Extension Update 3: Rooms and Wireless Planning

Came home today and inspected the progress on the extensions. Very happy that the dividing frame is up. Now we can really see what sort of area that we have to work from.

I can start planning the new built in desk layout and function. Looks like there is going to be heaps of room to play with. Looking forward to the big desk and built-in cupboards.

In thinking about the layout of the new office I am also considering the associated work such as the home network. I am planning on hard wiring most of the house to the Internet. Including a wireless access point upstairs to provide wireless access over the whole house.

As far as wireless access points go I am currently considering two models from Netgear:

  1. PROSAFE™ 802.11G WG102
  2. PROSAFE™ 802.11G WG302

Both are pretty good wireless access points. The one thing that I have to consider is that I am trying to provide wireless access over two floors and I need the signal to travel both horizontal and vertically. The point will be upstairs and most of the coverage will be over this area. So the additional areal on the WG302 may be distinct advantage, being able to position it at a different angle. Both units are capable of PoE which is a must as the access point will be on a small shelf high on the wall. I am going to have a chat to my brother as he is a guru with this sort of thing… he should be, since he is an IT manager!

The hard-wiring over the rest of the house is mainly to the entertainment areas such as near TV’s etc. This is not so much essential now but more a future proofing measure. I firmly believe that in the future all our “Television” will be delivered via the Internet and not as a signal through the air as it is now (in Australia at least). So I figure that hard wiring it with CAT6 cable is the best option for this application.

So getting back to the office layout; I’ll need a shelf or cupboard dedicated to routers, power, switches and access terminals. So being able to see the walls is starting to make the decisions as to where these things go a lot easier.

Maybe by the end of the week we shall see a second floor start to emerge.

The Dvorak Keyboard

I was reading up on a story the other day and I saw this comment or something like it: “I want to try the Dvorak Keyboard, but…”. I thought what the heck is the “Dvorak Keyboard?

For those that don’t know, the traditional keyboard layout that we use is called QWERTY. The whole idea of this layout had nothing to do with ease of use. It had to do with typewriters. Originally typewriters had hammers which were prone to jamming at the best of times. So the QWERTY layout was designed so that successive keystrokes had less of a chance of jamming by alternating from one side to the other. It has been suggested that the design was also used to slow typing speeds. So the damn thing is not designed for ease of use in any way (no kidding). With the dawn of the computer age the design became irrelevant.

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was patented in 1936 by Dr August Dvorak. He studied letter frequencies and physiology and came up with a set of design principles upon which the Dvorak layout is based. So basically he created a keyboard that is easier to use. In addition he also designed keyboards that are designed for use with one hand. They come in a right and left handed version.

Looking at it, I am not that sure just how much easier it would be to adapt to. Especially considering the length of time I have used a QWERTY. But if you were new to computers or blogging or were willing to stick at it, there might be the chance that it is better and easier to use.

For more Information:

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard Layout

Tools to Prevent you “Breaking” Your Blog’s Template

The majority of people unfortunately still insist on using Internet Explorer. There are better browsers out there you know. Different browsers “read” the page that it displays in a unique way. So a page can look totally different in a different browser. Especially where layout and images are concerned. I too rarely “test” my blog and make sure that it is being “read” correctly by each browser. //engtech has created a tool that will do it for you.

//engtec is lazy unmotivated  forgets that IE exists like the rest us us when it comes to testing his blog. He gives a good description as to what can happen to IE when you add images that are to wide, I’ll leave that for you to read. So he created a Greasemonkey script that does all the checking that you need and lets you know when you have done something that will “break” your blog in IE.

As can be expected from //engtech he has some detailed instructions about customizing it to your blog to be able to use the script. It even has pictures. A very useful tool. But you should really be making sure that images fit your space as well, even for Firefox. Re-size an image to fit. If you can not do that then link to a larger image on a separate tab. Or do it in two parts. Badly done images in blogs look cheap and half arsed. But at least we don’t have to worry about IE, nice work //engtech.

For those that do not know Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to manipulate the way that a web page is displayed using JavaScript. There are tons of different scripts and applications. Plus you can do what //engtech did and write your own.

I have just noticed that //engtech’s script has no name, does any one have any ideas? ImageAlert, TempAlert, IEisBusted, BlogBrokeGMS…

engtech Blog Screenshot