Miscellany 0 comments on How to put in your contact lenses while suffering from hot pepper burn

How to put in your contact lenses while suffering from hot pepper burn

Last night I cooked some jalapeños and some other organic hot peppers in my dinner.  I’m in a CSA that ships vegetables direct from a Pennsylvania farm, and the peppers that come from there are about a billion times hotter than anything I’ve bought at the supermarket. In fact, they’re so spicy that most of my fellow CSA members don’t even take them home. They just leave them in the swap box. A few months ago my girlfriend spent four hours dipping her hands in various substances– isopropyl alcohol, milk,  Pepto-Bismol, whiskey, mayonnaise, etc. to try to stop the stinging from one of these little bastards. Capsaicin doesn’t come off easily. It’s really a wonder that we eat these things…

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Essays, Tech, Writing 1 comment on Writing When You’re Blind

Writing When You’re Blind

Assistive technologies for the disabled (or differently abled, if you prefer) continue to improve. Back in the 1990s, I used to volunteer at a place in northern Virginia called Telecommunications Exchange For the Deaf, Inc., or TEDI. Deaf callers would reach us using acoustic modem TTYs (short for “text telephones” or “teletypewriters”), little laptop-sized machines with a single line display of blue LED text, an interface pretty close to Speak & Spell. We volunteers would then read the messages out loud over the phone to their target. Or we’d do the reverse, typing messages from phone callers into the TTY. About 80% of the calls we relayed came from Gallaudet University students ordering pizza.

I’m sure SMSing and Dominos’ high-tech website have rendered TEDI obsolete for the deaf. But what about the blind? Computers are still visually oriented. So today I did a cursory investigation into assistive writing technology for the blind.

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Essays, Tech, Writing 0 comments on Writing and Keyboards: Rage Against the Dying of the Spring

Writing and Keyboards: Rage Against the Dying of the Spring

Writing a novel on a bad keyboard is like running a marathon in size three kitten heels. And yet, many of us don’t even know we’re hobbling ourselves…

This article represents a bit of a segue for this website, which formerly consisted of very random technical articles interrupting two year stretches of nothing. Now it’s going to focus more on the writing world, in theory, but I might still sneak some technology articles under the radar. To mark this metamorphosis, I’m producing this article about writing and keyboards. Spoiler alert: I’m using a keyboard to write it!

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Tech 12 comments on A Half-Assed Guide to Linux on a TW100 WinBook Tablet (Updated 4/29/2015)

A Half-Assed Guide to Linux on a TW100 WinBook Tablet (Updated 4/29/2015)

Spoiler alert: I’m writing this on a WinBook TW100 using LibreOffice under Ubuntu 14.10 (UPDATE: now 15.04). I hope this post will encourage people to mess around with this system, which seems pretty well-priced. Read on…

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Tech 14 comments on Some useful hacks for the Samsung Gravity Smart

Some useful hacks for the Samsung Gravity Smart

Last night I nearly eliminated everything that was pissing me off about my Samsung Gravity Smart, which is a great phone that some boardroom turned into trash by loading it with bloatware and dumb social networking features. Here’s some of the things worth doing if you, like me, have been tempted to toss it into a garbage disposal now and then, but still need a useful phone.

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