A brief pair of notes

1) Dvorak typists: I’m sorry if the paper I relied on has some potential flaws.  If you want to share your extensive rants on the merits of various keyboard layouts, send them to me at doctorow@boingboing.net and I’ll be sure to read them over carefully.

2) You know how sometimes trying to fix one problem causes a worse problem, which in turn causes a worse one, and so forth?  This week, I was trying to turn off SafeSearch in Google Image Search (sometimes necessary to find things1).  In trying to turn off SafeSearch, a setting on a web form, I rendered my system unbootable2. (The worst part was, everyone kept saying “oh yeah — there’s a comic about that; have you read it?”)

Any guesses as to how that happened?  I have to go for now, but I’ll include the actual chain of events in my next blog post.

1 Like the Nate Silver Playgirl centerfold.
2 I’ve finally recovered it3 via a USB boot disk and some work, but it took several days and the help of a number of wonderful hackers. Thanks you, Decklin and sneakums.
3 And then promptly spilled milk on it, so the keyboard’s been through the dishwasher and is now drying4 in front of the fan. This is not a happy laptop.
4 Nested footnotes!

160 thoughts on “A brief pair of notes

  1. Actually, if you are the Summer Glau of great acclaim, I find it difficult to believe there AREN’T two people on top of you having sex 24/7, miscalculation or not.

  2. All those footnotes brought me back to “Cosmic Banditos.” I’ll go out on a limb and say that Cosmic Banditos is one of the most amazing novels ever. Like Hitchhikers meets Hunter S. Thompson meets Quantum Physics.

  3. @Adouma.

    thats very possible. he could dry the keyboard with cookies, or santa could just use his magic.

  4. Well, I don’t know how Randall did it, but I do have a story of my own to present.

    On Tuesday, I discovered that my secret key was missing (shit). So, I search around and find my backup hard drive. There’s even a cable plugged in!

    I plug it in, mount it, and cd. Now, to check to make sure the key is there, I do something I’m not going to do again in a hurry. ‘HOME=/media/usb’. A quick ‘gpg -k’ shows my keys are there. Good. Now, to copy things over… ‘rm -rf ~/.gnupg’.

    Yep.

    Oh, and did I mention you can’t undelete ext3 stuff?

    Fortunately, that last bit wasn’t entirely true, and after downloading the ext3grep utility and spending several hours playing around, I recovered my key.

    Yay!

  5. I did dvorak for a while. By the time I had caught up with my QWERTY speed, I had tendonitis (maybe from not having to move off the home row as often?). Added to the annoyance of using other peoples’ computers and having other people use mine, it was enough to cause me to throw in the towel. You can only type as fast as you can think anway…

  6. Someone Was wondering wether Textine via a mobile phone keypad or via morse code was faster,

    I do not know weither this is valid but they did a segment on Guinnus World records australia 2 years ago where they had The world record holding SMSer vs some group of WWII radio operators and and the radio operators won. (using Morse code.)

  7. “Always turn safesearch on when image-searching your childhood memories. The internet feasts on them, and leaves only horror in its wake.”

    Never have I read truer words on the Internet. Have any of you tried typing “Velma” from Scooby-Doo into GIS?

  8. DVORAK and QWERTY can eat one. I use QWERTZ – a Swiss German keyboard. It also helps make damned fine passwords ;o)

  9. Pingback: The Thang Blog » Blog Archive » Using “Tranny”

  10. >footnote 11
    Isn’t it fun reading through all the footnotes?

    >footnote 12
    This is the amazing self-referential footnote (Footnote 12)

    >_

  11. Pingback: Home typist to work off recorded copy | Search for Cleveland Ohio Jobs

  12. I found typing in Dvorak to be slightly faster (maybe 10% max) and retraining took me about 3 days of intense article-writing to reach my previous speeds. I can switch between keyboards pretty easily as well now.

    Windows Remote Desktop causes issues for other users when using a different keyboard layout (Dvorak user (me) might disconnect instead of log off, QWERTY user takes over session and finds their keys all bungled). Because of the frustration it caused for my colleagues and because of the relatively insignificant speed improvement, I’ve given up when working. As Lily said above, it needs to be an order-of-magnitude improvement to be taken seriously.

    I still believe Dvorak is technically superior vs QWERTY however I do not believe that the benefit is worth the costs of retraining. If anything at all (insignificant, remember?) it should be phased in over a long period of time as long as it doesn’t interfere with normal operations.

  13. I think both Dvorak and QWERTY keyboards are hyped up. What ever happened to etaoin shrdlu?

  14. Never have I read truer words on the Internet. Have any of you tried typing “Velma” from Scooby-Doo into GIS?

  15. “Always turn safesearch on when image-searching your childhood memories. The internet feasts on them, and leaves only horror in its wake.”

    Never have I read truer words on the Internet. Have any of you tried typing “Velma” from Scooby-Doo into GIS?

