Category Archives: Personal – Software and IT

Goals, Resolutions, and Looking Forward to 2019

Image courtesy of Marco Verch @ Flickr

I haven’t really put pen to paper or committed bytes around a resolution in the past, but I want to make some changes and set some goals for my stream in the year ahead. I not only want to improve it professionally, but also make some personal changes for the better.

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The CsharpFritz 2018 Year in Review

Photo of Jeff

It’s the end of 2018, and I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on my accomplishments, on-going projects, and missed opportunities. I always struggle when it comes time to reflect on what I have accomplished, especially when it comes time for year-end reviews with HR-like folks. I want to get better at that, so I’ll blog a bit more here to review some of the cool things from the last 12 months

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Save a Technical Speaker – Bring a Presenter Pack!

I’ve been a technical speaker for more than ten years and have had my share of successes, failures, and oh crap moments. Over the past few years, my job has moved me into a position where I help to plan the content for several major technical conferences and I support the folks presenting at my events.  This week, my friend Kendra asked me for advice regarding what to bring to support speakers at the first event she is managing and I thought it would be great to share those tips with everyone so that we all can have successful events. Continue reading

The finished look

Mechanical Keyboards, I Just Got One, and Why You Need One Too

Confession:  I use a laptop all the time.  I use my laptops a LOT.  If you watch my live stream on Twitch, you may know that I use three laptops to assemble and present that content.  It’s a lot of work, and my hands have been in laptop keyboards, and laptop keyboards only for the last 5-6 years.  I haven’t used a desktop machine as a daily-driver, or even an external keyboard on a regular basis in that time.

I’ve learned to deal with all of the nonsense with “Fn” keys and the function keys on laptops not immediately accessible.  As a programmer who is always using the function keys and the arrow keys, its really annoying to have to use an extra keystroke to access these keys that I use on a regular basis.  These are the keyboards that I was using regularly:

Lenovo Yoga 910

Macbook Air 13

SurfaceBook 2 15

… and they’re all flat and I have those stupid Fn keys in order to use the F1-F12 keys, which I use regularly as a developer.

Enter the Vortex Race 3

I stepped up to the plate, and got the Vortex Race 3 with Cherry Blue switches and a USB connection.  Yes, link to Amazon attached to the pic:

Ok, Cherry Blue is a nice full click sound and just feels like the right amount of pressure to type.  I love the extra colored keys and the size of the keyboard is just perfect for me.  I don’t need the numeric keypad and I love the location of the Page Up and Page Down buttons on the right.

Gratuitous Unboxing Pics

I was so happy when the Vortex Race 3 arrived, and took pictures of the entire process.

The unopened box

Sliding open, and peeking out

Sliding open, and peeking out

The standard keyboard in the box

The standard keyboard in the box

More keyboard parts under here

More keyboard parts under here

Spare Colored Keys

Spare Colored Keys

Minor surgery, swapping out keys

Minor surgery, swapping out keys

The finished look

The finished look

Summary

I’ve been using the Race 3 all the time, and absolutely love the feel and the sound as I type.  When I’m on the road and typing on the laptop keyboards, it just feels… non-responsive.  I feel like I’m typing on a dead fish.  I’ve also seen the communities out there that make custom key caps, and considered getting a few cool ones made.  I’m thinking of replacing my C key with a C# logo key and the A key with an Azure logo key.

Are  you using a mechanical keyboard?  What has been your experience?  What would you recommend for new folks looking to get something a little less ‘stock’?

My Amazon Account was Hacked and How I Made it More Secure

My Amazon account was recently hacked, and I was NOT thrilled when I discovered this unfortunate problem.  I’m going to share how I discovered my account was hacked, what I did about it, how it was resolved, and what you can do to secure your personal accounts.  I will write another article about making our systems more secure for our customers.

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