Extreme keyboard geekery

I bought a new keyboard for my work computer. Let me tell you about it. There are a lot of “ergonomic” keyboards out there. They tend to have fancy shapes: However, over the decades I’ve come to the conclusion that the precise shape of the keyboard is relatively unimportant. What’s absolutely critical is the feel of the keys. The “free” keyboard you get with a generic PC these days is usually a full-travel membrane keyboard.

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (2/3)

Part 2: The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts In which I continue to post my thoughts about a documentary everyone else watched six months ago. I thought during this episode that I could see a central point being made in Adam Curtis’s series. He seemed to be attacking the myth that networks are inherently self regulating and stable. I think he’s off-base painting it as a myth promoted by computer scientists or engineers, however.

Man of the times

“And I regret some of the recent behavior Russia that has exhibited, and I’ll be glad to talk about that later on including reduction in oil supplies to Czechoslovakia after they agreed with us on a missile defense system, etcetera.” — John McCain, 2008-07-15. Still, he’s learning to use The Interwebs. Right now if he needs to see a web site or e-mail he has his staff show it to him, because he can’t operate a web browser.

Interesting dead end in computer evolution

Someone noticed that google.jp had a picture of some kind of computer. Turns out it’s the Parametron. Not a Futurama character, but instead an early (1950s) computer from Japan that I’d never heard of. There doesn’t seem to be much on the web about it, but from what I gather, it used a really freaky design with no valves or transistors. Instead, the fundamental unit involved two magnetic coils and a capacitor, with the binary 0 and 1 values being represented by the phase of the AC current.

Spots before the eyes

I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the Leopard previews earlier in the year, because OS X just blew my mind. I was editing an e-mail message, and decided to idly click on Time Machine to see what it was doing. Instead of the Finder going into Time Machine mode, my e-mail went into time machine mode. I clicked the back arrow a couple of times, and there was what my e-mail inbox looked like 2 days ago, complete with since deleted messages.