Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
It's as much a hovercraft as a pancake is a waffle.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Multiple Active Windows

  [vote for,

Wouldn't it be nice if you could have two or more windows active at the same time?
Now obviously this would cause problems regarding input, however if each individual window was associated with different parts of the keyboard, then roberts yer dads brother...
Practical applications...
Just having the pageup, pagedown keys associated with an internet browser window whilst the rest of the keyboard controls a work application.
The number keys associated with an excel document, and the keyboard associated with a word document for input to multiple sources.
Most of the keyboard associated to a game, with a few specific keys associated to an mp3 player (winamp etc.)
Many more...
MikeOliver, Apr 02 2004

Amiga networking and emulation software. http://www.amigaforever.com/
Alive and well and living in obscurity. Enjoy the thrill of proper, real multi-tasking. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Please log in.
If you're not logged in, you can see what this page looks like, but you will not be able to add anything.


       It would be confusing at first, but only at first. Great for those people who like to do about a dozen things at once.
Detly, Apr 02 2004

       I would love this untill trying to annotate on the .5bakery whilst having Excel, and Outlook open, where would my annotation end up?
engineer1, Apr 02 2004

       Baked. Amiga.
DrBob, Apr 02 2004

       I'm sure there's an exclusion clause for "baked" regarding Amiga.
Detly, Apr 02 2004

       [e1] - probably renaming an icon on your Desktop.
PeterSilly, Apr 02 2004

       In what way is it baked on the amiga?
Looking at that link, I am seeing alot of emulation software, but no description of multiple active windows.
Please elaborate, i.e are they customisable, how do they work, how many windows etc?
Engineer1, you would get to choose when you set it up... Detly, was windows not confusing at first... was walking not complicated at first...
MikeOliver, Apr 02 2004

       Did you read past the first six words of my comment?
Detly, Apr 02 2004

       Yeah, i did, but practically all new things have some degree of complication at first, and as such hardly seems worth pointing out...
It wasn't a criticism of your anno though, just an observation...
Perhaps aspiriring to do a dozen things at once would prove a little complicated, but two or three should be just fine.
MikeOliver, Apr 02 2004

       //In what way is it baked on the amiga?//

In every way Mike. As many active, customisable windows as your processor could handle and a mouse click or keyboard shortcut to control which window you were inputting to (so you could, for example, work on your spreadsheet whilst simultaneously compiling a program whilst playing a game whilst browsing the internet). The Amiga itself is no longer manufactured except in emulator form, hence the link.
DrBob, Apr 02 2004

       If you need to click a mouse or hit a key to direct input to a particular window, surely that window is not 'active'.
angel, Apr 02 2004

       Assuming that you're not going to have a seperate little mini-keyboard for each window (which would, in itself, limit the number of windows that you could have), then yes it is. It is just the equivalent of using the shift key to switch from upper to lower case. What is going on in one window doesn't cease just because you've started inputting to another one. That's my understanding of what Mike means by 'active' anyway.
DrBob, Apr 02 2004

       Then one of us is misunderstanding, and I'm quite willing to accept that it's me. Having no experience of the Amiga (other than the fact that my band's album was recorded using one) or the Mac, I rely on Windows terminology, in which the active window is the one which receives current input. Using the mouse or keyboard to switch from one window to another in order to direct the input there is no different from using [alt][tab] or clicking a taskbar icon to make a different window active.
But we'll not fall out over it.
angel, Apr 02 2004

       Cool. I take your point. I think that we've strayed into semantics rather than practical capabilities. Unless the user has got more than one pair of hands it's a moot point anyway.
DrBob, Apr 02 2004

       I would have phrased this as being able to have focus on more than one window at a time.
bristolz, Apr 02 2004

       Assuming you have (say) a Word document and an Excel workbook open at the same time, there may be some benefit in having the numeric keys directed to Excel and the alpha keys to Word, but not, I think, a lot.
angel, Apr 02 2004

       The best example i could think of was the one that would benefit me at work.
I use a program to dial telephone numbers, and while the number is dialling, i have to click on the browser window to scroll down and read the website i have open, and then when someone answers (quite rare), i have to click back on to my work application, or when they don't answer, to hangup and redial.
My idea was to have the pageup/pagedown keys "attached" to the browser, with the rest of the keys "attached" to the work program.
This way, i could browse away, and also dial/hangup when required
Not a great explaination, but the customisable element of it would allow you to set it up as you like.
The point being not having to click/alt tab between windows.
Angel seems to have the right idea
MikeOliver, Apr 07 2004

       mia, i had one such keyboard, and the media controlls did as you said, but the scroll wheel would be assigned to the active window.
Also with regard to switching between windows, that would depend on the size of your monitor and how big you like your windows.
I find i can quite happily fit 2 work applications, a browser window and outlook on my desktop on a 19inch, so i am sure you could fit at least 2 windows, even on a 15inch quite comfortably.
MikeOliver, Apr 07 2004

       [MikeOliver] - // and then when someone answers (quite rare), i have to click back on to my work application, or when they don't answer, to hangup and redial. //   

       Sounds like a typical hotkey/macro utility would solve this better than introducing multiple focused windows.
benjamin, Apr 07 2004

       benjamin, as a regular pc user, i have no idea what " Sounds like a typical hotkey/macro utility would solve this better than introducing multiple focused windows." means.
Is there one available to do this? and if so, where. It isn't much help if it requires hacking into windows, as my work wouldn't be best pleased.
As far as i can see, using pageup/pagedown to scroll my browser window is as easy as it is gonna get, that is unless a "typical hotkey/macro utility" can do it by mind control.
I would imagine the easiest way to implement this would be to have it integrated into the os, rather than a separate program.
MikeOliver, Apr 08 2004

       There are a number of small software application tools (or "utilities") that offer the ability to create lists of one or more actions to perform in order (or "macros") that can be triggered with a combination of one or more keys (aka "hot keys"). Typically, you create a macro by telling the utility to record your keyboard/mouse actions, then doing the appropriate action(s) to achieve the task, which will be replayed when triggered by the hotkey for that macro.   

       If I remember correctly, Tucows (a web site that lists a large collection of shareware software) has a section devoted to macro utilities for Windows.   

       The only one I've used is called "ez macros" which did what I wanted to do. It will, for example, activate a window with a specified title, then send it keystrokes (pageup etc).
benjamin, Apr 10 2004

       [MO], it sounds like you're problem is that you have to use both the mouse and keyboard, which is mildly annoying. Might I suggest your page up and down buttons along with Alt-Tab?
Worldgineer, Apr 10 2004

       I am aware there are ways around the problem, but MAW (cool huh.) is the easiest way to do it.
Regarding macros, i regard myself to be reletively computer literate, and i've have a hard time doing this, so for very inexperienced users (eg my dad), this wouldn't be an option.
Alt-tab is a pain when you have alot of active windows. Perhaps numbered windows, and alt-1, alt-2 etc would be easier.
MikeOliver, Apr 13 2004

       I appreciate your problem, but perhaps am misunderstanding the solution. It seems like it would be quite difficult to set up this system. If I'm typing numbers into Excel using the number pad, then I want to switch to my phone dialer I don't see a way of doing so easily (at least not as easily as alt-tab or clicking on the window).   

       I know you don't want alternative solutions, but if you build all of your needed components into one piece of software you can have all of the functionality you want, as well as the ability of the pieces to work together.
Worldgineer, Apr 13 2004


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle