Thursday, December 30, 2010

Update on Dvorak

Well, it's been about 5 days since I've switched do the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, and I'm slowly progressing.

My current typing speed is about 15 wpm now, and I can finally "keep up" with people on IMs.  I've already memorized the layout (using the normal QWERTY keyboard, no labels or anything), and can type words such as "the, there, is, as, etc" without thinking, as fast as I could with my QWERTY.

I am having problems with afew letters, namely "f" and "j", for some reason.  Probably because "f" is in a really awkward position for me, and I rarely use "j".

NOTE: This is part of a series, check the next entry here! 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Switched keyboard layouts

Most people use the well-known QWERTY layout for their keyboard.  Little do they know that this layout was meant to be slow and inefficent!  It causes strain on the hands and can lead to Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Back when people still used type with typewriters, the typist would hit the keys too quickly and it would cause the typewriter to jam.  The solution to this, was to slow down the typer, which is why the QWERTY system was invented.  It spread out the most used letters, so touch-typing would be much more inefficient.

Meet Dvorak.  In the 1930s, Dr. August Dvorak, a professor at University of Washington, created the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard.  This keyboard is meant to work much more natural for your hands, and reduces the chance of getting any typing-related injuries.

As the wikipedia page notes:
Awkward strokes are undesirable because they slow down typing, increase typing errors, and increase finger strain. Hurdling is an awkward stroke requiring a single finger to jump directly from one row, over the home row to another row (e.g., typing “minimum” on the QWERTY keyboard). In the English language, there are about 1,200 words that require a hurdle on the QWERTY layout. In contrast, there are few words requiring a hurdle on the Dvorak layout and even fewer requiring a double hurdle.

I'm making the switch to Dvorak cold-turkey, that is, I'm no longer using QWERTY for anything.  My typing speed went from about 100wpm to about 5.  I'm curious to see how well this works out for me after a week of dvorak-only typing.  I guess we'll see.

For some more information on this layout, check out these links:
 NOTE: This is part of a series, check the next entry here!

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Merry Christmas!

    Christmas is a special time of the year. It's when we celebrate Christ's birth.

    It's also when we celebrate my birth! Yep, my birthday is on Christmas Day! I'm now 21 years old!

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Home Tips With Jim -- Christmas Special

    New Home Tips With Jim, and it's in two parts.

    Jim attempts to inflate some Christmas decorations and tries to put up a Christmas Tree!

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    A source-based distribution OS -- Gentoo!

    Well, after getting off college for winter break, I decided to try something I've been wanting to do for a few years now -- switch to Gentoo as my primary Operating System.

    For those of you that don't know, Gentoo is a linux-based distribution that relies entirely on source
    packages.  This means that if I wanted firefox, I'd need to download the firefox source code and compile it.  Installing Gentoo took a few days, because I had to download the source code of the linux kernel, configure it, and compile it.  I had to build the filesystems, everything from scratch.

    I think I've learned much more about linux than I ever did; I find myself using the console much more, and I recompiled the kernel 3 times so far -- it's fine-tuned for my PC now.

    Just yesterday, I was able to get OpenBox running as my default windows manager, and then I installed Tint2 and Trayer for my "taskbar".  I have almost nothing on this box so far; only reason I can type this, is because I just got done compiling/installing FireFox; my only means of communication before then, was talking to some friends in IRC though my console-based system.

    Next step is getting Pidgin up and running, and after that, a music player (so far, I'm using mp3blaster) -- it's proving quite a task, since I can't just download an executable.

    But one thing I can say for sure about this new setup: It's fast!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Draining the Pool with Jim

    It may be a little late to post this now, but my dad did another Home Tips with Jim.  This time, he drains the pool.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Home Tips with Jim

    Well, simply put, my dad does a "Home-Improvement" type show on youtube (and metacafe) called "Home Tips with Jim".  It's not your typical home-improvement type show though, as usually he has no idea what he's doing.

    My Corn Plant has flowers!

    Well, I have a Corn Plant (aka Dracaena Fragrans, aka Dragon Flower) that I've had for the longest time.  And a few weeks before Thanksgiving, something amazing happened -- it started to grow flowers!
    This is a big accomplishment for me, and I'll explain why.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    My first post!

    Yay, my first post ever in the blog!

    I'm honestly not sure what to blog about, it may be on the subject of Artificial Life, Programming, etc.  But yeah, just thought I'd post something here.