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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Monday August 08, 2005
04:12 PM

Paper versus Keyboard

[ #26188 ]

Why is it that when I get a really, really tough programming problem I want to whip out some paper and write out ideas? I'm sitting in front of my iBook. It has all the tools I need. There's just something really comforting about writing on a sheet of paper.

In other news, I'm almost finished with a first-draft of an AI::Prolog article for The Perl Review. This is not written on paper.

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  • I know what you mean. At work it took me quite a long time to become comfortable taking notes about phone calls on my computer rather than a piece of paper. At least on my part, it was completely irrational and ineffiecient to use paper, especially since I'm a fairly quick typist and my handwriting sucks. I finally wrote a script called "work" that would create a file, put it in my work_log directory, and fire up vim. I still instinctively reach for paper to take notes.
  • I think at some point in a difficult problem it becomes an issue of capacity. You want maximum neurons on the problem, and as few context switches as you can.

    We've been using crayons since we were 3 in most cases, and just drawing requires very little mental effort.

    Using a computer requires thought to drive the interface, and when what you really want is an analog and unstructured extention to your brain, pen based stuff is hard to beat.

    And a whiteboard is like paper, but with an undo :)
  • There's just something really comforting about writing on a sheet of paper.

    It's a better technology!

    High resolution, portable, disposable, high contrast, etc. Index cards rock :-)

  • It’s the lack of structure in general. You can scribble anything (whether it’s even a letter or not) onto any place of the paper, you can fold the paper itself, etc. Doing anything on a computer requires and forces structure to your activity, which is not a good match when you’re trying to revv your brain and free-associate.