In windows you can press the Win+E to get the Windows Explorer window to open up any time.
Is there an equivalent global hot-key to get the file explorer to show up in Ubuntu Karmic?
Open System / Preferences / Keyboard shortcuts
Scroll down to Desktop/Home folder, click on it, then press Win+E.
Alternatively, if you are using Nautilus as file manager. You can do Alt+F2 and type
Advantages of this approach are: