A computer stuffed into a keyboard…

Computers aren’t easy to move around. Keyboards are. What about having a keyboard which actually is a computer? It exists…

The RaspCherry Pi
The RaspCherry Pi

As you would have guessed now that you have seen the name, this project was made using a Raspberry Pi and stuffing it into a keyboard.

Now you can go anywhere with it. All you need is a monitor, and you’re good to go!

For more information, you should go to the original post on preamp.org [German]!

The RaspCherry Pi: inside the keyboard...
The RaspCherry Pi’s guts

Capacitive inputs revisited…

You already know that I am a huge fan of keyboards, with some ideas of my own… I already spoke of capacitive keyboards also.

Well, Synaptics announced new inputs.

The ForcePad

Basically an enhanced trackpad. The main novelty is a variable pressure detection, but it also features a multi-finger detection feature. The pressure is measured for each finger, not as a resultant.

The physical buttons could be removed and replaced with a hard press, thus resulting in thinner pads. So, slimmer laptops, or bigger batteries, … Drawback: we lose the physical sensation of clicking.

As far as I’m concerned, not a problem: I do not use the physical button of a trackpad anymore. With some settings, I have the tap for left-click, tap in pre-defined corner for right-click, move along the edges for scrolling, … Trackpads are great! I only miss not having multi-touch…

Anyway, Synaptics’s video:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/47329850]

The ThinTouch

I first thought this was a curiosity: ThinTouch is a capacitive keyboard with physical keys. What could be the use?

I already said that I do not believe in flat-surfaced keyboards. Though it might be great to turn a screen into a keyboard with any layout you might need, using it seems impractical to me when you have to use it a lot. I like to feel the keys.

Plus you cannot lay your fingers on the keyboard without activating the keys.

ThinTouch proposes a remedy to these problems. But why, then, use capacitive keys?

First, the keyboard is thinner thus. Combined with the ForcePad, this could be great news for future ultrabooks.

Add to it the pressure-sensitiveness. You could use it to have a upper- or lower-cased character based on the force you apply on the key. Or any other application you might imagine for it.

The video:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/47458591]

I am growing impatient to see those integrated into new laptops. And to have the occasion to lay my hand on one of these.

[Source: Clubic]

Use attributes and interfaces on Java enums

Most Java developers know of Java enums. Most developers also know that each field of an enum can define its own methods. But even most of those who know that are not aware they can define a contract each field of the enum must implement.

It might seem a useless piece of information. Yet, in my own case, it was really useful to me… Continue reading Use attributes and interfaces on Java enums

Centering a dynamic-width block on a web page with CSS

I was trying in designing a new home page for Keyboard Playing that implied CSS centering. And I succeeded. It even passes the W3C validation services (for now that is; it may change next time I tinker with it).

Yet, my layout put me in some difficulty until I found a way to do it. Basically, I wanted a keyboard (did not even think of a link with the name) of buttons leading to various links, but this keyboard had to be centered in page. And I wanted this centering to be dynamic.

I found a way. I am not proud of it since, though the W3C validator acknowledges it, IE7 does not. Well, it is not beautiful but can be used anyway.

So, read this post if you want some advice… Continue reading Centering a dynamic-width block on a web page with CSS

How to make a portable LaTeX editor

$\LaTeX$ (or more generally $\TeX$) is a wonderful tool when it comes to writing reports. I already wrote about how to use Eclipse with a few plugins to have a portable $\LaTeX$ editor.

There was a limitation however: though I hinted that some compilers exist in a portable version, I used TeXlipse with an installed MiKTeX. Now, a friend of mine required an editor to fine-tune something I prepared, and I did not wish to force a full installation.

So, here is how I prepared a portable $\TeX$ editor on a USB stick in half an hour (most of which was spent downloading), which shall work on any Windows machine. Continue reading How to make a portable LaTeX editor

IE8 and the compatibility mode

Well, working on a GWT/GXT application right now, and the latest challenge was to ensure compatibility in Internet Explorer 8. If most GWT components behave quite well in all browsers, GXT introduces some problems through permitting things IE cannot understand.

But once the GXT source code is correct, layout and CSS problems remain. Internet Explorer, or the nightmare of any web developer…

Yet, playing with the development tools and available compatibility modes, I found out that IE7’s compatibility mode introduces problems which are ruled out through using IE8’s engine. So, the only thing left to do was to forbid IE8 to use the compatibility mode, so that users do not have to tinker with settings the way I did.

Specify the compatibility mode in IE8

Quite simple actually. IE does not use comments this time, but a real <meta /> tag. I still find it ugly, but it is better nonetheless.

So, for people who must force Internet Explorer to behave like an older version, you just have to insert this tag inside your <head>:

Forbidding compatibility mode in IE8

That is all fair and well, but for those who remember, I aimed exactly at the contrary: not forcing the compatibility mode but preventing it instead.

Well, this actually is just as easy:

Forcing the compatibility mode to the latest version

This tip can be used to make Internet Explorer use the latest known version, and thus anticipate future versions of the browser. It looks quite like the precedent:

And in IE9+?

I actually have no idea, as my own concerns were with IE8 (for now).

Logically, the forcing the compatibility mode should work as long as the browser include this compatibility. As for forbidding it, the second tip is quite clear.

If you have any tip about compatibility mode in IE, just share it with us!

(inspired from a French post: http://nukium.com/developpement-php/interdire-le-mode-de-compatibilite-ie7-dinternet-explorer-8-ie8/)