Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Brains are weird

Well, this is an interesting technology experience.

I have reconfigured my workstation to lift the screen up high and added a plug-in keyboard to use at waist height. This raises my Mac up to eye level when I'm sitting straight up in the chair, forcing me to sit up straight. No more hunching over and destroying my back and neck while I'm sitting. No more peering down and squinting at the screen while standing. It's working wonderfully, but the new keyboard experience is ... interesting.

Apparently, in case you ever wondered, you can use a foreign language PC keyboard exactly the same way as a British Mac keyboard, but everything is slightly out of whack and your brain will try to keep doing things without thinking about it, with interesting and somewhat confusing results.

I had not realised before, but you can buy an Italian keyboard and just change the settings on it to match your usual keyboarding. This will mean that all the stuff you're used to will be in the same place, and there won't be any hunting around and figuring out which things to press to make one of these @. But it means that you really have to be really good with the keyboarding and typing skills and be able to type without looking at the keys at all. As soon as you do look down, you'll be lost because nothing on an Italian keyboard is in the same place except the letters.

But in this case, it is not only being translated automatically from Italian to British, but from PC to Mac. When I went out to buy the stuff this evening, the little computer/electronics store in S. Mar was closed, so I had to go just get whatever was available at the Chinese store. And what they had was a standard PC keyboard. It does most of the things my Mac keyboard does, but you have to hunt around a lot and it is like feeling your way through a dark room where someone has gone through ahead of you and shifted all the furniture a little to the left.

It's kind of trippy.

My normal typing speed is about 60-80 wpm and I have got used to having a trackpad that doesn't work very well, so learned how to do a lot of the Mac trackpad things on the keys. In fact, I seem to have learned them so well that my fingers just keep trying to do them without my brain really noticing much. Then when it doesn't work, my brain gets all mad at my fingers for doing it wrong.

Brains are weird. So's technology. But I'm glad my back is now going to be getting better.



Gwen said...

Very interesting, our brains are freaking crazy. There was research just released a few days ago about the difference in brain wiring between genders - crazy stuff :)

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I think we just don't work as well as we're supposed to. Probably one of the results of the Fall.