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Product Review: Ajazz Zinc Mechanical Keyboard.

I don't do prod­uct re­views of­ten, but this key­board is a spe­cial case:

  • Me­chan­i­cal key­boards are fash­ion­able now
  • Of­ten you will buy the key­board with­out test­ing it
  • This one is pret­ty un­known
  • It's re­al­ly a mixed bag ex­pe­ri­ence and I think oth­ers may ben­e­fit from the re­view, even if they are buy­ing a dif­fer­ent one.

Dis­claimer I bought this key­board with my own mon­ey and no­body ev­er gives me any toys to play with. Come on, com­pa­nies, give me free stuff, please?

Any­way, this is my re­view af­ter us­ing it for a cou­ple of days.

Specs

  • Ajazz Brand (not very well known)
  • Re­al Cher­ry MX Red switch­es (nice!)
  • 68 keys, ded­i­cat­ed cur­sor keys but no nu­mer­i­cal key­pad or func­tion keys.
  • Full met­al body
  • White keys, white back­light
  • Weight 600g
  • Wired or Wire­less (BT 3.0)

The Good

Typing

Typ­ing in this is pure plea­sure. I like the lin­ear red switch­es be­cause they feel al­most ex­act­ly like a Com­modore 64, which is the typ­ing feel­ing I as­so­ciate with my child­hood and ear­ly ado­les­cence, bet­ter than the tac­tile blue switch­es which I as­so­ciate with IBM mod­el M key­boards and my lat­er, not so hap­py teenage years.

The key­caps are dou­ble-shot ABS plas­tic, which I like enough. While I may have liked them to be a bit more tex­tured they are ok, not too smooth, they are not mushy, they don't jig­gle.

It's not even all that loud, while still be­ing sat­is­fy­ing­ly clack­y.

The look

I am a suck­er for how this look­s. I hate the black­-with­-red-or-rg­b-­lights gamer-key­board look (spe­cial­ly since I am not a gamer!) this ba­by has white keys on a sil­ver body with white back­light and a "naked" pro­file ex­pos­ing the switch­es.

The back­light has three lev­els (and of­f) and can do a "breathe" ef­fect and that's it. So, ba­si­cal­ly, it lets you type in the dark if you need to look at keys and not much else. Which is enough for most grownup­s.

The layout

The ded­i­cat­ed ar­row keys are nice, all the keys are in rea­son­able po­si­tions and have de­cent sizes.

The extras

It comes with a key­cap-ex­trac­tor, a USB ca­ble and a car­ry­ing pouch. Noth­ing fan­cy but more than good enough.

The Not Good

The Layout

I would love for this to have two more keys.

  • There is no Home key (Fn-End is Home) which is ... not ter­ri­ble.

  • There is no ~ key.

For a Linux user and software developer that is a pain in the butt because ~ means "home folder". For a spanish speaker it's even worse because ~n is how we type ñ which is, you know, a letter we need to use because "año" means "year" but "ano" means butthole. So it's kinda important.

In this keyboard that character is Fn+Shift+Esc which is just too awkward.

Yes, I know how to fix it!

I could remap that key to ~ but then I have no Esc key which sucks when using vim. So, I remapped Esc to Caps Lock and voilá, the keyboard is usable (but a bit weird)

# This is the easy way
xmodmap -e 'clear Lock' -e 'keycode 0x09 = dead_tilde grave'\
-e 'keycode 0x42 = Escape'

The Bluetooth

I was ex­pect­ing the blue­tooth in this key­board to suck be­cause it's BT 3.0 but I had no idea the depths and va­ri­ety of the ways in which it suck­s.

  • Yes, the range sucks
  • Yes, the la­ten­cy sucks

But al­so:

  • When in BT mode it be­haves like a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent key­board.

In wired mode, Fn+= is F12 a key I use a lot because it drops down my terminal.

In BT mode, Fn+= is Volume up, which in wired mode is Fn+n ... which still works in BT mode.

So, in BT mode I have no func­tion keys at al­l, and have mul­ti­me­dia keys in two places.

But that's not al­l!

This keyboard supports three devices simultaneously. You switch between them using Fn+Q | W | E and there is a nice LED indicator at the top of the keyboard that shows on what mode you are in by changing color.

Here, let me show it to you:

The prob­lem is, when you are ac­tu­al­ly us­ing the key­board, this is how you (don't) see them:

So, just ig­nore that this key­board even has a BT mode and learn to love the ca­ble.

