Tuesday, April 7 2015

Unicomp != Model M
[12:53:06] matt []/Trip I would like to second the statement in this thread:

I bought a Unicomp keyboard because my wife wanted a standard shape (e.g. not like my preferred Kinesis Advantage) keyboard and I wanted a mechanicle keyboard that would plug into a USB-only (non-PS/2) NUC. Immediately there were issues with keybaord not being recognized at all. That's ok, every company has some defective units, I sent it back and got the keyboard back fairly quickly (it now has a "repaired by Unicomp" sticker labeled June 2013 next to it's manufactured-on April 2013 sticker).

Two years after it was manufactured it started behaving oddly. The return consists of two pressure triggers, if the left side is the one you happen to hit, it triggers both the slash/pipe ('/') key and then the return key. My initial thought was that there was something physically connecting the two adjacent keys, but after removing the keys and examining the board superficially, everything seems fine. Trying with a different computer resulted in the same issue. A few days later, a few keys stopped responding entirely.

A keyboard failing within two years is sad; I'm currently typing on the same Kinesis keyboard I've used five-days a week for over seven years and functions flawlessly. I've got PS/2 and AT keyboards that still work from the 1980s.. Unicomp charges between $30-$90 for repair of a keyboard outside warranty (plus shipping) which seems like more hassle than it's worth considering this thing's already been back to them, and even then has the annoying habbit of not being recognized if plugged-in during computer boot.

Monday, February 2 2015

SystemD 2015
[16:47:22] matt []/Psi+

Unix: Do one thing well.
SystemD: Why do one thing, when you could be doing other things as well?

I'm not a huge fan of SystemD, in fact, I was considering switching back to FreeBSD for my home workstations to avoid it. However, there were some points in the notes on the 2015 roadmap which might actually be useful for the specific usecase I have for GNU/Linux.

Booting a standard GNU/Linux distro with a read-only root (e.g. from NFS) is frustrating; it doesn't work well, and even though many of the caveats are documented around the Web, it seems like there's always something that doesn't quite work. FreeBSD, for what its worth, booted diskless quite nicely when I was comparing the two about two years ago. In the end, I went with USB boot images for each node at home.

Looking at the roadmap, the 2015 plan for SystemD seems to be moving towards a system which is better designed for read-only root by default, which would be neat, and hopefully mean once the system is configured, bitrot would be less of an issue.

Saturday, June 18 2011

[14:06:19] matt []/Psi.generay Apparently the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook doesn't boot from larger USB devices, meaning it wouldn't flash from the 40GB HDD I tried. Using a HD-SD card worked.

Wednesday, June 8 2011

[21:18:48] matt []/Merch Samsung Series 5 Chromebook arrived today, my first impression was that it was surprisingly thin next to the 1st gen Apple iPad device--about the same thickness with a cover on the latter. It's about an inch wider, and two inches taller and fits in the messenger bag I've been using for the iPad device, but which is too small for work's MacBook Pro. With the colouring scheme and thickness, it looks like a larger version of my USB multi-card reader.