Lawrence Liu's Report from the Inside

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3 things I discovered after falling asleep in front of my computer (again)

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   I’ve often joked with my colleagues and the SharePoint MVPs that my most productive working hours are 9 PM to 5 AM rather than during the normal 9 AM to 5 PM work day when I’m jumping back and forth between meetings, phone calls, e-mail threads, dropping my kids off at school, and taking them to their after school activities, etc. Lately, that’s more of a reality for me than not. Although I don’t stay up until 5 AM every day night, many people who have me in their IM friends list can attest that I’m up fairly late these days. It’s not that I really want to, but there are just way too many things going on in my life right now, and they’re not all related to work. I’m very fortunate to have a job that provides such flexibility and a manager who understands my need for such work/life balance. I tend to be a night owl because there are far fewer distractions during the late evening and early morning hours, and I can actually concentrate for more than an hour without disruption, so I can diligently review or draft important documents, e-mails, or slidedecks.


   However, my body can’t always keep up, so from time to time, I find myself (or more embarrassingly, my wife, my kids, or my coworkers do) slumped over my desk and totally asleep. Once awakened, I’m so startled or disoriented that I don’t pay much attention to what I inadvertently typed on the screen while I was asleep. However, on two separate occasions this past week, I consciously took notice of the screen after being awakened by those familiar beeping sounds caused by having fallen asleep with my hands on the keyboard.


   And I discovered 3 things:

1.     On both occasions, I typed the letter “k” repeatedly after falling asleep. I posit that this happened mainly because I’m right handed (so it’s slightly heavier and involuntarily depresses the keyboard more so than my left hand) and my middle finger is the longest though I wouldn’t be surprised if I type the letter “l” with my right forth finger while asleep on some other occasions.

2.     The repeating key function in Windows Vista stops as soon as another key (“d” in my case) is pressed even if the initial key continues to be depressed. I haven’t confirmed whether Windows XP works the same way or not, but this may just be one of the many improvements in Windows Vista! :-)

3.     Outlook 2007 B2TR doesn’t wordwrap like Word does when the contiguous characters are about to go beyond the right border of the application window. Outlook lets the characters continue for about 1.5X the length of the window before wrapping around to the next line. I guess this is because Word has “hard” margins and Outlook doesn’t. Still, I think it would be better for Outlook to treat the borders of its application window as hard margins for contiguous characters because they do appear to act as hard margins for normal length words. That way, the user experience would be consistent. Oh well, perhaps “typing hundreds of contiguous characters” just wasn’t a high priority test case for the Outlook product group. :-)


  • It would be really funny if it were Z's.  =-)

    Ironically I was noticing the timestamps on your posts this week and was wondering how you can stay awake so late.  I guess now I know.  

  • Mr Liu needs a vacation!!

  • This *totally* explains the strange emails I've been getting lately. Here I thought Lawrence had finally lost it, but no, it's just sleep deprivation.

    Of course the IM messages from you when you fall asleep at the keyboard at nice too, but a lot more annoying than email ;)

  • LOL! This is the best post I've read all week. Re: #2, same functionality in XP. :-)


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