Hello & Welcome
ugh face

I’m currently rebuilding the website as the old one got totally messed up when i was playing around with things (no idea what happened).

So i thought that while it was a total clusterfuck mess of SQL, i would take the opportunity to give it a whole new life and everything.

So if you go clicking on things you might find that very strange things happen. Don’t moan, i know a lot of things are broken, i’m working on it, it takes time.

I’ve got tons of old posts and pages from three websites that i’m working through and will be gradually posting all the stuff i want to keep on here while fixing all the broken things as i go through, one post, one page, at a time.

On top of doing all that, i will, of course, be continuing to add more new content and my latest posts will always appear directly below.

Or, if you prefer, you can also follow me on Twitter and Pinterest where i put a link to all new posts.


5t4n5-48 Rev 1 – Keyboard Typing Progress – 53 WPM

17 days into my new keyboard and i’ve already surpassed my previous speed of 49.82 WPM . . .

5t4n5-48 Rev 1 - Keyboard Typing Progress - 53 WPM

Which is a pretty good speed increase, especially considering that i couldn’t type for the first 7 days of that due to me slicing the end of my thumb half off with a Stanley knife.   It had a big chunky dressing covering it up making it impossible to hit any of the thumb buttons on the left side.   Then once i got the dressing and Steri-Strips off, after the first week, the thumb took a few days longer before it felt under reasonable control again.

The other thing to consider in the speed difference between using Typelit and using Monkeytype is that Monkeytype tends to repeat the same words over and over again, without punctuation, capitals or numbers, whereas Typelit is the full on touch typing experience of typing the whole book out with every kind of typing challenge included.

Ergo, my jump from just under 50 wpm to 53 wpm, while quite a good achievement, clearly demonstrates that this new 5t4n5-48 Rev 1 keyboard is way faster than the original 5t4n5-48, because, while my typing is slowly improving over time, it’s not improving at the rate that this shows.

The accuracy in the Typelit screenshot is a little deceptive also, as it doesn’t change when you correct things.   So if you just ignore your mistakes and keep typing it’ll give you the same accuracy as if you’d corrected all your mistakes — which i find rather silly.   And yes, i do correct all my mistakes as i type, which you can see in the screen shot not having any mistakes in it, so essentially, that 53 wpm is for 100% accuracy.   If i’d just kept typing without correcting my mistakes it would have been a lot faster — but i consider that against the rules of touch typing, because one of the main points of power of touch typing is ones ability to immediately identify and correct ones mistakes while one is typing.

So next time you see someone on Youtube spewing letters on Monkeytype and claiming a typing speed of 100 or there abouts, just remember that that isn’t actually touch typing properly.   Tell them to go to Typelit and show how their amazing keyboard works when the whole gamut of what a keyboard should be able to do is put to the test.

Anyway, i’ll update next when i improve a bit more.

Bye for now!!!

#5t4n5 #colemakdh #mechanicalkeyboards #typelit #5t4n548 #keebs

5t4n5-48 Rev 1 (Rhubarb and Custard)

As the more perceptive of my (potential) 8 billion + readers will remember, a while ago i designed and built my very own fully custom bespoke keyboard, the 5t4n5-48.

While i was more than happy at my first attempt at designing and making my own keyboard, there were a few things that i wasn’t quite happy with and felt needed improving upon.   So i set about the first revision, the 5t4n5-48 Rev 1 (Rhubarb and Custard).

My first task was to improve my CAD skills and design all the acrylic panels i would need cutting in .dxf format in LibreCAD.   And i also needed to learn to design pcb’s in Kicad.

And this is what i came up with . . .

The Perspex is 3mm thick “Lemon Bonbon” and “Raspberry Sherbet”, and the cutting was done by Lasercutz.   Lasercutz is a delightful company to work with if you’re looking for any laser cutting to be done, i totally recommend them.

The pcb’s were manufactured by PCBWay, which are also a great company if you’re wanting a small batch of prototype pcb’s making without spending a small fortune.

So with all my bits manufactured and delivered, i set about with the assembly.

