Saturday, July 27, 2019

hot hands hot hands

For years I've been digging using a laptop on my workdesk with additional monitors hanging out above it - I like how so much remains constant whether I'm on at the desk or on the go, and most external keyboards don't make it easy to put a trackpad as close at hand, or rather close at thumb, as a laptop.

But I seem to be in a minority, and most of my peers use some kind of external keyboard, either with the laptop closed or perched above as another external monitor.

Back in the day, developers used desktops, and so this was a moot issue, but I feel like external keyboards are more popular among developers now than they were 5 years ago or so. (I might be wrong on this.) And I wonder if it's just the heat issue - laptops, especially these thin ones, run hot, and it's not always the most pleasant thing.

Heh, at least for now, that means the famous MacPro touchbar is even more useless for developers, unless Apple makes a special keyboard with it included. I got a new laptop and have to take care not to accidentally brush its virtual esc key... Douglas Adams warned us about this:
A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.
 Considering he wrote that in the late 70s, he was amazingly prescient - about these touchbars, and about all these gesture interfaces...

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