Monday, January 31, 2011
I primarily picked up the keyboard to use with my MacBook Pro. I originally picked up the MacBook to learn about developing an iPhone app, but I also dual boot to Windows 7 for my normal day-to-day operations and development. I began to really dislike the lack of keys on the MacBook from a Microsoft developers perspective. The multi-key pressing for things like Home, End, Pg Up/Down really started to annoy me, so I decided to get a Bluetooth keyboard. I wanted to go with a Bluetooth keyboard so I could use the keyboard at a distance easily while connecting the laptop to my television.
The keyboard is small and light-weight and easily transportable. It fits very nicely into my backpack for traveling to and from home and work, to the library, user groups, or the occasional trip to the coffee house. The nice curvature of the keyboard makes long typing sessions tolerable, and the keyboard has more keys making development easier. The weight and spring of the keys is very nice, but honestly the same could be said for the MacBook's keys as well. The range of the keyboard is extremely nice and allows me to control the laptop while lounging on the couch or across the room.
The keyboard still lacks dedicated keys for Home and End, but I am adjusting to the multi-key pressing required to achieve the desired navigation in source code. To extend the battery life of the keyboard, it will go to "sleep" after a few minutes of non-use, and there is a noticeable delay when the keyboard "awakes".
Overall, the functionality of the keyboard has been satisfactory, and it has been a great addition to my setup.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
While I never found it difficult to find a keyboard I felt comfortable with, the perfect mouse proved to be very difficult to find. Perhaps it was because the mouse of my choice would feature: wireless connectivity (preferably Bluetooth®), 5 buttons, good precision, and decent battery life. One would think that these features would not be difficult to find, but to my surprise it was! These combined features were often present in the notebook-variety mice, but not in a desktop/full-sized version.
After trying many other products from Logitech, I finally found what I was looking for in a new product from Microsoft: Wireless Laser Mouse 8000. I have been using this mouse for the past few months and I must say that it has exceeded my expectations.
This mouse features High Definition Laser Technology, 4-way scrolling, battery life indicator, and best of all it's rechargeable. The battery life is excellent and I generally only have to recharge about once a week. The only downside is Microsoft made this mouse to be utilized by either hand (great for lefties), but I have found that the right side button to be less useful in that location. Previous products that I have owned from Microsoft featured the 2 extra buttons on the left side where they could easily be triggered with the thumb. The cost is between $80-90 which is about what you can expect to pay for similar products from any of the major manufacturers.
If you are in the market for a new mouse or looking to up your productivity by introducing a 5 button mouse to your list of peripherals, then be sure to check out Microsoft's Wireless Laser Mouse 8000.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Microsoft recently launched a new website On10.net. On 10 is website for people with a passion for technology. The website is very Web 2.0-ish and sports a cool, clean, and fresh design. It appears the site is utilizing a bit of Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit formerly known as "ATLAS" so head on over to On10.net and check it out.
Friday, September 08, 2006
About mid-way through the day I began noticing that the feeds I read in IE7 suddenly looked different - the items were all listed in a new font. So I pull up the DOM explorer using the DevToolbar for IE and use the Find > Select Element By Click feature and lo and behold all items were using Segoe UI font.
A quick Wikipedia search reveals that Segoe UI is one of the new fonts in Windows Vista. Not that I mind the fresh look, but I sure would like to know how it got changed.
Between all the browsers that I've tried (Firefox, Opera, and IE7) and all the feed readers I've tried out (including Outlook 2007 RSS) nothing beats the simplicity and ease of reading feeds of IE7.
Most, if not all others that I have seen, utilize some type of split screen much like you would see in Outlook, Thunderbird, etc. Perhaps it's the familiarity of reading messages like this that makes everyone build their feed reader like that, but give it up to IE7 for thinking out of the box first for a change.
Now, there are several improvements that I would suggest IE7 implement, but for the most part, I am completely satisfied with the speed and ease that I can comb through the feeds that I have subscribed to. And the real benefit is in efficiency as I can with a single click read all the new items from a single feed - none of this split screen click for each item nonsense.
If I had a single suggestion to make, it would be to include an index at the top of the feed with the headlines from each post, and clicking the title would take you to the desired item. This would easily allow me to comb over the headlines of a feed without having to scroll. This is the only advantage I see over the current split screen readers out there today. Including that type of feature in IE7's reader would make it that much more attractive.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I decided to give this blog a new look and applied a different template. I also wanted to try out the new "Insert Tags" feature of Windows Live Writer. Actually, it is a plugin for Windows Live Writer I found on CodePlex called Tag4Writer
I haven't given up on creating my own blog and hosting it, but I really haven't had the time to get back to that yet either. So in the mean time, enjoy the new look.
Friday, August 18, 2006
http://capsoff.org/ (Main Site)
http://anticapslock.com/ (Early campaign against CAPS LOCK)
To all of this I say: "What's the Point?" Well, the point is that the modern keyboard is an outdated, and is desperate need of a total overhaul.
To bring the keyboard up to speed, it needs a fresh new design that takes modern and future uses into consideration. Did you know that the QWERTY keyboard is based off of earlier typewriters? Surely you do. But did you know that the QWERTY layout was introduced in the 1860s? But do you also know the reason why the keys are arranged in this fashion that can still be found in keyboards today was arrange keys in a way to alternate keystrokes to avoid jams?
And we still use this design today! Can we not do better?
A few years ago, I started playing around with the Dvorak Keyboard Layout and what I found was that I experienced less fatigue and straining.
In this generation of innovation and technology, don't we owe it to ourselves to explore better designs for one of our main input devices?
I think we should stop complaining about useless keys and step back and look at the broader picture. Why waste time and effort in moving a key or two when the entire keyboard needs an overhaul?
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
If you have ever wanted to create and maintain a simple log file, then you need to know about this nifty trick to creating a simple log file in Windows.
This nugget has been out there a long while and recently has been making it's way around the blogs and social networks, but I really didn't use it until lately and that is why I am sharing it with you now.