Monday, March 26, 2012

T-shirts review

Our T-shirts were officially reviewed by the Best-TShirts-Ever.

One more link to our web site! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Monday

There is a proverb in Russian: "Monday is a hard day". Today I experienced it in full extent.

Monday is a garbage pickup day in our area. We put all garbage and recyclable stuff in the cans, bags and boxes, and leave that at the curb. Last night was really windy. When I got up in the morning and looked to the street I was surprised to find that all our garbage bins and box were gone! I had a bad feeling when went outside to check that, and I had a reason. The garbage bin cover was on someone's front-yard on another side of the street. The used plastic bottles, containers, cardboard boxes were all over the cul-de-sac. The wind was moving all that and other stuff around. It looked creepy - like some ghost town in the horror movies. So I spent my morning gathering all that. Found some of our garbage even on someone's backyard!

But that was only beginning.

On the way to work I realized that I forgot my pass, so had to return to get it. When I came to downtown I found that my parking spot was taken, so I had to call a parking manager to clarify where I could park.

I hoped the problems should be over after three bad things happened, but I was wrong.
After a while my MacBook Pro crashed and did not want to reboot. Several attempts to reanimate it only resulted in the disk check utility saying the hard disk failed, and could not be recovered.

That was the last straw! Now I am afraid to drive home - really thinking about taking a bus. :\

Monday, March 5, 2012

How to clean your keyboard... using a dishwasher!

Last week I was complaining about the MacBook keyboard. I needed a full keyboard to be able to work, so I asked our IT guys, if there were any external keyboards available, and they pointed me at a cabinet, which had a bunch of old keyboards. OMG! Those keyboards were so dirty, I didn't want even touch them! And it's not just the keys, which were never cleaned. Apparently Apple hardware design is not always that well thought out. Who came up with such a shape, where the outer keyboard body is some kind of an open tray, with the keys inside? Dirt, bread crumbs, hairs, and any small pieces fall down into this tray and stay there between and under the keys and internal keyboard part. And because the tray is transparent, all that dirty stuff is very well visible, which doesn't help.

Well, those were the only keyboards available, so I took one, which at least looked a bit newer under that layer of dirt.

I used to wash a keyboard before, but it was quite time consuming, as I disassembled the keyboard, removed the internal electronic components, washed only the plastic shell with keys, and re-assembled everything back. It looked even more difficult with this Apple keyboard, starting with the screws, which required a small hex screwdriver, and the keys, which construction looked different.

I searched on the Internet and found quite many mentions of the keyboards cleaned in a dishwasher. This sounded like a plan! The keyboard was so dirty and looked so old and abused, that I thought, even if it would die in the process, not many people would regret. On Saturday morning I removed all the clean dishes from our dishwasher, prepared the keyboard by wrapping the cable around and connecting it to one of the USB ports (just so the cable doesn't dangle, and covers at least one USB port), put the keyboard into dishwasher with the keys down, and started a quick wash cycle without any detergent, using just hot water, and with air dry only, without sanitizing (I guess the heated air could melt the plastic).

When the wash cycle was completed, I removed the keyboard, which was full of water, but looked clean. I put it near the heater, not too close so just warm dry air comes to it, and let the keyboard dry over the weekend.

Then was the moment of truth. I connected the washed and dried keyboard to a computer, and it worked! Tested all the keys - no problem at all, and it looks like new!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Using Mac

Recently I changed the job, and at my new work place I've got a MacBook Pro.

Working on a Mac might be quite difficult for someone who was using PCs for 20 years. The Mac OS X UI is not bad, some things are familiar to me after being on Linux for the last couple of years. But one thing on a Mac is very annoying - it's the keyboard, especially on a MacBook.

Using this keyboard for me is like tiptoeing on a mine field. One wrong step and you're dead! Well, it's not really that fatal, but only because there is usually an Undo command available.

The worst thing is the absence of the separate Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys on a laptop keyboard, so you need to use directional arrow keys with Fn, Control, Option or Command modificators. It is just impossible! Especially because the behavior is inconsistent in different applications.

I've already learned to use the Command key instead of Control, but those arrow keys with modificators drive me crazy! I desperately need a full keyboard!