The Feet

There are no mov­able "feet", it has a small in­cline, and it's ok, the an­gle is nice. BUT... it's not per­fect­ly lev­el. There is a tiny wob­ble be­tween the low­er-right and up­per-left. Sure, I just shim a lit­tle thing in there and it's fixed, but this key­board is not very cheap so this sur­prised me.

Conclusions

It's ok? It's prob­a­bly bet­ter for peo­ple who are not span­ish-s­peak­ing lin­ux-user­s.

It´s prob­a­bly a bet­ter idea to get a more well-­known brand, and/or a cheap­er key­board if you are go­ing to gam­ble on buy­ing them sight-un­seen.

Am I hap­py I got it? yeah. Even as I am writ­ing this not-very-­com­pli­men­ta­ry re­view I am hap­pi­ly clack­ing away with a smile on my face.

The lay­out need­ed tweak­ing but is ok now, the feel is awe­some, and it looks great on my desk.

Café

Es­to es al­go que aparente­mente es­cribí en 2016 y nun­ca publiqué en ningún la­do.


De acuer­do a mi in­ves­ti­gación hay só­lo tres lu­gares en el mun­do en que no se puede hac­er café.

El primero es la cima del monte Ever­est. Quince años de en­tre­namien­to y tra­ba­jo me per­mi­tieron amasar un buen es­ta­do físi­co y una for­tu­na con­sid­er­able, que util­icé para ser el primer hom­bre en pa­gar­le a un sher­pa para que lleve una ol­la a pre­sión has­ta la cima.

Con esa ol­la a pre­sión y una est­u­fa de camp­ing lo­gré hac­er un de­cente café a la tur­ca su­peran­do los in­con­ve­nientes cau­sa­dos por la ba­ja pre­sión at­mos­féri­ca y el frío. No es mi tipo fa­vorito de café, pero zafa.

El se­gun­do lu­gar es Corea del Norte. Des­de que el Ado­ra­do Líder asum­ió el poder a la edad de 12 años el café es­tá es­tric­ta­mente pro­hibido. Al­gunos di­cen que es porque cuan­do Líder tenía 5 se quemó con un café que toma­ba su padre -- Ilu­mi­na­do Guía, gran fan del espres­so -- que reac­cionó rién­dose de su do­lor. Des­de ese día ju­ró con el em­peci­namien­to que so­lo puede ten­er un nene de cin­co que cuan­do lle­gara al poder elim­i­naría esa hor­ren­da be­bi­da de la faz de la tier­ra.

In­clu­so, fuentes gen­eral­mente bi­en in­for­madas ru­moran que mien­tras al­i­menta­ba a sus per­ros mas­co­ta con la carne aún tib­ia de su re­cien­te­mente depuesto padre, Ado­ra­do decía al­go que se po­dría tra­ducir aprox­i­mada­mente co­mo "pedite un café aho­ra, hi­jo de mil putas".

Casi el vein­tidós por cien­to del pro­duc­to bru­to de Corea del Norte es­tá ded­i­ca­do a la pro­tec­ción de sus fron­teras, donde in­gre­sar café o sus deriva­dos es causa de eje­cu­ción sumari­a.

Por suerte, la ac­tu­al cri­sis económi­ca y sub­se­cuente ham­bruna me per­mi­tieron, cam­ou­fla­do co­mo donación hu­man­i­taria de latas de ananá, in­gre­sar 50 gramos de café has­ta las cer­canías de Py­onyang, donde un grupo de co­man­dos me in­fil­traron una noche jun­to con mi con­fi­able cafetera de pren­sa france­sa, y pude, en una fo­ga­ta al­i­men­ta­da con la bosta de la penúl­ti­ma va­ca de la gran­ja colec­ti­va número 12, preparar un ra­zon­able cor­ta­do con leche del mis­mo an­i­mal que proveyó el com­bustible.

El ter­cer lu­gar es Ophir, en la fal­da oc­ci­den­tal de las mon­tañas Oquirrh.

Se­gu­ra­mente no es­ta­ba en los planes de Aar­ic Smith y sus es­posas Aa­ron­i­ca, Ar­va y Zoleen, al for­mar su pe­queño y heréti­ca es­ci­ción de la ya ex­traña fac­ción mor­mona en la que habían si­do cri­a­dos, que la de­fi­cien­cia en su es­co­lar­i­dad los ll­e­varía a pro­nun­ciar mal de­ter­mi­nadas ora­ciones, y por pu­ra co­in­ci­den­cia in­vo­car al úni­co dios ver­dadero, Os­ther.

