16 Jul 2017 - Model F My ARSE
A friend shared an article off NPR's "All Tech Considered" section that really raised the hackles on my hackles. Normally I don't use this area of the site for blogging, but given what total BULLSHIT the subject of said article is -- mated to the fact that MOST places seem to stamp out any dissension or post calling it out for being bull -- I'm decidedly making an exception!
Simply put, we have some joker claiming he's "bringing back" the Model F... Their site is here:
First off they make a version without the numeric keypad or the function keys -- fine, I guess for fringe whackos who put form over function having the OPTION isn't the end of the world, but seriously, LOOK at the bloody LAYOUT of even the 'proper' version in terms of JUST the core key area (ignore the keypad area):
That's a Model M layout!
Just for reference, THIS is a REAL Model F:
What in blazes makes this an F? Does it have the same crappy low quality key action that was one of the BIGGEST complaints that led to the model M being the desirable one? The F's switches were RUBBISH -- the ONLY reason such a retro keyboard would be attractive is if you put modern cherry types in it, or had actual bucking springs -- and in the case of the latter that would PROBABLY be a violation of Unicomp's IP rights!
Now, there were a LOT of keyboards CALLED model F, but theirs isn't even the right layout in the "core" area on things like ALT, CTRL, or CAPS-Lock to qualify as being called such! REGARDLESS of which F you compare it to -- even the ONLY version even CLOSE to worth being mentioned, the metal cased ones that were NOT in fact by any stretch of the imagination ACTUALLY Model F's. (Hence those APPROACHING the M layout, but not quite nailing it!)
I also find it comical one of the BEST parts of the F -- the tabs on the side for extending/retracting the feet so you didn't have to screw around flipping the keyboard over -- and making them so integral to the design you couldn't accidentally snap them off like so many modern designs -- is nowhere to be found... Also seems like every one of their designs that has their own in-house case layouts are carefully crafted to be as uncomfortable and unnaturally shaped in the palm-rest area as possible...
Though this train wreck of sleazy scam artist marketing BS doesn't go FULL retard until we talk price -- $300 to $400 a pop. I could custom build from scratch building Cherry extra blacks and have a hundred or two left over. When Unicomp can still build the much more mechanically complex and far more desirable Model M buckling switch keyboards for $84 (at the time of writing this article), anyone DUMB ENOUGH to throw $300 to $500 at one of these has more money than brains -- and clearly doesn't know enough about Vintage hardware to be flapping their gums on the bloody topic!
At the heart of it, I suspect that's the ONLY reason these even get the "Model F" name thrown at it. It's like a sci-fi series based on the cover art of a novel where the writers and producers clearly never read it, much less cared about it. They use the name for recognition and nothing else, in this case likely because saying "Model M" would put them up against Unicomp's legal team. It is NOTHING more than an attempt dupe hipsters out of their money like we were talking about modern manufactured belt driven turntables and tube driven amps. Or worse, the fools who think there's an audible difference between FLAC and variable rate 512kbs max MP3 -- there's a reason FLAC-tards use 128kbps fixed rate to card-stack their bullshit claims!
... and the way NPR's article gushes about it shows a level of ignorance, incompetance, and lack of research that anything resembling journalistic integrity was clearly thrown out the window; The same way a "Soccer Mommie" doing her "Internet research" rants about the evils of vaccines whilst shoving steaming jade eggs into their holiest of holies. I guess with pseudo-science quackery like anti-vax, anti-gmo, and so forth being the leftist moonbat version of the right wingnut climate change denial and creationism, such blatent snake oil peddling cash grabs and promotion of ignorance shouldn't surprise me; but there WAS a time when NPR meant something.
In any case, you want a GOOD mechanical keyboard with decent switches and the proper spacing, look, and feel -- WITHOUT breaking the bank on marketing scam hoodoo, go visit Unicomp's website.
09 Nov 2015 - Back in Blues
Sadly it's been almost a year since I've done anything here. For those of you not aware I'm not in the best of health and been on doctors orders not to work for years... After a stay in the ICU back in February most of my projects have been on hold -- including Paku Paku 2.0 for DOS more on that in a bit -- but I'm slowly recovering. Figured it's been WAY overdue for me to give this site some loving, so here we go.
New Page Theme, again
Not really new, I just swapped the colours back to blue. I was trying for C64 tans with the last one, which looked great on my IPS, but when I saw what it looked like on my media center using a TV (purple instead of tan?!?) I figured it's time for a revamp. Last time people complained the blues were too "bright" even though they were darker than the greens before it (that people complained were too bright) -- Is google too bright in whites and blues? I don't hear people bitching about white backgrounds so... blue and white it is.
Paku Paku 2.0 DOS Coming ... sometime
I've slowly been pecking away at the new codebase. Shortly after the release of version 1.6 I found that on an unexpanded PCJr the game left a lot to be desired, and in general found a lot of new ways of doing things and improvements across all platforms. Originally this was going to be a version 1.7 release, but I figured if I'm gonna do it, let's do it right.
31 Dec 2014 - Disqus added and Code Progress Update
Disqus now working, I think...
Holidays took a bit more of my time than planned, then had some 'issues' with getting disqus' comment counts to work right. Turns out they demand a full URI (which is stupid as HELL) to auto-process links on a page. I ended up using the span targeting with the data- attribute method. Not a fan, but it's just too damned stupid the other way around... so, now we have comments at least on the blog parts of the site. I'll be adding comments to some specific sub-pages as I'll likely start adding more article-like content to the site.
Site Back End additions
I've added a method of creating 'breakpoints' in my articles so I can manually set where the "read the rest of this article" link gets placed. Automating this usually sucks and is a headache, so simply having a 'comment' that says "stop here for the summary" seems a far, far better way of handling it.
When/if I turn this simple "poor man's CMS" into a real content management system, this may be a pretty big feature... though I will still likely require that articles be written in HTML simply because it is the only guaranteed way to have proper control over the output from an accessibility and SEO point of view.
8088/8086 DOS Game Engine Improvements
I've been working for, well... years -- mostly in my spare time -- on "upping my game" when it comes to writing games for DOS. My new approach uses a great deal more assembly language and is built towards building monolithic "single executable as the distribution" games instead of a "directory full of files".
I've made huge strides in terms of faster audio with a more 'modular' way of adding sound devices. I've been working towards adding new devices as well as fixing bugs. Likewise my video support is seeing some optimizations, bugfixes, and a whole new way of storing game data and buffering screen output.