I recently came across two very nifty pieces of free software. The first is Launchy. Launchy tries to do (a fraction) of what (Mac) programs like Quicksilver do (link here, in case you have a Mac) which is to make launching programs faster – at any time press Alt-Space then start typing what you want to launch. So, if you want Firefox, press Alt-Space then start typing “f..i..r…e….” until it matches Firefox. It has some level of learning so even if you had to type “fire” the first time, next time you probably just have to type “fi” or even just “f”. Note: you don’t see the program you want just wait a second and see if it offers the desired program in a drop-down list, then select it from the list. This will work for programs on your Start menu, common web site, etc. It also supports plug-ins so it can be a calculator or many more things. Neat stuff.
The second is PicLens which is a Firefox plug-in that helps with viewing images in full screen. It works with “Media RSS” that a page can link to. Once you have the plug-in installed image thumbnails (on many sites) will have a little “play button” (>) on them. Click the “play button” and you will be switched to a full-screen mode to view the full size images in a slideshow. After you are done looking at the images just press Esc and you will be back to the previous page. This works with Flickr, Google Images, Yahoo Images, Picasa Web Albums, and others.