Miscellaneous

Best Wireless Keyboard: The Logitech K340 Wireless Keyboard Review

I was using the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard for a while with my Thinkpad (running Windows 7), but I soon found it inadequate. The keys were mismatched, and I had to use software to match up the keys to what I want to achieve in Windows, i.e. home, end, delete, alt-tab. Also, since I got a Logitech Anywhere MX mouse with unifying technology, I decided that I should get a keyboard that uses the same unifying technology so that I don’t have to use 2 wireless receivers.

logitech k340 wireless keyboard

After searching around, I found that the Logitech K340 seemed to fit my needs. I bought it off Amazon, and it came a few days after. When you take the keyboard out of the box, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that behind the keys is a red “background”. Typically, this would be black on most keyboards. The red matches the red used on the highlights on the keys. If you’re familiar with notebooks, this is the same thing – you can press the FN key and some keys have extra functionality like media functions, search, power off, etc. I like red and black, so I loved how the K340 used those colors.

Coming from an Apple keyboard with the chiclet keys though, the Logitech K340’s keys felt softer in comparison. It’s not a bad thing though, just different, and I soon found myself getting used to it. The sound that it makes is very soft as well, so that’s a good point.

logitech k340 wireless keyboard 2

The next thing that I noticed is that the low profile of the keyboard isn’t changeable. You don’t have keyboard “legs” that you can flip up to increase the elevation of the keyboard. That’s fine with me though, because I like the low profile and the comfort that it gives. Normally, the elevated keyboard forces your hands to arch back a little, which makes it uncomfortable for prolonged typing.

The great thing about this keyboard that I especially love is the key placement – for the Ctrl, Windows, and Alt keys, they’re in the exact same spot as my Thinkpad T410s! That makes typing a lot easier because I don’t have to memorize 2 different key layouts when I switch between my notebook and my external keyboard.


Battery life is awesome, especially compared to a bluetooth keyboard. The rated life is in months instead of weeks for a bluetooth keyboard! The Logitech K340 keyboard also comes with a on/off switch, which is useful when you need to leave for trips or for any extended period of time. The good thing about this keyboard is that it uses 2 AA batteries, which is great because my previous Apple keyboard uses 3 AA batteries.

If you’re in the market for a good, reliable, and responsive wireless keyboard, then the Logitech K340 would be it. The price point makes it very affordable, the build quality is excellent, and the keyboard gives you the full range of keys in a comfortable, compact layout. I’ve been using it already for more than a week, and I love how the keyboard feels. Get the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K340 from Amazon for the lowest price, and they’ll even throw in free shipping!

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Miscellaneous

How to Learn and Use Regular Expressions (Regex)

Whoever would have thought that something that looks like gibberish would actually have such powerful usages. Look at this example:

\d\d[/]\d\d[/]\d\d[ ][-][ ]

Would you believe that it’s actually an expression that matches anything of the format of “12/06/08”? Amazing.

I’ve been putting off learning about regular expressions (regex) for the longest time because it seems overly complicated — but I was forced to learn more about it after a recent application demanded of it. And boy was I glad to have finally jumped into it — it’s simply one of the best ways to search for any text pattern.

With regular expressions, you can search for any number of characters, specify whether it’s a number or letter, and even specify a range, like only accept alphabets between B and E. Or only numbers from 1-5.

So if you think about it, the sample regular expression string up there can actually be improved upon. For instance, since the date format is dd/mm/yy, we know that dd can go higher than 31, nor can it go lower than 1. And similarly, we know that for mm, it’s between 01 to 12. The tricky part is yy, because it can vary, depending on how you’re going to use this date. If your application’s more geared towards the future, then keeping the first digit to 0 or 1, and the 2nd digit from 0 to 9 should be just fine.

So as you can see, if you’re a developer, then regular expressions (regex) should be something that you are very familiar and comfortable with, because it makes your life so much easier!

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Miscellaneous

Tim Ferris 4 Hour Work Week Book Review

When I first heard this joke some time ago, I thought it was just like any other joke. But I saw it again recently (in Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek), it suddenly dawned upon me about how strong the underlying message is.

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-finned tuna. The banker complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The banker was puzzled and then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, swim a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, Senor.”

The banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you’ll have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle man, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, Senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the banker replied, “Five to ten years.”

“But what then, Senor?”

The banker laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company’s stock to the public and become very rich. You would be worth millions!”

“Millions, Senor? Then what?”

The banker said, “Then you would retire, move to a small coastal fishing village, take siesta with your wife, play with your kids, stroll to the village in the evenings where you would sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Yes, then, after wasting your years in the pursuit of money you might finally realize those very dreams that could have been yours without it!

It makes you think about what you really want out of life:

  • Working to get a fast car? And then what?
  • Working so that you can get a relaxing retirement? When you’re in your final years and barely able to enjoy yourself?

Perhaps the point is — why are you working your ass off for? Would you choose money or something that gives you real meaning to your life? Maybe we’re missing the point of life. The 4-Hour Workweek gave me a tonne of insight. If anything, it made me remember about my goals, and made me realise how much I was getting “lost”, as though conformity was a requirement for success. And that “success” was something defined by the people around you, and not yourself. It’s a thoroughly good read that’s entertaining at the same time. It’s been a while since I had a book that I couldn’t put down like this.

In summary, I think that the irony of life is that we give up health and the best years of our life in our youth for the sake of wealth, just for what? To try to recapture our health in our old age with our wealth? Don’t get me wrong — have adequate cash flow is important, but you should be considering a good work-life balance to get the most out of your life. If you’re saving up for retirement and not experiencing life to the fullest in your youth — have you asked yourself why?

I think it’s really important to have a sense of purpose and truly know what you’re living life for. Reading Tim’s book only refreshed, reinforced, and reminded me what I’m really working for.

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