Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else


I think this is the topic I originally meant for the “Random” heading.  But, I’ve managed to put all sorts of other things into the random box by now.

New Random Bit – I’ve a new use for the Orange-Box Pi server as a WiFi access point.  For this purpose, I’m using FreeBSD 11, an RALink WiFi adapter, and the hostapd software.  I must say that many adapters do NOT have AP capability.  To see if an adapter can play WiFi AP roles, do:

  • ifconfig wlan0 list caps

If there’s an “AP Mode” listed in the results of that command, then you’re good to go.  Biscuits?  Well, that’s random.

Little Keyboards

I’ve been looking at small keyboards, trying to find some that match the new form factor of my off-the-grid computing collection, and have had some successes and some abysmal failures.  It seems some of the keyboards must have been designed by people who never tried using them afterwards, and put them on sale!

Since I began the search, I’ve divided keyboards into three groups:

  • mini
  • compact
  • full

Minis are tiny – maybe six or eight inches, and are thumb operated like a cell phone would be.  I sometimes velcro them to the front lower bezel of homemade computing devices.

Compacts are 10.5 – 13 inches, and some (note only some) – are touch keyboard typing capable.  The full size are generally touch keyboard capable (as opposed to hunt-and-peck).

I have an old HP keyboard (18.5 inches), a Keytronics (17.25 inches), an old IBM (17.75 inches), and an old Acer (18.75 inches).   These full size keyboads all work for touch typing (I like the Acer best).

I have a 12 inch Belkin keyboard, that is marginally OK for touch typing, but my fingers seem to tire more quickly when I use it.

I have a generic bluetooth-enabled keyboard that is 9.5 inches wide, and doesn’t quite allow for comfortable touch typing.  It can be used for slow touch typing though, in a pinch, with some discomfort.

I have a Favi keyboard that is six inches wide, and must be thumb operated or hunt-and-peck operated.  It’s fabulous for its purpose, and fits into my pocket easily.

I have a Perixx 12.75 inch keyboard that is the best keyboard I own.  Its keys are well placed, and the keys take very little effort to depress them (I guess that’s a matter of personal preference).

I have a [nameless] keyboard, which is absolutely the worst keyboard I’ve ever used, and it measures 12 inches.  The enter key requires a long extension of the pinky to depress it, and the backspace key is in not much better stead. After a short while, it is painful to use.  [Nameless] may produce other, better keyboards, and this writing about the particular model I have is all a matter of my own opinion and my personal preference.  Others may find it is just fine (maybe someone with big hands could like it). This is just to say that some keyboards out there are just awful.  One needs to find one that works, and probably stick with it.  Here the name has been changed to protect the guilty.

So, the cut-off point for me (touch typing versus thumb or hunt/peck modes) – is about 12 inches.

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