Category Archives: Tech

The joy of the scope

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Most of the books about electronics for beginners in my library say something like this in the first chapter: ‘you don’t need an oscilloscope’. Yes you do. Well, maybe need isn’t the right word. Yes, you can laboriously chart voltage levels from a capacitor by measuring at regular intervals with a multimeter (at least two of the books have you do… Read more »

Computing with arthritis – keyboards, mice and more

My doctor keeps telling me to stop typing. As a professional writer and enthusiastic coder that’s not going to happen any time soon. But it’s true that, for me, typing is a pain – literally. I have osteoarthritis in all the joints of both hands (and many other places) so constantly hitting keys is not a joyful experience. What I… Read more »

Review: Hippus HandShoe mouse and the battle against arthritis pain

I have a mouse problem. I don’t mean the house is overrun with small rodents. (Well, it is, but that’s another story.) No, the problem is that the conventional computer mouse has become a pain to use. I have osteoarthritis in most of my joints. The hands are especially bad. Indeed, one of the things that has driven me back to… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: Magicforce 68-key review

This was not a serious purchase. I bought this keyboard purely for its looks. I mean, why wouldn’t you? The version I opted for came with retro-style keycaps that mimic a 1920s or 1930s typewriter. They look fantastic with a retro-styled project such as my HMV1960 Raspberry Pi case. Are they great for typing? Not so much. Because of the… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: KB Paradise V60 review

There seems to be an obsession with many mechanical keyboard enthusiasts to make the keyboard as small as possible. I can go along with this only so far. As you can see here and here, I’m already a fan of the tenkeyless (TKL) form factor, which dispenses with the number pad but keeps everything else. The KB Paradise V60 takes… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: Das Keyboard 4C Professional review

The Das Keyboard 4C impressed the hell out of me when I first got it. But over time, as I’ve become more familiar with mechanical keyboards and what they’re capable of, disillusionment has set in. Having decided to explore the idea of using a mechanical keyboard I started trawling the interwebz, as one does, and the name of Das Keyboard… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: KÛL ES-87 TKL review

There is a world that most people know nothing about. It is home to a motley assortment of obsessives. Welcome to the dark and sometimes noisy domain of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. I had no idea this subculture existed until my painfully progressing arthritis spurred me to seek out alternatives to the standard Apple keyboard that came with my iMac. More than… Read more »

Constantly refreshing your memory

I’m currently reading a fascinating and hugely entertaining book about human memory. The Memory Illusion by Dr Julia Shaw is about the many ways in which our memories are unreliable. To quote the blurb, Shaw is “one of only a handful of experts in the world who conduct research on complex memory errors related to emotional personal events – so-called… Read more »

The search for the perfect keyboard

Keyboards are very person things. What suits one person won’t suit another. And I’m very, very picky. After 35 years of using computers, I know what I like, and what I like is what I’m typing on right now. I’ve always been a fan of keyboards with a positive click. The classic IBM keyboard with a buckling spring was my idea… Read more »