A generally mixed day

I figured I’ve been doing way too much lately and my concentration has been divided between too many things, causing everything to suffer in the process. The latest casualty is my Halo skill, which has apparently vanished in the time since I’ve last played Reach online. My first match was Slayer DMRs which was one of my best gametypes previously, but now it is one of my worst. After a couple of matches I was getting back into the swing of it, but I couldn’t really be bothered giving up my nights sleep for a few decent matches. I did play Infection again which was pretty fun, and I dominated a few of the rounds, but it wasn’t enough to offset the earlier games. A few of the matches were average also, but not where I want to be after playing Halo for this long. Aside from LoL, it was the first competitive online I’ve played in many many months. I’m way too tired to care at the moment though, just after the excitement of moving into my new place and everything. We didn’t even end up going out; it was just a night of kebabs, and back to back episodes of the Big Bang Theory. My room is pretty nice all in all, and will be even better when the desk is in and I get all my stuff sorted. The living room also needs a rug, but that isn’t top priority. I’m not staying down there quite yet, this was just to get the first of my stuff in and get settled. I left the house this afternoon to go on my epic keyboard quest, to search for the long lost Model M, but as usual Belfast and the Smithfield Buy and Sell Centre managed to disappoint. (The owner said there could be one, but that I wouldn’t be able to get to it thanks to all the other crap she had in the way.)

The HP Jornada 720

Thanks to replacing my brother’s bed I also uncovered the charger for my HP Jornada 720, the greatest portable computer ever! I can’t understand why the handheld PC format ever died, it was just so damn handy. Having a pocket sized computer running Windows CE (HPC2000) and all the useful apps is very useful, and a proper QWERTY keyboard is another bonus. For those of you who don’t know me well, I tend to wait years until the expensive technology becomes, essentially, vintage allowing me to pick it up for next to nothing. Legacy hardware also introduces the challenge of trying to obtain functionality similar to that of a new piece of hardware, through creative solutions and workarounds. I normally have researched the device for weeks beforehand and compiled folders of drivers, applications, firmware updates and anything that could be useful or interesting. The HPC movement peaked around 2001, though the devices were always prohibitively expensive (around £700, though I paid £30 for mine a couple of years ago.) What they did, word processing, web browsing, basic games, they did well. Mine even has a wifi card, and a 128Mb Compact Flash card for storage. It is in a constant state of readiness, as everything is saved to RAM. Just one button press and it turns on. This is good, and at times bad. If the backup battery fails and you run out of power, all your data is lost. This is great encouragement to regularly back up to the CF card, as otherwise you were living on the edge never knowing what could happen. I’m debating whether or not to part with my HPC, as it could be useful for making notes and carrying along with my books, but at the same time it’s another gadget that has to be carried about and charged and maintained in general. I was just messing about and pretty much drafted this post on it. The keyboard is pretty excellent for a mobile device, though a trackpoint would have been nice to give an alternative to the touchscreen and stylus system. I’ll have to get some pictures of my own Jornada up on here, it is a thing of beauty.

The Endurapro in the current owners setup

Aside from HPC fun, I’ve been pursuing the Endurapro again and trying to work on the price. If I do get this keyboard, it has to last me for the rest of time, and follow me everywhere. It is a lot to sink into an input device, even one as nice as this. The photo is of Czarek’s setup, the guy selling it. It is black, with black blank keys and custom modded red LEDs to match the colour scheme better, with the horrible Unicomp logo removed. The downside is that the warranty is void because of said mods, but realistically these things don’t break down after a year. More likely in a hundred years time. I promise I’ll stop talking about keyboards as soon as I get hold of a decent one. Oh, I was in Cash Convertors today and spied a “gaming keyboard” for only £6! On closer inspection, it was a Dell stock KB, with some red paint on the WASD and ESC keys, somehow making it l33t. The gaming- prefix doesn’t count for much today, considering that any input device is potentially a gaming peripheral. I’m way too tired to be writing right now, so I better get some sleep.

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