LANGDON X DOT COM
Expand HoeKey
Jun 4th, 2008 10:51 PM, 0 comments
Hang on, it's going to take a minute to get there..

I started my first real job in 1999 at a place called Gyrus Systems. I worked for Gyrus part-time in 1997 and 1998 (2-3 days a week after school and then remotely at college during the second half of 1998), but I was only doing their web stuff then (the Nexus site was actually backed by a pretty hot Perl script).

In 1999 when I was looking for a summer job, I had an interview at Gyrus for a full time "Programmer Analyst" position. The position required knowledge of Visual Basic v5.0, which I had, but what I knew, I learned myself, and experience with SQL, which at the time I don't even think I had heard of (all my stuff was built around writing data to text files or Putting/Getting data in/out of binary files). I rolled up into the interview with a fairly unimpressive resume and a URL to a web site with a bunch of screen shots. In the interview, I had the guy pull up the web site (which was hosted on my home computer at the time, on some desktop web server whose name I don't recall, but it wasn't PWS or IIS). We ran through the screen shots, which were of applications I had developed, and I described each one (why I made it, how I made it, and what it did). Last year I was delighted to find that directory on a backup CD:

http://home.langdonx.com:8000/archives/1999-06-07_vb_scrn_shots/

I ended up getting the job (obviously), which really was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It kick started my career and opened many doors. I only worked there for a total of 9 months, but during those 9 months I learned SQL (using Oracle, MS SQL Server, and Sybase SQL Anywhere), I further strengthened by Visual Basic skills, I learned ASP, I learned how to play Foosball, I obliterated the office at Quake II, and I met some really great people. My boss, who is/was probably the greatest boss I've ever had, not only taught me SQL, but also shared with me an awesome application that I've been using since late June of 1999:
WinKey v2.8.

Well, I was using it up until two days ago -- it doesn't exactly work in Vista x64. It actually doesn't work that well in Vista x86, but I was willing to edit registry entries to manually configure when I originally installed Vista in January. Last night I took some time to search for a replacement. I had searched out replacements for WinKey a few months ago, but couldn't come up with anything. Last night, I made a great discovery:

HoeKey v1.13

HoeKey really blows WinKey out of the water and has accelerated my navigational skills with its advanced offerings over WinKey. The author, bCheck, is a truly amazing for coming up with and developing such software. He has other downloads, though none as great as HoeKey. He writes software like I had mentioned I wished I could write -- low level shit that doesn't have awful dependencies like a 100MB CLR. Keep on, bCheck... keep on.
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