Dude… you’re getting a Dell(?)!

The last 4 laptops I’ve owned went like this:

  • 2004 – ThinkPad
  • 2009 – Dell
  • 2014 – ThinkPad
  • 2019 – Dell

Whenever I had the Dells I would tell my wife: “Remind me to get a ThinkPad next time.” I wish I listened to my own advice. They’re well thought out – ThinkPads just get a little more love when it comes to design and build. While they’re not without fault, they are generally better than your average laptop.

The Dell laptops I’ve owned have felt cheap and both have gone in for repairs. The good news is, Dell support is pretty good about fixing things. But I wish I didn’t have to send them in for repairs. Sidenote: my old ThinkPads have made for excellent loaners during repair periods. Dell really should be cheap and cheerful, but the whole experience leaves me feeling a bit “meh.”

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A coworker gave a lunch and learn about mechanical keyboards. I should have known it would be an entrance to a black hole… it all started 25 years ago with my beloved Zeos Keyboard with Alps keygates – which I consequently wrecked after spilling a beer into it 🍺 Then onto my HHKB Lite2 which I still have but need a host of adapters to connect its PS/2 connector.

Now I’m entering the modern mechanical era with a Keychron K6 – a 65% keyboard that closely resembles my HHKB layout. It has Gateron Blue (light and clicky) switches that remind me of my famed Zeos board. Here’s the original layout:

My first issue is I have a bit of OCD when it comes to pairing. I expect insert/del, home/end, and page up/down to be at least near each other, if not next to each other. So I changed the keycaps in the far right row, around the corner to the FN1/2 keys. I used low(ish) profile DSA keys on this edge to mimic the lower arrow keys from the HHKB. Also I got custom colored beige/blue FN1/FN2 keys to quickly remind me that FN1 is for the gold functions and FN2 is for blue.

Now I needed to change what the swapped keys did when I pressed them…

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In my other XPS 13 DE Settings post, I linked to an article about mouse lag that helped my Microsoft 3600 mouse behave better.

Last week I noticed it started acting up again πŸ˜” so I revisited the problem. My previous settings had apparently been wiped out with my upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04. But in my search I found some other settings that might help.

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Configuring E911 support with Skyetel is simple on their side, as it should be. But because it’s an emergency service, I wanted to do a separate post to underscore the importance on making sure it works.

I mostly followed this support article from Skyetel: https://support.skyetel.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041179233-E911 except I went in reverse order…

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My network topology at home is pretty simple, it looks like this:

After my recent router hardware and OpenWrt 19.07 firmware upgrades, I noticed my access point connected to my cable modem looked like this on the Status Overview page:

Pro-tip: Notice I’m using the cloudflare DNS servers rather than the ISP-provided ones. The Comcast DNS servers have gone down on me before and their performance is generally lacking.

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