First thing was to insert four M2 x 3mm brass heat-set inserts into the bottom plate.   It was important to use 3mm long inserts in the 3mm Perspex so that they didn’t protrude on the upper side as the pcb’s will be directly above these four inserts with bolts going through holes in the pcb’s, and you don’t want brass inserts shorting out anything on the pcb’s.

The other holes have M2 x 5mm inserts put into them . . .

. . . but these are done with the centre plate in place so that the inserts stick the two plates together and align them perfectly to each other . . .

Then add some plastic washers to add a bit of support behind the pcb’s when it all gets bolted together . . .

Once that was done it was soldering the surface-mount diodes and the jumper leads onto the pcb’s . . .

And then solder the jumper leads onto the controller pcb . . .

Now some of you may be wondering why i didn’t just have one complete pcb made instead of using three seperate pieces: which is a totally valid wondering.   Well, it’s because the minimum pcb’s you can order is 5 and i didn’t want to spend over £70 for one prototype keyboard, so i created a reversable pcb (that works on both sides) for the switches and had 5 of those made, plus 5 of the small controller pcb’s, which was much cheaper.   I therefore have enough left to make one more keyboard at some point in the future (plus a spare if i need to replace one at some point), and maybe once i sort out the QMK thing i might get some full pcb’s made to offer them for sale if there’s any interest — so let me know if you are interested.

Next up was to countersink the 2mm holes in the upper plate which i did with a dremel using a Double Cut Tungsten Steel Rotary Burr bit that i got in a set off Amazon.

Then push all the Kailh Choc Pro Pink switches (which i bought from Mechboards) through the front plate . . .

And solder them all into the pcb . . .

The controller is socketed in using mill-max pins and machine-pin sockets (also from Mechboards) — i forgot to take pics of that bit, sorry.

And then all that is left is to bolt it all together and put in the keycaps (which i bought from splitkb.com) . . .

And then figure out how to program it.   Which will be the topic of another post because this one has gone on for far too long already.

Until then . . .

Bye for now!!!

#5t4n5 #colemakdh #mechanicalkeyboards #5t4n548 #keebs

Cibola Burn — James S. A. Corey

Cibola Burn -- James S. A. CoreyHumanity has finally gone through a gate and settled on the first world in another solar system, but the settlers are being classed as illegal squatters by the corporation that believes the planet to be legally there’s.   So when the corporation ship turns up with the intention of taking everything away from the settlers, the settlers have a surprise waiting for them and all hell breaks loose.

Avasaralla thinks it’ll be a great idea to send Holden to mediate and sort things out, because she thinks Holden will make such a disaster of it that it’ll scare everyone back in Sol system away from leaving for other new worlds.

And on top of all this, or maybe because of all this, the planet is waking up from its billion year slumber.

While that all sounds really good, which it is, the telling of this story just drags on and on and on and on.   This book would have been way, way better if it had lost a few hundred pages.   And on top of all that, it’s a really depressing story from beginning to end, showing up Homo sapiens at their very worse.

It was so tedious i kept on having to take breaks and read three whole books just to break this up into manageable chunks of depressive dragging on.

Let’s hope the next one, Nemesis Games, is better, eh?

James’ Page

#theexpanse #scifi #jamessacorey

Colours in the Steel — K. J. Parker

Colours in the Steel -- K. J. ParkerHaving read K. J. Parker’s “The Seige” trilogy some time ago, i thought i’d go back to the beginning and begin to give his whole back catalogue a good read at.

Colours in the Steel is K. J. Parker’s first book in his first ever triology: “The Fencer”.   And guess what, it’s really good.

There’s just so much going on in this book to keep you enthralled and entertained, with lots of great characters that you can really get on board with, and lots of action as well.

If you haven’t read a good castle/walled-city seige story, then i would suggest you give ” The Seige” trilogy a go to start with, because it’s just soooo good.   And if you enjoy that, which you’re bound to do, then you’ve got this story waiting in the wings to satisfy your appetite for more.   Because one thing is for sure, K. J. Parker does write a really good seige story.

And with all that written i’m going to dive straight into the second book, Belly of the Bow.

