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Re: NetBSD with a gaming keyboard

On Thu, 10 Aug 2017, Christian Baer wrote:
Greetings, Programs! ;-)

If you haven't seen the new Tron Legacy, I'd recommend it. It's awesome. I'm not sure which one you are quoting :-)

I'm not sure exactly, why I didn't like the RAIDframe for doing this. If memory serves me, I believe that the RAIDframe would only work on physical devices and not atop cgds.

You could just reverse the order, and put the CGD devices on top of RAIDframe instead of visa versa. As far as I imagine, it's not important as long as it's encrypted by the time you go to lay down a file system.

Also, just as an aside, you don't have to do any of this in recent versions of Solaris since they've held back the encryption functionality in ZFS. Oracle has been pretty narrow minded about new ZFS features. They want to camp on them, highlight them as "value add" that comes with Solaris versus a negative poo-pooing of FreeBSD, Illumos (or whatever these free Solaris distros call themselves now - I can't keep up with that crap), and ZFS-on-Linux implementations.

Thanks a lot Oracle. *pumps fist*    :-(

It reminds of a band that made a really great album, that album gets them lots of new fans and then the artist makes another album that's sucks but just expects the new fans to buy it automatically. Then they go on talk shows and whine about how their artistic vision has changed and the old fans are just holding them back (but should pony up $$$ whenever asked). Screw that. Life is hard, sometimes you gotta cater to your fans and drown your stupid new "artistic vision" in the bathtub. In my personal opinion, Oracle's vision for Solaris has pretty well sucked, including their "leadership role" for ZFS. The future of ZFS doesn't seem all that certain to me (FreeBSD is providing more leadership than Oracle).

I would have had to create the RAID volume and create the cgd on top of that, which could potentially leave a mess.

It is a mess. A structured, deterministic, reliable mess, but still a mess when compared to ZFS. The idea, I think, was to follow a more Unixy philosophy and split up block-level and file system functionality. It turns out that's a good idea because if your volume management still rocks but a better file system comes along, you are able to take advantage of that. If some filesystem comes along that kicks ZFS's butt, you have to throw out the ZFS volume management baby (zpools) with the file system bathwater.

RAIDframe also relies on a different configuration paradigm. You hack on a config file and that basically houses all your RAID layout logic. With ZFS everything is done via CLI without a static config. So, that makes ZFS faster and easier to setup (the zfs & zpool tools/CLI is very well thought out and uses clear directives). However, if I had to support a client trying to ressurrect a broken system with RAIDframe versus a broken system with ZFS, I'd pick RAIDframe because you have a config file to look at (assuming you have backups) and there is less "magic" and "autodetection" with RAIDframe and less metadata embedded in the devices that can't see. Plus, if you have filesystem corruption, the odds are that your volume management is still fine.

Just pointing out that although ZFS seems "superior" up front, you could get yourself into a recovery situation where it'd be better to be using RAIDframe, especially if you start thinking like a person at the top of an org like The NetBSD Foundation who might not want to discard volume management whenever new file systems emerge.

Noone could tell me where to get one that worked. There are lots of converters for PS/2 to USB and they work fine with mice and simple keyboards.

I also tend to use them with PS/2 repeaters which are much harder to find. Repeaters are the key to having smooth experiences with PS/2, in my opinion. They are hard to find even on Ebay and have wide swings in price ($50 to $150). However, on my SGI systems they are indispensable since I use them on a KVM switch and without a repeater the kb + mouse dies after one switch back and forth. Startech still sells two-part PS/2 repeaters/extenders (, and those will work, but I'll tell you that you can occasionally find all-in-one PS/2 repeaters on Ebay. I spent months searching and gather up my collection. I can't even find a picture of one of those. If you're interested I can look at the model numbers when I get home.

I use generic ones at least visually identical to this one:

The Model M seems to need too much juice to work. I bought and tried several of these things but never found one that made my Model M power up.

They are very power hungry, but they are also very repeater friendly. The key is, as you describe, finding a PS/2-to-USB converter with a high enough power budget. Also, be aware that not all Model-M keyboards have that hungry power characteristic. For example, I've noticed my Unicomp model is much more friendly to KVMs/repeaters/converters than my IBM spacesaver Model-M which is hit or miss and often has to be re-plugged into the repeater.

I'm a keyboard nut and I have multiple IBM models, including the M.
Which one is your personal preference?

Restricting to just the Model-M I prefer the Unicomp M5-2. It's also the loudest, unfortunately. However, these days on USB systems I'm using the Logitech Orion G910. The keyweight is lighter than the Cherry MX-blue and the G910 doesn't use linear switches. Logitech developed their own switches (Romer-G). They are mechanically similar to buckling springs but with slightly less weight and a LOT less noise. The keys are also scalloped. I find the shape, once you adjust, helps you touch type that much faster. Now, mind you, this is the same thing that folks say about the horrible Apple keyboards. I couldn't *disagree* more. Newer low-profile Apple keyboards, in my personal opinion, are trash and I believe they would slow down most 100+ WPM touch typists. They are just another chicklet layout with inferior switches (optical or otherwise) and almost zero feedback or "breakover" vis-a-vis a decent mechanical keyboard.

There is a lot of cool Apple hardware, but svelte looks or not, the newer keyboards are not at all to my liking. So, use that as a point of reference, if you like those, you should disregard my opinion completely (assuming you've read this far in the first place, heh).

It was new to me too. Ok, I never tried a USB-keyboard with NetBSD before. The last time I went with the Model M. :-)

Well, it sounds like folks are "rototilling" (loved that) the code right now. Maybe we'll get lucky and that code will drop before NetBSD 8 releases.

This *is* the way, I am currently using the keyboard.

In this case it could be as simple as a one-liner change. Check the previous messages about changing the DEFINE to a larger value. However, IIRC, one of the NetBSD kernel gods descended to let us know that code is in flux. Might be worth taking another look in six months or solving the problem with a less power hungry Model-M or different mechanical keyboard. Sorry for recommending one of most expensive ones out there (the G910) but it's worth the money, in my experience. It's that much better than the Cherry Blue products out there. The only exception would be the QuickFire Rapid by Cooler Master. That's the most elite Cherry-based keyboard, in my 115WPM touch-typist opinion, because they've adjusted the keyweights on the MX Blue model to be lighter without impacting feedback at all. However, it's hella loud, too.


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