Enter Launchy. If you haven't heard of it before, I suggest you check out their website and their fairly good forums on SourceForge. Basically, Launchy is a minimalistic, "search as you type" program launcher. Hitting Alt+Space brings up a little bar that accepts numerous commands and item names. If you want to open firefox or some similar program, simply type its name and hit enter once it guesses your query. As you uses certain programs more and more frequently it will take less strokes each time to arrive at what you want. "f" is all I need to bring up Flock and "i" is all I need to get iTunes running.
When I first used Launchy a while ago, this intuitive feature was pretty much the only feature. Now with v2.0, many more features have been added, some of which are so intuitive you might just stumble upon them. The one I actually use the most is the calculator function. Just enter in any standard calculation one might enter into the one Windows provides and Launchy will figure out what you are doing and provide the answer.
A number of keywords have also been added for Google, Weather, Wikipedia, and IMDB (just to name a few). Simply type one of these keywords and hit tab to allow for direct search of those sites (opens a browser window). Similarly, command line can be entered this way. These added features are the result of the plug-ins Webby and Runny. There are many other plug-ins on the forums, along with directions for installation. My personal favorite (if you didn't guess) is Yubby, a YubNub plug-in that allows you to hit "Space" and then enter any standard YubNub command to bring up a browser window with that search.
I hope you'll find Launchy as useful as I have. Good luck!
Blogged with the Flock Browser