Thursday 30 June 2022

Summer update

After having the eletric kickbike for more than six months, I have barely 150km in the odometer. During the hot and dry summer days this might change.

I still occasionally use the voi rental scooters, because it is sometimes just handier to not stress about the parking. Although, with the attention now given to mis-parking, it can be slightly stressful too. Also as the number of rentals in Helsinki is growing (voi, lime, tier, dott, bird) I'm somehow happier not having to think about them.

But the voi handlebar is really stable compared to my "zeeclo". In fact it is one of my on-going gripes with this model, it is somewhat shaky and needs to be aligned with the wheel from time to time. I mean, how difficult it would have been to design so it wouldn't rotate at all?

I bought a modest lock that should prevent the simplest thieving actions. 

But I haven't decided what would be the best solution here. Collapsing the kickbike perhaps draws less attention to the vehicle and could discourage people from fooling with the controls. However, in this state it could be carried rather easily away after cutting the lock.

Apart from the lock, I have bought an electronic pump to adjust the wheel pressures. This I will discuss separately at some later time. 

Let's just say I avoided the weird generic instructions at the Zeeclo website which suggested the wheels could be set at 50-60PSI. It might not be applicable to the Zeeclo Fenix at all. I instead followed the value of 35PSI found on the wheels itself. The vehicle is marginally faster when there's more pressure in the wheels.

I would have taken it to the workplace earlier, but the elevator was fixed only recently. It barely fit into the small space of the elevator! Mind you, the distance to work is so small I barely need the scooter for my commute.

I have kept quite accurate record of my travels. Without making it too obvious where my homebase is, I combined the extents of my journeys into a single image, courtesy of Google Earth and the handy "path" function.

The map doesn't mean I have driven extensively in the city centre. On the contrary, I have mostly avoided the central areas, instead favouring dedicated bike routes even in cases where they make the trip longer.

The supposed 20km range (10 there and 10 back) gives some limits to these trips but I have not really even used this range yet. 

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Logitech K400plus keyboard

I am not a huge fan of wireless keyboards, but for this "TV controller" I made an exception, especially as it is a combination of keyboard and a trackpad. With this I can access a Linux computer connected to a TV at the other side of the room.

In the past, I have looked at various phone-sized micro-keyboard solutions but it's perhaps good I did not take that route. I need to type in terminal commands or even edit configuration files, which would be too painful with tiny keys.

The not-too-powerful Fujitsu Esprimo Q510 works as the video source, running Ubuntu Linux. When I plugged in the USB dongle, the computer responded to it immediately, no problems.

The lightness of the keyboard case is here a bonus but understandably it is also somewhat plasticky.

The feel of the keyboard itself is adequate, which likely means I'll get used to it. The styling gives an appearance of flat keys, but they are really not that flat. The key travel distance is larger than for example in the Apple keyboards. The keys are quite silent compared to the mechanical keyboards I have been using lately.

The compact cursor key cluster is not ideal for these kind of keys. It's also possible to accidentally move your hand over to the trackpad when typing at the right hand side.

The mute and volume keys worked as expected.

There is a mysterious yellow key at the top left corner. I hoped it might switch the trackpad on/off, but it is really just the left mousebutton. This seems unnecessary as the trackpad has buttons, but it can be useful if I hold the keyboard in both hands and try to do something with the mouse.

There's a power switch too, hopefully it helps save batteries. The manual promised 18 months of battery time, I'll have to check on that promise.

I did encounter some hiccups with the key transmission, likely because there were obstacles between the keyboard and the USB. I need to continue using the keyboard to see if it really happens again. 

For what it's worth, I switched the USB transceiver to a different port as it was "behind" the wlan interface in relation to the sofa. I think it would be better to place the USB wlan to the other side entirely.

This keyboard looks like a good solution for the TV. When I have used it more, I can comment something about using the screen from distance. Only after zooming the terminal window, I could really see what I'm typing from across the room.