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Re: NetBSD with a gaming keyboard

---=== Warning ===---

This post hast TL;DR potential! :-)

On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:13:48 -0600 (MDT)
Swift Griggs <> 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 haven't actually seen the new one. It has tempted me for a while now,
but all too often, remakes of movies I knew as a child, have not been
too good. Just think of Star Wars Ep1. So, I was actually quoting the
1982 movie.

For those who have no idea what we are talking about... :-)

> 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.

This is actually the part that I am a little nervous about. If a drive
breaks and I have to replace it, will the rebuild work correctly? In
theory, it will, but there is quite often a difference between theory
and practice. But this is something we can discuss should the need
arise in the future.

> <rant>
> 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.
> </rant>

Because I have not actually followed the development of ZFS on
different platforms, you lost me a bit. I remember reading a while back
that FreeBSD is or could be the de facto reference (development)
platform for ZFS and not Solaris. Since I had no plans to use Solaris
(which really sucked rocks concerning hardware support on amd64 the
last time I checked), I didn't concern myself too much with the
versions of ZFS on anything else than FreeBSD. Why the encryption of
ZFS has never made it to FreeBSD, I don't know. I always imagined that
because FreeBSD hat great working disc encryption via the GEOM
subsystem (i.e. geli and gbde) - and both work well with ZFS - there was
little motivation to include and maintain another encryption system.

Basically, I have to ask: What is the current status/version of ZFS on
Solaris, NetBSD and FreeBSD? Linux is a special case due to the
"unique" and annoying license.

> <rant>
> 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).
> </rant>

Are these by chance women? :-D

I don't quite see the parallels here. :-/ If you make something (music
or anything else), then you can either try to make something you like
(and risk not so many other people liking it) or you can try to please
the masses and boost your sales. If the kind of music (or whatever)
you make is exactly what the people want, good for you! You will be
rich. But there is no entitlement for that. People are free to buy
what they want and if they think your newest album sucks, you might
have to drive your old car for a little longer.

I don't quite get what this has to do with ZFS on Solaris or anything
else - especially because Solaris is not exactly Oracle's main cash
> 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.

Not really. Even is something else comes out, that is better than ZFS
(HAMMER2 isn't looking too bad right now), then changing the file
system probably won't be worth the effort unless my requirements change
quite a bit (which I currently don't see happening), or the
opportunity arises (because for instance, I have to change the
hardware). But as long as ZFS works, I probably won't have any pain
that compels me to make any changes.
> I use generic ones at least visually identical to this one:

I have bought and tried at lease 5 of these - none of them worked.
> 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 don't quite see what the deal is here. The USB specs allow for a much
higher power consumption than the PS/2 specs do.  But somehow all the
converters I have seen seem to be stuck on the 100mA minimal setting.
>>> 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.

Actually, I didn't want to restrict that to the Model Ms. :-) But I
have no idea which one the M5-2 is. I came up blank on Unicomp's page
and I had no real luck ducking it either.

I have to admit, the loud keys are what I actually love about both the
Model Ms and my current K70 (Cherry MX blues on an aluminium base
plate). Maybe it's not so much the sound I like but the great tactile
feedback you get from both these switches. But I enjoy the sound in
any case. One of my colleagues told me, that he finds my typing very
soothing. :-) The MX browns to me have no way near the same feel as the
blues. The other guys in our office have these, because they don't like
the feel of the blue ones.

One thing that can be said for the Unicomp keyboards is that the
stickers look absolutely atrocious - especially the one "decorating"
the capslock/numlock lights. And they are not build quite as well as
the old Model Ms with the silver sticker in the top right.

> It's also the loudest, unfortunately.

What makes it so loud (compared to the others)?

> 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.

I'm not sure why you are explicitly stating that the Romer-G are
non-linear, because somehow all the keys we have been talking about are
just that. :-) The MX Red would be the linear key from Cherry (IIRC so
would the Black). But the Browns are not linear (even though they are
pretty close) and the Blues and especially the Buckling Spring keys
aren't linear.

I've always wanted to test the Romer-Gs and when I get the chance, I
probably will give them a shot. We need one or two new keyboards in the
office anyways. :-) But I am pretty sure that even if I like the feel
of them, I will miss the noise.

> The keys are also scalloped. I find the shape, once you
> adjust, helps you touch type that much faster.

This is my English failing me again... :-/
To me "scalloped" has to do with melting cheese over something. I doubt
you mean that.
If you mean the clam, I still can't quite grasp the point you are
making. Are you referring to the ridge to the top of the keys?  This
seems to be a normal trait for gaming keyboards, but it hasn't bothered
me yet.

> 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.

I don't like typical chicklet keyboard either (although my Lenoval
laptop has one). To me it has all the disadvantages of an onscreen
keyboad on a tablet. When typing on my K70 (like now), I can feel where
I hit each key and this my hand automatically adjust their position.
You only notice you've gone of course on an onscreen keyboard when you
miss the key. But you still don't know how far.

> 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).

Let me give you a hint... :-D
> 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.

That is something I am currently waiting on. :-)
> 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.

I guess that could be debated. :-)
As I wrote, I've never tried the Romer-Gs before, but I plan on
changing that. What I don't care for much are the looks of the G910.
While I love big keyboards and also extra keys (I wanted to get a K95,
but there were no MX Blues to be had with that), the G910 has the kind
of design that I would associate with someone who is KeWl or thinks he
5h0uld wr1t3 funny. D@mn! :-)

Should I buy a Romer-G for the office, I'll probably go with the G413.
Fits better into an office anyways. Alas, there is no palm rest.

> 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.

I'd miss the palm rest and the numbers block, which I use a lot. And I
don't really need lighter keys. The Model M has much stiffer keys than
the MX blue I have now, so I am fine with that. The new Das Keyboard
looks pretty good to me. But it too has n-key rollover, which might
cause problems.

One thing I like about my K70 is the way the switches are just mounted
on a metal plate:

This means, there is no "tub" to catch all the dirt there may be. You
can just clean it by standing it up on its side and thumping it a bit.
Mind your table though! ;-)

Kind regards,

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