piano, computer keyboard: pinky vs 4th finger, stronger?

On Jun 15, 5:43 am, rusi wrote:
> On Jun 15, 5:32 pm, Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > Thanks. From testing small movements with my fingers I see that the
> > fourth finger is in fact a bit weaker than the last finger, but more
> > importantly, it is much less dexterous. Good to know!
> Most of the piano technique-icians emphasis, especially those of the
> last century like Hanon, was to cultivate 'independence' of the
> fingers.  The main target of these attacks being the 4th finger.
> The number of potential-pianists who ruined their hands and lives
> chasing this holy grail is unknown

Hi rusi, am afaid going to contradict what u say here.

i pretty much mastered Hanon 60. All of it, but it was now 8 years ago. The idea that pinky is stronger than 4th is silly. I can't fathom any logic or science to support that. Perhaps what u meant is that in many situations the use of pinky can be worked around because it in at the edge of your hand so you can apply chopping motion or similar. (which, is BAD if you want to develope piano finger skill) However, that's entirely different than saying pinky being stronger than 4th.

there's many ways we can cookup tests right away to see. e.g. try to squeeze a rubber ball with 4th and thumb. Repeat with pink + thumb. Or, reverse exercise by stretching a rubber band wrapped on the 2 fingers of interest. You can easy see that pinky isn't stronger.




keyboard: use of numerical keypad


On Jun 13, 6:45 pm, Gregory Ewing wrote:
> Chris Angelico wrote:
> > And did any of the studies take into account the fact that a lot of
> > computer users - in all but the purest data entry tasks - will use a
> > mouse as well as a keyboard?
> What I think's really stupid is designing keyboards with two
> big blocks of keys between the alphabetic keys and the mouse.
> Back when standard-grade keyboards didn't usually have a
> built-in numeric keypad, it was much easier to move one's
> right hand back and forth between the keyboard and mouse.
> Nowadays I find myself perpetually prone to off-by-one errors
> when moving back to the keyboard. :-(

numerical keypad is useful to many. Most people can't touch type. Even for touch typist, many doesn't do the number keys. So, when they need to type credit card number, phone number, etc, they go for the number pad. Also, i think the number pad esentially have become a calculator for vast majority of computer users. These days, almost all keyboard from Microsoft or Logitech has a Calculator button near the number pad to launch it.

i myself, am a qwerty typist since ~1987, also worked as data entry clerk for a couple of years. Am a dvorak touch typist since 1994. (and emacs since 1997) However, i never learned touch type the numbers on the main section till i think ~2005. I used to always just move my hand to the number pad when i need to type a phone number. Since about 2008, the numerical keypad is now used as extra function keys.



keyboard: menu key, Alt, window key

On Jun 12, 8:58 am, Elena 〔egarr...@gmail.com〕 wrote:
│ On 12 Giu, 09:19, Xah Lee 〔xah...@gmail.com〕 wrote:

│ │ ------------------------------------------------
│ │ PC Keyboard Modifier Keys (A Short Survey)

│ │ However, the right side is entirely a different story. Here's some common design:

│ │     ① Alt Win Menu Ctrl (most cheap keyboards)
│ │     ② Alt Menu Ctrl (some Microsoft ergonomic models)
│ │     ③ Alt Flip3D Menu Ctrl (some fancy (non-split) Microsoft models)
│ │     ④ Alt Fn Ctrl (many Logitech keyboards)
│ │     ⑤ Alt Ctrl. (keyboards of early 1990s)

│ Actually, things are worse than that: in ISO (European) layouts, there
│ is no right Alt key, since it has been replaced by AltGr.

Ah, thanks. I forgot about that.

Additonal info: On Windows, if the layout is set to one of the euro lang, the right Alt became AltGr.

i have a question: in Europe and keyboard manufactured for Europe with a real AltGr key, does that key actually send a different scancode than the right Alt?

│ I think modifier keys - Win key included - should always be on both
│ sides of a keyboard.

I agree.

│ In Windows, Menu is equivalent to Shift+F10 (if I remember correctly).

Yeah. Wikipedia has a lot detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menu_key

though, one cannot expect them to be exactly equivalent, since it is done in software layer.

│ As for the lack of Win key, you could always remap Win key chords to
│ Ctrl+Alt.

yeah. But then that interfere with emacs use of Ctrl+Meta. e.g. with arrow key it navigate lisp code …

│ Thanks for writing this article: I'll pay attention to the modifier
│ keys whenever I'm going to buy a new laptop, where keyboards always
│ are a bit crippled.

thanks. Yeah laptop is one entire different story. I think i'll do a survey of laptop layout soon. Already started to gather some pics. … i think the main ones to start with is Apple's, HP/Compaq's, IBM/Levono, and maybe some sony, toshiba, Acer, ...

i think prolonged use of laptop real quick to RSI anyway. I used laptop (Apple) exclusively for 1 year in ~2004, that's the first time i felt RSI coming. Then i got myself a external keyboard, in fact opted for a ergonomic (split) one (of Microsoft), and now i never looks back on straight keyboards ☺.


emacs, unicode, keyboarding, troll


On Jun 11, 12:25 am, dkco...@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:
│ Just a reminder here:

│ As far as I can tell, a Sun keyboard (type 6, I think, the one with
│ "control" in the CORRECT place, just left of the "a") has no
│ windows key (nor the other one mentioned, a "super" key, was
│ that it?).

now, this post gotta be a troll — one fat piece of meat waiting for me to byte, and how i cannot resist, as tech geekers wont to say.

