Stand Up For Your Right…to live longer and healthier

Okay, so yesterday was the last straw. I was sitting for about the fourth consecutive hour, focussing on putting my new found Photoshop skills into practice (more on that later) and Ideas in the Afternoon comes on the CBC. What was the topic? Well, okay, it was mainly about walking but a big part of it was how sitting is becoming the new epidemic.

Now, I have written about this before. Talked anyone who has the misfortune of being in my vicinity ears off about it. And yet, there I was, sitting my way to an early death (You say I exaggerate? whatever. Hyperbole is an effective literary technique in order to demonstrate my point, I riposte).

So I did something about it. Here is my first attempt at a standing desk:

photo 3

It took five minutes. Okay, okay, it was aesthetically displeasing and not so ergonomic, but it got me standing. Issues were that the screen was too low and the mouse didn’t work so well on the dirty box surface.

So this morning, I tried putting all those unused National Geographics to use (I dusted them before though):

photo 1 photo 2

It looks better, I can adjust the height and the mouse works way better.  I am sure I will be making some adjustments but so far so good. Not sure about the actual ergonomics- I have tried to make it so my elbows fall naturally at my side and my wrist is not at a bad angle, but I am not sure if I am doing it right- I would have to defer to an expert on that…

Now, I will let you know how it feels to be standing instead of sitting all day…

Pages in Ios5 Features Split Keyboard

A student came to see me yesterday while her class was working on the ipad lab in the library. She passed her ipad to  me and said, “how do I fix this?”

On her screen, the keyboard had split in two, as if Moses was haunting the ipad under a ghostly delusion that Pages was the red sea.

So I did what any red-blooded modern day librarian would do. I googled it.

Turns out, this is one of the fancy new features of the ios5– you can now split your keyboard as well as unmoor it from its squat at the bottom of the page!

This is handy for two reasons:
1. you can see more of your page. That hulk of a keyboard can severely diminish your view of your document.
2. If you feel more comfortable having the keyboard higher up, or are doing a task where it helps to be able to move the keyboard around, this is the feature for you.

You can undock (I like unmoor personally) and split the keyboard by pressing and holding down the keyboard icon on the keyboard (the one that when tapped makes the keyboard go away). You can also split the keyboard by placing your thumb on one side and your forefinger on the other and then performing the splits.

Here are a couple of posts I found that go into more detail if your interested:

More Challenges: English & French Keyboards, Accents, Spelling and Caps

Okay. I thought I would try to do this first thing in the morning instead of late afternoon when I am falling asleep in my soothing herbal tea ( I hate afternoons – it has been scientifically proven that people become more pessimistic in the afternoon). So. In order to curb some desultory writing I will write this post with the benefit of freshly administered caffeine and the bright optimism of a day just begun.

Today, my little padawan learners, we will see how we can navigate oh so smoothly on the ipad in different languages. We will go from changing the whole language of the ipad to switching keyboards in Pages. And for you advance jedi trainees in the ipad arts, we will also show the ease with which you can find the accents for all those pesky French words. And for all of you who rely on the correct spelling tool to produce an error-free text, you will learn how to turn it on in Pages. It is as easy as constructing a light saber with the force. (See picture).

How to switch languages on your ipad OR (comment changer de langage sur votre ipad):
Settings–> General–> International–> Language–> choose your language of choice. It will automatically change the language of your ipad.

Here is the screen you get-tap your language of choice and then tap done.

You will see this black screen while it switches gears…
See? Settings is now réglages!

I know, I know. That was so easy! The force is with us today my fellow jedis!

Now. Pages. As Montrealers, we tend to switch seamlessly between French and English and would love our devices to do the same. How fortunate we are that it is as easy as tapping a button in Pages!

But first we must go to our homebase, the Tattouine of the ipad (without the two moons of course), Settings–>keyboard–>international keyboards.

If you only have English as an option,  tap the  Add a New Keyboard option. Choose the language you want to add (I assume it will be French but you might want to try out your chinese).

To delete a keyboard, tap the edit button and the little red dot with the minus sign shows up.

Now we must board our Millenium Falcon and travel at warp speed to the planet Pages where our two keyboards will be waiting for us.

Once in Pages, tap the Globe icon on the keyboard:

Tap it until the language you want appears on the space bar. The start typing! But honestly- there isn’t much difference between the French and the English keyboard. Although I did try Finnish and the umlaut did appear…And I am not sure if the spelling correction tool works with anything but English. Hang on while I try…Nope. No French spelling corrections even with the French Keyboard. Only English. WAIT! IT DOES WORK A LITTLE! I just spelled “the” with the French keyboard and it auto-corrected it to thé! Auto-correct: annoying in all languages.

Pour les accents, c’est très simple: pesez sur la lettre qui vaut un accent jusqu’à temps que vous voyez ces options:

Maintenant, sans lever votre doigt de l’écran, glisser votre doigt sure la lettre avec l’accent que vous avez besoin.

Now, I wonder if they have a jawa keyboard?

I have already mentioned in a previous post how to turn the auto-correct off for the ipad. (A note about that- the check spelling for the whole ipad is automatically disabled of you disable auto-correct. You can only check spelling when the auto-correct is on).

On the planet Pages, it is as simple:

Make sure the Check spelling option is on.

Now for our final adventure on the planet Pages (for today!)- CAPS!


Thus concludes Part 3 of our epic ipad challenge. Like Lucas, I might decided to write a an atrocious prequel trilogy though, so stay tuned.

Oh and in parting, we cannot let this day go by without a fitting adieu to Mr. Jobs, the man who made this blog necessary. Despite beginning my computing journey with a Commodore 64 back in 1984, all my subsequent computers have been Macs. I have grown up with the little icon and can’t imagine using anything else.

Thanks, Steve.