Go and Rust

I have been toying with the idea to learn Go and/or (most likely and) Rust. I just think they’d be neat languages to learn, plus I’m not very interested in career moves now. At my age, I’m doing this for fun. I have some ideas about making things in Go that can be one-off tools for things I do currently in python/shell scripts. *shrug* It’s a toss up. 🙂

But hey, I have lots of projects in the air. 🙂 I still have to finish my solo translation of a board wargame I found at Half Price Books.

Unicomp Keyboards

I always change my keyboard. It’s a sickness, I suppose, but I am never truly 100% satisfied with any keyboard I buy. (It means I have a stack of keyboards that might kill small animals if it ever tipped over too). The last time I bought a “non-cheap” (I don’t really think the ones I buy are expensive, because I don’t go over $150), was my Coolermaster RGB refurb for $79. I like it a bit, mainly because it has Cherry MX Blue switches (I like the sound), but it isn’t perfect (and I think the RGB is pointless). I don’t think I would’ve bought it at full price (RGB apparently adds $40 to the price of the keyboard, because it’s “full” RGB, and not just a bunch of colored LEDs.)

So, I watched a few youtube videos and learned about Unicomp. It’s a company that arose out of the Lexmark spun off company that was part of IBM during the days of the Model M keyboards. Apparently IBM spun off the business after a time, which is documented on their website https://pckeyboard.com Anyhow, I thought I’d buy one (the last model M style keyboard I had was an old Dell that came with my Pentium II).

So far, I like it quite a bit. It’s comfortable, sturdy, and it really feels good to type on it, even for a long period of time. I haven’t had it long enough to give a really “thorough” review, but over time I’ll post how I am getting along with it. I hope to keep this one in my keyboard tray for quite a while. 🙂

Functional Programming

I’ve decided to give Haskell a whirl. I bought a couple of books on the language and hope to move forward with a new programming paradigm. The idea came from my book about Text Processing in Python. It had lots of functional ideas (for lack of a better word) in the book, and I thought a good dose of Haskell could get me over the learning hump. The idea of functional programming is a good one, but I’m still in the early stages of the concept and the syntax too. It’s a slow-going part-time task, so I don’t know when I’ll be particularly adept at it to use it elsewhere, but you never know. 🙂 It’s always hard in the beginning, and I look forward to mastering this concept.

I am still playing Diablo 3

I know. It seems weird, but I constantly return to Diablo 3. Now that I have it on the Switch, I still play on the PS4. Mainly because I have lots of level 70 characters (well 4), and I am trying to slowly move up the Torment ladder. My Crusader is on Torment V, and my Barbarian is on Torment III. Soon, I’ll have some more to go, and I need to get my Barbarian’s gear upgraded to move up. The gear on my Crusader is all awesome, but I forgot what it’s called. I’ll have to post a follow-up when I play again (which should be really soon. heh.)

I played Diablo 2 up to a point, but I think I’ve put more time in Diablo 3 than both 1 and 2 put together. It’s almost approaching Oblivion/Skyrim hours played. It’s a great game, and the loot harvesting is just more fun than I thought it was. 🙂

Necromancer time! 🙂

Nethack

I enjoy the difficulty of Nethack, mainly because I like exploring the ASCII dungeon with my pet, and I am not overly upset when I die from something, because I usually cause it myself. There have been times that I have been stuck without food and a good escape plan, but I figure I overlooked something and my leveled up (not very high) character was destined to fall through the cracks, so to speak. I have yet to ascend, or for that matter find the amulet, but I will still try off and on. It’s just a fun game. This game is an example of difficulty that doesn’t punish for not being “as good” as the developer or whatnot (Dark Souls comes to mind. It punishes for not being an elite player that spends 24 hours a day practicing only to be pummeled by something they couldn’t see in the shadows in front of them.) The concept of difficulty is not nuanced, and it simply puts itself down to practice and mastery of the game rules. Difficulty isn’t about memorizing patterns and getting muscle memory to help get past things that are deliberately there to annoy.

I guess I’m just an old-school difficulty guy. Some people will disagree with my assessment of the Dark Souls franchise. It’s a good game wrapped in mechanics that reward players who don’t have lives. That’s fine if you like that sort of thing, but I’ll take my Nethack difficulty (or “roguelike” difficulty) over that any day.

Laptop shopping

I can’t really think of a reason to buy one, but I figure I could do with one, at least a not-so-powerful one that does the things I need (in Linux of course), and one that isn’t too hard to read for my bad eyesight. My desktop is an i5, but on the low-end of the spectrum, so I really am not one of those who thinks it necessary to get the latest chipsets each and every iteration. I probably won’t update this desktop until it gives up the ghost (more than the accessory components, mind you). So when looking for a laptop, I have a broader spectrum of choices, albeit ones that are more Linux-friendly than not.

I’ll keep you posted as to the search as I dig around the stores and Amazon/Best Buy. There’s no rush, and I’m not settled on screen size yet. I am leaning towards portability, but the larger screen might help my eyes. Anyhow, that’s in the future…. until then… I must shoot the alien menace before it lands!

Broke My Filco

After much fiddling when I bought new keycaps, I finally was able to break the spacebar on my Filco Majestouch TKL keyboard (with the black keyswitches). It was my first mechanical keyboard purchase, and I think I may have overpaid for it, but I liked it quite a bit, since it dispensed with the numeric keypad (something I only need when I’m playing Nethack and forget the other key layout.)

Still, it stinks that I got all of the keys replaced and I mucked up the spacebar. I figured the one I’d break was the Enter or the left shift (which I broke one of the feet holders already way back when.) I might try to fix it one day, but until then, I’ll just set it aside. I won’t be buying a keyboard to replace it just yet. I’ll give it more thought than I usually do, and in many cases there are a ton of knock-off and almost-expensive (and a couple of expensive) keyboards that I have bought over the years because I am still, even in 2019, searching for the “perfect” keyboard.

I think I’ll just use my HHK2 and call it even. There is no such thing as a perfect keyboard, I’m thinking now. But who knows? I might find one in the near future and it’s just waiting to be purchased. Until then, I like that my HHK2 has a nice USB hub built in that lets me plug my mouse into it rather than using another slot on my PC. 🙂 I think that’s a neat feature of keyboards that has fallen by the wayside. I’m under no illusions that my HHK2 is a powerhouse, but it’s quite the little footprint, which is something I like. I do refuse to pay $400 for a similar sized (“real” HHK) and I don’t fancy paying $199 for a 60% keyboard just because it’s 60%.

I would like to say that the PBT doubleshot keycaps are a must-have in all my new keyboards, though. They look and feel great. They don’t feel slippery like the regular ones, and due to their texture, resist the “shiny” parts that you generally get on the well-used keys of a keyboard after a few years. All things considered, wasting a few hundred bucks on mechanical keyboards has taught me not to have too staunch muscle memory when typing. I like that, since I frequently have to use different keyboards all the time. 🙂 We’ll have to see if the “perfect mechanical keyboard” actually exists. It’ll be fun to shop now and again to see how they are coming along. 🙂