Hi David Combs, if i recall correctly, you are the one insistently complain, like Alan Mackenzie have done, politely to boot, several times in the past years, that newsgroup posts shouldn't use unicode chars such as “” «» → etc. LOL And as i've mentioned a thousand times, a decade and two ago the same tech geekers insisted that web shouldn't commericialize, that it should remain plain text, that GUI is for idiots, and MIME is a plague. (and these same idiots today toting iPad, Amazon Kindle in their hands, sipping coffee pleasurably at Starbucks, banter on commercial sites such as slashdot, reddit, hacker news, about software ethics, while grabbing movie files from pirate bay, because, after all, information should be free.)

So, what shall i say about the « Sun keyboard (type 6, I think, the one with "control" in the CORRECT place, just left of the "a") has no windows key (nor the other one mentioned, a "super" key, was that it?).»?

if you are a typical conservative tech geeker with coding experience back to the 1980s, then, the CORRECT position for Control key for emacs use today is at the 2 Alt key on standard PC keyboards. In contrast, if you are not the conservative hacker of old school, then the correct position is to tell FSF to wipe out emacs's keyboard shortcut set. Wipe it out. All of it.


〈Sun Microsystem's “Type 6” Keyboard〉

〈How To Avoid The Emacs Pinky Problem〉

〈Why You Should Not Swap Caps Lock With Control〉

〈Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful〉

O, by the way, recently i discovered this from emacs manual of version 23.2, node ((emacs) User Input), quote:

(1) We refer to <Alt> as <Meta> for historical reasons.

O, so FSF refer to Alt as Meta. I didn't know that! I double checked and that line wasn't in emacs manual of 22.0.50. For a moment i thought it reads “Xah refers Alt as Meta, because he's a troll.”.



Pascal vs Xah

Pascal J Bourguignon 〔p…@informatimago.com〕 wrote:
> Not at all.  (Yet some other fodder for Xah's idiocy articles, sorry).

you mean my articles describing idiots like you?

Here's a juicy passage of Pascal J Bourguignon fellow, in which you can get a glimpse of his highness:

«Ruby's been done by some Japanese newbie… I guess there was some language barrier preventing him to learn from the 50 years of occidental experience in programming language design. At least, he wasn't a "linguist"… In any case, why should we suffer for THEIR incompetences?!?»


On Jun 11, 9:51 pm, "Pascal J. Bourguignon" 〔p…@informatimago.com〕 wrote:
│ Alan Mackenzie 〔a…@muc.de〕 writes:
│ │ Hi, Xah.

│ │ Xah Lee 〔xah…@gmail.com〕 wrote:
│ ││ in a elisp program, if i have created a temp var (but not using let)
│ │ ….

│ │ As a matter of interest, how do you do that?

│ ││ …. and later i want to delete the var, i can do:

│ ││ (setq temp1 nil)

│ ││ or is it better to do

│ ││ (unintern 'temp1)

│ │ Shouldn't much matter.  Probably better to set it to nil, because that's
│ │ more usual.  OTOH, if you want to detect an error should temp1 be
│ │ subsequently accessed, then uninterning it will be better.

│ Not at all.  (Yet some other fodder for Xah's idiocy articles, sorry).

│     (defvar temp1 42)

│     (defun f ()
│       temp1)

│     (unintern 'temp1)

│     (f) --│ 42

│ ││ The temp1 var holds a big list, and there are few more, e.g. temp2,
│ ││ temp3.

│ │ Either approach will allow these lists to be garbage collected.


programing: monad in emacs

On Jun 3, 5:19 am, jvt wrote:
> On Jun 2, 6:44 am, Xah Lee wrote:
> > On May 30, 10:30 am, jvt wrote:
> > > Hi cll -
> > > …
> > > I'd worry about spamming the list serve with my own content except Xah
> > > Lee is always posting his crazy blog posts, so I guess its ok?
> > i guess i'm honored. It's great of u to peddle ur stuff at the expense
> > of my name.
> > perhaps you seek a lil constructive advice from me: if you think your
> > stuff is useful, feel free to post here, without feeling guilty and
> > needing to find scapegoat as excuse.
> > and now you should thank me too, because i've contributed to your
> > advertisement.
> > long live the spirit of newsgroup.
> >  Xah
> The jab was entirely good natured, Xah.  I actually enjoy your posts,
> for the most part.

Wee! I figured if the pesky Pascal J B would praise a article, it must be worthwhile.

〈Deep Emacs Lisp Part 1 (Basically, a Monad Tutorial)〉, (2011-04-09) by JVT. @ http://dorophone.blogspot.com/2011/04/deep-emacs-part-1.html

btw, is there a subscribe button on your blog? Blogger is annoying in that by default they have subscribe button to comments but not the blog. (one can subscribe in Google Reader just by plain blog site's url, but still, a explicit rss button would be better)

i'll be reading your article soon and perhaps blog about it on my blog and maybe give some feedback.

PS it annoys me to no end when one cannot easily find the name of the author on blogs, when the blog author clearly didn't meant to be anonymous. Is there a reason you didn't want it spelled it out?

(i despise hacker culture, where these “hackers” idiotic-namesake prefer to go by “handles” or abbrevs (e.g. “RMS”, “ESR”, “JWZ”) or whatnot insider-fashion fuck. But that's just me.)