Wednesday, October 26, 2011
  Little frustrations

Long as I'm grousing about slight frustrations, here are a few more.

(1) In April I had the trees removed from my yard. The move was justified because the preceding 12 months, 4/2010 through 4/2011, had been exceedingly windy. (Most likely because of La Niña). Almost every day was 10-20 MPH, and serious tree-busting storms were happening every couple weeks.

Turns out the exact day when the trees were cut down marked the end of that mode. Since that day, local wind has returned to a more average routine: most days calm, 10-20 once a week, serious wind once or twice per season. Rationally the frequency shouldn't make any difference; serious winds still occur, and now I don't need to worry about them. Also, I've been enjoying the open and sunny yard, and the absent trees will make it much easier to rake the roof when Big Niña brings Big Sñow. One of the trees was blocking half of the back roof, and the others formed obstacles for the long rake handle. So I have no reason for frustration, but it still intuitively feels like shutting the barn door after the horse was taken.

[Later update: The wind returned massively in July 2014 and November 2015, taking down lots of trees and houses. I survived because I'd cut down those trees in 2011. It was ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE TROUBLE AND EXPENSE.]

(2) Unlike the first, this peeve is fully justified.

What happened to white keyboards?

For many years I'd used a Fujitsu keyboard that was Just Right. Perfect ergonomics, perfect visibility. When I bought a new computer this year, the Fujitsu's PS2 connector was obsolete, and for some reason a PS2 to USB adaptor didn't work with it either. So I looked through my spare keyboards and ordered a couple new ones, and finally found a Logitech model that has a good enough arrangement and feel. It's not Just Right, but it serves. Trouble is, all new keyboards are black with white letters. In the dim room light that I prefer, this combination is hard to see. The limitation got serious lately when I (finally) started on the latest courseware revision. Lots of text editing, lots of graphics work, all requiring fast hits on the Function keys. On the black keyboard in a dim room, the F keys are hard to spot. I had to buy a little LED lamp to illuminate the board, but that shouldn't have been necessary.

The only white USB keyboards are either Apple-format, reduced keycount, or weird Salvador Dali shapes. Absolutely zero white keyboards with standard specifications. What's going on? Can't be a matter of cost. The natural color of ABS plastic is white, so it costs more to dye it black. Jesse Jackson lawsuit, maybe?

= = = = =

Later update on keyboards (June 2012): Found a USB to PS2 converter that actually works. This fact isn't well advertised or documented, but most of the USB/PS2 adapters are useless. They simply carry the wires from one plug to the other, which almost never works. The converter that works contains a chip that transfers the signals properly between the two protocols. Now I've got my old perfect Fujitsu white keyboard running again, and my hands and eyes are MUCH happier!


(3) Windows 7 is pure ratshit. This new Dell computer came with W7/64. Nominally, the machine is about 4 times more powerful than my old one. Should be faster, right? Wrong. (1) Nothing runs faster. (2) The audio system turns off sometimes, requiring a reboot. (3) Many programs crash several times per day. The whole fucking machine crashes about once a day. (4) The file system has zoomed backwards to sometime before DOS was developed. You can't open more than 15 files at once unless you fiddle with a registry value. (5) Often Windows refuses to open the file you want; you have to open some other file in the same directory first, then you can open the file you want. (6) There seems to be a limit on length of filenames. When doing mass-production graphics work in PaintShop, I was accustomed to loading up 20 or 30 images at once, checking and comparing them, modifying the ones that needed it, and saving. This worked fine on my old XP computer. Never a problem. Now I can only reliably load 3 files at a time, depending in some irregular way on the length of the filename. (7) And just to make it even more wonderful, you can't mix file types in a multiple selection. You have to load only BMPs or only GIFs or only JPGs. (8) The file listing shown in file-open boxes is usually out of date. I didn't notice this until I started beta-testing my courseware and keeping a version log. When you put a newer version of one file into a folder, Windows just keeps listing the earlier version no matter how many times you hit Refresh. I didn't notice this before because I normally use one of those Norton Commander things for file actions, and the NC thing refreshes properly. It does EVERYTHING properly, which indicates that the correct filenames and times are still available to other apps, but Win idiotically refuses to use them in its own Explorer and file-open.

Great work, Microshit! One Great Leap Backwards, wiping out 20 years of incremental improvement, bringing the PC back to the great old days of Hollerith punch cards!
 


<< Home

blogger hit counter
My Photo
Name:
Location: Spokane

Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

My graphics products:

Free stuff at ShareCG

And some leftovers here.

ARCHIVES
March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / November 2017 /


Major tags or subjects:

Aberree
Carbon Cult
Constants and variables
Defensible spaces
Experiential education
Grand Blueprint
Гром победы
Heimatkunde
Language updates
Metrology
Natural law = Sharia law
Patient things
Skill-estate
Switchover

Powered by Blogger