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Showing posts from January, 2012

How to configure Ubuntu's keyboard to work like a Mac's

Typing accents on a PC is a complicated Alt + three numbered code affair. One feels like a sorcerer casting a spell. "I summon thee accented é! I press the weird magical key Alt, and with 0191 get the flipped question mark!" For a bilingual person this meant that writing on the computer was a start-and-stop process. With Mac's it a whole lot easier, just Alt + e and the letter you wanted for accents and alt + ? for the question mark. No need to leave the keyboard for the number pad and no need to remember arcane number combinations or have a paper cheat sheet next to the keyboard, as I've seen in virtually every secretaries computer in Puerto Rico.

Linux has a interesting approach to foreign language characters: using a compose key. You hit this key which I typically map to Caps Lock and ' and the letter you want and voilá you get the accent. Kinda makes sense: single quotation mark is an accent, double gets you the ümalaut, works pretty well. Except for the ñ, wh…

Kodak: another one bites the dust

Kodak has filed for Chapter 11. Not particularly surprising, but kind of sad. Here is a great article on why Kodak failed to which I want to add an anecdote.

In early 2001 I visited Australia and on the trip back (I think) I talked to a person moving out of Australia that had been a manager at a Kodak shop. By the 2001, developing of film had changed. It was all about scanning and digitalizing. Having just been in Japan I'd see that Fuji was all over scanning. So I wondered what Kodak was doing about that. And the woman told me nothing. She said that for years they'd been complaining to the central office about how expensive their development process was and that it wasn't even tied to digitalization. Their response was that "it's Kodak so people will pay more." Even then it was clear that developing was changing and Kodak was not being visionary about that. Unsurprisingly Kodak stores closed through out Australia. If they weren't listening to their manag…

"Leap-froggin" en Puerto Rico

Una de las ventajas que tiene la sociedad de hoy es que uno puede usar los avances mas recientes para hacer "leap-frogging" o dar un sobre-salto en varias áreas de la sociedad. Por ejemplo en vez de crear una red de internet usando cables se puede ahora crear una usando conexión wi-fi y así llevar el internet a lugares sin el costo del cable. En Puerto Rico el énfasis ha estado en crear un progreso copiado en vez de uno innovado. Y eso de be cambiar. Lemas como "Puerto Rico lo hace mejor" asumen que los problemas de la isla yacen de una falta de confianza en vez de unas limitaciones reales.

Lo que hay que hacer es el "leap-frogging." En vez de buscar el progreso paso a paso con soluciones linear, hay que buscar maneras de sobre-saltar lo linear buscando soluciones que usen la tecnología y el conocimiento del dia de hoy para adelantar de sopetón al país en una manera exponencial y no linear. Como un coquí dando un salto, el país debe dar un salto de co…