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[personal profile] chipotle

Yes, I’m still here!

Work is going reasonably well; not much to write about it. Things are likely to get busier as the project I’ve been working on starts getting actively beat on by other people. I’ve decided that the web framework I’m using really isn’t particularly testable in its stable version, and when I try to transfer it to its beta version, it segfaults Apache. Yes. But only when—wait for it—the debug mode is turned on. While I presume this is something peculiar about my code, I can’t imagine just what it is in my code that does this, and it happens on two different installations. Part of me wants to lock myself in a closet for a week, with nothing but the computer and an unlimited supply of nachos and margaritas, and rewrite the entire thing in Django or Rails. But I shall not.

Writing is also going reasonably well; I have about 9700 words written on the new “Gift of Fire.” This is remarkable, given that the old one was about 24,000 words, and I am not 40% through it, but more like 30%. (I think.) I’m writing in fits and starts rather than consistently; I tell myself I should write in the mornings, but my oft-griped-about problem with getting up early has been particularly bad the last month and the time change surely isn’t going to help. I should note that I usually wake up of my own volition by 9 a.m. so we’re not actually talking late, but since I should be leaving for work around 8:30 a.m. or so, to actually get a reasonable amount of work done I’d need to be sitting at the computer, coffee in hand and brain in gear, by 7 a.m. and this should not be as hard as it keeps being.

I have been feeling a little bit of pain in the wrists occasionally again recently, and so I have looked around for a truly ergonomic keyboard. No, no, not one of those dopey curved things. I mean one of these:

Unicomp SpaceSaver

Yes, that’s the modern descendant of the old “Model M” IBM keyboards, the ones with the buckling spring switches and are really remarkably loud. This one is made by Unicomp, and it looks, well, pretty much like it always did—except that now it has the Windows keys and is USB. I also discovered, as a minor but pleasant surprise, that OS X Leopard has improved slightly on the modifier key remapping introduced in the previous version: now not only can I flip the Windows and Alt key mapping (Alt sends the keycode for Option and Windows for Command, but they’re in the reverse positions that they would be on a Mac), but I can do that on a per-device basis, so when I’m using the laptop’s internal keyboard or a Mac external keyboard, the remapping doesn’t happen.

Anyway, at the moment I’m just back from a trip to Forbidden Island and then Buffalo Bill’s Brewpub with [livejournal.com profile] dracosphynx to meet [livejournal.com profile] gatcat and a bunch of other people with him whose names I’ve already mostly forgotten because I suck. While I don’t feel tipsy, I feel tired, so maybe going to bed at a rational early time is in order.

Date: 2008-03-14 12:04 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyperegrine.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] gatcat sounds cool and appropriately coyoteish. :-) And you don't suck.

Date: 2008-03-14 12:27 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polarisslbm.livejournal.com
I have to use some kind of goofy ergomagic keyboard at my job. It took me about three weeks to get used to it and stop hitting all the wrong keys (because they're all funny shaped, and most of the keys aren't square, but tilted towards the center of the keyboard), but then I got used to it and now it's not so bad?

Although I don't do a lot of typing. I use the mouse more often. But I do notice that when I *do* type, it seems faster... but then again, I've been stuck on my laptop for over three months now, and the keyboard on that is (a) cramped, (by) unresponsive (I like my keys springy and noisy), and (c) generally crappy.

Also, my desktop ran out of USB slots. Weren't they trying to replace USB or something?

Date: 2008-03-14 14:57 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chipotle.livejournal.com
I actually did find some of the curved keyboards years ago that I liked, but they do take getting used to.

My laptop's keyboard is actually pretty good for a laptop, and actually the desktop keyboard I've been using up until recently, the "Icekey," is pretty much a laptop keyboard for desktops -- full-sized keys, but low travel scissor switches. I preferred those to the really cheap desktop keyboards, but I was reminded recently that "good for a laptop" is still not close to a truly good keyboard.

Date: 2008-03-14 18:53 (UTC)
ext_15118: Me, on a car, in the middle of nowhere Eastern Colorado (Default)
From: [identity profile] typographer.livejournal.com
I was going to say, as a man who began getting excrutiating pain in my wrists typing on the Model M (admittedly, after more than 20 years of typing a large number of hours out of the day) until I switched to a "dopey curved one"... I can't quite agree with your dopey assessment.

I've never quite understood why people have trouble adjusting to the various odd-shaped keyboard. The weirdest one I tried took about three sentences before I was used to it. It may help that I originally learned on a Smith-Corona portable manual type writer, then spent years moving between various keyboards every day.

I've also found that the much less drastic curve of my Sharp laptop is an adequate amount to avoid the wrist problems...

Date: 2008-03-14 12:42 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] koogrr.livejournal.com
I've got one of those keyboards 'natural touch', by NMB, and it's USB as well, with the window key. Quite good.

It isn't the one I deleted the Delete key from.

Date: 2008-03-14 14:53 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chipotle.livejournal.com
I used to have an NMB Natural Touch, but in the pre-USB days. I'm not sure what happened to it. I remember they were frequently mentioned as comparable to the IBM keyboards -- not the same kind of switch, but very good. Unfortunately, NMB apparently stopped making keyboards years ago. (The only other keyboard companies in that league, Alps and Chicony, both seem to be out of the business, too; I'm pretty sure those two only made OEM keyboards, though.)

Date: 2008-03-14 23:57 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bfdragon.livejournal.com
I found a IBM model M keyboard in a storage shed at a surplus shop for $5. It was even the only black one that was ever made, which I'm always a big fan of. I do like it rather well, but I tend to stick with my cheap keyboard because I'm pretty rough on my keyboards. I do pull it or my second favorite, the old Fujitsu, out now and again when I have a lot of typing to do. It is defiantly an improvement, but also loud enough that I do actually get noise complaints ;)

Date: 2008-03-15 18:01 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tikaani.livejournal.com
The only black Model M made was the trackpoint model. If you have that, you made off like a bandit.

Date: 2008-03-15 22:46 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bfdragon.livejournal.com
Thats the one ;)

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