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Give Me Back My Focus!

One of the most annoying things (to me, anyway) is the way that applications think that they are the important application that you must run on your computer. They simmer to a slow boil in the micronic confines of the system’s processor and just when you need it least, they present themselves in their full splash-screen splendor before presenting themselves in a panoply of majesty which commands every last electron of your computer. Whatever you were working on, you can forget it– the newly spawned app has stolen your focus.

I use a SanDisk Cruzer Titanium U3 thumb drive for just about all of my every day computing and surfing wants and needs. It goes everywhere with me and has every application on it that I use on a daily basis. When plugged in, it automatically fires off the on-board anti-virus application which I trust will keep my thumb drive safe from whatever might have infected the host computer. After that is loaded, the following are launched in rapid succession: Thunderbird, Firefox and Opera (yeah, I know what you’re thinking: why two browsers? Hey, I’ve got my reasons!).

Invariably, Opera comes up first. This is because my Firefox has a lot of extensions that need to load. It is an acceptable trade-off; my browsing sessions are as secure as I can get them.

Next, Thunderbird pops up. Now, understand, I have five different email accounts in my installation of the app so loading my email client takes a little time as it solicits each account in turn for new mail. I usually minimize Thunderbird and allow it to do its thing, promising myself to get back to it in a little while.

Instead of waiting for Firefox to announce its presence, I start working with my Opera session. Somewhere in my browsing, a small pop-up materializes next to my system tray to let me know what, if any, new mail has finally arrived in Thunderbird. Bringing my mail app to the fore, I check the messages and start replying to those that require action:

Dear Sir,

I am more than happy to recieve your funds in the amount of USD$1.5M as your overseas partner to hold the sum in trust for a modest percentage…*

BAM!…Firefox loads and steals my focus!

*This is actually something that I don’t do– I never reply to any of the 419 or Nigerian Email Scams. You shouldn’t either.

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