Por pu­ra co­in­ci­den­ci­a, du­rante sig­los los mor­mones de Utah crearon pro­gre­si­va­mente el cul­to de Os­ther, úni­ca en­ti­dad so­bre­nat­u­ral del mul­ti­ver­so, que has­ta ese mo­men­to había tran­scur­ri­do su ex­is­ten­cia ig­no­ran­do la mis­ma ex­is­ten­cia de la ma­te­ri­a.

Al comen­zar a fa­mil­iar­izarse con los dog­mas de su propia re­ligión, Os­ther tu­vo di­fi­cul­tades para dis­tin­guir en­tre lo im­por­tante y las pro­hibi­ciones id­ios­in­cráti­cas de la sec­ta de Aar­ic, Aaróni­ca y Ar­va (Zoleen de­cidió que si Os­ther ex­istía, en­tonces el­la prefer­ía ser atea, y se mudó a Pro­vo para cono­cer la vi­da de la metrópolis)

Por los prob­le­mas de Os­ther en com­pren­der (s­er so­bre­nat­u­ral no quiere de­cir que uno sea bril­lante), el pe­or peca­do en el Os­ther-­mor­monis­mo re­sultó ser el con­sumo de be­bidas es­tim­u­lantes, cas­ti­ga­do con la in­medi­a­ta dis­olu­ción del al­ma del pecador, seguido, para no lev­an­tar sospechas, de la traslo­cación del cuer­po del mis­mo a Las Ve­g­as, donde la caren­cia de al­ma no re­sul­ta ev­i­dente.

Es­toy pen­san­do el plan. Ten­go una cier­ta idea. Pe­or de los ca­sos, nos ve­mos en Las Ve­gas.

Ta Te Ti

Es­to es un ta-te-ti (con ju­gador hu­mano y/o pro­gra­mado!) que hice en al­gún mo­men­to de 2016.

import copy

board = {
    'A': [' ', ' ', ' '],
    'B': [' ', ' ', ' '],
    'C': [' ', ' ', ' '],
}


def print_board():
    for i in "ABC":
        print(" | {} | {} | {} |".format(*board[i]))


def check_winner_state(board, mark):

    for i in "ABC":
        if board[i] == [mark, mark, mark]:
            return True

    for j in [0,1,2]:
        if [board["A"][j], board["B"][j], board["C"][j]]  == [mark, mark, mark]:
            return True

    if [board["A"][0],board["B"][1],board["C"][2]] == [mark, mark, mark]:
        return True
    if [board["A"][2],board["B"][1],board["C"][0]] == [mark, mark, mark]:
        return True
    return False

players_marks = "XO"

print_board()

player_names = {}

for mark in players_marks:
    whatever = input("Enter your name for %s" % mark)
    player_names[mark] = whatever

def human_player(mark):
    return input("Enter turn {}: ".format(mark)).upper()

def computer_player(mark):
    # Try everything and see if you can win
    other_mark = set(players_marks) - set(mark)
    for i in 'ABC':
        for j in 0,1,2:
            _b = copy.deepcopy(board)
            if _b[i][j] != ' ':
                continue
            _b[i][j] = mark
            if check_winner_state(_b, mark):
                return i+str(j+1)

    # So, we can't win. Try not to lose
    for i in 'ABC':
        for j in 0,1,2:
            _b = copy.deepcopy(board)
            if _b[i][j] != ' ':
                continue
            _b[i][j] = other_mark
            if check_winner_state(_b, other_mark):
                return i+str(j+1)

    # fuck it
    for i in 'ABC':
        for j in 0,1,2:
            if board[i][j] == ' ':
                return i+str(j+1)

players = [computer_player, computer_player]

selector = 0
while True:

    turn = selector % 2

    mark = players_marks[turn]
    inp = players[turn](mark)
    if len(inp) != 2:   # A1
        print("Bad format: ", inp)
        continue

    x, y = inp
    if x not in "ABC" or y not in "123":
        print("Bad format: ", inp)
        continue
    y = int(y)-1

    if board[x][y] != ' ':
        print("Position taken: ", inp)
        continue

    # mark the input
    board[x][y] = mark

    print_board()

    if check_winner_state(board, mark):
       print("%s, you are the winner, congrats!" % player_names[mark])

       break

    if selector == 8:
       print("No more goes, no one wins, sorry :(")
       break

    selector += 1

Ten Perversions

This is some­thing I wrote in 2007 for a site that is al­ready dead.


