capsule review

Find and Run Robot (FARR)

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Find and Run Robot (FARR)

Still dreaming of your own personal robot? Technology isn't there yet, but you can have a personal computer robot to save you time and serve your whims. Find and Run Robot--FARR for short--comes with a large stock of simple commands, and you can create your own or plug in add-ons as you go.

Once installed, FARR shows a blue F icon on your image tray. You can access the program from there, but it's easier to use the default (and otherwise not-too-useful) Break key. Start typing the name of the program, folder, or file you want in the text field. FARR works very quickly to pull up the best matches. To open the first entry in the list, just hit return. For another one, scroll down and select. But launching programs and opening files are just the tip of the iceberg.

FARR works with "aliases," short phrases that access other programs and parts of the computer. Want to run a command without opening a prompt? Type "run" and the command name into FARR, and it happens. Looking for the real meaning of the word "mensch"? Type "define mensch," and you get access to fifteen online dictionaries and thesauruses. Wondering what the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is doing these days? Type "imdb buffy," and there you are at an appropriate IMDB page. (These are just examples; interest in bloodsuckers or Yiddish are not required to appreciate this program.) FARR comes with many more aliases, and you can create your own by drag-and-dropping folders in the Options window.

Another benefit of FARR--one that makes it different from SlickRun and other favorites--is that it comes from a developer at donationcoder.com, an active site for software developers. The forums there are lively, but not too busy to keep up with. Browse through the Farr Add-ons forum to unearth old standby plug-ins and discover new ones just as they post. (Hint: Scroll down each page to make sure you're getting the latest version.) Signing up at the site gets you posting privileges, where you can ask questions or make requests for new add-ons.

Note: This program is donationware. It is free to try, but the author accepts and encourages donations towards further development.

--Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Find and Run Robot (FARR)

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