A boss key application's purpose is to provide the user with a button or hotkey to instantly hide some or all of the open windows and programs on execution. Primarily designed for work environments, and non-work related tasks, boss keys can also prove to be useful in other multi-user environments.
Dad's Around is a portable boss key solution for the Windows operating system. It has been created as part of Donation Coder's NANY 2009 challenge, a year end's coding challenge.
The name implies that it has been designed for children or young adults who do not want their parents to see what they are doing on the computer. The application however can also be used by parents, or in work related environments to quickly hide programs and windows.
Dad's Around offers four main features that can be enabled or disabled individually in the program's options.
The application can minimize all windows, kill the foreground process, show a black screen, and silence wave audio. All of these features can be toggled individually so that you can customize the program to your liking.
A right-click on the program icon in the Windows system tray and the selection of Options reveals those preferences.
All features that are enabled can be triggered by pressing the hotkey. The standard hotkey is set to Windows-z, the options contain a preference to change the hotkey to another key combination.
The advantage of Windows-Z is that you can press it with one hand as the keys are close to each other if you use a standard qwerty keyboard. Users who work with a different key layout can change the key easily so that they can activate the hotkey easily as well.
If the black screen is selected, pressing the boss key will blacken the screen. The ESC key will return to the normal system state that displays all open windows, programs, icons and background image.
The program is very responsive when it comes to the execution of the selected options. Note that killing the foreground process may result in a loss of work if it has not been saved before.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.