Keyboard Layouts

Phil Haack made a very nice post a long time ago about him switching to dvorak (june 5th, 2007). I incidentally already commented on that post sometime last year.

My point of this post is to pimp my own keyboard layout, obviously. I have switched to the aforementioned dvorak keyboard layout a while back, can’t remember the exact time, but it must have been in 2003. Ever since then i had the problem of dealing with the german letters (äöüß) that aren’t included in that layout. However, there are some other issues as well. Since I’m a programmer I have very specific needs for a keyboard layout. I need to have braces, brackets, the backslash, dollar sign, and many other keys that are much more rarely used by non-programmers. That whole assembly of problems was then solved for me by the makers of the neo layout. Unfortunately for me, those guys keep “improving” the layout. How is that a problem you may wonder. Even besides the obvious issue of there not being an adoption of the layout because it keeps changing. I now have the problem of (at least the guys are smart enough to use subversion) having to remember the revision my keyboard layout was in. If i forget i have to go through about 900 revisions of my keyboard layout and try to figure out if the one is the one I’m looking for. If i ever had to format or something and lost it that is.

Now for the point of this post (did anyone read this far ?). I have developed my very own keyboard layout, with a colleague of mine. This is how it looks:

The DevIL Keyboard Layout
DevIL Layout

This keyboard layout is very close to one of the revisions of the layout I had been using before, with the subtle difference of keys not changing places every 2 weeks. It is available here as an autohotkey script. After testing the layout extensively I will be releasing the final version, and i will upload a compiled script, so no one has to install autohotkey.

Your Browser Matters

Microsoft is hilarious.

So microsoft just started a new campaign for quite obviously the internet explorer with this website that is supposed to give you a security score for the webbrowser you’re currently using. Obviously no browser can beat the one made by microsoft, mainly because they made the criteria that way. I personally use chrome and i feel very secure.

The website is supposed to rate the browser in 4 different categories from dangerous downloads to attacks on the browser. Microsoft gives the internet explorer 4 out of 4 points, chrome 2.5, firefox 2, and all other browsers are just ignored completely.

This is where they just go out of their way to amuse me…. i go to the website with my chrome beta, and they don’t even give me a score. “WE CAN’T GIVE YOU A SCORE FOR YOUR BROWSER” and right below the link “what does this score mean”. You’ve done it again, microsoft, your fails are the most hilarious.

Ron Paul on free markets

I just watched a recent dailyshow episode where he had Ron Paul in the interview and it was quite interesting. I just have to make a few comments since I think that it needs to be said.

I do agree with more freedom, but I do not agree with free markets the way he suggested things should be done. I definitely do not agree that there should be no regulations whatsoever. He said that the market will correct itself, and businesses can not just steal or pollute since the free market will not allow that. I have to say that that statement alone is so wrong it not only shows ignorance, it actually borders on stupidity. Even with all the regulations in place right now, many consumers will be quite surprised about the things thatcompanies are putting into your food. Does the market correct that ? no. Would the market correct that if everyone knew ? probably not. No one likes having wood in their food, but no one seems to want to pay more money for a higher quality product. There have been quite a few scandals in germany about meat, the most ‘famous’ one was that people sold meat that wasn’t even allowed to be sold for human consumption to fast food restaurants all over germany: spiegel.de link (german). Would you not think that companies that are out for only their own profit would not sell whatever they could get away with ? Would you not think that it would be far worse if there was no one to check on them ? Do you ask where the meat you buy came from ? Do you ask when you go out to eat if the people working there know where the meat came from ? I do not want to have to wonder if the milk I give to my 2 year old might kill her.

Now for a different example. There was a huge (for online gambling proportions) scandal involving UltimateBet/AbsolutePoker where players were scammed out of millions of dollars because some players were cheating by having the company tell them the hole cards of their opponents. Did the market (which really is free since there is an obvious lack of regulation until online poker is legalized) correct that ? Nope. The poker site was up and running for years after that. And there were more scandals, imagine that.

I just wanted to throw that out there…. If you want a truely free market, you might have to give up some things. Like a decent wage, especially in times where there are more workers than jobs. Maybe your 8 year old son could get a job in a coal mine again, for 6 days a week 12 hours a day, to help with groceries. I really don’t want to go back to that.

PS.: I do agree with him on the drug war. People should not ever be in prison for taking drugs. Selling drugs is a more complicated issue, however. Yet I still don’t think that anyone should go to prison for selling pot to a consenting adult.