Typing speed hypothesis

Hypothesis:

Typing speed increases if there’s no feedback from the input (looking at keyboard) and output (looking at the screen).¶

I’ve been taking book notes of recently read books. While taking notes I realised that I type fastest when I look at neither the screen nor the keyboard.

When looking at just the book, I let my muscle memory (training) take over and get the fastest typing speed. There are a few errors—typos—but the writing speed makes up for them.

Looking at the screen is the next fastest mode of typing. It is probably slower when I’m copying text from the book since I have to constantly switch between the two, specially because I have to locate the cursor in the book every time. It is also slower because any typos are apparent immediately and create a dissonance hurdle in the brain, slowing it down.

Looking at the keyboard while typing is the slowest. The brain skips a lot of the muscle memory, or tries to reconfirm it, and tries to look for keys before typing. It may cause the least mistakes but is really, really slow.

Continue reading Typing speed hypothesis

Weekend

Sis was here. After months of radio silence, she suddenly made an appearance for Rakhi. I wasn’t happy at first about this visit. I prefer normal, friendly relations year round rather than the tamasha of happy relations for a festival. She, and most of my family, prefer friendly appearances at festivals irrespective of relations—good, bad or non-existent—rest of the year.

On R’s suggestion, I tried ignoring the ‘Rakhi’ aspect of the visit. Once I ignored that, I could accept the visit as a rare visit from my sister, and enjoy that for what it is. Helpful advice. By the end of the visit, I was quite happy about her visit. I even wished that she visited more often.

Aside: Sis also brought gifts for Rakhi, two polo tees in a Selfridges bag. Most people who know me a bit know that I hate exchanging gifts. My sis seems to have fallen in my mom’s camp here—she’ll exchange gifts for her own prestige irrespective of what the other person thinks.

Barnaby was here. He’s an 1.5 year old Golden Retriever pup. Like any puppy, he’s hyper and restless. Like most dogs, he loves being touched. He’ll place himself next to any human who’s giving him rubs, and then refuse to let them stop. Unlike most retrievers, he’s not very interested in food. He’s not very well trained. He doesn’t understand some common commands—down, leave, wait. Like a puppy, he’s moody about obeying the ones he doesn understand—come here and sit.

One thing that I really liked about him is that, unlike Chewie and Dudley, he doesn’t make any noise. I heard him twice in the 26 hours that he was here—once when he locked himself out in the backyard, and another time at night when he heard something outside. Otherwise, there wasn’t a sound out of him. Chewie, on the other hand, barks often and talks a lot. Dudley mumbles and groans to let everyone know his feelings. Barnaby was pleasantly quiet. (But I’m still planning to cancel his week-long stay over the year-end holidays).

I learnt fat != unfit. My sister is fat. Too fat for my liking. Yet, I observed on multiple occasions that she isn’t very unfit. Not at all as unfit as her looks would suggest. The first instance where I noticed this was when she got on the wobble board. It was her first time and she managed almost 2 minutes. Amit and S haven’t managed that long yet. I’m not sure even R has. But she did. Another time was when I took the three kids out on the walk. It was a brisk short walk, but she was able to keep up with us most of the way without getting out of breath. She isn’t very flexible, can’t really squat, and has many many other health issues. But it was comforting to know that at least she’s fitter than she looks.

I didn’t run. Chewie was unwell on Friday night. I had to stay up with him for almost an hour. As a result, I couldn’t wake up in the morning for Parkrun. A mix of things—unexpected rain, Barnaby’s arrival, my laziness, and my discovery and addiction with Expanse meant that I didn’t run during the day either. R was out all Sunday, and sudden, surprise showers closed the morning run window. Result: I didn’t run on Sunday either. Instead, I did the thing I hate: I binge watched The Expanse.

I threw away the weekend to binge-watching Expanse. I saw the S01E01 on Friday evening. By the time I finally slept on Sunday night (after 1 AM), I was at S02E08. The first thing I did today was to delete the Prime Video app from my phone.

I didn’t do any of the planned house work. The tap hole in kitchen top stays unfixed. The ivy from the side fence still needs to be removed. The kitchen oven is still to be cleaned. I started, but abandoned midway, the monthly cleaning of the utility room.

The tinnitus has been bad for a few days now. It’s been wrecking my head and hearing since at least middle of the last week, but it really peaked on Friday and Saturday.

It was a horrible weekend in most aspects. The one thing I was not happy about before it started—sis visiting—turned out to be the one small bright spot.

New old toy—a tiny RC drone

New toy — a tiny drone
New toy—a tiny RC quadcopter

I got this a long while ago, but Chewie made sure I never got any time with it. The first time I tried to fly it, Chewie jumped off his perch, caught the drone in mid-air and thrashed it around with his mouth trying to kill the ‘bird‘.

I tried taking it into the conservatory, while locking Chewie in the living room. Chewie created such a ruckus from other side of the glass doors that R banned me from using the drone again.

While working alone last night I got the idea to bring the drone upstairs, to play with it during my breaks when Chewie is not around. So today I did.

I have had two play sessions with it already. It helps that it has a very short battery life—about 10 mins—so I can’t waste too much time with it in one go.

It’s a hard drone to fly—dirty lint on the rotors + cheap, low quality electronics + Chewie’s thrashing amongst the many reasons for it. After two 10 min sessions, my longest continuous flight is still only about 30 secs. Getting it to just hover over a spot for a minute would be a good first target. Soft landing it would be another. Both seem far away at the moment.

