Tag Archive for 'geek'

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Maybe Colemak is smarter than Dvorak?

Friendly warning – this is about keyboard layouts that differ from the standard “QWERTY” layout. If this confuses you, stop reading now :-)


The Dvorak keyboard layout is not a new thing. It was patented in 1936. When I heard of it some 15 years ago, its biggest obstacle was lack of software support. That has changed now, and I’ve used Dvorak on my smartphone for the past 2 years and I can say with confidence that my thumbs have learned it very well – Dvorak is my fastest and preferred layout on mobile. Continue reading ‘Maybe Colemak is smarter than Dvorak?’

Missed opportunities

My house was built less than two years ago and the satellite view of my home on Google Maps showed this: a lot of grass, but no house. It’s the lot in the middle of this angled view:

sat-old

I know that aerial photos are updated from time to time and I figured that I’d have plenty of time to prepare a little gimmick before the next update.

Continue reading ‘Missed opportunities’

“The felt is worn”

I can’t take credit for the recent story about emails not going more than 500 miles. I want to make up for it by posting this completely true story that I personally experienced.

This story takes place in 1996, way back when mice still had balls. At the time, I was working at Microsoft, fielding calls from Microsoft partners, retailers, and customers. The calls ranged from simple customer questions about where to buy some Microsoft product, to extremely complicated licensing questions from major partners. It was generally interesting and often challenging. And once in a while, a question came along that had me in tears.

Continue reading ‘“The felt is worn”’

“I tried to remember if someone owed me a practical joke.”

“We’re having a problem sending email out of the department.”
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“We can’t send mail more than 500 miles,” the chairman explained.
I choked on my latte. “Come again?”
“We can’t send mail farther than 500 miles from here,” he repeated. “A little bit more, actually. Call it 520 miles. But no farther.”

This is how odd computer problems can be. Read the rest here! Yes it really did happen. Hat tip to Yonathan Zunger for reminding me of this great story. Continue reading ‘“I tried to remember if someone owed me a practical joke.”’

Get more screen space on your Android

app iconSwipe Navigation is a cool Android app that lets you use intuitive gestures instead of the buttons on the black navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. Even better, the app can hide the navigation bar so you win that extra screen space for your apps instead. It’s like getting a bigger screen without it being bigger.

Several basic gestures are available, including the obvious back, home, recent that you’d use the navigation bar for in the first place. You can unlock more gestures (even multi-touch ones) for 90 cents.

I’ve just started using this, and the added screen space is very nice. The app can even tell the difference between a short swipe (nav bar) and a long swipe (whatever app is in the foreground). It does take half a day to get used to but then you probably aren’t going to miss the original navigation bar ever again.