Saturday, June 13, 2015

Retro Reviews: Logitech G105 and K290

I got these keyboards nearly two years ago but only just found my notes on them, thought I'd post it anyway.

G105 Initial Thoughts: It's a rubber dome keyboard, so the keys are a little bit "squishy", but not too bad overall. It has LED backlighting if you want it — the LEDs are not very bright though. Lots of keys for gaming macros or whatever. The position of the keys down the left-hand-side was somewhat annoying at first until I got used to them.

The G105 has survived nearly two years of gaming use without fault, so its longevity seems reasonable. A lot of my other Logitech peripherals have failed at or before this period, so I'm a bit wary of the brand at the moment but this particular keyboard seems okay. The feel of the keys is not really any better than a $20 keyboard, so you have to balance up whether the extra macro keys and backlighting (and potentially the longevity) is worth a $50 keyboard.

K290 Initial Thoughts: Has a fairly hard, angular wedge shape. The bright blue USB cable doesn't look very good. The feel of the press on the "low profile" keys is difficult to get used to. It's difficult to describe, but the keys feel gritty or chalky to press, like you're pushing them through a crumbly layer of dried mud.

Appearance and feel aside, the thing I like least about the K290 is that to use the function keys (F1, F2, etc), you need to hold down the Blue "FN" key. Really awkward when on the vast majority (all?) keyboards the F keys are the default. This is the most difficult thing to get used to when swapping between other keyboards.

While the K290 has worked fine so far, I wouldn't buy it again due to the negatives I found while using it.

Don't have a pic of the K290 unfortunately, the above image and link is to the Logitech product page

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Review: Deepcool Tesseract

Recently used this case in a general purpose machine for a friend. At only A$49 it's at the budget end, but for what you get it's pretty good value. With 165mm CPU and 310mm GPU clearance it'll fit most setups.

For whatever reason, the Tesseract listing on Deepcool's website doesn't show the windowed version of the case, only the regular version.

  • Lightweight, but doesn't feel too flimsy.
  • The fans have both 3-pin and 4-pin molex connectors. Handy if you need it, but could be a negative if you only want the 3-pins as the molex connector is quite bulky.
  • Even when plugged into via the 4-pin, the fans were pretty quiet.
  • Lots of screws, cable ties and an onboard speaker for troubleshooting. (No rubber mounting grommets for hard drives or anything, but you can't have everything in such a cheap case).
  • Internal USB and case button cables are quite long.
  • Plenty of drive bays and room internally.
  • Cutout behind the motherboard to mount a CPU cooler if needed.
  • Large window to show off to show off your insides.
  • "Punch out" PCI expansion slots, rather than ones held in place with screws.
  • No cut out at the top of the case for the 4/8 pin ATX power cable, so you need to route around the motherboard. (This is pretty common in cases in this range).
  • The short fan cable on the front-of-case fan would be tricky to reach the 3-pin header on an ATX motherboard.
  • The blue LEDs on the fans and the "power on" at the front of the case are all quite bright (could be considered a good or bad thing, depending on how much you like blue LEDs ;)
  • Not a whole lot of cable routing room at the back.
  • The connectors on the front of the case work okay, but do look a little cheap.

A good budget case where the value proposition and positives easily outweigh the negatives.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Image Overlays in reveal.js

Update notice: I've noticed this page is getting a few hits, so I've done an update with an alternate technique that I've used in preference to the one below, which had some issues with scaling at different resolutions.

reveals.js is a fantastic little library for creating web-based presentations.

While putting a presentation together I was trying to work out how to quickly throw up images as overlays over the presentation text at the start of a slide, and then disappear to reveal the text.

With the help of a colleague, we worked out a couple of techniques you can apply using the reveal.js "fragment" and "current-visible" option combined with an absolute position.

Option 1 simply overlays the image and has it disappear as the next action in the presentation:

<img class="fragment current-visible" src="image.jpg"
style="position:absolute; left:210px; top:100px;"/>

For Option 2, I added a link so you can get the full-sized image if you want:

<p class="fragment current-visible"
style="position:absolute; left:120px; top:100px;">
<a href="image.jpg"><img src="image.jpg" width="1024"/></a></p>

The way reveal.js scales a presentation to a nominated size in the configuration means the absolute positioning isn't as bad to work in as it would be in a "normal" web page, you only have to get the position right once for the desired image width and it will work due to the scaling factor. It may not be the most elegant way, but it works pretty well.

Okay, let's be honest, my colleague worked it all out, I just watched. Thanks GD!

Prevent Service Autostart on Linux

I installed JIRA last year but haven't ended up using it a lot, so I thought I'd stop it from starting automatically at boot. This wasn't immediately obvious how to do as the service command doesn't have that option.

This seems like a pretty definitive answer, but I ended up going with sysv-rc-conf as it seemed kind of easy to use and visualise everything that's going to be started.

The initial state for JIRA looked like this:

By unchecking everything, it no longer starts up by default: