Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Return Key

Realistic fluid simulation in Blender + LuxRender
Better than any of the spill videos I found.

I've been using Dell keyboards for forever, mostly on account of that's what you get when you buy a Dell computer. Recent acquisitions though have been motivated by price. You can pick one up at the recycling store for $3. The one I'm using is missing a couple of key caps to a a couple of important keys: Escape and Print Screen. That's okay, there's a couple other keys I never use: Scroll Lock and Pause/Break. I'm not even sure what they are supposed to do. Whatever, pop 'em off (they come off easy enough with a screwdriver) and stick 'em where I need 'em. This works fine since I rely on these key's locations rather than their labels.

The other day I opened a high pressure package of Costco brand grapefruit slices and it spit a stream of sugary goodness right at my keyboard. Noooooooooo! So now I've got slow moving back slash and quote keys and a glacial Return key. Well, that's annoying. But hey, there's the Enter key off in the corner, I can use that instead. At first I was thinking that this will not stand, but I've adjusted, mostly because we don't use the Return key all that much anymore. Used to be, back in the bad old days, you would have to hit the carriage return LEVER to advance to the next line on your typewriter, and then push it clear across the machine to return your impact point to the left hand side of the page. Then we got electric typewriters and the BIG improvement was replacing the carriage return lever with the Return key.

But now we have word-processors with word-wrap and so we hardly ever need to use the Return key.

There is one thing that happens with my keyboard that I do not quite understand. I use boldface type and ALL CAPS semi-frequently, and for some reason when I am typing and I invoke one, when it is time to turn it off (devoke it?), my fingers activate the other one, so now I have both invoked and I have to stop and unscramble this unholy mess I have created. Now sometimes I mis-press the Shift key instead of Caps Lock, and sometimes Ctrl gets into the mix, but those are understandable, they are all right next to each other and they don't feel any different. But boldface requires a specific key sequence (Ctrl-B) and Caps Lock does not, so how do I get these confused?

While we are talking about keys and characters, I'm wondering about techniques for highlighting specific kinds of information in a document. I'm fooling with a History of the Telephone and Telegraph in Brazil and it's full of company names, people's names, and government agencies. What I want is to somehow treat these various items so that when you look at a page you can easily see what kinds of items are being referenced, but do not stand out so much that they disrupt the flow when you are trying to read it. I'm thinking highlighting by coloring the background might work. Difficult to find colors that will have the desired effect. Colored text does not work so well. Anything but black tends toward invisible, unless you boldface it, and then it's just too much. I think I'll try highlighting.

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