Currently annoyed that every keyboard I am using has the Insert key in a different place. See, as a shell jockey, my work mostly consists of connecting to a server via command line and inputting commands. Shift+Insert is the paste command within these shells.
I am very much used to the standard keyboard layout where there is the upside down T with the arrow keys. Above them are two rows of three keys with Insert/Home/Page Up and Delete/End/Page Down. My hands know where to find them which allows me to work fairly quickly inside the shell. The past several work computer refreshes were fine because the replacement keyboards still used the standard layout.
Now we have a Logitech Wave keyboard. It rotates that row into a column with delete as a giant key and moves Insert way up to the top row. Basically, the orientation ensures that I hit Shift+Insert All. The. TIME. At this point, I am amazed when I get it correct after a few minutes of slamming very hard typing as I get more and more frustrated.
Another part of the issue is I use the Insert key 100+ times a day and the key is way far out of the way when I am used to it being conveniently located.
I guess I could re-map the Home and Insert keys, but I use Home quite a bit too. I use End, Page Up, and Page Down too so I am hesitant to move those out the way. And to physical profile of Insert would be out of place anywhere else.
I guess I could get a different keyboard.
But I have a similar problem with my various laptops. The Insert is located in a different place on each one. Or in a Chromebook’s case entirely absent.
Work gave me a new computer. An internal group does the initial setup and hand it off to me to do the rest. This has been the easiest setup I have had ever. (It would be easier on a Mac.)
At my previous job, I would get CDs with the operating system and other software and install it myself. Letting someone else install this for me was a test in professionalism for me. With my third machine, I no longer care that I am not in control and even rationalize it as more efficient.
After work and dinner I started installing some of the software I like to use. Chrome, Tweetdeck, and instant messengers automatically synchronized by pulling my data from my account. Lastpass, Dropbox, and Keepass gave me easy access to setup accounts. I dreaded having to find my various configurations, credentials, and data files to get everything working.
Still, I put away the new toy after lunch because email mysteriously stopped downloading. A window asking for my password (the one workstations said I would not need to enter at work) was hidden going through the Alt+Tab list. Windows 7 is waaaay different from WinXP. Of course, I had been using WinXP for 9 years. Change is hard. Change is good. (Maybe.)
In areas like North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia’s advanced countries, computer cost is no longer an issue. Dell’s cheapest computer costs $379 (with a monitor) and is about 500 times as powerful as the Macintosh Plus I used to write my Ph.D. thesis. While it’s true that a few people can’t even afford $379, in another five years, computers will be one-fourth their current price. Would that all social problems would go away if we simply waited five years.
So $379 / 4 = approximately $95.
Dell, the company Nielsen picked on, the cheapest I found was in Dell Outlet a Latitude laptop for $239.
Walmart’s cheapest non-refurbished I found was $212 laptop. (There was a Pentium 4 refurbished desktop for $115 which is old even for 2006 but adding the cheapest $89 monitor is still $109 too expensive. You would be better off going to a garage sale and picking up the same computer for $25 and getting a kid in the neighborhood to refurbish it.)
Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on “external brains” (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.
Came into work early. I was paged just as I was waking up, so I thought it would be easier to deal with the issue first thing from my desk as to deal with it then restart getting ready for going into the office.
I didn’t plan on getting greeted with a message I’ve never seen before:
Your system is docked, but the AC adapter type cannot be determined. either undock or insert an appropriate adapter. strike the F1 key to shutdown. —
The AC adapter may be installed incorrectly, or the AC adapter or docking station may be defective.
Naturally the power cord was partially plugged into the dock. I guess it was enough turn it on but not enough to completely work. Easy fix to just make sure the power cord is plugged in securely.
There are 10 types of people. Those that understand binary and those that do not.
— Ray Roton
Old programmers never die… They just decompile.
— Peter Dick
I haven’t lost my mind, I have it backed up on tape somewhere.
Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
— Donald Knuth
Beware of programmers who carry screw drivers.
— Leonard Brandwein
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
— Rich Cook
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
— Pablo Picasso
If it’s there and you can see it – it’s real.
If it’s not there and you can see it – it’s virtual.
If it’s there and you can’t see it – it’s transparent.
If it’s not there and you can’t see it – you erased it!
— Scott Hammer
I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC;
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I cannot sea.
I’ve run this poem threw it,
I’m sure your pleased too no,
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh,
My checker tolled me sew.
— Janet Minor
Programming is like sex, one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life.
— Michael Sinz
Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.
I’d love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code!
If a train station is where a train stops, what’s a workstation?
As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn’t as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs.
— Maurice Wilkes
They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction.
— Janet Reno
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
— Joseph Campbell
The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That’s where we come in; we’re computer professionals. We cause accidents.
— Nathanie Borenstein
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
— Sidney J. Harris
Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft … and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor.
— Wernher von Braun
Man is a slow, sloppy and brilliant thinker; the machine is fast, accurate and stupid.
Ada [Lovelace[ called herself “an Analyst (& Metaphysician),” and the combination was put to use in the Notes. She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise. She rightly saw it as what we would call a general-purpose computer. It was suited for “developping [sic] and tabulating any function whatever. . . the engine [is] the material expression of any indefinite function of any degree of generality and complexity.” Her Notes anticipate future developments, including computer-generated music. Women in Science
If you recognize someone who ought to be recognized, then blog about her and note the post at findingada.com. I’m stoked Valdosta State University recognized Lisa Baldwin. I’m also stoked VSU noted the other IT staff, especially Amelia Reams who I supervised some of her tenure as a student assistant working in IT at VSU.
Too bad there’s not a similar sort of thing from the University System of Georgia?
This is actually kind of amusing. Dark skinned Desi and light skinned Wanda demonstrate the HP’s MediaSmart webcam tracking software can track her but not him.
We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty “seeing” contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting. Voodoo Blog
It has been reported that lighting conditions can affect the performance of the face tracking feature. To improve performance of the face tracking feature try to increase the light to the face while decreasing the amount of light in the background. HP Support
When skin is dark, there isn’t much of a contrast between the eyes and upper cheek in anything other than studio lighting. Sounds like HP’s partners didn’t do much testing for real world conditions. Even my Canon SD800IS camera has a face auto detection feature which seems to have a hard time when dark skinned faces are in shadow. Here is where it is good not to be black enough. 🙂
P.S. Did you notice how he almost called Wanda his wife. Freudian miscegenation?