“Bins” for Windows 7 is *Bleeping* Awesome

I have a problem. I can’t fit all the icons I would like on my taskbar because I end up with 2 rows of icons when I’m undocked. There are ugly-workarounds like putting the taskbar into small (read ugly) icon mode or waste space with a double-high taskbar. I have to pick my most favoritest apps to pin on the taskbar and put the rest that I used slightly less frequently into the start menu ghetto. I like that icons don’t jump around on me on the Windows 7 taskbar but I always wished it had some smooth icon scaling like in OS X.

I just found something better, though. It’s called “Bins” and it allows you to group icons on the taskbar together just like folders in iOS or Lion’s “Launch Pad”.

taskbar-bins

It works exactly like you would want. You can choose one of the apps in a bin as the default icon. The default app is the one that gets launched if you just click the "bin" or middle-click the bin to launch a new instance. To launch any other app in the bin you roll over and click it. The rollover is super-fast and smooth. Aero peek still works. Jump-list gestures are gone but they do work by right-clicking on an icon in a bin.

bins-peek

As a bonus, Bins also lets me pin the recycle bin to the task bar just like in OS X, although I pinned it to the leftmost position. I can just drag stuff onto that taskbar icon to trash them and it never gets covered up. You can also pin Explorer shortcuts to the Explorer bin to get one-click access to your favorite folders.

taskbar-recycle-bin

I was easily able to fit everything on my taskbar that was previously exiled to the Start Menu ghetto.

This little app is awesome. It’s well worth the $5 asking price and, by the way, Microsoft should just acquire this company and incorporate the concept into Windows 8. Get it at oneupindustries.com.

via lifehacker

Update

After about 2 weeks with Bins, I uninstalled the product. While it does make the taskbar much more compact and is great for launching apps, it is not as good for task switching. What I found is that it requires quite a bit more manual dexterity to switch windows. I tend to have a lot of apps open simultaneously, so the task switching turned out to be a deal killer for me. Scott Hanselman has named Bins one of his 5 absolutely essential utilities, though.

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Zenburn Theme for EmEditor

I have used EmEditor as my text editor on Windows for several years. It is extremely fast and has some nice features like spell check, column select, a data-separated values columnar mode. It handles every text format imaginable. There are grammar files for syntax highlighting available for a huge number of languages.

It doesn’t come out-of-the-box with a dark color scheme that I really enjoy, so I have put together my favorite Zenburn color scheme.

emeditor

Zenburn.eetheme

[Zenburn]
MaxFind=3
Normal=#fcffe0,#3e3e3e,normal
Sel=#cddc8f,#2e4340,normal
CurrentLine=transparent,transparent,normal
Quoted=#008080,transparent,normal
Find=#f8f8f8,#228000,normal
URL=#7efcff,transparent,underline
Mail=#60db5d,transparent,underline
Tag=#808000,transparent,underline
SingleQuotes=#eb939a,transparent,normal
DoubleQuotes=#eb939a,transparent,normal
Comment=#7f9f7f,transparent,italic
Script=#a89100,transparent,normal
Braces=#ffb010,transparent,bold
InTag=#f0dfaf,transparent,normal
Highlight1=#ff80e1,transparent,bold
Highlight2=#c27e66,transparent,bold
Highlight3=#ffd7a7,transparent,bold
Highlight4=#9fc28a,transparent,bold
Highlight5=#afc4db,transparent,normal
Highlight6=#c6c4e6,transparent,normal
Highlight7=#f2dfa4,transparent,normal
Highlight8=#333333,#f18c96,normal
Highlight9=#242424,#d0d0a0,normal
Highlight10=#233323,#71d3b4,normal
Return=#0080ff,transparent,normal
Line=#c0c0c0,transparent,normal
PageBreak=#fcffe0,transparent,normal
LineNumber=#83a98a,#3e3e3e,normal
Ruler=#9fafaf,#3e3e3e,normal
Outside=#fcffe0,#3e3e3e,normal
CompareChange=#f8f8f8,#005baa,normal
CompareChar=#fcffe0,#800f00,normal
CompareAdded=#000000,#ffe0e0,normal
CompareDeleted=#000000,#e0f0ff,normal
CompareBlank=#000000,#e4e4e4,normal
Spell=transparent,transparent,wiggly
Unicode=transparent,#ff0000,normal
VerticalSel=#c0c0c0,transparent,normal
HexSel=#c0c0c0,transparent,normal
IndentGuides=#ff8040,transparent,dotted
HorzGrid=#0080ff,transparent,dotted
Outline=#8000ff,transparent,dotted
LineNumberLines=#000000,transparent,normal
RulerLines=#000000,transparent,normal
Find-2=transparent,#40ff40,normal
Find-3=transparent,#40ff40,normal

Install Zenburn theme in EmEditor:

  • Save the above as a text file called zenburn.eetheme
  • Tools | Properties for All Configurations
  • select the “Display” tab
  • Push the “>” button to the right of the Theme select box
  • Choose Import…
  • Pick the zenburn.eetheme file
  • Enjoy.

Updated 01/13/2011 to fix find coloration.

Best Visual Studio 2010 Extension Feature

The coolest Visual Studio 2010 extension feature that I have seen is the Solution Navigator which is a component of the Productivity Power Tools extension.

Solution Navigator combines the Solution Explorer and Class Explorer with search and some useful predefined filters: All, Open, Unsaved and Edited. It’s fantastic for navigating large solutions.

Types Shown in Files

class-all

Filter to Open Files

class-open

Search Types

class-search

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