February 18, 2020

Javascript - hur hamnade vi här?

Länklista och annan rolig(?) information för mitt snack om Javascript på Plushögskolan i Göteborg den 18 februari 2020.

Själva presentationen i PDF ger kanske inte så mycket utan mig babblande framför.



February 01, 2020

Let’s split

I have a new favourite keyboard.


Let's split two-part keyboard Let's split two-part keyboard

But why?

After using and loving my KBD4X, the one one possible improvement I could imagine would be having it split in two halves. This was somewhat to my surprise, as I have never tried or really wanted a split keyboard before. But with a keyboard as small as the KBD4X, my hands come and stay very close together all the time. I started imagining being able to move the two halves apart, and that both felt new and somewhat significant.

So I started looking around, and may perhaps have asked a couple of people in Kodsnack's keyboard Slack channel about where one might get a split 40% keyboard assembled. I do not feel ready to solder a whole keyboard myelf. Having looked at some videos I know that I could do it, but I also know I would need to get a lot of pretty small solder points right all at the same time, and the process still looks more like a chore than a pleasure. Once I had got this far in my thinking and asking, it was hard to resist when I was pointed to Mechboards, their Let's split kits, and found out that assembly was an option I could pay a bit extra for.


The soldering iron comes out

Then came the classic waiting, prolonged by the extra time for assembly. The wait felt completely worth it, even if the assembly was not perfect in the end. I have had some glitchy keys, either producing no keypress sometimes, or producing too many keypresses. The latter problem was solved by adjusting debounce settings in the firmware. The former has at least been improved by re-soldering some points. The problem came back a bit for one key however, so I re-did it. Seems fine so far, but some people with more a lot more experience told me the best thing usually is to replace the entire switch. So that might be my next move.

In summary, I have taken the glitches so far as a motivation to learn and do more. It also makes me appreciate having such a repairable device all of a sudden. I can see everything, and parts are so large even I with a cheap soldering iron have a fair chance.

What about key layout?

I have not changed the layout at all from my KBD4X, but I keep thinking there should be more I can do. For starters, I have a whole extra key to assign. But I think the sanest thing will be to keep the two boards very much the same, so my thinking goes more toward changes I could make to both. Current ideas are to remove the arrow keys on the right side, to see if I can re-work the keys around my numpad a bit, and perhaps adjust so that I have a modifier or two on the right side of the layout as well. As it is now, I have a few four-key shortcuts which are completely on the left side of the keyboard, and that becomes noticeably impractical on a split board where the right hand is suddenly far awawy.

I still have on my todo list to find a convenient way to visualize my layouts. Even the one I currently used has changed quite a bit from the one I display in the KBD4X post. For example, I added some useful characters like -, + and so on around the keypad area. I am not completely in the flow when using the keypad though, so I think I can do more there.

Anything else?

I only have one set of keycaps which I really like, so I am in the market for a second one whenever it might pop up. But the KBD4X gets to have the secondary caps, so the split one looks just great. It is my work keyboard, and I do miss it whenever I come home to the non-split world. But I think the right caps will close the gap significantly.

Getting used to the actual split was surprisingly easy. I think it helps a lot that the halves are so small and have so relatively few keys. There is not much of anywhere for either hand to drift, and it also struck me that so many more keys are along or very near an edge that orienting myself is made even easier.

January 28, 2020

Joy sparker of the day

Symfonisk speaker Symfonisk speaker

No, not the alien queen.

Well, okay, her too. She's not the major or the most recent thing though.

I mean the speaker.

I am not all that good at remembering to listen to music, and even less good at doing so through speakers. Working from home is a great opportunity to get better at both though. And I guess I am fresh enough to the concept of nice wireless speakers that putting one in the corner of a room, connecting a single power cable and then just telling Spotify to use it still retains some charm in itself.

We have had a few Sonos speakers for a long while, but somehow this Symfonisk currently makes me happier than either of the others. Perhaps it is simply the most recent addition. Perhaps because it does not yet have a more fixed place of its own so that it feels more natural to move it around. Whatever the reason, I have had Hacker's coffee and other random music playing for most of the day, and I currently feel tempted to sneak some Symfonisk into at least two more rooms.

I may not be able to be in more than one place at once, but … at least my music can be … ?

(All this is despite the fact that the speaker has not played all that well with the rest of the Sonos system in the few tests we have performed. It has dropped out like it had a glitchy cable sometimes when we have played to a group of speakers. Today, used alone, it has been rock solid though, so who knows. Perhaps an audiophile passed by and caused interference the last time?)

January 20, 2020

Bike tired

There is a certain kind of frustration to bike problems.

There is the part where they tend to break down at inconvenient times, since I tend to be in a part of my day I want to get over with as quickly as possible. Chances are good that I will be left exposed to grumpy weather and/or left to make longer detours.

Then, there is the side of fixing things. Bike parts are cheap, easy to come by, and by any standard mostly very simple things to handle yourself. Repair shops feel expensive, and also tend to add more detours.

So now that I have some more space, I decided that I should, finally, start fixing my bike myself more.

Bikes are unlike code in that fixes can get your hands really dirty, and you end up sweaty and frustrated in whole different ways when you try to force everything together. Plus, there is the chance of breaking actual physical things, without undo commands or version control to fall back to.

In dealing with the gradual decay of my front tire, I have most likely made every single mistake possible.

I tell myself it is a learning experience.

Tomorrow, I will hopefully put an end to the front tire chapter for a while by actually having managed to buy an inner tube of the right dimensions. It took two tries, of course.

On the other hand, even with these detours I have only spent the equivalent of perhaps five bus tickets. I could be making a repair at least every other day and still come out ahead compared to any other mode of transportation.

Plus: exercise.

So I try to keep on learning,

January 04, 2020

Second run experience

I went for my second run this year today. The sun was shining wonderfully, and the chilling wind was only able to reach me during the shorter parts in the beginning and end where I was not in the forest. I have not by far explored all my running options here. I am, for example, pretty certain I have not found the quickest way to get from home and to an actual forest trail. I have, however, found a convenient way to do so, and I have also found a running route which I can easily extend to any distance I like.

Funnily enough, that convenient route is probably at least as long as the quickest route I had to the forest before we moved, but somehow it feels easier and more natural to go from here. The ease of extending the route also might be helping me get back to longer runs - I have extended it slightly each time, and a half-marathon distance is already starting to feel quite within reach.

It sure feels nice to get home feeling that certain tiredness from a long run, especially when the day allows for pulling a chair into a sunny and protected corner for a short rest before heading indoors to shower.

This new route is probably my hilliest yet. I begin at almost the lowest point, go down to the very lowest point within the first kilometer, and then it is pretty much all uphill for many kilometers. I think that might actually work to my advantage mentally, because whenever I decide to turn back toward home I know I have already done the vast majority of the hard work.

In other news

Two 40% keyboards, one split Two 40% keyboards, one split

I have more small keyboards, more keycaps, and more soldering experience than ever before. More on that later.

(No idea what that garbled look over on the right is, but I have seen another Iphone near me produce a similar thing. Bugs? Bad camera circumstances? Bit rot?)