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Using Tools that Fit


Using Tools that Fit

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Andy Warren
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Using Tools that Fit

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Dave Poole
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In one position I was given a MacBook PRO. Prior to that I had no experience with Macs other than wincing at the price tag and moving on. To be brutally honest I thought of them as posers machines, I was a snob.
The MacBook just worked.....beautifully. It was a joy to use. I got so much done but I can't pin down exactly why.
That said Outlook on a Mac is a leap back in time. Features that Windows Outlook users have taken for granted for nearly 10 years are the Mac Outlook list of most requested features but with no sign of them being implemented.

Wireless repetitive strain mice are a must have.

Hardware assigned by rank is moronic. Giving developers a 13" Windows lap top but an architect a MacBook Pro is an inverted pyramid of piffle.

The thing that makes the most difference to me is not the physical hardware (13" laptop aside). The things that make the difference are

  • Software set up

  • Appropriate access privileges

  • Ease of setting up and configuring local VMs

  • Bureaucracy (preferably the lack of)

  • Access to learning resources

  • Team work

  • Support from colleagues for the areas that are my weak point

  • Sensible governance. That is people who work towards solutions for the pain points introduced by governance rather than the other crowd who seem to think their job is to sit on their backsides and say NO



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Sean Redmond
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Of all of the keyboards that I have used, the ones that I found most agreeable to type on were the Apple Extended Keyboard II on the Macintoshes in university back in the 1990s.
They had a lovely spring to them. They use, acc. to Wikipedia [1], mechanical switches from ALPS.
I was thinking about getting one, along with an ADB-USB converter, but they are almost 30 years' old now and with many decades dirt under the keys, they will need cleaning.


[1] Apple Extended Keyboard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Extended_Keyboard
Andy Robertson
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We moved office we all got new wireless keyboards and mice in our flexible new office!
The keyboard is a microsoft wireless keyboard 800 which has no differentiation between the main keypad the cursors/insert/delete section and the number pad. The function keys are too small to hit. All in all a pretty inept product.
I immediately put back in my thick heavy, wired chunky dell keyboard with full size keys etc. I love my solid old Dell keyboard!
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I would like to point out something that the younger people do not think about, well not yet anyway. When the wide screen was introduced, the physical character size on the screen reduced, because the height of the screen reduced. When you change the resolution, some characters somewhere on your screen goes out of focus (ghosting?), so changing from the default resolution did not work. It forced me to go to 27 inch screens to get to a size that does not cause migraines. So, when you think of changing your screen(s), take your (future) eyes into consideration.

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Gerry Doyle
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Andy Warren - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 9:12 PM
Comments posted to this topic are about the item Using Tools that Fit
I have experimented with many keyboards and I've found the wireless Microsoft Comfort 5000 excellent along with its respective wireless mouse. Regarding monitors bigger is not necessarly better it really depends on a number of factors such as the screen resolution, the bezel edge size, and blue light emmisions. I've found the Dell U2515H 2560x1440 very good, I have two and may buy another. 24 inch seems to be a sweet spot for coding and althought I initially thought the low blue light emmissions was a marketing gimmick it's definitially less tiring on the eyes over long periods. Most monitors seem to be 1080 depth nowdays but 1440px saves a lot of scrolling. I have more or less the same setup at home and work. One other thing, I'm always amazed how employers tend to only supply one monitor to their workers when its such a cheap way to facilitate productivity?.
tim 99451
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Just on the scrolling issue - I use only two monitors, but I have one in portrait, specifically for looking at long queries/documentation etc.
roger.plowman
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I have a straight click key keyboard at home (which I really like), while at work I use a Microsoft Natural ergonomic keyboard 4000 (the one that splits the keyboard into two banks of keys), an OLD MS generic optical mouse, and two monitors.

I' m a developer and having the ability to full screen code or the ERD diagram and have the tool palettes floating on the other is a godsend. The keyboard is a great enhancement too.

Having used switch keyboards, mushy keyboards, flat key keyboards, etc., I have got to recommend a keyboard with good travel and good key "break" feel--that sudden release of pressure that tells your muscle memory the keystroke has registered. Back in the 80's Keytronics made the ultimate keyboard. It had perfect break and was otherwise silent. Built like a tank, the one I had lasted through literally a dozen computers! I'd still be using it if it hadn't had the original IBM PC connector.

The audible click is meh, I can take it or leave it. It's the keyboard FEEL that is more important.

And two monitors? A MUST for developers. Smile

Mice? (shrug) as long as it isn't a hockey-puck, has two buttons and a wheel and is optical I'm happy.
roger.plowman
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roger.plowman - Thursday, September 7, 2017 6:34 AM
I have a straight click key keyboard at home (which I really like), while at work I use a Microsoft Natural ergonomic keyboard 4000 (the one that splits the keyboard into two banks of keys) which I also really like, an OLD MS generic optical mouse, and two monitors.

I' m a developer and having the ability to full screen code or the ERD diagram and have the tool palettes floating on the other is a godsend. The keyboard is a great enhancement too.

Having used switch keyboards, mushy keyboards, flat key keyboards, etc., I have got to recommend a keyboard with good travel and good key "break" feel--that sudden release of pressure that tells your muscle memory the keystroke has registered. Back in the 80's Keytronics made the ultimate keyboard. It had perfect break and was otherwise silent. Built like a tank, the one I had lasted through literally a dozen computers! I'd still be using it if it hadn't had the original IBM PC connector.

The audible click is meh, I can take it or leave it. It's the keyboard FEEL that is more important.

And two monitors? A MUST for developers. Smile

Mice? (shrug) as long as it isn't a hockey-puck, has two buttons and a wheel and is optical I'm happy.

jay-h
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Much of this stuff is more marketing hype, trying to create a big deal over tiny differences, than reality. Really it makes little difference (within reason) what mouse or keyboard you use. Monitors are a bit more critical, but unless you're doing serious graphics work, even the modest cost ones work adequately.

Most of my work consists of SSIS, email and RDP. Not much CPU power required for any of that stuff. My boss takes it a step further, he has basically nothing installed on his laptop. Even on the road, he remotes into an equipped machine here and does everything through that window.

...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
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