but want search on steroids, Find and Run Robot checks that box.

How To Enable AdSense on Your YouTube Videos to Start Earning

In recent years YouTube has overhauled their partnership program to the point that every user can become a partner and start earning revenue from their work. No more submitting an application and waiting. No more recommended subscriber level. No more tedious emails back and fourth. It’s easy and free to get set up – right now.

To do it, have a YouTube account and content to monetize. Later on you’ll need banking information for payouts, but that isn’t necessary to get started.

From a desktop browser, log in to your YouTube home page. Click your channel icon in the top right of the screen. Then, select “Creator Studio.”

From here, “status and features” will be an option under “channel” on the right-side selection menu. Click on that to move on.

You should now see the “monetization” box on the page. Click “Enable” to continue with enrollment.

If for any reason you aren’t eligible, review “copyright strikes” and your “community guidelines status.” Both of these will hold back your partnership eligibility and must be resolved before you are able to continue. You can access this from the “Creator dashboard.”

The next page will go over your account status, guidelines and information to answer any questions you may have. When you’re ready, click “Get Started.”

Skim through and read the terms. Make sure your content qualifies for the Partner Program before continuing, and read and select the first three boxes before clicking “I accept.” Qualified content is covered under the “community guidelines.” Remember, uploading any content that isn’t entirely yours or used with permission for commercial purposes will be denied by YouTube for monetization.

After this we’ll need to set up your AdSense Account. Click the option to set up AdSense on the next screen.

After the page is redirected, verify the email address that you’ll associate with AdSense, and select “Yes” to move on or choose another account.

Verify that the language is correct on the next screen, and select “Accept association.” “My website” will be the YouTube channel that it logs into.

After this, step three will be skipped, as your information has been collected from when you set up your Googleaccount. If for any reason it hasn’t, go ahead and fill this out, too. You’ll now be redirected back to YouTube.

That’s it! AdSense is enabled, and you’ll start earning money. From the “Video manager” page, you can choose videos you’d like to monetize.

From your channel’s “Status and Features” page, you can view your monetization status as a second level of confirmation.

When your videos have collected enough revenue (close to $100 – the monthly payout threshold), you’ll be asked to set up banking information through AdSense for payouts. You’ll receive an email when it’s time, but you can keep tabs on your earnings through the “Creator dashboard” until then.

At this point, you’ll connect a bank to the AdSense account via routing number and account number.

That’s all there is to it! You’re set to make a few bucks off of your creations. As always, amplify the quality of the story it is you’re creating, and the money will follow along with it. However, don’t create videos with the sole purpose of earning quick cash.

The Difference Between 32-bit and 64-bit Smartphones

The Difference Between 32-bit and 64-bit Smartphones

When looking at a phone’s specifications, you may feel at home with statistics such as the amount of RAM and storage space in the device. One thing you may have spotted is when a phone is either “32-bit” or “64-bit” which isn’t self-explanatory as to what it means exactly. So, what does it mean? Let’s take a look at the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit for Android phones, what it means for you as a user, and which one is the better choice.

What Does 32- and 64-bit Mean?

phone-processors-processor

Given how bigger numbers on computer hardware usually mean better things, it’s easy to figure that a 64-bit phone is an improvement over a 32-bit phone. But what does 32- and 64-bit mean exactly?

This specification relates to the type of processor within the device in question. When a processor is labelled as 32- or 64-bit, it’s referring to the amount of values that can be stored on that particular processor’s register. Processors use their register to store data as they perform their job, so more room means more values can be stored. A 32-bit processor has room for 2^32 values (around 4 billion, rounded down), while a 64-bit processor can store 2^64 of them (18 quintillion, rounded down). This means that 64-bit processors have four billion times more addresses at their disposal than 32-bit processors – a clear improvement!

phone-processors-phone

So now we’ve learned that a 64-bit processor has a lot more processing space than a 32-bit processor, which definitely sounds impressive on paper. What does it mean when we compare 32-bit and 64-bit for Androidphones? What can we see on a 64-bit phone that we won’t on a 32-bit one?

Processor

With the extra space that 64-bit processors have, they can get through more data per second than 32-bit processors. After all, they have much more room to store more data, which means they can work on larger volumes of data without having to go back to memory as often as 32-bit processors do. As a result, 64-bit processors can take in and process data faster than their 32-bit counterparts – always a plus!

RAM

One interesting benefit of 32-bit vs. 64-bit for Android phones is that 64-bit processors increase the amount of RAM that can be practically used in a device. The size of a 32-bit register means that software is restricted to using 4GB of memory at an absolute best. This means that if we install more than 4GB of RAM in a phone with a 32-bit processor, the extra RAM can’t be used by software and “goes to waste” as a result.

There are ways we can circumvent this limit; however, by simply installing a 64-bit processor, the size of its register allows us to use up to 16 exabytes (17 billion GB) of RAM in a device. Of course, it’ll be a long time (if ever!) before we use that much RAM, which means we can have more than 4GB  of RAM in our phones. MoreRAM means more space to put apps in memory which means multitasking between apps gets a lot smoother.

Apps

One thing that won’t always speed up when moving to 64-bit are the apps and the operating system installed on the phone. The problem here is that the developers may have coded these for 32-bit systems, so they didn’t take advantage of the extra hardware a 64-bit phone has to offer. After all, if the developer was aiming for a 32-bitphone, why would they bother trying to use hardware that isn’t there? However, if the operating system or app was coded with 64-bit in mind, there will be notable differences in speed compared to 32-bit variants.

If you want to check if your own device is 32- or 64-bit, you can do so easily with AnTuTu Benchmark. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, press the Info button on the bottom right and check under the CPU category for the Type field. It will tell you what type your phone’s processor is.

phone-processors-antutu

Unlike something like disk space, the topic of 32-bit vs 64-bit for Android phones isn’t really self-explanatory. Hopefully you’ll now know what the specification is, what it means for smartphones, and even if your own phoneis 64-bit or not.

Did you make the jump to 64-bit phones? If so, did you notice a difference in performance, or did it feel the same as before? Let us know in the comments.