I read once that the way to make crazy mon­ey in the in­ter­nets to post lists and write non-­fic­tion about sex.

Here's my at­tempt at bring­ing eight new per­ver­sions to this tired world.

Grou­cho Marx would have hat­ed it, but nowa­days there is al­ways a club that will ac­cept you if you are will­ing to ac­cept that you want to join.

Do you en­joy watch­ing ap­par­ent­ly gay mino­taurs? Have a per­ver­sion about peo­ple with ex­tra mem­ber­s? Head for http://www.boy­tau­r.net (and no, I will not ex­plain how I knew about that site).

Are you aroused by the thought of step­ping on bugs? Be­lieve you are an an­i­mal trapped in a hu­man body? The idea of alien mind con­trol turns you on? En­joy dil­dos made out of legos? There are places where you will not be con­sid­ered a weirdo (but you are. Oh, yes you are).

  1. Lo­­gosphil­i­a: Sex­u­al arouse­­ment caused by knowl­­edge. This word ac­­tu­al­­ly ex­ist­s, at least as the ti­­tle of a blog. I would ex­­plain more, but lo­­gosphil­i­acs know all about it, and for the rest of us it's an in­­­cred­i­bly bor­ing con­di­­tion.

  2. Taediphil­i­a: The taediphil­i­ac en­joys bore­­dom. How­ev­er, this per­ver­­sion is just sad. Imag­ine that bore­­dom gives you wood. Wood en­ter­­tains you. En­ter­­tain­­ment kills the wood. And your life is a spin cy­­cle of un­­ful­­fil­l­­men­t.

  3. Or­­tophil­i­a: Be­ing ex­c­it­ed by what's right. This rare con­di­­tion caus­es all kinds of strange sym­p­­tom­s. The suf­fer­­er prefers the mis­­­sion­ary po­si­­tion, dis­­­dains oral sex, on­­ly feels sex­u­al at­­trac­­tion to his spouse and ac­­tu­al­­ly means it when he says he would be hap­py to just cud­­­dle.

  4. Uni­­for­­mophil­i­a: Ex­ces­­sive love for things that are reg­u­lar. The rare uni­­for­­mophil­i­ac would love to have sex with twin­s, but he's too busy trim­ming his side­burns just right.

  5. Ni­hilophil­i­a: Sex­u­al per­ver­­sion where you are at­­trac­t­ed to the con­­cept of noth­ing. Ob­vi­ous­­ly mas­­tur­ba­­to­ry at the be­gin­n­ing, the sub­­­ject soon re­al­izes that when he is en­joy­ing him­­self he is ac­­tu­al­­ly there, which kills the buz­z. On a lat­er stage, the ni­hiliphil­i­ac pre­­tends that he is ex­c­it­ed but hid­ing it, when in re­al­i­­ty he ac­­tu­al­­ly is not. Er­­go, since noone is hav­ing fun, he finds that ex­treme­­ly ex­c­it­ing.

  6. Pho­bio­phil­i­a: Ex­ces­­sive en­joy­­ment of one's fears. Noone con­fess­es to this per­ver­­sion, since ad­mit­t­ing it in pub­­lic would be scary, which would cause arousal, which would be em­bar­ras­ing, un­­less the sub­­­ject is al­­so scared of au­di­ences, which would make him en­joy the at­ten­­tion. It ba­si­­cal­­ly means that you would act com­­plete­­ly against your own in­­­cli­­na­­tion­s. All moun­­tain climbers are acro­pho­bic pho­bio­phil­i­ac­s.

  7. Phil­io­phil­i­a: Sex­u­al per­ver­­sion where you try one per­ver­­sion af­ter an­oth­er in vain search of one you ac­­tu­al­­ly en­joy. If that de­scribes you, you are not an ac­­tu­al per­vert. You are a bor­ing per­­son and just try to look in­­ter­est­ing in a self­­-de­struc­­tive and noisy man­n­er.

  8. Al­bu­mis­­tanu­merophil­ia is the love of lists of num­ber­s. And if you have it, you will hate the fact that this ar­ti­­cle ends here.


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