Desktop PC

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In uk.d-i-y, stuart noble wrote:

:-) You do realise that the original PC was *designed* to sit horizontally under the monitor, and these "towers" are a relatively modern invention?
Of course when PCs were first invented, the user spent a lot of time feeding it with floppy disks, so accessibility was important. If you spend a lot of time feeding CDs into your PC, having it right in front of you would be of great benefit.
On the other hand, PCs are quieter under the desk. And personally I like as much as possible of the wiring out of sight, but I probably have more than most (a quick count reveals 11 leads and a security leash round the back of my PC).
To me the space under the monitor is a valuable commodity - too valuable to be wasted on a PC. I have an improvised monitor stand consisting of three large CD drawers. The drawers contain software CDs, blank media of various kinds, etc, etc, and if the PC was under the monitor I would have to find somewhere else to keep that lot.
I'm not sure what difference a flat screen makes. I swapped from CRT to flat screen about a year ago and the main difference I notice is even more space for bits and bobs around the monitor stand.
--
Mike Barnes

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That's a good idea but if I did that it would make the monitor uncomfortably high.

Ah! I have lots of shelves behind and beside me. But this is a specially built den and not a corner of a living room.
Mary
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Mary Fisher wrote in message <402a24ab$0$8567

like high monitors because they don't need to look at the keyboard. Head high is probably best for your posture.
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I've been touch typing (that means that I don't look at the keyboard) since 1956.
I didn't say that I liked the monitor high but I would find it uncomfortable if it were too high. Or too low.
Mary

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On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 13:53:10 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

The words "keyboard" and "1956" do not seem synonymous!
No offence intended, but back then I wouldn't have thought a computer would have been able to keep up with a touch typist! I remember all too well the mechanical consoles on HP1000 systems in the early 80's, and hitting the keys too fast meant lost keystrokes.
PoP
Sending email to my published email address isn't guaranteed to reach me.
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wrote:

A typewriter had a keyboard and typewriters go back far longer than me. The keys were heavier to use, had round keys with brass frames, raked far more steeply and with a lever instead of a return keypad - but a keyboard nevertheless. Qwerty to boot.
If it's comforting, I can't use the numberpad so use the numbers over the letters - which is where they always were :-)

No offence taken, I'm sure it wouldn't have kept up with some. But a touch typist isn't necessarily fast, I am faster than any computer user I know but that means little since most are slow! No idea how fast I've ever been, only those going for exams or competitions bothered to find out. The essence of touch typing is not looking at the keyboard, which is what Stuart's point was.
In fact, a touch typist didn't usually look at the paper (aka) screen either. When I was taught to type the whole machine was covered, we could see neither keys nor paper. When doing real work most was copying, one had one's head to the side looking at the text to be copied. A bit like looking into a microscope with one eye and keeping the other on what you were drawing at the side! Even when dictated text documents were being typed you didn't bother looking at the paper. By the way, I haven't had a career in typing but it's come into most things I've done and I've had my own since I was twenty.
I believe that, along with driving, keyboard skills are essential parts of life and everyone should be taught them - but taught well. You might think that you'll never need them but it's best to be prepared and few people will be able to escape. Being able to do something efficiently gives confidence when it's needed.
I only look at the screen when designing a document or leaflet etc. or when running a spellchecker. I'm not as accurate as I used to be, arthritic fingers see to that.

I'm sure you're right, that sometimes happened when I used a 'portable' typewriter. My first experience of a computer was a BBC one in the 1980s, I thought I was in heaven ...
Mary

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Mary Fisher wrote:

You're probably just the person to answer this. As a software engineer I use a keyboard all day and keep thinking that I ought to go to night school to learn to type properly but, although I do have to type "plain English" such as specs and test procedures, the bulk of my work is coding which, unless you are a COBOL programmer, involves extensive use of "non-standard" keys (for want of a better description); all 8 punctuation keys to the right of the letter keys and the shifted number keys. I get the impression that most typing courses are designed for office work, i.e. plain English, so would any of these courses be likely to train you properly to use the whole of a PC keyboard? I feel that if they don't that I'd slip back into bad habits due to not being able to touch type the extra keys.
Oh yes, and most Programmers editors make extensive use of Control and Alt (ever used Emacs[1]?).
Here's an example; would you have any trouble touch typing this?
while (@row = $sth->fetchrow) { for ($i = 0; $i <= $#row; $i++) { if (!defined $row[$i]) { $row[$i] = "&nbsp;"; } }
print $q->Tr({-id=>"op$row[0]", -bgcolor=>"#DFE8FF"}, $q->td(, "Op:"), $q->td($q->b("$row[0]")), $q->td(, "Alt Op:"), $q->td($q->b("$row[1]")), $q->td(, "Work Centre:"), $q->td($q->b("$row[2]")));
print $q->Tr(, $q->td(, "Sealed:"), $q->td($q->b("$row[3]")), $q->td("&nbsp;"), $q->td("&nbsp;"), $q->td(, "Op Description:"), $q->td($q->b("$row[4]")));
Your comments would be appreciated.
Regards,
Parish
[1] Emacs - _E_ditor _MAC_ro_S_ although it is alternatively suggested that it is an acronym for Escape Meta Alt Control Shift due to it's unbelievably excessive use of those keys.

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Using those keys isn't the only problem, just having them there messes up keeping your fingers in the right place and using carriage return. Mary's formatting suggests she relies on line wrap rather using than carriage return, which is probably the case for most word processing courses. I think your COBOL example has c/r as much as []{};
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Nick Finnigan wrote:

I don't have a problem with CR, I use my pinkie for it (and right Shift).

