Monthly Archives: October 2006

“Heroes” Rocks

Just watched the pilot episode of “Heroes” and I’m giving it two thumbs up. Not only am I interested and caught up in the story already but my wife loves it as well, which in house doesn’t always happen. Actually, this is probably a bad thing because the television shows we both really love together tend to have something go horribly wrong with them.

First there was the excellent “Firefly”, which for those that have seen it know how entertaining it was and of course that it got yanked after only a season, and not even really a full season at that. Bastards.

Next there was the new version of “Doctor Who” and just as my wife was really getting into the story after much cajoling on my part they went and changed the actor that plays the Doctor, from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant and while Mr. Tennant isn’t doing a half-bad job Mr. Eccleston made an impression that leaves the show feeling just a little flat. We still watch it but we no longer look forward to new episodes in quite the same way.

So here’s to hoping “Heroes” makes it!

The Fn of the Ctrl Key

I’m in the market for a notebook and so I’ve been looking around at different models to see what’s out there and of all the things to get hung up on I’m stuck on keyboards. Forget specs, forget memory or speed or hard drives or touchpads or any of that, it’s the keyboards that have me stuck.

First, I’m looking for either a 15.4" or 17" notebook and very few computer makers seem to realize that you can also make the keyboard bigger, not just the monitor itself. It’s for this reason that Dell dropped off my list first, and I’m a huge Dell user. Even on their 17" notebooks the Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys are located in the upper right-hand corner, *above* all the other keys. Seriously, with all that room and they can’t even put keys along the right edge or off a full num pad? Horrible design.

Second, after typing on my wife’s work ThinkPad I realize I can’t own any notebook that places the Fn key where the Ctrl key is on a real keyboard. How daft was that decision? Did someone that hated the keyboard put it there? After typing for a few hours I realized I didn’t once use the Fn key yet I tried to hit the Ctrl key probably once every 45 seconds.

Third, I need my Windows key. Yes, probably not as important as the Ctrl key but I realized after 5 minutes that I use that Windows key. The same key I thought was a silly little annoyance I now rely upon. I even got my wife to use it and now she goes crazy on her ThinkPad without it. The three most useful things are Windows+D which minimizes all windows instantly, Windows+R which brings up the run box and Windows+E which starts a new browser instance.

I can excuse the last one, the Windows key isn’t really seen as many as important and space is limited on a notebook BUT #1 and #2? Forget it. In fact, I would really love to talk to someone in hardware design and find out why for the love of all that’s holy the keys are placed where they are on over 60% of laptops. It might save someone’s face actually because if I ever sit next to someone on a plane and they happen to mention they designed the ThinkPad keyboard layout I’m just going to sock ‘em right in the kisser.