Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

…Three To Go

My Broken KeyMy laptop now sports only 25 letters, the M key apparently deciding that being attached to the rest was too “mainstream”. Ironically the breakage happened while I was actually legitimately working. Sliding a folder, it must have caught the underneath of the key and tore it right off, snapping one of its plastic legs in the process. Luke informs me that at least it’s only the 14th most commonly used letter, although was somewhat more helpful in providing an alternate keyboard for me to use for the moment, along with an interesting USB-to-PS/2 gizmo. In related news, a new version of Das Keyboard is out, looking identical but now boasting quality keys that will rival the best on the market. Its sleek, unmarked keys certainly bring a whole new meaning to the word minimalism.

Internet fraud is a nasty thing, and while my eBay experiences have been mostly smooth (hassle-free refunds for a few misrepresented items), the same cannot be said for everyone. A unique method of revenge followed the alleged sale of a defective laptop by Amir. The unwitting buyer claims his requests for refunds were refused so he proceeded to extract the contents of the machine’s hard drive and has produced a website, written in the first person, describing the sale of the laptop. Let us say it features material of a delicate nature. While the authenticity of his claims cannot be verified, the hilarious results have been featured in several newspapers already.

Meanwhile in Louisiana the horrendous Jack Thompson-penned game bill has received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee and will go forward for debate. Few gamers would suggest that violent videogames ought to be played by young children but applying the same standards to seven and seventeen-year-olds is absurd. Having discussed it with Stephen (as both a parent and a lawyer practicing out there), we concluded the bill will have little effect on those it aims to protect as their games are purchased either online or by uninformed parents who seemingly refuse to inform themselves. It is, he argues, a First Amendment violation. Until those parents learn to say “no” to their whining brats, I don’t foresee an immediate solution.


  1. I would hasten to point out that that approximation has more caveats than I care to enumerate… So instead, I’ll share some facts.

    As a total percentage of keyboard use, the ‘m’ key on my MS Natural Keyboard cuts in at a pathetic 1.5%

    Way behind, for example the Ctrl key, at 2.3%, the Shift key at 4.5% or the Space bar at a wopping 11.1% (even though its purpose is sadly limited on P-2006, due to some awful bug somewhere or other)

    It may also interest the statistically inclined amongst you, that it takes me on average 110ms to reach the M key from the previous location. Terrible.

    These statistics are for the past month’s usage only, and do not include kernel mode trapped signals, for obvious security reasons.

    We can deduce that if Pryian was me, apart from the obvious psychological problems, he would only have to avoid pressing the m key on average ~300 times a day. A trifle for someone of his interlect I would have thought. Clearly the solution is a keyboard remap from say the much shunned ‘`’ key to M. About as logical as the rest of Query.

    But too much typing can result in a Pallas Cat failing their exams, which might not be healthy for all in the vicinity, so back to the tedium of shortest paths between vertices….

    Keep up the good work |`+[01110]|

  2. >the Space bar at a wopping 11.1% (even though its purpose is sadly limited on P-2006, due to some awful bug
    >somewhere or other)

    Is this space bar page-scrolling that you’re referring to? I checked this out and on my computer it functions as expected in FF, IE and Opera. I assume it works for you on other sites, so I’m highly perplexed as to what combination of things is causing this bug. If anyone else experiences this, please let me know (preferably along with your browser configuration).

  3. Try (IE 6.0.2900):

    Load website
    Click on white area

    Try scrolling (fails, space, page up, page down, space, next page on Tablet)

    Then click on pinkish area

    Try scrolling (works)

    The behaviour in FF was wierder and seemingly non-deterministic.

  4. Aha, now at least I can reproduce the bug in IE. I shall have a look into it and get back to you.

    UPDATE: Right, it appears to be due to IE’s handling of the wrapper div which surrounds the entire content area, holding it together and centering it, adding the border, etc. Modifying the CSS to remove this layer without affecting the layout is a job for after exams (because all the other divs will need to be modified), but I’ll toy around with it and see if the bug can be fixed that way without breaking anything else.

  5. Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter very much anyway.

  6. Scrolling works for me in Firefox. And I didn’t even know that you could use spacebar to scroll with. :”>

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"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

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