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Comment: Re:CST trackballs (Score 1) 428

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48900375) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

The only benefits CST trackballs have is that they are reasonably rugged, and that it is impossible to remove the ball itself without disassembling the casing. Both are obvious benefits when it comes to users with limited motor skills.

In every other case, they're completely inferior in ergonomics. Because of the bearings, they are very much biased towards X and Y movements, diagonal movements tend to wander and feel stiffer than straight up/down or left/right. Completely inferior to a trackball with "floating" ruby bearing, like what Logitech and Kensington use.

Comment: Re:Where can I buy a good trackball? (Score 1) 428

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48900349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

I've been using a Kensington Slimblade trackball for a while, and I honestly consider it one of the best pointing devices ever made. The scroll function takes a little while to get used to, but it's probably the best implementation of a scroll "wheel" on any trackball.

Out of the box on Linux, the top left button is middle click and the top right is "back". I switch these and add a nice acceleration curve with a custom XInput config. It allows minute movements while retaining the ability to flick right across my 2560x1440 monitor in one finger movement.

The config is as follows:
/usr/bin/xinput set-ptr-feedback "Kensington Kensington Slimblade Trackball" 0 18 10 &
/usr/bin/xinput --set-prop "Kensington Kensington Slimblade Trackball" "Device Accel Profile" 2 &
/usr/bin/xinput --set-prop "Kensington Kensington Slimblade Trackball" "Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration" 3 &
/usr/bin/xinput set-button-map "Kensington Kensington Slimblade Trackball" 1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 9 10 11 12

The first line sets the acceleration curve, the second sets polynomial acceleration, the third adds deceleration at low speeds and the fourth remaps the buttons. All of the possible tweaks are detailed here: http://www.x.org/wiki/Developm...

I am continually annoyed that Windows does not let me set per-device acceleration settings, when it is relatively easy on *nix systems with a bit of tweaking.

Comment: Re:Apple's comeback was obvious (Score 1) 332

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48774363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

It took a hell of a long time for USB keyboards to be actually usable on x86 PCs. For the longest time, BIOS configuration and boot loader interaction was impossible, since the keyboard wouldn't be initialized until you hit the actual OS. Keyboards with built-in USB hubs were the worst.

Comment: Re: just do strength training (Score 1) 115

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48744551) Attached to: Scientists Say the Future Looks Bleak For Our Bones

I'm mostly into kettlebells and olympic lifting myself, but I'll definitely second the statement that the first couple of months are absolutely amazing. Your endorphin levels will be through the roof, it feels so good.

I've been branching out into trying some yoga/mobility classes as well. That shit is tough.

Comment: Re:just do strength training (Score 1) 115

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48744531) Attached to: Scientists Say the Future Looks Bleak For Our Bones

The surfing, jiu-jitsu fighting, globetrotting etc. founder of my martial arts/crossfit club is a geek. The scoring system we use for competitions is something he cooked up in an afternoon. We also have an MMA fighter who's a banker and a surprisingly large amount of our members are university students. Psychology, medicine, and a couple of law students too.

Comment: Re: Innaccurate (Score 1) 310

People get bent totally out of line about the alleged violence against women, which literally only exists in the game because you can be violent against anyone, the game itself doesn't discriminate at all. At one point you can save a woman from baby boomer cultist cannibals as one character, while as another character you can kidnap people and deliver them to said cannibals. But never any single women, it's always either a couple or a man. Rockstar knew what lines couldn't be crossed, and they stayed within them.

On the other hand, there is a horribly graphic torture scene including teeth-pulling, electric shock and threats of being burned alive. But apparently that wasn't enough to get the game banned, completely untrue allegations had to be made up instead.

Comment: Re:triggering below percentage is dumb (Score 1) 96

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48547655) Attached to: Windows 10 Adds Battery Saver Feature

It would have to be severely nasty inside said gas tank for that to even happen. Most gas tanks are absolutely spotless inside, even when pulled from 30-40 year old cars killed by rust. They only start to rust inside if you let them sit for a long time, and on modern cars that's not a problem either, since all gas tanks are either plastic-lined, painted inside or all plastic.

Unless you have a bad habit of always filling up in the middle of sandstorms, you'll never had a problem with crud in the tank of a modern car, unless it was deliberately put there.

Comment: Re:triggering below percentage is dumb (Score 1) 96

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48546601) Attached to: Windows 10 Adds Battery Saver Feature

AFAIK, most cars have a reserve quantity that goes below the gauge's calibrated "empty" level. I'd suppose it's to allow for a few extra miles once you hit E but may just be to motivate you to fill up again before you put all the crud/water/etc that is at the bottom of the tank once you get near empty.

How do you think fuel is drained from a tank? By a floating pump that sips from the top or something? Do you imagine it works like when you're gulping down a mug of beer, that the fuel is tipped off from the top?

All fuel tanks are drained from the bottom all the time, otherwise any capacity below the level of the fuel pump's intake would be completely wasted. Any crud on the bottom of the tank will be caught by the fuel filter. Absorbed water isn't a huge problem unless it exceeds a certain level. I know diesel cars have water separators on the fuel feed lines, I assume newer gasoline cars work the same way (since modern gasoline contains ethanol, which tends to absorb moisture.)

It's exactly the same reason why it's bullshit advising people to never fill at a gas station that's currently having its tanks filled. Firstly, the pump pickups are obviously at the bottom to access the full capacity of the tanks. Secondly, modern subterranean tanks have internal bladders, so there's no rust of rust or crud.

Comment: Re:simple (Score 1) 193

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48520619) Attached to: Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

The Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook and the Dell Chromebook 11 are semi-rugged designs for educational use, with rubberized corners, spillproof keyboards and that sort of thing. The Lenovo even comes with a decent IPS display in the touchscreen-equipped version. They're slightly more expensive than "normal" Chromebooks, but not hugely so.

Comment: Re:Uh yeah? (Score 1) 193

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48514153) Attached to: Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

The touchpad on my Acer Chromebook 13 is actually surprisingly nice to use. It's very responsive, and it recognizes two-finger/three-finger taps (for right click and middle click, respectively) extremely well. It has much better recognition of two-finger drag to scroll, much better than any Windows laptop I've used.

The only slight niggle I have is that the acceleration curve is slightly 'off' from what I'm used to, but that's just a matter of muscle memory.

While I still think the Kensington Slimblade trackball is the greatest pointing device ever made (so good, I bought 3!), fitting a pool ball-sized trackball into a laptop will never happen, and a good touchpad is the best alternative.

Comment: Re:I'd be happy if 4:3 came back! (Score 1) 330

by KozmoStevnNaut (#48466555) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

No, if a 16:9 monitor is 1600x900, a 4:3 monitor with equivalent vertical resolution would be 1200x900.

I completely agree that 16:9 monitors with too low resolution are annoying. 1920x1080 really is the minimum for single screen setups and 2560x1440 is so much nicer. 3840x2160 is obviously even better. Once you get decent vertical resolution, the widescreen format makes sense.

And personally, I work with both. At home I have a single 27" 2560x1440 monitor, which is great for what I do at home, ie. web surfing, watching movies and playing games. At work I have a 20" 1600x1200 and a 22" 1680x1050, which works really well for monitoring, email/calendaring.

I could easily do all of my work tasks on a single 27" widescreen instead, but my dual monitor setup would be less than ideal for my home use.

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