K. J.’s Page

#fantasy #kjparker

Machine Vendetta — Alastair Reynolds

Machine Vendetta -- Alastair ReynoldsAnother Prefect Dreyfus story from the glitter band, which we’ve been waiting a while for, but it was worth the wait.

For me, one of the best bits of the whole Revelation Space series are the stories within Yellowstone and the Glitter Band, and this story didn’t disappoint.

Alastair at his very best.

And lets all hope that there’ll be a few more Yellowstone and the Glitter Band stories to come still.

Next up in the Revelation Space series it’s Diamond Dogs.

Alastair’s Page

#scifi #revelationspace #alastairreynolds

The Vital Abyss — James S. A. Corey

The Vital Abyss -- James S. A. CoreyAnother side story, this time concerning the prisoners that the Belters captured from the original Protogen project in Leviathon Wakes.

All the prisoners have been put into one large room and are continuously watched over from above by the Belters who guard them.   For them, after their crimes, there is no future, nothing at all, beyond the walls of this room.

And then, one day, or night, the man from Mars turns up and begins to offer hope, if only to one of them, but which one will it be?

A really good novella, that can be read as soon as the Belters have taken them prisoner, or anytime thereafter.

Next up in the series is Cibola Burn.

James’ Page

#theexpanse #scifi #jamessacorey

Abaddon’s Gate — James S. A. Corey

Abaddon's Gate -- James S. A. CoreyI didn’t find this book as good as the previous ones, which i put down to a character thing.

Too much christian waffle: i live in hope that by the time Hominids are travelling the whole solar system we’ll have gotten over this all the organised religion thing and seen it for what it truly is.   I found it beyond tragic that people were still clinging to this twaddle.

And i also found Clarissa just tedious and annoying: like a lot of spoiled rich brats that i’ve known in my life.   I really don’t like reading about them and having to endure their thinking.

Still, it has it’s good parts, which do balance the few crap characters and religiosity out and offer some redemption (pun intended) for those expecting something better.

I’ve now dived straight into The Vital Abyss, which is much better and more like what i expect from this series.

James’ Page

#theexpanse #scifi #jamessacorey

The Girl and the Moon — Mark Lawrence

The Girl and the Moon -- Mark LawrenceAnd so we’re back in the corridor, at Sweet Mercy, where it all began in the original trilogy.

Once again, i felt that dragging tedious feeling i had with the previous books in this trilogy, except this time it wasn’t due to plodding over the ice.   This time it mostly came down to this never ending cat and mouse game with Seus and Eular, both of which aren’t very exciting baddies and don’t exactly get one excited.   In fact they just continued to disappoint me with the fact that they keep not dying when that’s all i wanted them to do from about 50% in, just so we could get it all over with.

Ok, i have to admit that i read the whole trilogy all the way through, so it couldn’t have been that bad.   But, it definitely could have been a lot better and lot lot lot faster paced.

Anyways, it’s all over now and i can go and read some other more exciting things.

Mark’s Page

#fantasy #marklawrence

Seymour Papert

Seymour Papert

“An unknown but certainly significant proportion of the population has almost completely given up on learning. These people seldom, if ever engage in deliberate learning and see themselves as neither competent at it nor likely to enjoy it. The social and personal cost is enormous.

Although negative self-images can be overcome, in the life of an individual they are extremely robust and powerfully self-reinforcing. Deficiency becomes identity: “I can’t learn French, I don’t have an ear for languages;” “I could never be a businessman, I don’t have a head for figures;”…

If people believe firmly enough that they cannot do math, they will usually succeed in preventing themselves from doing whatever they recognize as math. The consequences of such self-sabotage is personal failure, and each failure reinforces the original belief. And such beliefs may be most insidious when held not only by individuals, but by our entire culture.”

Source: Mindstorms (lightly edited for clarity)

#5t4n5 #quotes #seymourpapert



With the rise of the machines on the horizon . . .
. . .me thinks it’s a good time to re-read Asimov.


The Belly of the Bow -- K. J. Parker 0ooh yean, K. J. Parker.


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