FastKake creates a large number of shortcuts that give control over most of Windows functions, including many that you do not normally expect to control using shortcuts such as muting the volume or closing all open windows.

What do you give the geek who has everything? An Iphone? The “Kindle” ebook reader from Amazon? How about something really original such as a bunch of shortcuts that deliver full control of Windows? In which case you’re in luck as FastKake creates 69 shortcuts that perform most Windows functions you could think of.

Many of these are simple shortcuts to programs such as the calculator or character map, while others access interesting Windows functions such as launching the “safely remove hardware” prompt, ejecting the cd drive, or force-shutting down the computer. Here are some notes on this program:

  • Some of my favorite shortcuts: “unplug” (launches the ’safely remove hardware’ prompt), mute, find (launches desktop search), run (launches the run prompt), close all windows, end a process (interesting at the very least), run screensaver, disable/enable screensaver, system restore (for those who can never find it when they need it I presume), sendto (opens the send-to folder), standby, force shutdown, force reboot.
  • How it works: running the Fastkake executable will generate a folder called ’fastkake’ on your desktop that contains the shortcuts segmented into sub folders. Note that once you run it you have to keep your Fastkake executable in place for many shortcuts to work, so place somewhere you would like to keep it. (If you move it, simply re-run the exe to update your shortcuts).
  • Cutomization: you can rename the shortcuts and/or change their icons as you please.
  • Uninstallation: FastKake does not modify your system. Simply delete the Fastkake folder (and shortcuts folder) to remove it.

The verdict: if you like the idea of having simple shortcuts to perform many of Windows’ functions, try this program for sure. The only criticism I have is that many of the shortcuts that are included (such as showing the desktop, running Word, Excel, the calculator, etc.) really shouldn’t be, and many cases less cluttering of shortcuts would have been more. Still it can be really cool to have a collection of your favorite shortcuts handy, especially once you have them renamed and the icons customized.

For another program that does similar things (although not as many shortcuts/functions) check out Tooler. [Thanks go to reader Mortimer019 for informing me about this program].

Version tested: 1.2

Compatibility: WinAll; tested on Windows XP, no info on Vista.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 1.2  of the program here.