Watch out when you use another computer for a demo

Wow…. I just had a nightmare of a time using a computer.


A colleague asked me if I could do a demo in a couple hours of some of the stuff I’m working on. I said sure, but I’ll need to use another notebook computer, cuz mine’s on the fritz. No problem, he said. I thought there would be no problem because he had a Dell, and I have the same keyboard layout on my Dell notebook.


However, I should have known better: He had it set up so his machine would output to the TV monitor as the 2nd monitor, which means I couldn’t see what I was doing unless I turned away from my audience to look at the monitor. Then there was the keyboard remapping. There was no Windows key, the Alt key was mapped to be the Ctrl key, and there was no left Alt key. I should have known, because he’s done a lot of Mac work.


I minimize my mouse usage:

Of course, I use the keyboard way more than the mouse because a keyboard is a higher bandwidth input device: I cringe when I see people typing with the keyboard, then taking their eyes off the screen, locating the mouse, playing the eye-hand coordinated video game just to click OK when just hitting the Enter key would do. .Using the keyboard, I don’t have to take my eyes off the screen or play that eye-hand game.

            (see this blog)


So I use Alt-tab, Ctrl key shortcuts a *lot*, but none of them worked for me <sigh>. Also, the touchpad sensitivity wasn’t what I was used to<sigh>. And the screen resolution mapping meant I had to scroll around to look for windows or parts of windows.


Doing all these workarounds while explaining to the audience the architecture of my demo was quite a challenge.


In any case, many people in the audience hadn’t seen much of Foxpro, and seeing the Treemap code working as an aside was quite enlightening

Comments (2)

  1. eferron says:

    You think this was bad. I asked a friend to use his computer at a customer sight, while I was typing in URL’s porn sites were auto completing. How embrassing…

  2. Travis Owens says:

    I used the Dvorak keyboard maping on my PC and I purchase little clear stickers that fit on my keys so I can see QWERTY and Dvorak layouts.

    Leave it to say nobody dares to try to use my PC at work.

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