Esperanto

Esperanto and Second Life – a match made in heaven! In Second Life you have a lovely mixture of people from all around the world who want to speak Esperanto and are happy to teach other people. Plus you have this real-time conversation style which, combined with the easy grammatical rules of Esperanto, helps newbies to pick up a bit of the language very quickly.

I have discovered how to modify my Dvorak keyboard layout to include the extended Esperanto keys. On Linux, all you have to do is find your current keyboard layout (for me it is in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/gb) and add or replace the following lines:

key <AD07> { [ g, G, gcircumflex, Gcircumflex ] };
key <AD08> { [ c, C, ccircumflex, Ccircumflex ] };
key <AC04> { [ u, U, ubreve, Ubreve ] };
key <AC07> { [ h, H, hcircumflex, Hcircumflex ] };
key <AC10> { [ s, S, scircumflex, Scircumflex ] };
key <AB03> { [ j, J, jcircumflex, Jcircumflex ] };

For me, i simply had to add the lines because the gb(dvorak) layout extends the us(dvorak) layout. This allows you to hold down AltGr with the letter to type the modified version. Shift-AltGr also works.

Nun mi povas tajpi ĝusta en Esperanto! :)

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Linux laptops from £169!

Aha, i managed to get away from the course early because i had finished the exercise (using for loops and conditions and casting to create a calculator of compound interest). Everything today has been relatively straightforward – nothing i couldn’t have figured out for myself, but that is reassuring to know at least.

On the train home i discovered another Linux user in Winchester! YAY! We got chatting after getting off the train – i complemented this person on their way cute titchy tiny little laptop. I wanted to know whether it was running Windows because i didn’t see a Windows key. No, it turns out it runs Xandros Linux! I smiled hugely and couldn’t help but say, “Good for you!” heheh!

After a very quick bit of browsing, i reckon it was one of these beauties: ASUS Eee PC – an ultra cheap, ultra small and light ‘subnotebook’ which comes pre-installed with Xandros! It weighs less than 1kg, boots up in 20 seconds, has all the best free software: OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype … it also has a media player and a video recorder. The price starts at £169.

Can i say … WANT!!!!

Oh my gosh, that would be so perfect for taking around on the train with me!! :)

C# course so far

Well things are going pretty well on the C# course. We get plenty of breaks and lots of practical exercises to do, which is nice. Started at 09:30 and hopefully finishing at about 16:30 today which seems really nice to me! :)

We have had the introduction to .NET which clarified a lot for me. I was rather bemused about this mystical thing called .NET and thought it was mostly marketing-speak. I wasn’t properly aware that many languages can use the same .NET libraries. I didn’t realise that it was pretty much a wrapper for categorising and holding more fundamental operating system functions within objects.

We have done the obligatory Hello World – both as a GUI and a command-line application. We have covered variables and constants, enumerated types, assignments, conditions, and just starting for loops and while loops now. Nothing too taxing.

The bad thing is the class is really quiet and the tutor does not encourage communication. After each exercise the tutor just tells us the answers, rather than asking us what we think the answers are, which would probably prompt a bit more discussion.

The other bad things are … we didn’t get any free lunch – i had to go and buy my own! :( and i am having to suffer Internet Explorer 6 which is even more awful than i remembered!

Anyway, we are about to begin again so i’ll sign out now …! :)

Windows disapproval

I’m on my course. Going well. It’s a short break now. I think the tutor is not a great fan of Windows either:

“If you go way back to when Windows was very popular …”

According to the tutor, that was around the era of Windows 3.1. It all went downhill from there!