My deliciously clicky Unicomp keyboard and Henge Dock both came in yesterday, so I spent the evening setting up a desktop workspace to test everything out.
24" is a heck
of a lot of monitor. It is overpowering in its monitorness. On the other hand, I appreciate the ability to read text without squinting, and Portal looks pretty good at that size.
The display adapter for the Henge Dock is being finicky. The speaker and USB and power connectors all click into place perfectly but something about the display connector is just Not Fitting. I can still plug it in from the underside of the dock, so it works and is usable. It just defeats the drop-in-and-use nature of the dock. I'll mess with it more over the weekend, I guess. Other than that the dock is amazingly easy to use, and looks classy too. My only real complaint is that it really wants a dedicated charger. The power connector, like all the other connectors, has to be screwed into place. It's easy enough to unscrew, it just adds to the time and effort and makes it slightly less awesome. (Now, if I had convinced uilos
to get a Macbook Air, there would be an extra charger lying around...)
It's the keyboard that's really wowed me. Unicomp has done a fantastic job with this thing: not too surprising, since I think they bought all the old IBM designs and manufacturing equipment. It is gorgeous and heavy-duty ("can stun a burglar in the dark, which is my definition of great art" --NG). Also, it just feels right to type on. It even came with extra keycaps to replace the Windows and Alt keys with Command and Option (no symbols, sadly; just the words). Now I just need to figure out if there's a way to map the worthless right-hand meta key to something useful. Fn, maybe.
It's most definitely Loud, though. We're talking machine-gun levels of Loud, here. As someone or other said, it's like a gigantic tailpipe for geeks. It is, in fact, so much louder than my previous Model M (from 1995) that I went ahead and pried a key off the old one to see what was going on. Turns out all this time I've been typing on a standard dome-switch keyboard: better than most, but still not the same. (I'd take it to work to replace the keyboard I have here, but I'm worried it would break the cheap keyboard tray they gave me.)
Also of some interest: it's fairly easy for me to adapt to the Mac keyboard shortcuts on the laptop, but I keep using Windows muscle memory on the new keyboard. I guess it's embedded on a deeper level than I'd thought.
So now I have most of what I need for a good desktop setup (still lacking: desk, also chair). The question now becomes, when I get settled in Vancouver, do I use the same desk setup for work and for fun, or do I need to put together a whole different desk for work?
Coda: This, incidentally, is the first keyboard I ever used
. We had it for, mm, not quite nine years, Christmas 1982 to late August 1991. For context, this was two revisions earlier than the one true keyboard
, of which all others, including our own 104-key, are but shadows. (Edit
: fixt links)
Looking at that picture, it's the little things that come back to me. The ridiculously oversized meta keys with their normal-sized key caps. The random PrintScreen key under the vertical ENTER, and the backslash next to Z. The gigantic PLUS next to the number pad. What the heck were the designers thinking? (Of course they probably weren't, they were more interested in getting all those weird new keys on the keyboard than in putting them someplace usable.)