Friday feedback; Another fine MUSH

Carl from IBM has keener eyes than I have, and spotted that "Das Keyboard" mentioned in last week's FryUp was in fact a "de-letterised" Model M. As everyone knows, this is Arguably The Best Keyboard in the World, only rivalled by the Northgate Omni Key 101. They may be ancient by IT standards, but they're built to last and have a devoted following of users who mod them in a variety of ways, like re-arranging the keys in Dvorak formation and adding cool LCD panels.

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- Friday Feedback

- Another fine MUSH

Friday Feedback

Carl from IBM has keener eyes than I have, and spotted that “Das Keyboard” mentioned in last week’s FryUp was in fact a “de-letterised” Model M. As everyone knows, this is Arguably The Best Keyboard in the World, only rivalled by the Northgate Omni Key 101. They may be ancient by IT standards, but they’re built to last and have a devoted following of users who mod them in a variety of ways, like re-arranging the keys in Dvorak formation and adding cool LCD panels.

And, I’ve got one now (thanks very much Carl, I know it must’ve hurt)! It’s the PS/2 buckling spring variety, made by IBM subsidiary Lexmark... nice and big, with plenty of room for big hands. I can type a great deal faster on it than most other keyboards, but it does have a few issues compared to its newer input brethren. The tactile feedback from the keys is nice and you can pound them harder than Dave at IDG; they won’t ever break. However, the Model M is noisy. You sound like a World War II machine gunner as you hammer out your two-fistedly typed tales, testing the tolerance of your nearest and dearest. Also, I’m ashamed to admit that I miss the Windows keys for quick shortcuts to various XP functions.

Apropos Communications Minister Cunliffe’s mad props to the Apple iPod, FryUp reader Neil G pointed out that the nifty little device is still mired in New Zealand’s legal quag. Yes, it’s the ghost of format-shifting again. RIANZ pirate hunter Terence O’Neil-Joyce confirmed that nothing’s changed: if you buy a CD and load up your iPod with the music from it, you’d better have a licence or you’re a dirty one-legged arr-arr with a parrot on your shoulder. Apparently Apple is well aware of the situation, but Cunliffe hasn’t yet fixed the Copyright Act so should he really encourage the use of a device that has the potential to turn his constituents into criminals?

- The IBM Model M Keyboard

“…if I were religious, I would worship it”

- Copyright protection in New Zealand

‘There is no general exception to copyright infringement for private of domestic copying, including "format shifting", of legitimately purchased recordings from one medium to another to allow playing or viewing via other devices.’

Another fine MUSH

I’m not going to bother commenting on the dismal OECD broadband figures for NZ and the shameless apologists for them.

The municipal, university, school, hospital, or MUSH idea is quite interesting though, but a $24 million war chest may not be enough to make up for years of Digital Neglect. MUSH made me think of mesh networks however. As the name implies, this is a grid network with lots of nodes joined up – like a miniature internet, if you like.

Nokia has been working on it, but it looks like the idea never took off despite some deployments around the world. I’m not sure why though. Was it security and management issues, or cost? Did the radio frequencies interfere with one another? Otherwise, a wireless mesh network seems like a nice way to sort out the costly last-mile access component of a residential data network. There was, I hear, a trial in New Zealand in the nineties but it seems to have vanished without any trace.

Any Mesh-network savvy FryUp readers out there?

- OECD broadband numbers: the good, the bad and the ugly

- MUSH networks: what are they and why are they so important?

- PDF: Wireless Mesh Networks for Residential Broadband - Nokia

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