The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

“This one and then that and this and then still another, and on up and around, three pumpkins here, seven pumpkins still higher, a dozen clustered beyond, a hundred, five hundred, a thousand pumpkins lit their candles …”

There must have been a thousand pumpkins on this tree, hung high and on every branch. A thousand smiles. A thousand grimaces. And twice-times-a-thousand glares and winks and blinks and leerings of fresh-cut eyes.

And as the boys watched, a new thing happened.

The pumpkins began to come alive.

One by one, starting at the bottom of the Tree and the nearest pumpkins, candles took fire within the raw interiors. This one and then that and this and then still another, and on up and around, three pumpkins here, seven pumpkins still higher, a dozen clustered beyond, a hundred, five hundred, a thousand pumpkins lit their candles, which is to say brightened up their faces, showed fire in their square or round or curiously slanted eyes. Flame guttered in their toothed mouths. Sparks leaped out their ripe-cut ears.


The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

I was all set to write about how I first stumbled across The Halloween Tree as a kid but then I realized—I already have! And even quoted that book. Twice before. And even referenced it twice more.


One of the problems I have with blogging for (almost) nineteen years—I've probably already blogged about it.

Anyway, Happy Hallowe'en everybody!

“I got five pieces of candy!” “I got a chocolate bar!” “I got a quarter!” “I got a keyboard.”

It is well known I like my IBM Model M keyboards, both at home and at the office (thankfully, my fellow cow-orkers don't seem to mind as they can be a bit clicky). So it was a nice surprise when fellow cow-orker J presented me with an IBM Model M SSK in the original package!

[Even though it's smaller than normal, at 4lbs (2kg) it's still quite lethal.]

It's missing the numeric keypad, but that's something I rarely if ever even use on the normal IBM Model Ms I use so that doesn't bother me. What has me intrigued are the legends on the keycaps:

[This is making up for that IBM Model M with APL keycaps I missed getting by 10 seconds years ago.]

Some of these keys have five different functions, so I'm left wondering how one would select which function. For instance, the key with the front faced labeled END-ITEM—you have just the plain key, Shift-key, Ctrl-key, Ctrl-Shift-key, and … not Alt-key because the label isn't green, unlike the front label on the “P” key … perhaps Left-Ctrl-key and Right-Ctrl-key? I don't know. But it looks cool!

The keyboard seems smaller than it really is—the keys are the same size as on a regular keyboard, and the removable keycaps fit perfectly on my normal IBM Model M. The feel of using it is subtly different though. I wonder if that's because this keyboard probably has never seen use and thus, isn't broken in.

I wasn't able to find much of anything about this keyboard on the Intarwebs, just this one page where someone by the name of Mr. Nobody was selling the same keyboard (made on the same day no less!) for, and I quote, “a pocket deep as an ocean.”

In any case, it's sitting by, just in case the keyboard I've been using for nearly 20 years ever dies on me.

Update on Monday, November 5th, 2018

I have some new information on this keyboard.

How about this for a headline? “Miami Herald: Records suggest that Ron DeSantis paid campaign workers to spam cell phones with political ads to avoid Federal Communications Commission regulations over automated text messaging”

So this happened:

[Note how it fits perfectly on the iPhone screen.  I wonder how much effort went into ensuring that?]

It's not the content I necessarily object to—it's the fact that it happened that I object to. Given that politicians write the law, of course they also exempt themselves from the law.

Grrrrrrrrr …

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