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Comment: Rant mode (Score 1) 420

by TeknoHog (#48895641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?
I don't have an answer, but I'm reading this with keen interest as I feel similarly about input devices. I recently wrote up some of my ongoing keyboard rants where scrollwheels are also discussed. One general issue seems to be that those who don't learn to use keyboards properly, will reinvent similar functionality in mice (arrow keys and pgup/pgdn -> scrollwheels).

Comment: Re:My take is different (Score 1) 39

by TeknoHog (#48873793) Attached to: Jim Blasko Explains 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 2 of 2)

and they charge their customers a small transaction fee in the form of an exchange rate difference.

So you lose money each time you use it? That sucks.

Not quite. It also costs money to process transactions with credit cards etc., and even cash when you account for all the handling work. These costs are absorbed into the price, so actually you lose money no matter what the payment method. Solutions like Bitpay are actually a little cheaper than CC processing.

Comment: Re:Time for a UNION! (Score 1) 263

by TeknoHog (#48870559) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees
'If HR did chemistry hiring like HR does IT hiring we'd hear stories about people being underqualified because they used 50 ml beakers at school instead of 75 ml beakers at $job. Or "You used 2-propanol? Sorry we only hire people who use isopropyl in that synthesis."' -- vlm (69642)

Comment: Re:Wirthian syntax ... (Score 1) 643

by TeknoHog (#48860465) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

I agree, it's not really an issue, at least for me. But it seems people sometimes get into trouble with it as they edit other people's Python in some random editors. For example, it's nice that people are using my code even on Windows, but apparently some portability issues remain :-j

Comment: Re:Wirthian syntax ... (Score 1) 643

by TeknoHog (#48856665) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming
While Python is my favourite language overall, I think the Fortran/Julia style strikes the best balance in readability. Blocks have clear start and end, but there is no messy punctuation. For example, line breaks are meaningful, so there is no need to have something like a semicolon after every statement. That's as far as the whitespace thing goes, so there are none of the indentation issues of Python.

Comment: Re:Standing desks (Score 2) 348

by TeknoHog (#48856035) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

How is that adjustable? Do you always have to work standing up?

It's not adjustable. A good question, though. My standing desk is for the computer only, and I have another, regular desk for paperwork. I find this a good, balanced setup, as I have quite a bit of paperwork due to studying math. I've also had full coding/writing days on the standing computer with no problems -- I do take breaks, after all.

Comment: Re:Standing desks (Score 2) 348

by TeknoHog (#48855717) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

I can personally tell that working at a standing desk involves quite a lot of movement. It's not like you have to stand in attention -- you can keep changing your posture, move your feet around, etc. while actually working/typing. I also feel like it solves ADD-type issues to a great extent, as you don't have to fight your body's natural urge to move.

It's true that standing for hours on end isn't great for you either. The idea isn't so much about sitting vs. standing, but not staying in one place/posture too long. When you sit down for a break from standing work, it feels much more like a break.

BTW, my standing desk consists of a coffee table on top of a desk. It's not quite perfect yet, but sure beats sitting down.

Comment: Re:Nice laptop, but dislike the keyboard design (Score 2) 589

by TeknoHog (#48845579) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

IIRC, the keyboard I had looked something like this. There's no clear indication what key combination I'd use to even simualte home, end, etc.

In contrast, all of the non-Apple laptops I've used either had those keys present (in 17" laptops), or had the keys silk-screened to indicate what key combo I'd use to simulate a home key, end key, etc.

I see, good points. I'm only familiar with older Apple keyboards that do have the indicators for simulating keys with Fn. For years, I've suspected there is a real trend to eliminate keys like PgUp/Dn altogether, as people learn to use scrollwheels and touch gestures for mostly the same thing. This might explain the lack of the Fn indicators in more recent keyboards.

I personally think it is dumb to move these things away from the keyboard -- better use different tools for different jobs, rather than force everything into mice and touchscreens. Particularly with the rise of keyboardless tablets, you'd think that the remaining keyboard market would become more sophisticated. Fortunately, this has actually happened to some extent -- I recently ordered a "gaming" keyboard as it was impossible to find a decent keyboard (with no numeric keypad, but otherwise full keys) any other way.

Of course, laptop keyboards are still problematic. At the moment, the trends seem to be split between a full layout with the numeric keypad, and the minimal Apple style. I don't like the full layouts either, mainly because the actual typing space is forced towards the left side. Also, there are still space limitations which makes the overall feel very crammed -- no space around arrow keys, for example. I'd much rather take the 15"..17" space with no number pad for larger and better-spaced keys.

Comment: Re:Nice laptop, but dislike the keyboard design (Score 1) 589

by TeknoHog (#48844827) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

A recent employer issued me a new 15" MacBook Pro. I really liked the weight, battery life, screen quality, and the feel of the keyboard. But the non-PC keyboard layout drove me nuts. I.e., the absence of stand-alone keys like home, end, page-up, alt, etc.

This is not exactly a Mac-specific problem, in my experience.

Comment: Re:Or Slackware, Gentoo, or Devuan (Score 1) 402

by TeknoHog (#48822731) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Migrating a Router From Linux To *BSD?

This. IMHO, the whole point of Linux has always been the unlimited possibilities for customization, so I don't get this recent trend of threatening to leave Linux altogether because _some_ distros use Systemd _by default_.

Personally, I had a brief stint with NetBSD around 2003, and I was momentarily hooked by the Unix purity after all these flashy mainstream Linux distros. However, I soon learned I can a lot of the same experience with all the Linux goodies (such as hardware compatibility) by running Gentoo, so that's what I've used ever since.

Comment: Re:What special about beliefs if they're religious (Score 1) 890

by TeknoHog (#48822065) Attached to: Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

The elephant in the room is that Islam is fundamentally and irreconcilably offensive to Christians because they say Jesus was not the son of God. There is nothing more blasphemous than denying this fundamental tenant of Christianity.

IMHO, claiming that the Tenth Doctor isn't the all-time best Doctor comes pretty close.

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY (#7): April 2, 1751 Issac Newton becomes discouraged when he falls up a flight of stairs.