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tech fun

sam (9 May 2005 9:46): so, anybody got bluetooth yet?
Grant (10 May 2005 0:33): My iBook has built-in bluetooth. I bought it back in June 2004.
If my phone had bluetooth, and would synch up with my address book, it would make me the happiest lad in the shire.
sam (15 May 2005 11:52): but no fun as of yet. lame.
m (15 May 2005 13:35): happiest lad indeed.
Grant (15 May 2005 17:20): This is pretty funny.
I just like the rectangle, myself. Hehe.
Patents are kinda funny. I was reading them; some seem really vague, others ridiculously specific. I don't know enough about the law to understand how it would apply. The three-state icon patent, for example. Is Apple really the first to make a three-state button? Well, they're probably the first to make a three-state button for which the 'second configuration' state 'pulses before reverting to the first configuration.'
If the user does not select the segments 16a, 16, within the ten second pulsing period beginning, the period of pulsing will increase. Specifically, referring to FIG. 8, the period of pulsing will increase to 1-cos(2.pi.t). The increased period of pulsing alerts the user that the second state 14 is revealed and active.
G (15 May 2005 17:22): BlueTooth mice are expensive and, for the most part, kind of crummy.
What's the hold up?
Grant (15 May 2005 18:33): Although, I'd sure like to have handwriting recognition for Japanese in my OS. That would be really convenient for me. And, like, you know, other people who speak Chinese or Japanese and don't speak English. Like, Chinese and Japanese people.
(15 May 2005 18:38): I need a tablet.
Also - like, non-Apple tech news? Anybody?
I am kind of interested, I just tend not to hear about ti.
m (17 May 2005 2:33): Christ. I fucking hate patents. Just loathe them.
sam (17 May 2005 9:40): i only hate fucking parents.
Will Smith (23 May 2005 18:33): Parents just don't understand.
m (26 Oct 2005 21:18): man, I could take advice from Phoenix Wright all day.
m (28 Oct 2005 16:03): that Topic was a misspelling of 'teh fun'
Grant (6 Mar 2006 6:45): Check it out! WinXP boots on a MacBook Pro!
Grant (17 May 2006 22:11): I know it's blah blah blah, but I thought this was kinda neat: A look into the new MacBook (ugh, hate the name)'s battery bay. Check it.
Paul (1 Sep 2008 6:28): It sounds like you should check out They're currently being NYTimes-dotted.
Paul (28 Sep 2008 5:43): I'm looking for a program to emulate a stenotype, since I always thought stenotypes were cool. It won't be as good as a real stenotype, since I'll be stuck with the keys being where they are on a computer, but I still think it could be nifty.

So here's the question: What's the best way to grab raw keyboard data in Python? Where "best" is determined both by, "most Pythonic" and by, "likeliest to notice all 7 keys if you hit 7 keys at once" (yes I know this is problematic at a hardware level, but I'm hoping millisecond differences will allow the hardware to recognize all 7 keys). Should I try for raw console scancodes or raw xevents or something else?
Paul (30 Sep 2008 7:06): Looks like my hardware can recognize one key pressed in every column all at once, but if 2 keys in the same column are pressed, then it can't recognize anything else correctly. This will prevent good stenotype emulation, but maybe I can still do bad stenotype emulation...
G (30 Sep 2008 9:21): If you really wanted to get crazy, you could construct a stenotype-esque 'keyboard' by placing button onto a box and using an appropriate PCB (and possibly converter) to connect them to your PC.

I was thinking to myself, "Oh, but that might be just as expensive as actually buying a stenotype machine," until I read this sentence on the Slate article about them: "Almost all stenographers have their own customized machines, which they take with them on specific jobs. A brand-new, top-of-the-line stenotype costs up to about $4,500. Cheaper training models are a bit over $1,000."

The key would be, I guess, finding the right pushbuttons. And making a box that's the size you want. Unfortunately, round pushbuttons are much more common (and thus cheap) than rectangular ones (which usually are LED illuminated). Still, it's essentially just a specialized joystick, and there are many hobbyists interested in building joysticks on the web. I imagine you could find a lot of guides dedicated to the process, and if you had access to the right tools (or could find somebody to cut some wood for you to use as the box), the whole project could cost somewhere around $100.
Paul (30 Sep 2008 14:18): Well, here's a prototype. It does pretty well until it hits hardware limitations. The question of which-keys-do-what is currently hardcoded, but should probably be read from a config file.
G (22 Oct 2008 0:53): Zip File Quine
m (22 Oct 2008 16:18): whoah. I can't decide; hard to do, you think? Sweet, regardless.
brainfuck quine.
Paul (8 Aug 2010 19:45): zsnes! The sound wouldn't work, then mysteriously later it worked. Who needs new video games when you've got old ones?
Paul (13 Aug 2010 19:18): Tech not fun: computer stopped booting, and when it started again the sound wouldn't work. Fixed sound by removing /var/lib/alsa/asound.state then running /etc/init.d/alsa-utils start. Seems something was just wrong in the "mixer state" (not something visible to me in the mixer UI, however).
G (14 Aug 2010 10:01): So uh, why wasn't it booting?
G (23 Aug 2013 22:11): Wanted to tell a coworker about Gravité today, can't find a single video of it on the internet.
Paul (6 Nov 2013 12:39): WTF? At first I thought this page was written by people with poor English, but now I think it's actually written by Markov chains. Suffice to say, I have the error it describes, but its solution makes no sense.
m (6 Nov 2013 18:46): The replies are actually quasi-coherent (question statement is less so). Like maybe they've been run through google translate or something?
m (6 Nov 2013 18:54): Sentence generated with that page as input: User user runs a program ah.
R (12 Nov 2015 11:32): Huh, I did not realize that telecentric lenses were a thing. Neat.
G (11 Dec 2015 14:01): Robot Pillow
sam (15 Dec 2015 17:12): We are giving these robots far too much responsibility. What are the interview standards?
m (15 Dec 2015 19:12): I don't know about you, but I'm ready to commit to a robo-pillow.
R (17 Dec 2015 22:41): I can not stop laughing at people trying to pretend being jabbed by a furry robot arm isn't extremely weird. So good.