The reason I use the international keyboard

If you think that a keyboard layout can boost your productivity, you should consider the time you will spend to learn a new one, the hassle and the frustration when typing something wrong… but if you love programming, you may consider to buy/switch to the international keyboard.

Back in February, I had to switch to a new MacBookPro. My old 2011 13 inch MacBookPro, started being impossible to use… and after 4 years I had to remove all the stickers from its back and turn it off forever. I am still in mourning after its death.

Considering all the times I’ve been playing, working, writing and programming with it, I feel sad… but I feel even worst when I think that I did it using the Italian keyboard, that was really impossible to use to write code: the keys that I need are hidden by combinations of shift and option. This is really common in several keyboard layouts, like the Danish or German ones.

The Option button (or Alt for some keyboards) is the big problem. If you look at your hands while typing you will notice that probably this “layout switcher” is right under your palms. This means that you have to move your hands to press some combinations that are including it… and you do this every time.

The international keyboard layout, instead, puts all the buttons we need, right there, and we can get [ ] ' \ / . - ; and , without crazy combinations. If we need something more complicated you can still use the shift button, and you can activate it without moving your hands from the previous position.

There is a feature that is helping me when I need to write other “special vowels” by holding the one I need. You can read more about it here, on the Apple support website. For example to write København I will hold O when i need ti write Ø and something like this will appear:

Just old the vocal you need

To be honest, it is not a big deal, but this is the reason why my MacBookPro has an International Keyboard instead of a localized one. It is easier to use to write code. My hands are thanking me for this choice 🙂

Impossible means: “harder to make it possible”

Several times, I have heard my grandparents saying “that is impossible” when they are comparing what the young generations do to what they were used to do. According to the dictionary, what is impossible, is “not possible, unable to be, exist, happen, unable to be done…“, but for what I have noticed and experienced, is just a matter of points of view.

Today I saw on this video, comparing the new generation of MacBook Pro with Macintosh Portable, and we can see clearly the difference between those two models, but the main difference is the release date. You have all the rights to say me that I am talking about a trivial thing, but it’s really good to introduce the thought I have in my mind.

The Macintosh Portable, yes that big-plastic-“90’s gray”-heavy thing, was released on the September 20th 1989. At that time the technologies were totally different than today, and now we can almost say “obsolete“. Nevertheless, that piece of cold engineering became really obsolete few years later. On the February 11th of the amazing 1991, that heavy guy started being “a piece of history“.

I may think about “future” things, but they will always appear as “impossible” to my practical eyes. I may say “people take flying cars in the future”, maybe they will, maybe they will not. I really believe that what I see as impossible is still possible, but the effort to make it real, so to make it possible, is higher. What is impossible for me could be possible to somebody else or in another time of the history. It’s just a matter of points of view.

Macintosh Portable battery

The main reason behind this choice by Apple was its battery. Technically you can read more about that on Wikipedia, but the battery problem is important to understand my idea: If we could travel back in time and go on Semptember 20th of 1989 with the concept of the modern MacBook Pro, or just even with the concept of the modern batteries, how do you think people and engineers will react?

Probably they may say that the MacBook Pro is an impossible concept, even thinking from the technical prospective of that time. It took almost 20 years to make the right battery and screen for the MacBook Pro… Or even the MacBook Air. Steve Jobs, as many others determinate people, took his entire life to create Apple’s products, that in the 80s were considered as “impossible”.

That’s also why I think that if you have a concept that may appear impossible, you can push to make it possible: steps by steps, goals by goals, everybody can change the world somehow, and make their dreams come true! That’s why from my point of view, what it is “impossible” is just harder to be possible.

Perché acquistare un MacBook Pro

Su alcune cose ammetto di esser stato troppo critico: fino a qualche anno fa ho accusato Apple di avere politiche inaccettabili, ma su alcune cose mi ricredo! Infatti oggi il mio MacBook Pro compie 4 mesi. Almeno un anno fa, da bravo Linux-User, ero schierato con il software open ed avevo l’impressione di essere nel giusto: Credevo che la maggior parte dei prodotti Apple fossero troppo costosi e che non ci fosse un rapporto giusto tra la qualità ed il prezzo: mi sbagliavo.

In questo articolo voglio sottolineare quei pochi motivi che mi han spinto ad acquistare un MacBook Pro e voglio descrivere anche i vantaggi che non mi sarei mai aspettato da un acquisto di un Mac! Sembrerà strano, ma l’acquisto di un MacBook Pro è un investimento vero e proprio!

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