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Friday, January 24, 2014

Techno-Freckles And Feather-Bedding Advertisements

I am making progress with my new computer.

I have discovered some new things about my Synaptic TouchPad V7.5, and it is working a great deal better. These things are "discovered" because they were not covered in the instructions. It seems to me that one of the major flaws with technology is a strange inability to communicate with precision.

The mathematics, the electrical engineering, the computer science are done extremely well, but the communication with the user seems to be full of gaps and lack of clarity, not to mention that sometimes the technology companies do not seem to have a proper understanding of their products; that is, their products operate within a range of variability, yet they seem to write to me as if everything was exactly that point estimate of exactitude that they set themselves to attain.

Case in point: enlarging or diminishing the display.
The instructions say that you spread your two fingers to enlarge and pinch them to diminish, just as if you were working an iPhone.
However, on my computer, this spreading of the fingers has the effect of letting a lonely bull out into the fields filled with Holsteins; it cannot be easily controlled. Same way for the finger pinch; it rapidly decreases in a Costanza-ish manner that is disconcerting.

However, I have found that using a series of small strokes, either spreading or pinching, controls the movement very well. I estimate that I move the fingers maybe just less than an inch apart or together and things are under control.
And it is not the tip of the finger one uses, rather a portion of the finger tip upon which the fingerprint is.
And for highlighting text, the double tap is nowhere as slow as the instructions indicate; rather, it is a fast double tap - about 3 to 4 times faster -  and then highlight.
There is no mention of any of this in the instructions. In the instructions, it is the best of all possible worlds, sort of like the Speech Recognition tutorial that gets you all enthusiastic about using your voice to control things. There are only so many times one can say "Scroll down" and get an inquiry whether one said "Blow down" or "Flow down", and please say the number of the correct item without becoming despondent.

I bought an HP optical mouse which works well.
We usually sit in a chair to read the news, and we have the laptop recumbent on our laps upon a write/erase board which I drafted for the job of supporting the laptop while allowing air to move freely into the cooling system.
The mouse works very well by just using the arm of the chair as a mouse pad. This surprised me, and I was very happy to see how that worked out. The mouse cost about $15.

My Optical Mouse

I still have a lot of worthless apps cluttering up the start screen.
Reading is getting harder, for the more proficient I become, the faster I go, and I am always ready to jump into an article, but there are so many ads that need to be closed and small Flash videos running somewhere that I have to be patient.
It seems to me that faster processors are needed not just for gaming, but also for mundane tasks, such as reading a news site, because before I can navigate the page, I have to wait for all the techno-skin-tags and techno-freckles to finish loading on the face of the front page.

I mean, I should have bought something that ran close to the speed of IBM's Watson just to read the morning news. I usually go to the first page of an article I wish to read, read the first couple lines, or the first paragraph, then a page down or two-finger scroll to continue, and the thing just sits still as it waits for the feather-bedding advertisements to get their 8 hours in.

I can just hear them:

Registration Advertisement: "Hey! You! Two-Finger Righty! Slow down! Ya wanna ruin this cushy job for the rest of us?!"

Flash Video Ad:  "If you don't slow down, I'll make you crawl! "


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