Archive for May, 2009

Attention readers of Terry Tao’s blog

May 17, 2009

This should be relevant to everyone.

What's New in Google Reader

What's New in Google Reader

Dear Google Reader,

I am not subscribed to this blog because I can’t read all of its entries in google reader. I’m not sure whose fault this is, but until this is sorted, I’m just going to have to continue visiting What’s new directly.

[note this picture is a few days old, and if anyone could offer technical support to make it more viewable, that would be appreciated.]

Keyboard Remapping for Latex

May 9, 2009

It is patently obvious that the keyboard was designed for English typing, as opposed to typing \LaTeX or anything else that heavily relies on non-alphanumeric characters (like coding). Frustrated by the ergonomics and speed of this, I have finally decided to take matters into my own hands, I have used the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (I use the XP virus) to obtain a partial solution (not original) to the problem.

Essentially, I looked at the keyboard and asked myself which keys are pressed more commonly in the shifted position than the unshifted position. My answer (not backed up by any actual data) is the seven keys.

$ ^ ( ) _ { }

So I remapped those to swap their shifted and unshifted modes.

For good measure I swapped the popular \ with the unpopular and far away ;.

This I believe is still only a partial solution, for example the characters 0 – + should probably replace ` 7 8 as being unshifted, though this has not been carried through as yet for some bizarre desire to not have my keyboard behaving too differently from how it looks.

There are unfortunately some drawbacks, I’ve noticed that typing \p is awkward, and that it makes me noticeably slower now when typing on other machines, but I try to do all my texing on my laptop. This remapping also solves the asthetic problem I always had with a keyboard which was that the minus sign was considered more important than the plus sign (who cares about hyphens anyway?) and now I have them on an even footing, although as noted above, they really should both become unshifted.