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  • Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
    that means this should allow your hands to align naturally with the straight line of your forearms You can detach the front stand but without it the keyboard has a moderate forward tilt even without the rear stand legs that negates most of the advantages it provides If you get this keyboard plan to use the front stand In reality most chairs are too low and most desks are too high to allow this proper seating position If you can t sit high enough above the desk to achieve this angle with your arms and you need to reach up to they keyboard this will actually make your position worse because your wrists will be angled sharply downward But needing to reach up for the keyboard is always bad and if that s the way you sit you should get a new desk and chair anyway Notice that in the picture above the keyboard is sitting on the front edge of the desk This is important especially if you re short or have short forearms if it s too far back your upper arms will have an unnecessary burden to keep your hands so far forward so you ll probably slouch and rest your arms or wrists on the desk Remember that s bad Also notice the scale of the other items in the picture This keyboard is big You could probably use it as a lifeboat in an emergency If you don t have a lot of space for a keyboard you should probably look elsewhere or get a new desk I wouldn t recommend putting it on a keyboard tray unless you have at least a 5 inch height gap between the tray and the desk above it Once you ve achieved the proper positioning using the keyboard is comfortable and convenient The keys require only a light touch to depress yet provide normal feedback and aren t mushy They re not laptop style scissor keys but they re only about two thirds the height of regular desktop keys They aren t as springy or loud as an old clicky keyboard but most people are fine with that And because this uses a standard key layout using other normal keyboards periodically doesn t feel incredibly foreign or require you to re learn how to type on them The software is Mac friendly allowing you to assign actions or AppleScripts to the special buttons and swap the Windows and Alt keys so Alt is the Mac s Command key Below the spacebar are Back and Forward keys that map easily to whatever you want The Windows software is similar But there s one major flaw Microsoft elected to put this useless Zoom slider in the middle of the main gap It works and the physical control feels excellent but how often do you need to zoom Why not make it scroll like the incredibly useful wheel on the defunct Office Keyboard For some cruel reason the software doesn t

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/171 (2016-04-30)
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  • Commander in Chief
    be swayed by politics I also go to sleep and wake up with my hair done and in full makeup The First Dude I have issues with my wife being more successful than me But since I m sleeping with the boss I will grant myself special permissions to the dismay of my coworkers The Villain I m not allowed to make any other facial expressions The Staff Guy I don t like The First Dude but that s OK because I handle everything in the most professional manner possible and I m very smart I too decided not to have any flaws The Secret Service Guy I m not a stereotype I m just a gay man with HIV But I think I m also Middle Eastern so that increases the show s minority representation That Blonde Girl I look and speak like a disorganized airhead and have sexual tension with the male staff members but I m very intelligent and deserve my position I swear I m not a stereotype because I m smart Why won t you take me seriously The First Son I stand up to the other sons on my high school sports team by beating them up when they insult my dad I m probably a stereotype but I ll shut out the world by playing loud music on my stereo The First Daughter I m a high school girl with high school girl issues including being pressured into sex before I m ready and getting hot jocks to like me while my brother defends my honor I won t even try to deny being a stereotype but I ll shut out the world by playing loud music on my iPod The Second Daughter I m the same little kid you ve seen everywhere

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/170 (2016-04-30)
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  • How to unsalt cashews
    was unbearable so I devised a method of unsalting them I m convinced that this knowledge will change the world for cashew enthusiasts who have had similar purchasing tragedies Make the oven hot Heat your oven to the lowest temperature possible we re aiming for around 150 200 degrees the temperature at which cashews are usually roasted Burnt cashews probably aren t very good so we want to avoid that Unsalting Dump the offending salt pile nuts into a bowl of hot tap water Mix them around a bit then drain the water Drying Nobody wants a bunch of wet cashews so we have to dry them Spread them out on a baking sheet I have a cookie cooling rack so I placed it in the baking sheet pictured so the cashews could have more air flowing around them but if the little pieces went through the holes in the rack they d be safely contained by the baking sheet Bake them until they re dry It s hard to tell because they re coated in a thin film of oil which won t dry Mine reached a good dryness after about 20 minutes It helps if you move them

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/169 (2016-04-30)
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  • Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks with Geeks
    d is light and happy with a hilariously nerdy yet appropriate original soundtrack I expected it to be a pure recruiting film for Fog Creek Software but it was well balanced with universal topics with which anyone remotely close to the industry could relate But Fog Creek does look like a fantastic place to work Hard at work For the die hard Joel On Software community much of the interview material with Joel isn t new Any fans devoted enough to read every post and listen to every audio interview will recognize much of what Joel says as recent content much from clips that were given away in the trailer last month but that doesn t diminish its relevance or effectiveness The guest appearances were pleasant surprises You re just watching a bunch of unknown young programmers then boom There s Dan Bricklin creator of the spreadsheet Paul Graham also made many insightful appearances although his introductory scene had me wondering exactly what it had to do with the movie and why it was placed at that point It doesn t really matter of course he still had interesting things to say while we watched him make chili The production quality given their constraints was excellent Some scenes were poorly lit or framed some audio levels needed normalization or compression and viewers have to watch a lot of autofocusing But with the professional HDV camera they used there was a lot of room for error and the final DVD turned out quite well Non HD Joel watching an early Copilot demo When the DVD was announced I was disappointed that a full resolution HD version wasn t available but now I agree that DVD resolution is sufficient Nobody s watching Aardvark d for the special effects One interesting facet of

