How many keys does one need to fit the alphabet?

Look at your keyboard. How many alphanumeric keys do you have?

On an US ANSI standard keyboard (the kind that are called 104-key), 47 (not counting the space bar and the numeric keypad). On a European ISO or a Japanese JIS keyboard, 48. Brazilian keyboards have 49.

How did that number come to be? Why do we (and do we really) need so many?

Suggestion box

Here is a list of topics I might want to cover in this blog:

  • Thoughts on ergonomic keyboards and keyboard layouts
  • Description of my Truly Ergonomic key rearrangement
  • My XKB configuration
  • My i3 window manager config and workflow description
  • My Emacs configuration and workflow description
  • (suggest more in comments)

Installing Discourse on Ubuntu Trusty 32-bit

Last time I evaluated comment systems suitable for a static blog such as this and came with a conclusion that Discourse is the one and only solution (short of rolling my own).

However, this requires setting up a Discourse instance.

I naturally want to install it on my home server that does my multiprovider Internet routing, powers the whole apartment networking infrastructure (DHCP, local DNS, those sorts of things), hosts a few playground projects, and is overall a not-so-shabby machine that I’m not very keen on upgrading.

Comment system

By default, GitHub Pages do not have a commenting system, being just static sites.

Many Jekyll-based blogs use Disqus1. The idea is that each post embeds an iframe that fetches comments from an external site and also provides a comment form. When that form is submitted, the new comment goes again to that external site which stores it.

However, on several sites that use Disqus, I have seen a feature that I very much dislike. They call it Promoted Discovery. Near the comment list, they show a selection of a few posts of your own that are somehow related to the current, and a selection of a few pages by other users. What drives Promoted Discovery is apparently how much the promotee paid to Disqus, and some percentage of that payment goes to the users on whose blogs these ads are displayed.

Excuse me while I go compose an AdBlock Plus element hiding rule for that abomination.

OK, that was easy. And they actually do not just allow anyone into the program; it’s invite-only. Which means I’m initially ineligible and will have the chance to reject their offer if and when they make it. But still, I do not want to support and endorse a system that does that to its users.

Hello World

OK, so here goes. I’m setting up a new blog.

I have another blog at Dreamwidth, but it’s in Russian. I’m gonna write in English here.

This is powered by GitHub Pages, Jekyll and Jekyll Now.


  • Eradicate font faces and sizes from the theme done
  • Replace Disqus with something more Free and open
  • Add some content :)