  16. You know, that typing errors website really badly mis-characterises the economics of increasing returns.

    Increasing returns is not about luck, it’s about the lock-in of sufficiently good systems. Windows/Intel outdid MacOS/Macs early because it was a sufficiently better standard in the beginning, not because it was first or lucky. If MacOS becomes much better than Windows now, because it costs a lot to switch standards, it may not attract as many customers as it could have by being the better standard originally.

    Likewise, QWERTY outdid other typewriter layouts because it had a real advantage in the typewriter era when drum jams impeded typing speed. QWERTY wasn’t designed to impede speed to avoid drum jams, it was designed to distribute keypresses along the typing interface to avoid them, while still maintaining speed. Now that solution is locked in however, we’re stuck standardising a layout that’s meant to prevent drum jams rather than present an ergonomic and efficient keyboard layout in an era without typing drums.

    That said, I thoroughly accept that Dvorak is not a significant enough gain for most people to want to switch for it, and that there haven’t been sufficient studies to prove any significant gain*. I switched because I figure I’ll be spending enough time typing that I might as well be comfortable while I do it. This is what the economics of increasing returns means: In markets where a standard is important, you don’t need to be the best product. Just a sufficiently good product that meets a standard, and continue to be good enough to discourage any significant switch. If Dvorak were really that good, we’d have all switched anyway despite QWERTY’s market penetration.

    * I don’t think the gain has been sufficiently disproven, either. This question is ripe for further study.

  17. If it wasn’t for qwerty the iphone keyboard wouldn’t work the way it does, because it was designed to avoid a mechanical issue, the statistical probability of you making a typo is reduced on touch screen keyboards too.
    :)

  18. well i use dvorak – i’m not sure why i decided to but i did it in the summer before I came to uni. i’m probably not any faster, but i definitely couldn’t touch-type properly on qwerty. another fortunate piece in the story is that i was able to customise my user account for the university PCs to dvorak as well – the only problem there is that the version i use on the mac switches back to qwerty for the keyboard shortcuts, which is inordinately useful. (but then i have to remember to type ctrl-i on a dvorak pc rather than cmd-c for copy)

    as for the iphone i’ve tried using friends’ ones a couple of times and could never understand why i’d want a full keyboard when i’m only using my thumbs. i think i had to switch to keypad-mode, which is also second-nature to me after years of texting.

  19. BARAN AKCAN BİYOGRAFİ

    d. 1977, İstanbul, Avukat

    Lise eğitimini Suadiye / İstanbul’da tamamladıktan sonra, Marmara Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi’ni bitirdi.

    2003 yılında, İstanbul Hukukçular Birliği’nin kuruluşunda yer aldı. Bu kuruluşta Başkan Yardımcılığı ve Kadıköy Temsilciliği görevlerinde bulundu. 2005-2009 tarihleri arasında NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) Türkiye Fahri Temsilciliği görevinde bulundu.

    2006 tarihinden bu yana Akcan Hukuk Bürosu’nda avukatlık mesleğine devam etmektedir. Muhtelif gerçek ve tüzel kişilere hukuk müşavirliği; ayrıca AKC Danışmanlık ünvanı altında uluslararası firmalara ticari danışmanlık hizmeti vermektedir.

    “Küresel Petrol Trafiği” adlı yüksek lisans tezi; “Ticaret Hukukuna Liberal Bakış” makalesi; “Ticari Alacaklar Açısından Uluslararası İcra Hukuku” adlı üç kitabı yayımlanmıştır.

  20. As a lefty, I have to say that hearing Dvorak is optimized for right-hand usage has quite put me off ever trying it. Enough things I use are already right-hand-intended, thanks — I won’t be intentionally adding more.

  21. aring Dvorak is optimized for right-hand usage has quite put me off ever trying it. Enough things I use are already right-hand-intended, thanks berder month

  22. aring Dvorak is optimized for right-hand usage has quite put me off ever trying it. Enough things I use are already right-hand-intended, thanks bursa yaratık bi sey bu

  23. aring Dvorak is optimized for right-hand usage has quite put me off ever trying it. Enough things I use are already right-hand-intended, thanks rassing yoluces

  24. “I honestly believe this product has helped me regrow hair, I can see it along my forehead, and thickening hair on top of my head. I will never stop using Nioxin or taking the supplements. I recommend them to any women that says she thinks she’s going bald…like I felt I was. I’m extremely happy with items.” some of many nioxin reviews

  25. The “Brief” of the title refers to the document which a solicitor in the UK court system writes to instruct a barrister who will plead the solicitor’s case in court. Unfortunately barristers Tony Stevens and Frances Pilbright, as juniors, receive nothing but routine briefs concerning sewers. When a juicy brief concerning a writ for “restitution of conjugal rights” appears, they take opposite sides in the case. Pilbright works fiercely for her client, a woman whose marriage was disrupted by World War II.

  26. In music, notes inégales (French: unequal notes) refers to a performance practice, mainly from the Baroque and Classical music eras, in which some notes with equal written time values are performed with unequal durations, usually as alternating long and short. The practice was especially prevalent in France in the 17th and 18th centuries, with appearances in other European countries at the same time; and it reappeared as the standard performance practice in the 20th century in jazz.

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