You shouldn't put CRs in email (even more so with Usenet posts), except at the end of a paragraph (that's the only place my posts have them), so that the recipients mail reader can format it to the screen/window width. If you put CRs in at, say, 80 characters and the message gets quoted a few times, so each line starts '> > > ', it becomes 86 chars so someone whose mail window is only 82 chars wide will get the dreaded long line, short line syndrome.

It was Perl actually ;-) I said _except COBOL_ because COBOL uses plain English:
    MULTIPLY NET_PRICE BY VAT_RATE GIVING GROSS_PRICE

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That would be why the RFC recommends a maximum length of 1000 characters, then....
--
Bob Eager
begin by not using Outlook Express...
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That might be how you send it, but Google thinks you have line breaks after 'except', 'so' etc.

And I see 'except' on a line by itself.

Even if you managed to avoid CRs in the first post, everyone else would add a new quote mark before the previous quote marks, and so add to the length of each quoted line. Therefore the first quoter needs to have short lines, and preferable the original post.
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In uk.d-i-y, Parish wrote:

That sounds wrong to me. Your posting, as it arrived here, contained line breaks exactly where you see them above. I believe that you didn't type them, but I think you'll find that your software inserted them automatically before the message left your PC.
--
Mike Barnes

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A line break isn't the same thing as a carriage return in my opinion.
Mary

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In uk.d-i-y, Mary Fisher wrote:

Agreed. That's why I wrote "line break" and not "carriage return".
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Without examining things in much closer detail I couldn't tell you what mechanisms are used to represent a line break at each of the many stages that a message goes through between your keyboard and my screen; and there would be no point in my doing so. It's not as if a CR is created under your Enter key and reappears on my monitor. The exact characters or whatever don't matter, it's the effects (line breaks) that matter.
--
Mike Barnes

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I'm glad you posted that, I saw line breaks in different places. That points the finger at the transmission rather than the posting software, but the effect on the readers is the same - lines which look bad after a few quotes.
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Nick Finnigan wrote:

Mea culpa. I worded it badlay and also I was thinking of two different things (CR as in literally pressing RETURN, and format=flowed).
Let me try again....
When typing in the compose editor you shouldn't hit RETURN except at the end of a paragraph else if you go back and edit your text you will alter the line length. Your e-mail client should have a setting for line length and it should insert line breaks which, if I remember RFC822 correctly should be a LF-CR pair, it inserts _when it sends the message_. Normally you should set this value to ~70 to allow for subsequent quoting, however if the quoting levels get too deep you will still have problems. That is why "format=flowed" was created; the mail client still inserts line breaks at X characters whe it sends the message, but it adds a trailing SPACE to the end of the text. If the recipients mail client understands format=flowed (and it hasn't been disabled) then it will re-flow the text of each quoted message to fit the window width (maintianing a constant line length), strip the quote chars ('> '), and show the quoting levels by indenting the text, most will also add a vertical coloured bar, or bars, at the left hand end of each line to the indicate quote level (like Outlook (and OE?) does with the quoted message when you Forward it) so you see:
| Original message | || Reply to original || ||| Reply to reply ||| |||| Reply to reply to reply ||||
but you don't get the long line - short line problem where the short line is unquoted.
Regards,
Parish
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I haven't used a carriage return except when starting a new paragraph for many years, since I got my first typewriter with an automatic return.

I've never done one of those. For word processing I had the best tuition in the world - entirely self-taught.
Mary
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"Parish" wrote | Mary Fisher wrote: | > I believe that, along with driving, keyboard skills are essential | > parts of life and everyone should be taught them - but taught well. | > You might think that you'll never need them but it's best to be | > prepared and few people will be able to escape. Being able to do | > something efficiently gives confidence when it's needed.
I do agree. I used to know someone who could touch-type from copy at 96 wpm with perfect accuracy. It really does make using a computer so much more efficient and pleasant (even though I'm not a proper t-typist myself).
| I get the impression that most typing courses are designed for | office work, i.e. plain English, so would any of these courses | be likely to train you properly to use the whole of a PC keyboard?
They should train you which finger to use for every key, although you'll get most practice on the 'typewriter' characters and lads who can cart all ash and sand.
| Here's an example; would you have any trouble touch typing this? | while (@row = $sth->fetchrow) { | for ($i = 0; $i <= $#row; $i++) { | if (!defined $row[$i]) { | $row[$i] = "&nbsp;";
I did find that when I started a Comp Sci degree at uni I was typing code several times faster than people who had no keyboard experience, having had a typewriter since about the age of six and a basic secretarial qualification. And I have seen experienced DBAs touch-typing SQL faster than I can type English. It's just another language really; an office typing course may teach you using English but if you then switch to French or Japanese or Fortran you don't need to retrain the brain with an entirely new text-to-finger program, you just rewrite the language driver :-) One thing to realise with touch-typing is that you don't type letter-by-letter; each word and expression acquires its own rhythm; and when coding you'll probably find your finger putting in the end-of-espression semi-colon almost automatically. I find that if I can't remember how to spell a word in writing I can type it on the tabletop from the rhythm and get the spelling from that.
Rather than a college course however I would suggest good typing training software. I tried Mavis Beacon in the days when she was the greatest thing since Vesta Chow Mein and found that even after just a couple of short session my speed and accuracy was improving. And she won't make you type in rhythm to Jimmy Shand records or shout at you for dropping eraser shreds into the mechanism. Quite a lot of a typing course, beyond basic fingering, will be centring and laying-out; oh, how I hated Ruled Tabulations and Erasing On Carbons!
Owain
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Owain wrote:

fingers automatically go to the correct position.

I taught some of the girls to syncopate. Mr McKenzie was furious, but he couldn't figure out who was doing it.
Sheila
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Luvely ediror...much better than Very Irritating!
But of course the acronym is really Eight Megabytes And Continually Swapping!
--
Bob Eager
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