The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Trackball scroll ring causes "computeritis" ?! :-(

I have long used a trackball rather than a mouse.  It greatly helped my "computeritis" - sore hand/wrist/arm.

One of the first trackballs I used, and my longtime favorite, was the Kensington TurboBall.  4 buttons and a scroll wheel - which IIRC could also be clicked as a 5th button. But it was discontinued by Kensington, probably because it was a mechanical trackball, and had reliability problems.  After many years all six (6!) of these that I had purchased failed. I have not had good luck with the used TurboBalls that can still be purchased on Amazon.

I am currently using the  Kensington Expert Mouse. 4 buttons, and a scroll ring, non-clickable. Actually 2, one on either side of my keyboard. 2 more at work, 2 more at the coast, 2 more at my mother's house, and 1 in my suitcase for trips.

I guess that you can say I have liked the Expert Mouse well enough to buy 9 of them.  Serious $$$s.

But: I dislike its incline - I am currently shopping for a mouse tray to give it a negative incline.  Or at least foam blocks. But at least that is hackable, although even a non-tilting mouse tray costs more $$$s.  I have even tried using the trackball upside down, to get the negative incline I want. Works okay, but the USN cable gets in the way.

Worse: I have come to realize that the ExpertMouse scroll ring is bad for my "computeritis".  Scrolling a ring is a much more complicated movement than scrolling a wheel.  It uses many more small muscles.  And my hand/wrist gets sore.

I wish I had my old scroll wheel.

I have been worked on AutoHotKey scripts to scroll using the actual trackball.  Works somewhat.  Most existing scripts require holding a key to scroll with trackball, which hurts; but it's easy enough to make a key press and release toggle the "scroll with trackball" mode.   Worse: in AutoHotKey scrolling with trackball seems to require a timer triggered polling function, wasting power.  Plus other issues as I mention in an AHK forums post: problems with displays that have different display scaling, cursor flickering, etc.

I am considering buying a trackball that has a real scroll wheel.

Or  possibly one of the ITAC trackballs, that has a mode button converting it into scroll mode: the ITAC Evolution 149$ 6 buttons  or ITAC Professional 189$ 4 buttons. The former's 6 buttons can all be configured. No driver SW required. OS independent.  But probably only scroll up/down - no scroll left/right, without more OS dependent AHK scripts.

BTW, more and more I prefer OS independent driverless devices.  Programmable once, then works everywhere else.  E.g. I might be able to program mirror images of the ITAC Evolution, so that my left and right thumbs always hit the same button.

I am seriously considering buying the ITAC Evolution,. But since I nearly always buy more than 1, this quickly becomes serious money.  Still, hand pain preventing me from working can cause serious loss of income.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

OneNote LOG special page naming conventions

e.g. ** Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A "** Day LOG page".

Special page indicating start of a day.

NOT necessarily containing the actual log entry

Frequently empty, with OneNote pages for that day following.

Sometimes I add comments, etc., about the day.

The creation date for for a "**DayLogPage" is typically set to 12:00AM midnight on that day,
in the timezone I was working in at the time.

Mostly NOT using OneNote sub-page indentation

I would like to use OneNotes parent / sub-page relationships - but OneNote only supports 3 levels (top,sub,subsub), which is nowhere near enough.

E.g. I might like to have collapsible Week/Day/Topic/sub-Topic) hierarchy

. Spacer Pages

I find it convenient to have spacer pages in the list of pages within a OneNote section.

Since empty pages get "Untitled page" implicitly supplied, instead a use pages whose title is as close to invisible as possible, just a "." (period).

---+ section special pages

I use these to divide the pages for a day into sections.
---+, ---++

Default sections are for sorting - taking Raw LOG pages, and dividing them into work and non-work related pages, so that I can separate work and non-work

---+ Work - Restricted

Stuff that is work restricted, sensitive, or proprietary - stuff that should be moved to a company notebook, stuff that I am not

Sometimes I may leave a link to such work restricted stuff around in my personal notebook LOG.

Sometimes even the title of the page is restricted.

---+ Work - Related - Public or Personal

Stuff that is work related, but which is not company proprietary, or secret.  Stuff that may be left in my personal notebook - although I may move a link to my work notebook

E.g. HR stuff. 

E.g. public technical papers, that I think may be relevant to work projects.

---+ Personal or Public - not Work Related

Stuff that is not work related.  Stuff that need not be moved or linked to a company notebook.

Not distinguishing public, personal, private.  Assume personal or private.

---+ Not Yet Classified

Typically I insert a block of special pages

** Tuesday, March 19, 2019
---+ Work - Restricted
---+ Work - Related - Public or Personal
---+ Personal or Public - not Work Related
---+ Not Yet Classified

collect OneNote pages under the ---+ Not Yet Classified
special page "section",
and then during review move them to the appropriate classification,
and thence to the appropriate company proprietary or personal notebook,

Monday, February 11, 2019

DHMXDC Surface charger: fails new PC, works old PC

I wanted to post this review on amazon.ca, but was not eligible[*], so I am posting here:

DHMXDC Magnetic US Plug Power Supply AC Adapter Cord for Microsoft Surface Pro 3/PRO 4 Intel Tablet (Pro 3 Adapter Without Usb)(Taboe Charger)Sold by: DHMXDCCDN$ 20.00
I forgot to bring an airplane-ready[**] laptop charger on a recent trip, so I purchased this from amazon.ca on the plane while travelling to Canada.

This charger did NOT work with the Microsoft Surface 2-in-1 tablet PC I was using on the trip. When plugged in (a) the charger connector lights up, as if working, but (b) PC system icon reports "plugged in, not charging".    This seems to be as reported by about half of the reviews.

I initiated a return request with amazon.ca the same day. The vendor responded, but had not authorized the return before I had to leave Canada.

On my return home, I found the the DHMXDC charger worked with an older Surface.  I will therefore keep it - too much hassle to get the vendor to complete the return authorization - but I will be reluctant to work with this vendor again. 


Note *: Since I live in the USA I normally use amazon.com, where I post reviews, rather than the Canadian site, amazon.ca which will not allow me to post a review unless I have purchased 50$ in the last 12 months.  Amazon.com will not allow me to post a review for a product I purchased on amazon.ca

Note **: by "airplane ready charger" I mean a charger that will work with the power outlets on many airlines.  The surface dock that I was travelling with drew too much current, and caused the air line power outlet to shut off.