Dvorak Invasion!

Dvorak KeyboardI have to say, Dvorak has to be my favorite composer. Well, okay… Truthfully, he’s my favorite composer because my favorite classical piece is one of his. So, yeah. That’s why he’s my favorite.

But this post has absolutely nothing to do with that. I’ve officially decided that I’m going to learn how to type using the Dvorak keyboard layout, which is quite different from the QWERTY keyboard layout that we’re all so used to. I’ve just decided that I’m not very likely to increase my typing speed any with the QWERTY layout unless I actually set aside time specifically for practicing. But since I don’t want to do that, but I still want to type faster (if only for the purpose of typing faster in class), I’m going to be teaching myself how to type Dvorak style.

If you don’t know the history, the QWERTY layout was designed specifically to slow down typists, because the typewriters of long ago couldn’t handle high-speed typing. But now, with computers, that’s not so much of a problem. We’ve just stuck with QWERTY because… Well, I suppose it’s just that we don’t like change.

But I figure that it will be something like learning a new language. I hope that I’ll still be able to retain my QWERTY skills (even if they slightly diminish, I’ll still be happy) and still learn how to type Dvorak-ishly. Kind of how an English-speaker can learn Spanish and still retain his (or her) English-speaking skills.

Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

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Google’s Hidden Treasures

google_lego08I know that I’m not the only one that greatly admires Google. Since I first discovered Google in the eighth grade while studying for a paper in my Social Studies class, I haven’t looked back. I haven’t once turned to another search engine. As a matter of fact, on several occasions, I have been heard to say that Google has never failed me. And I stick to that.

Before the days of simple, effective searches, I used to use Hotbot. Surprisingly, it still exists, though it now serves only as a portal to other web searches. In those days, I remember spending much time failing in my searches. Very rarely did I actually find what I wanted to.

But since, Google has taken central stage. And that’s not just for me. I sincerely believe that Google has made many other people similarly happy in their lives. Heck, it even has its own verb now! (See

Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

One of the greatest parts of that whole thing is that Google has maintained a great sense of humor throughout. So, in honor, I’d like to post a link to a blog that recently wrote about it. It’s got a list of 10 of Google’s ‘Hidden Treasures’, including some of Google’s April’s Fools jokes, a flight simulator built into Google Earth, and a few other random (yet interesting) things.

So, I guess the point is, if you’re a big Google fan like me, it’s a fun thing to check out.

Via MakeUseOf.


Of Tablets and Buses

I’ve thought about writing various posts in the past few days, though mostly due to the beginning of school I have, as of yet, been unable to do so. But, it seems that I have now found a moment that is calm enough to write a post.

As I stated, this week I began school. It’s been pretty exciting. Tuesday was the first day, which meant an early busride down to the lovely city of Provo. I don’t yet know how I feel about riding in a bus twice a week, but thus far it certainly hasn’t gotten on my nerves. It gives me a chance to do some homework, read, or write a post in a nearly undisturbed, if not entirely comfortable, situation.

The Utah Transit Authority has done a decent job of making the rides simple and pain free. I have access to good ‘ole wireless internet, which is very appreciated. Of course, a good deal of the time it lags around at the rate of dial-up, but at least it’s the internet. Plus, it makes me appreciate the fast internet at school and home more.

Aside from the buses, I also decided to write about a superb discovery that I made today. During one of my classes, we took our first trip to the computer lab that we will often be using. There, I found not just one, but a great many beautiful surprises… Wacom Cintiq tablets staring at me from 80% of the computers in the room. They are $2000 jewels of amazingness for those of us who want to draw on our computer screens as if they were pieces of paper. I remained in awe for several moments. Rarely have I beheld such a stunningly beautiful sight. My only complaint is that they don’t include the required pens… So I’m going to have to get one so that I can utilize the amazing things.


A Curious Occurence

You know, I think that I have to say that troubleshooting problems is my favorite activity of all time. No, no, it’s really not. Considering the fact that I’ve spent over three hours attempting to fix a small but incredibly annoying glitch with the audio on my computer, and barely begun to make the slightest amount of headway, I have to look back and think… “Now, is that what I wanted to be doing with my time?”

And the answer to that is a resounding, “No. Not at all.” But, at the same time, in an attempt to keep this from becoming no more than a long complaint, I’ve got to say that the feeling that one gets after fully resolving a problem, especially one that has caused much pain and hair-pulling, is undeniably pleasant.

I write this because of the fact that somehow, though I knew not that it was possible, the WiFi connection on my computer is interfering with my audio, making it stutter in an incredibly annoying fashion. After completing ALL of Dell’s troubleshooting steps, I had made it nowhere. Or so it seemed. I had reverted my computer to its original settings and it had been successful for, at the least, a few minutes. But then the problems suddenly started again.

Anyway, after a long time of being rather frustrated, I returned to the settings that I had (thankfully not having to reinstall all my programs and whatnot), and decided to try disabling the WiFi. With the simple flick of a switch (literally), all the distortion disappeared. And I was again listening to beautifully clear music.

But, this leaves me with a dilemma. Internet, or music? As of right now, I can’t really have both at the same time. Hopefully I’ll be able to resolve the issue shortly. I’ve sent another email to Dell asking them about their insight on my latest discovery. Hopefully they’ll know something.

Anyway, thanks for listening. It’s been good fun for me.


Apollo Has Arrived

ApolloI am currently seated aside the famed Grumblefoam (Who really isn’t that famed, except among some of my friends… He’s our desktop computer that has lived forever), though not currently using him to type this report. The reason that I am not using him is because he has a new friend. This new friend, as you may suppose, is the Apollo mentioned above.

I’ve decided to name him Apollo because lately I’ve taken to naming computers and other electronic devices after Greek gods, and, according to the Wikipedia, “Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more.”

As that seemed a rather fitting description for the latest of my electronic possessions. He’s rather beautiful, as you can see in the photograph accompanying this post, and hopefully he’ll serve me well. I’m pretty darn excited about him, to say the very least.

Anyway, that’s it for right now, as I have much installation and whatnot to do, though I promise that I’ll post something more interesting than this shortly.