Continue reading New old toy—a tiny RC drone

Haul from the library

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Went to return two books, and maybe borrow one. Ended up bringing seven of them home :)

The one I went to get: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

The two that were in my read some time list:

  • The Art of failing by Anthony McGowan and
  • Mr. Iyer goes to war by Ryan Lobo (finished)

The four that I picked up from browsing around the sections:

  • Gizelle’s bucket list by Lauren Fern Watt
    – A dog story, my weakness
  • Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou
    – Saw her name, picked it up
  • Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run by Andy Holgate
    – I’d come across this book often in Amazon recommendations, never enticed enough to buy.
  • Running up that hill by Vassos Alexander
    – Running & hills, two of my many other weaknesses :)

Continue reading Haul from the library

Late night + name confusion = a very different book

I read Jon Krakauer‘s ‘Into thin air‘ earlier this year. It’s about an Everest expedition gone wrong. I’d seen the movie based on it years ago so knew the story line. I still enjoyed the book. Mark of a well written book.

Late one night last week, I was looking for another book to start. I spotted Jack Kerouac‘s ‘On the road‘ on the book shelves.

The book name seemed similar to Jon’s ‘Into thin air‘ and ‘Into the wild‘.
Author name sounded similar too—Jack Ker… vs Jon Kr…
The introduction on back cover sounded interesting, though a bit unlike the outdoorsy vibe of Jon’s other books.

I took a chance—took it upstairs and started reading.

It was different.

I was about 70 pages into the book before I decided to double check and realised my mistake. This was a story about young men in the 50s discovering booze, drugs, music, themselves, women, and America. Far from the gen-x characters in Jon’s books.

Not a book I would’ve picked up knowingly. But a book I’m enjoying nonetheless.

Me, here, now.

Gardening

After neglecting the garden for 5+ years, I finally started getting my hands dirty this year. It’s been a surprising delight. The flowers are blooming. No plants have died yet. And the weeds are more under control than any time last year. All this for a couple of weekends’ work, and 5-10 mins every morning or evening. My highlight achievement must be saving a few plants from near death—the purple petunias, the value pack bogonias and the medium-sized marigold—and seeing them flourish.

I am really enjoying the work in the garden—probably too much according to R. There must be some truth in what Cal Newport said—the joy of creating physical things with our own hands.

Running

I’ve been running well. I like my current running form, and the times have been reflecting the improvement. I ran my Park Run PB earlier at Woking—22:42. I ran the London marathon earlier in just under 4 hours—3:58:44. This is the first year where I have run at least 100 km every month. It’s also the first year when I’ve run at least once every week. I plan to keep the momentum going through rest of the year.

Reading

Reading has been a continuing theme from last few years. I haven’t read as many fiction books this year as non-fiction. Just haven’t found too many of ones I really want to read. Amitava Ghosh released his new book, Gun Island, so I polished that off in less than a day. But nothing much else.

I’ve read a lot of non-fiction though. Quite a few are based around self-improvement and productivity— Make time, GTD for teens, Digital minimalism, Messy, Range, Sprint, Turn the ship around

I’ve read some books from the running, swimming, cycling, hiking world, but again not as many as I would’ve liked. Goater’s Art of running faster gave some good tips, and Scott Jurek’s North was full of inspiration.

I’ve started listing the books, and notes from some of them on this site.

Head & heart

Parents were planning to visit UK this year. They’ve cancelled. I’m sad.

I stopped meditating regularly months ago. I still meditate occasionally, but without the app there isn’t much to guide me through session after session. Most of the time it is just noticing a breath (tip from Make Time).

The year, mentally, has been a roller coaster. I haven’t really touched the depths of depression like I did around October last year, but I haven’t had many periods of consistent happiness either. I have a feeling it’s all very fragile. Or is it brittle?

Finished Todo.txt for Android

I’m ending the second phase of active development for Todo.txt for Android. All core functionality works sufficiently well for my own use. Dark mode is half baked, so have moved it to the backlog for the next phase, whenever that happens.

Not doing much active development on extensions at the moment.

Next up

Next up is starting a new project, or finding a new role. Either way, it’ll be a time of flux and vulnerability. Tread kindly, por favor!

Continue reading Me, here, now.

RSS & site updates

New combined RSS feed

Added new combined RSS feed comprising posts from all the blogs hosted on this domain. The combined feed is available here: Adi's combined feed.

The combined feed includes:

  • Speak Easy—feed
  • Converge—site, feed
  • Middlering—site, feed
  • Paws N Pedals (never updated)—site, feed
  • Photos (new)—site, feed
  • The winter blog (rarely updated dev notes blog)—site, feed
  • Use my marker (highlights from Instapaper and kindle)—site, feed
  • App Updates (update notes for my apps and extensions)—site, feed

Photos & Books pages

The new photos blog, and the experimental books page are now linked from the home page.

TIL: Line breaks in markdown

I’ve been using markdown for writing for years, yet this one bit bugged me—I couldn’t get a line break (as against a paragraph break) in text.

Finally figured this out yesterday, and it is so so simple:

Place two spaces at the end of a line, and markdown will insert a line break.

This works in normal text as well as inside blockquotes. So simple, so good. No more inserting <br/> tags at end of many lines.

Now, what took me so many years to find this?!