Documents, Changes and Mood Altering Substances

I hate writing documentation. I hate writing concept documents. I hate writing project plans. I like writing code. I’d gladly write code for almost anything over writing the documentation for that code. Unfortunately, I’m pretty good at writing documentation, and that means I get to do it more often than I’d like.

After reading this last week, I’ve decided to start out this week forcing myself to use OS X and finally break my Windows habit. I realized that using my Quicksilver G4 isn’t really an option because I don’t use it all the time. I take my Powerbook home every night and surf for a couple hours after work, and during our blizzard, I worked from home on it and got it in a usable state with jEdit, MacCVSX, NetNewsWire and AOL. I could actually do my job on it without thinking about it. The problem with translating that to work is it’s not very comfortable to use a trackpad and laptop keyboard at work all day. My solution? Plug the powerbook into my KVM switch! It’s great! I usually have the Powerbook open all day with NetNewsWire and Camino open all day anyway. Now, it’s still open with the same apps, but now I have AOL, CVS and jEdit open on my monitor, and can use my regular mouse and keyboard. Bye-Bye XP, may you rot in hell.

Computing is all about habits. Breaking old ones and creating healthy new ones is difficult – just ask anyone who’s ever dieted. Computing habits are sometimes harder to break. I’ve been using Windows for eight years to do my day-to-day job functions. Switching to a new platform, even one I like very much, to perform those functions is not easy. But, I can do it. I really really can…

After the good news, much come some bad. This weekend sucked. We spent all weekend cooped up with a sick Max (he’s feeling much better) and an ailing (sore throat, also much better) and stircrazy Jen has done horrible things to my mood and sleep pattern. I’m exhausted even though I got eight hours of sleep last night. I’m also cranky and out of sorts. I’m hoping everyone and everything getting back to normal will help. I could really use a nap though.

4 thoughts on “Documents, Changes and Mood Altering Substances

  1. You know about codes and stuff huh? well this is a really technical question that doesnt relate at all to your post(sorry). question: When I press and hold Alt on my keyboard then press four digits on the numpad, say 9,8,7,4 then realese Alt why does this symbol appear ∆ ? It also works with dozens of other combinations. I don’t know what it is or why it is there and everyone I ask doesn’t know either. If you know could you please tell me. Thanks

  2. I wasn’t talking about that kind of code, but hey, I’ll tackle this one. I’m assuming you’re using Windows, correct? Well, you only have around 106 keys on your keyboard. There are many more symbols in the world than your alpha-numerics and general puncuation (like bullets, those accented characters used in foreign languages and cyrillic characters, etc). The only way to get them to come out of your keyboard is through keystroke combinations, or the Character Map program (if it’s installed on your computer, it’ll be under Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools – although it may be right under Accessories). In Windows, those keystrokes involve the Alt key. If you were writing HTML, you can do the same thing using the ampersand, then the pound key, a short string of numbers and then a semi-colon – like • would produce •. There’s a incomplete list available here. Hope that helps clear up any confusion you may have.

  3. Interesting note about the ATL+numpad strokes. Those characters are acceptable for passwords, even the “unprintable” ones. One sneaky way to make the password that much harder to guess.

  4. Interesting note, but I think that depends on the password system. It would probably work on unicode database stored passwords, but for unix/*nix password, I wouldn’t count on them working.

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