There are numerous programs out there that will let you assign hotkeys on your keyboard to execute windows commands that will launch programs, web sites, etc…; BUT, have you ever seen a program that allows you to enter numeric codes on the numeric keypad (on your keyboard) to do the same thing. I never have until I experienced “ControlPad”. If you do not know what the numeric keypad is; it is the seventeen key section of your computer keyboard, usually on the very far right. Most people do not use, or know how to use, the numeric keypad; unless you are an accountant, banker, mathematician, etc…
Using ControlPad gives the numeric keypad a whole different perspective in that it turns your numeric keypad into a windows command execution center with some cool sound effects. This software is an excellent example of using something that is very rarely used, such as the numeric keypad.
You may configure any numeric code to: Execute any program, open any document, open any web address or send any series of keystrokes to the operating system.
Once ControlPad is running, press and hold the * key on the numeric keypad, for about 1 second. At this point, a small window will pop up, allowing you to enter any keyword or numeric code.
Pressing the code followed by Enter will execute the associated command.
Commands are easily configured through the same interface – activate the input dialog (press and hold *), enter the desired code and press the numpad Divide button to associate a new command.
For example, I added the command of “123” to go directly to my blog. I hit the asterisk (*) key on the keypad, type 123, hit “Enter” and I’m in… It may sound like alot, but it is very efficient.
A really cool feature about this program is that it can be used as a portable app so that it can be carried with you on your flash drive.
It does not register anything in the Windows registry, with the exception of what Windows requires in order to recognize it in the Add/Remove Software dialog and Start menu.
There is also a “Zip” version available that will allow you to use ControlPad as a portable app.
Control Pad is highly customizable:
Configure the location of your commands file – for easy backup.
Change almost every aspect of the user interface (colors, transparency, size, font).
Change sounds / add your own sound sets.
You can also input codes that are regular words in the regular keyboard
It is also laptop compatible – F12 is the launch key, F11 the close key (like numpad -) and F10 is the Add key (like numpad /)
If you are like me and like software that is different, then this little app is for you, as well. I am already thinking of ways to use this. I have been in contact with the author of ControlPad and he is open to suggestions. This is another great example of someone thinking outside the norm. You can get ControlPad [ HERE ] .
Update (7/31/2009) – NEW FEATURES added:
0.50 – added another button in the Add Command dialog to let you insert special commands, like mute volume, launch mail etc.
0.51 – added beeper (try ++0.5 to beep in half a minute)