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Showing posts from 2009

disk defragmentation

2009-12-30 Windows has a disk defrag tool build in. Just click on the disk and get properties, then under Tools tab. I am a efficiency nerd, but don't really trust defrag tools as it can corrupt your files. (sure i have backup, but to invoke it is a pain) Since Microsoft bundles it with Windows and this is 2009 not 1990s, i suppose it is safe, but still. Also, i always do partition my drives, but on this machine it's just one volumn of 685 GB. Usually partitioning is best done when you just bought the machine. But with PC today, it doesn't comes with a Windows installation disk anymore, so it's more difficult and i haven't partitioned my drives. Anyhow, on the Mac, the system does not bundle a defrag tool, and i always wondered why not.Wikipedia Defrag has some thing to say about this:HFS Plus (Mac OS X) In 1998 it introduced a number of optimizations to the allocation algorithms in an attempt to defragment files while they are being accessed without a separate defr…

google on web master things

2009-12-26 Google did a experiment on how speed effect users. Interesting reading. Speed Matters (2009-06-23) by Jake Brutlag. SourceA more informative article with clear summary is here: Bing and Google Agree: Slow Pages Lose Users (2009-06-23) by Brady Forrest. SourceOf course we all know that we don't like slow pages, but the interesting thing is that even a 0.4 sec delay has measurable impact. Another, about minor and major experiments google is doing: Search experiments, large and small (2008-08-26) by Ben Gomes. SourceMore readings: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/search-quality-continued.html. A interesting thing on the site is this link: http://www.google.com/jobs/britney.html, showing the few hundred variation of spellings people used to search Britney Spears. From this, we can infer how much trouble they take just for the spell correction feature, and further, how extremely complex the search technology actually is, beneath the extremely simple interface.

trackball mouse reviews

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/trackball.htmlBest Trackball MouseXah Lee, 2009-12-24, 2010-08-06, 2010-11-20In the past few months, i spent many days reviewing the design and functionality of input devices. See:Review Of Gaming MousesMathematical Models of 3D Inputs ControlA Review of The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.I've always been fascinated by trackballs. I think they are a more natural device than mouse. However, i've never owned and used a trackball. But have always been thinking of buying one. Every year or 2, i would spend days reading reviews of them, fuzzing about their design, ergonomics. About every 3 months in the past 20 years, i'd spend some 20 minutes in stores playing with them. Today i did again.The Microsoft Trackball ExplorerThe best trackball ever, ever, is the The Microsoft Trackball Explorer.“Microsoft Trackball Explorer”. amazon The best trackball ever. Large ball. Heavish. Spins! In a trackball device, the …

gaming mouses

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/mouses.htmlReview Of Microsoft SideWinder Gaming MousesXah Lee, 2009-12-18, 2010-11-19Spend few hours looking at gaming mouse today. Here are some thoughts.Even if you are not a gamer, a gaming mouse provides multiple reprogramable buttons and that is a productivity gain. Generally speaking, it has more advanced technology than a non-gaming mouse.Gaming mouse from Microsoft:“Microsoft SideWinder X8 Mouse”. amazon“Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse”. amazon“Microsoft SideWinder X5 Mouse”. amazon“Microsoft SideWinder X3 Mouse”. amazon“Microsoft Sidewinder X8 mouse” . Wireless. amazon “Microsoft Sidewinder X8 mouse”, and a recharger with magnetic connector. All these mouses have 1 scroll wheel, 3 instant-change-dpi buttons, and at least 5 programable buttons. But the X8 has 7 programable buttons, counting the left/right nudge of the scroll wheel.The X8 is wireless, all the others are wired. The wireless of X8 is actually quite ad…

my name XAH

perm url with updates http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/Personal_dir/naming_xah.htmlThe name XAHXah Lee, 2000Btw, the name “XAH” is by design. It is not a Chinese transliteration. I choose XAH as my English legal name. I wanted a unique name. Out of myriad letter combinations, XAH came to be more or less because I am fascinated by symmetric alphabets since young. There are still a lot possibilities of names with symmetric letters, but XAH seems to be good and was chosen.It would be fun to write a program to generate all plausible names that are composed of symmetric letters. Anyone risen for the challenge?By the way, alphabet may have vertical mirror symmetry (A, M, U...) or horizontal (B, C, E...) or 2-fold rotational symmetry (N, Z, S), or 4-fold rotational symmetry with mirror (X, I), or diagonal symmetry (idealized L, Q), or a combination of the above (H, I, O). We might also consider lower cases. For example C, O, I ... has the property that the symmetry is invariant among lower or u…

