Simon Willison’s Weblog

Poland, Dvorak and Broadband woes

My recent silence can be attributed to a number of things. I’ve been having a terrible time trying to get a ’net connection sorted out in my new flat—I can’t get cable, and it seems the local exchange can’t handle ADSL yet either. Curses. I also just got back from a fantastic ten day holiday in Gdansk, Poland with Natalie, and I’m typing this with a Dvorak keyboard (well, a PowerBook covered in post-it note fragments).

I’m experimenting with Dvorak mainly because I heard that learning it requires living through several weeks of painfully slow typing. Having just finished University and not yet started work the last few weeks have been something of a golden opportunity in that regard. I’m not yet back up to my old typing speed but I’m no longer frustratingly slow, and the promises of a more logical layout are holding up. Having all of the vowels on the home row under my left hand is certainly more intuitive than QWERTY.

Poland is a wonderful place to visit. It’s very cheap (compared to England at least) but has great food, beautiful sights and a very welcoming culture. The phrase book proved essential as there were no guarantees that anyone would speak English.

We stayed in Gdansk, which was celebrating 25 years of the Solidarity trade union movement, which resulted in the collapse of communism in Poland. We went to a Jean Michel Jarre concert in the ship yard where the movement began (pictures on Flickr). We also made day trips to Hel, Slowinski National Park, Torun, Malbork, Sopot, and Gdynia. That’s a whole lot more photos still to go up!

Finally, I attended the Django and Rails meetup on Monday evening in London. There were about 20 people there from all sorts of backgrounds and it was great seeing how much interest there was in the two frameworks. Sam is already planning the next one for October 10th. I’m looking forward to it.

This is Poland, Dvorak and Broadband woes by Simon Willison, posted on 7th September 2005.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2005/09/07/poland