Total System Control
AutoHotkey Shell
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Before I even start describing what I consider to be a very useful piece of software, I need to state up front that I still have not gotten around to making it modifiable through a user interface. However, the language it is written in, Autohotkey, is easy to learn and I definitely recommend it for Windows users.


The idea behind TuSC (Total System Control) is to be able to reach most major functionality on your computer within three keystrokes. I have added enough varied features to it that it is kind of a Swiss Army knife.

The hotkey that activates the menu is Capslock. I chose this key because I heard long ago that when touch-typing, you should not use it, so instead I use it for this.

The main reason I created TuSC in the first place was that I was tired of Alt-Tab. Alt-Tab is fine when you are working with two windows and switching back and forth between them, but when you have eight windows open and you want to get to a specific window quickly, it can be annoying.

So, it works like this: Capslock followed by "F" takes me to Firefox, my browser. Capslock, "v" takes me to "vim", my editor. Capslock, "o" takes me to Outlook, my e-mail client. If I type any one of these key combinations and the target program (Firefox, vim, or Outlook) isn't already running, it will be started.

In this way, no matter what window I am on, I can get to the window I want to get to in just two keys.

I can also reassign keys "on the fly" to match how I am thinking of a window. For example, if I need to use a different editor, I can re-map the "v" key to that window.

Other functionality includes:

  • Alternative mouse control using keystrokes (uses vim keys)
  • Outlook navigation using vim-like keys
  • Computer controls
    • Hibernate
    • Lock
    • Mute / Volume control
  • Clipboard Manager (text-only) with multiple temporary and permanent clipboard slots
  • Eject all drives
  • Quickly edit one of a customized list of frequently-edited files
  • Ability to embed Perl subroutines
  • Multi-engine search (ex: Google, IMDB, Wikipedia) with saved search string
    • google breaking bad
    • imdb breaking bad
    • wikipedia breaking bad