Microsoft Windows keyboard shortcuts

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/mswin/windows_keyboard_shortcuts.htmlMicrosoft Windows Keyboard ShortcutsXah Lee, 2009-12-16, 2010-05-18, 2010-07-31, 2010-08-10This page list some of the advanced keyboard shortcuts in Windows. The list on this page is chosen so it is practical, and it is organized by purpose. It is not a dumb list of keys.The info on this page are tested in Windows Vista. They should also work in Windows XP and Windows 7.Shortcuts Useful in All AppsThe following are shortcuts that are useful in most applications.Closing App or Window or TabHot KeyPurposeCommentAlt+F4quit appWorks in almost all appsAlt+Spacecquit appSame as “Alt+F4”Ctrl+F4close current tab or window◇Ctrl+wclose current tab or window◇EscClose current dialogUsually does not Save changes or Apply changes.Mouse ButtonGesture and PurposeCommentmiddle buttonClick on tab to Close tabWorks in Firefox, IE, Google Chrome, Safari, OperaFull Screen and Hide/ShowHot KeyPurposeCommentF11Full ScreenAdd Shif…

military combat in Second Life

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/sl/sl_military.htmlSecond Life MilitaryXah Lee, 2009-12-14Some great and not so great videos of Second Life's combat and military.“The Ordo Imperialis: Litany”. Ordo is one of the biggest military in Second Life. This vid is rather professionally done, with much editing, and is not untouched recording of the game. The bluish glow building in the video is the base of another military, the Chthonic Syndicate. “Merczateers MAC-10 '08”. Merczateers is one of the biggest military in Second Life. This one is funny. The red flag in the vid is another military, Chaos Decretum. “Chthonic Syndicate - Recruitment Video”. “Mercz vs Chtonic Syndicate”. This one shows a actual military battle in Second Life. Some websites of SL militaries:Chthonic Syndicate, at http://chthonicsyndicate.com/.Ordo Imperialis, at http://www.ordoimperialis.com/. See also: http://secondlife.wikia.com/wiki/Ordo_ImperialisMerczateers, at http://www.merczateers.net/Someone made…

Emacs manual problem

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_manual_problem.htmlProblems of Emacs's ManualXah Lee, 2008-05The emacs documentation is quite outdated. It is written with 1980's mindset, with some one thousand pages in a verbose way. Perhaps half of bulk are not necessary and can be edited out as improvement.Although its technical writing is impeccable and one of the best in tech industry, but because it's written in the 1980's or early 1990 computer era context, few people reads it today, except a few hardcore emacs fan.The idea of the problem of emacs documentation i have for several years, but like many things, it will take perhaps a day to write out a cogent essay, with full detail and references and examples to backup the claim in a way at least the emacs hardcore users will find it worth a thought. However, here's a some outline of the emacs doc problems.The document is written is a verbose manner. For example, it starts with tens (or hundreds) of pages …

song appreciation: 在水一方

perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/sanga_pemci/zai4_shui3_yi1_fang1.html在水一方Xah Lee, 2009-11-27A song sung by Teresa Deng. Title: 在水一方 Singer: 邓丽君 (Teresa Deng) Lyrics: 琼瑶 Music: 林家庆 English translation: 李杀 (Xah Lee) 绿草苍苍,白雾茫茫, 有位佳人,在水一方. 绿草萋萋,白雾迷离, 有位佳人,靠水而居. 我愿逆流而上, 依偎在她身旁. 无奈前有险滩, 道路又远又长. 我愿顺流而下, 找寻她的方向. 却见依稀仿佛, 她在水的中央. 我愿逆流而上, 与她轻言细语. 无奈前有险滩, 道路曲折无已. 我愿顺流而下, 找寻她的踪迹. 却见仿佛依稀, 她在水中佇立. 绿草苍苍,白雾茫茫, 有位佳人,在水一方. vast grasslands, immense sky of clouds there is a lady, across the water verdant green grass, misty white clouds there is this lady, she lives by the water i would go up-stream to be with her even if there are obstacles even if the road is long i would go down-stream to look for her course far away vaguely i see she's right in the center i would go up-stream to whisper in her ears even if there are dangerous waves even if the road is unpaved i would go down-stream searching for her footsteps far away vaguely i see she's waiting for me …

