MBW 702: Baby Alex

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

This is why I tune in: Leo’s vast reserves of knowledge regarding Silicon Valley history gives his framing a vitality broad media outlets don’t match. He introduced Larry Tesler as who demoed PARC to Steve Jobs, which for me sheds a whole new light on his later becoming an Apple employee: rather than resenting Apple as a rival or thief, Larry threw himself into realizing his ideas’ potential since it was ignored by Xerox executives. This type of insightful perspective vindicating the ethos of caring creativity at the heart of Silicon Valley’s innovative culture animating its most brilliant contributors is what almost in spite of myself sometimes impels me to regard Leo’s output to be near and dear to my heart. It’s not that I can really blame other outlets reliant upon relevance to their lay readers in headlines about cut/copy/paste, but the personal story of how great ideas came to fruition is so much more important to understanding its true nature, in my opinion. Who but him knows so much of the details across so wide a swath of Silicon Valley history? But what I value most is his appreciation for the impetus behind things, and his skills to parsimoniously and engagingly articulate it. Even on cut/copy/paste Leo offers the superior framing of the clipboard; the 3 concomitant commands are after-thoughts by comparison.

As to keyboard layouts: I learned DVORAK in 2004 in around 2 weeks by using OS X’s floating keyboard assistant then hiding it progressively more often until I no longer needed it (symbols took a good few months because they’re used so much less often and have no logic the way letters do on a DVORAK layout) and never looked back. I was a touch typist since 1996 on QWERTY at ~60-90 WPM and with DVORAK it’s 80-120 WPM with much better accuracy, lower physical strain, less mental overhead, and the satisfaction of not fighting for every keystroke against an actively hostile layout. I find that as I think of a word to type and something breaks my concentration, as I return focus to the word I’m a letter ahead of where I’d been thinking for my fingers to go next, whereas on QWERTY it was always 1 behind: it’s like my fingers, because DVORAK has actually user-friendly logic behind the key placements, have internalized the logic and are able to collaborate with my brain on a level where I only have to think words instead of letters. I love it.

Because I was always a touch typist, I’m fine on a QWERTY keyboard; key caps’ glyphs are a non-issue for me. I’ve jokingly called myself bitextual (I can still type QWERTY OK-ish).

Now that I’ve gotten my 1st iPad, an Apple Certified Refurbished 10.5" Pro (2017) and lucked into a 1/2-off flash fire-sale on the Smart Keyboard for it, just after iOS support for alternative layouts hit, I’ve had smooth sailing with DVORAK as long as I’ve been using the Smart Keyboard and it has been a dream. As much as I hate the low-travel design on laptops (I hated the ones I had starting around 2006), the fabric the Smart Keyboard is made out of has its own bounce that contributes toward spring-back in a way I find exquisitely perfectly balanced, though it took getting used to to tensor my fingers ever so slightly since their full weight will depress the keys; in motion, I find the weighting absolutely perfect, whereas had they supported full dead-weight of the fingers like I was used to then depressing them would have taken too much more effort for the glorious gliding experience I have now on the Smart Keyboard.

My suspicion is that the scissor switches were designed for the Smart Keyboard with its fabric, and treated as shovel-ware on laptops where without that fabric lift and continuous surface to keep out dust and debris, it became the inexcusable debacle we all know and hate.

I highly recommend DVORAK to anyone interested in learning it, @Leo. I’ve found the dividends paid by the effort to have made it well worthwhile.


Hi @Leo! I am currently listening to this episode and you are on the point of SSL cert lifetime. First of, I agree with you, 14 months is too aggressive.

Second, you can in fact get wildcard certs via let’s encrypt, but you have to do it via DNS challenge which is harder, but not impossible to automate.

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Thank you for the very kind words @philodygmn (or as I think of you Mr. Peppermint Candy).

@Rune Yeah I realized my mistake after checking Let’s Encrypt. I’ll ask Russell why we don’t use LE instead of a more pricey CA. Steve Gibson had an excellent exegesis of the cert issue. It is, as I thought, a cheap shortcut in the stead of a much better solution, OCSP cert revocation with stapling. Oh well.

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The voices at the beginning had me laughing Lori’s response was great