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/167 (2016-04-30)
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  • Computers are stupid
    mapping services in which directions seem like an afterthought the PC software packages usually allow you to set waypoints to refine your route So I told Streets and Trips to set the Holland Tunnel as a waypoint and recalculate the directions Directions At first glance it gave me the right directions but the area around the tunnel exit showed this confusing map I was dreading that drive Later I figured out what happened When I clicked on the Holland Tunnel to set it as my waypoint I had actually clicked on the top outbound lane To me that s just the Holland Tunnel I was conceptually clicking on a tunnel not any particular section of road inside of it The mapping program seeing these correctly as two separate one way road sections did what it took to get me to pass through that section it directed me to drive through the tunnel into the city then turn around and drive back out hitting the waypoint in the other lane then driving back in to eventually reach my destination Does anyone still want to argue that computers are smart and can replace human judgment The program did exactly what I requested But that s not what I meant You see humans have the intelligence to figure out what you meant if it s not exactly what you said Growing up my mother tried her best to prevent my sister and I from becoming television junkies by limiting how long we could watch She d say That TV better be turned off at 10 00 While she meant that we couldn t watch any TV after 10 00 that s not what she said So we d turn it off at 9 59 and turn it back on at 10 01 It

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/166 (2016-04-30)
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  • Why I'm not scared of peak oil
    the problematic hours so they stay closed for the entire day To offset the forced lack of sunlight our office is lit by hundreds of incandescent floodlight bulbs Despite their extraordinarily wasteful energy consumption we chose them over efficient fluorescent bulbs because they re more stylish Our salesmen like most salesmen around the world frequently fly across hundreds or thousands of miles simply to attend a 2 hour meeting then fly home Such business travel represents a large portion of all domestic air travel They can do this instead of simply attending a conference call or videoconference because the airfare is only a tiny fraction of the potential profitability of the deal After work I often stop at the grocery store It s the worst grocery store I ve ever needed to patronize on a regular basis but it still has most types of fruit vegetables meat dairy and grain products from across the world in every season of the year I spend more for cellular phone internet and satellite TV services than I spend on food Even if I had to cut my food expenses I could just buy more of the cheap essentials instead of eating at restaurants so often In the middle of January I can buy 10 pounds of bananas that weren t grown on this continent with less money than I spent on lunch that day If I really needed a car I could buy one within an afternoon I could get a safe efficient reliable 4 door car with lots of perks and luxuries for monthly payments of less than a quarter of an average middle class income including insurance and enough gas to drive 1000 miles What does all of this have to do with peak oil I won t point fingers but

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/165 (2016-04-30)
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  • iPod Shuffle
    at the screen most of the time anyway But there are a few negative scenarios that occur more often than I expected I ll sometimes get a song stuck in my head and want to listen to it and I know it s on the Shuffle but finding it is completely impractical There s no menu available of course but there s also no way to indicate which track is currently playing so when flipping through tracks I have to wait until the song begins to play so I can identify it instead of glancing at the title on a screen in a fraction of a second There s also the rare occasion that I don t recognize the song that s playing and I d like to know its title I might want to learn the name of a very good song such as a random middle track in the Alice In Chains Unplugged album Or I might want to delete a very bad song from my Library such as a random middle track in Trio s Da Da Da album When playing very long tracks such as audiobooks or radio shows there s no indication of how long the track is or how much time remains When the content is split into multiple tracks there s no way to tell which track is playing so it s difficult to listen to part of an audiobook on my Shuffle and try to resume it later on my Powerbook Because there s no screen and minimal controls there are a few typical iPod features that aren t present While most wouldn t matter without a screen such as the Breakout game or the PIM functionality I d certainly love to have an equalizer and a way to rate songs The equalizer in particular is sorely missed when I use certain headphones or speakers that can sound great only with adjustments One critical control is absent a hold switch which disables button presses until it s switched off This is great when you re keeping a device in your pocket or a bag in which it s possible for buttons to be accidentally pressed The Shuffle offers no such luxury even though it s been on almost every portable music player for the past 15 years Other than these detractions the iPod Shuffle has excellent sound quality I was unable to detect a difference between the Shuffle and my Powerbook using very good headphones It s able to drive most headphones to very loud volumes Bugs Despite common claims and misconceptions Apple s products do have bugs They just tend to have fewer of them than everyone else s The Shuffle had a critical flaw that would make it completely lock up when attempting to play certain tracks purchased from the iTunes Music Store This happened with two new Stroke 9 tracks I purchased Thanks for Playing and Liar A few threads on various forums indicated that other people had similar

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/164 (2016-04-30)
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  • Harriet Miers to Replace Alan Greenspan
    to dwindle Bush has thought to save face by nominating her as Chair of the Federal Reserve Board Bush said he had never talked to her about her views on hot button issues like inflation or interest rates because that sort of thing is really boring Critics cited her lack of experience or education in economics Bush retorted that she had substantial experience as head of the Texas Lottery Commission

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/163 (2016-04-30)
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