Li Ao's video lectures

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/li_ao_lectures.htmlLi Ao LecturesXah Lee, 2009-11-20In the past few days, i've been watching many Li Ao's video lectures. They are Fantastic.Here's one on language, in particular the survivalability of the Min Nan dialog.444 李敖有话说:台湾语早晚被淘汰 A. 444 李敖有话说:台湾语早晚被淘汰 B. In these, he showed, about maybe 30 or more Chinese terms and their origin, in acient Chinese literature. Quite fantastic. (todo: type them out here)Also, the indicated that the term “名词” (noun), is of Japanese origin. (todo: verify).See also:Chinese Core Simplified CharsChinese Pinyin Letter Frequency“李敖语妙天下 2009年2月26日 才女与美女如何兼备 Part 1”. In the above, he mentioned a book, “American Policy Toward Communist China”, subtitled “The historical record: 1949-1969” by Foster Rhea Dulles. amazon It is published in 1972.He chatted about expensive Fountain pen, among other things. How interesting.“李敖语妙天下 2009年2月26日 才女与美女如何兼备 Part 2” In it, he has written a poem, publ…

Misc

Misc.On Windows Vista, when you copy Mac files on a local network to your local disk, and if the Mac folder name ends in a space, then Windows will complain that it cannot locate the folder. See also: Perl Scripts For Mac/Windows File Moving.2009-11-11 rsync's support for unicode is pissing me off. At least the version of rync i'm using on cygwin for transferring files between Windows and Mac. For detail, see: Mac and Windows File Conversion.2009-11-08 Gaming news. “News” in the sense of my own discovery. Quake Live, Combat Arms, Eve online.Quake Live is based on Quake III Arena. Quake 3 was released in 1999, which i played a demo. Quake Live just brings it into the web browser, and free. When you play, you'll see what 3D gaming tech is like in 1999.I remember, back in 1999, it is a great fantastic 3D graphics advancement, with lots brouhaha. Playing now, the graphics feels so extremely lousy.2009-11-04 Crooked House, a model in Second Life of science fiction writer Robert A…

Microsoft IntelliType Hacks

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Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/ms_keyboard/intellitype_hacks.htmlMicrosoft IntelliType HacksXah Lee, 2009-11-08, 2009-12-05, 2010-01-28Microsoft IntelliType is a keyboard software that comes with Microsoft keyboards, and works only with Microsoft keyboards. This page is some info on some of the tech detail on how the software works, for those tech geeks who like to customize their keyboards extensively.As far as i know, there's no public documentation about how intellitype works. So, this writing is somewhat a reverse engineering documentation. You may first read about Problems of Microsoft IntelliType, to become familiar with what can and cannot be done with IntelliType's interface, or the limit of IntelliType hacking described in this doc can achieve.Note: This writing is not comprehensive. Its just some notes of my findings. To understand this document fully, you should have at least 1 hour experience in playing or setting up keys using intelliType. For …

problems of Microsoft IntelliType

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perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/emacs/ms_keyboard/intellitype.html.Problems of Microsoft IntelliTypeXah Lee, 2007-10, 2009-11-04IntelliType is the software that is bundled with Microsoft's keyboards. The software allows you to assign functionality to various special keys and function keys on the keyboard. For example, you can set a key to launch or switch application, open a particular file, or press some keyboard combination instead. It also allows you to set up some other keyboarding related preference, for example, you can switch the functionality of Caps Lock key and Ctrl. You can also make the Windows key act as Mac's Option key and the Alt key as Mac's Cmd key, for Mac users.Of my over a decade experience of using keyboard and keymapping software (including: QuicKeys (~1992-~2001), ResEdit keymap rsrc (~1993), xmodmap (~1999), KeyboardMaestro (~2003), DefaultKeyBinding.dict (~2005), Quicksilver (~2007) ...), i think IntelliType is one of the top quality soft…