Wireless keyboard update

Mar 19, 2007 / 0 comments

I bought an Airkey wireless keyboard from eBay; £11.50, IR, presents as PS/2, range of up to 30ft. Seems to do the job; the trackpad thingy isn't perfect, but good enough for basic X use which is all I want.

Surprisingly no one seemed to comment on my query about RF wireless keyboard security. It seems like the sort of thing someone like Adam Laurie would have had a look at, but I couldn't find anything obvious. Anyone got any pointers to research about these?

Oh, and tonight I had to fight interrupt conflicts to make the IR PS/2 mouse work - that machine hadn't had a mouse before and it turned out several things were sharing IRQ 12, leading to Linux not even finding the port. So I rejigged things around in the BIOS so it was saved for just the mouse port and that managed to make things work. SiS 630E chipset for anyone else seeing a similar issue. It felt like I was back in the 90s.

Help on wireless keyboards

Mar 14, 2007 / 0 comments

I need a wireless keyboard for the media box, suitable for use while sitting on the sofa. I currently have an RF Logitech device which I picked up for free at an ALUG meet. It lacks a mouse (it supports one, but as a separate device that I don't have) and the range is such that it's a bit flaky when I sit on the sofa. I'd like something that has a range of at least 4m and has a built in trackball (or I'm sure I'd cope with a trackpad). This seems easy enough to find, but everything seems to be RF and I'm a bit wary. How good is the security on these? Does it even exist? Or will my neighbours be able to sniff my every keystroke? I'd much prefer an IR keyboard, but finding one that's available in the UK for a reasonable price (I found one for £69.99 plus VAT + P&P) seems tricky. LinITX sell an MCE Wireless Keyboard that apparently I might be able to get working with lirc and my existing receiver, but something that just plugs into USB or PS/2 ports and means I can access the BIOS etc would be preferable. Anyone got any pointers?

In search of X

Mar 14, 2007 / 0 comments

A while back I decided that I needed my CD collection needed something for every letter. I've managed them all except X. Anyone any suggestions? My [no longer existing] last.fm profile should hopefully give an idea of what I like.

Virgin Media vs Sky

Feb 27, 2007 / 0 comments

I've been watching the Virgin Media and Sky bickering over Virgin's ability to carry Sky's basic channels (Sky One, Sky Two, Sky News etc - the premium movie/sports channels aren't included in this and are safe). And I can't help but think back to the Cogent and Level 3 depeering row. I've no idea how it's going to end, but it seems likely that someone's going to end up backing down rather than Virgin losing the channels and Sky losing the ad revenue.

The UK rail network sucks

Feb 19, 2007 / 0 comments

I've been ill; I had the flu (first time I've ever actually had to take a day off work). And then I spent a week working from Portstewart. Which was a bit odd, as Katherine's living in furnished rented accomodation which means the decor is completely not us (we've always lived in unfurnished places before).

Anyway. I went down to London Saturday week ago, and of course there was no direct train from Norwich because Network Rail like to screw over people travelling on weekends. And then I came back from Stansted yesterday and there were no trains from Stansted. So I end up on a replacement bus service to Cambridge (where I'm supposed to pick up a train to Norwich). And the moron driver goes to Audley End (fair enough, we knew it would stop there), reaches J9 of the M11 and decides to go southbound rather than over the junction towards Cambridge. So we end up practically back at Stansted - at J8 he comes off the M11 and rejoins northbound, then drives up to J11 before coming off. I'm not a Cambridge resident, but I'm sure this isn't a sensible route, even factoring in that I don't think you can go northbound at J9. 3 hours of travelling time. I'd have been better on the bus, but I just missed it and the next one wasn't for another 2 hours.

And then there's pricing. I'm going to a wedding in Glasgow next month. It was £50 cheaper to fly than take the train (and even given check in times I suspect will be significantly faster). I'm considering a meeting in Manchester at the start of April and flying is cheaper than the train (again by over £50) and in fact given the timings would mean I could actually do it in a day rather than having to sort out accomodation. Flying is even cheaper than driving it seems, and probably faster or at least equal given check in times.

I know I'm supposed to be flying less, but it's hard. Give me a viable rail network that's actually competitive on pricing (I'm not even talking about walk on pricing, I'm trying to book in advance with known travel dates/times) and has a decent schedule and I'll use it!

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