My blog - UGH! - What a word, B.Walker, G0LCU.





Why I Choose to Use An Ancient AMIGA In Preference To Current Platforms.


Part 2,  The Hardware Continued.
Simplicity,  Aesthetics,  Ergonomics and RSI; here we go, this'll be fun. :)



I have been asked many times why I use an ancient AMIGA A1200 for my tool of preference when it is clearly not up to the capabilities of current technology and speeds...

Oh well,  the comments are few and far between,  never mind... (I can handle ALL comments WHEN I know about them. :)
It HAS been fun though ain't it eh! :)


F)  The Keyboard?

This has had more changes in design than I have had in hot dinners... :))

I was/am ALWAYS being told, "If if ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!".  Well the best keyboard I ever laid my hands on was on our IBM XT that we had in the mid 1980's.  This machine boasted CGA graphics WITH CVBS, 10MB HDD, 5.25" floppy drive, 512KB memory, 300/75 baud modem, IBM KB and IBM 'digital' colour monitor.  It cost several thousand quid,  (UKP :), and only had an 8088 CPU running at around 4.7MHz.  Epson FX80+ printer also.  What it did though, it did very well at the time.

This KB as far as I was concerned was totally bullet proof, SIMPLE AND comfortable to use.  It was responsive and I used it for years, even on PC replacements, until the fateful day of NEW technology for us, where the NEW bloody PC just would NOT talk to it!!!  WHY???,  WHY MAKE A MOBO THAT WILL NOT ACCEPT AN OLD KB???  To me this is a backwards step!!!

This KB still works in theory but now there is no way of proving it... Goodbye old friend you are now in the landfill... :(

Anyhow I'm deviating here... Hmmm, maybe ~deviating~ is not the right word, he he... :)

WHY IS IT THAT MODERN AESTHETICAL KBs GIVE RISE TO:- 1)  RSI, (Repetitive Strain Injury)?
2)  Tennis Elbow?
3)  Wrist Ache?
4)  Others......

It is a fact the 60% of the worlds population will start to suffer OR are suffering arthritis in the hand(s) or around that area by the time they are 60(ish);  assuming they live that long... :/
These are the 'silver surfer' brigade... :)

Your fingers will start to seize up or ache, wrists might lock up, shoulders will give constant pain in certain positions and elbows unable to fully open sometimes.

The so called design experts have tried all sorts of odd ideas as 'cures' that don't work on KB design, in fact they have often made matters worse!

(A play on the phrase "All that glitters is NOT gold.")......

All that looks good does not necessarily work well... :)

These include gel bags and variable angle and shaped platforms to put your wrists on and take the up the strain of using a few fingers.  The IBM was just about right and no-one at work suffered RSI on that KB at all - IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT!...

WHY ARE WINDOWS LOGOS/ICONS PRINTED ON THE VAST MAJORITY OF MODERN KBs???

Hasn't anyone ever heard,  shhh careful Barry,  (whispering in case Gates'y hears), of Linux, Amiga OS4, Unix et al... The manufacturers NEVER supply stick on overlays for the special keys so that you can customise your KB to your OS of choice...

WHY NOT???   PLEASE TELL ME WHY NOT???

So by DEFINITION you have NO CHOICE AT ALL as to how you want to use your KB...  SO we all have to bow down to MS and Windows VISTA, (or XP).
VISTA == Vulgar Immitation Scantily Transcribing AMIGAs...

Well NOT me anyhow!

So **** Windows I'll stick with my out of date, old technology, that is on 24/7 and has been for the last 12+ years WITH ITS' OWN SPECIAL LOGOS/ICONS PRINTED ON TO ITS OWN KB!!!

This KB is easy to use WITHOUT ANY grunts, farts, whistles and bells signifying NOTHING!!!

My AMIGAs KB has always been MORE than good enough and I have used this old tub, (A1200), see last issue for a photo', without pain at all.  It is responsive, 14+ years old WITHOUT ANY failure and much like my A500, and A600(HD)  which is also on 24/7!!!


I'd like to see ANY Windows machine on 24/7 for over 12 years;  that would be the period of Windows 3.1x to Windows 95.  Stand by your friggin' beds!
The odds are that Windows would have crashed without even touching the KB!

And that effing error report found on most PCs... :))

Keyboard not found!
Press F1 to continue...

(Or something similar :)

ROTFL...

G)  Mouse?

Ahh,  that little rodent.

Well much as I have to admit it I find the MS IntelliMouse the best feel of any that I use or have used.  Mine is connected to my P4 tool which I rarely use but is used extensively by my wife and daughter.  I don't need umpteen buttons and wheels to do what I want just simple usability and reliability and this mouse fulfills this requirement.

I also use an ancient ANUBIS mouse on my P2 tool.  What can I say except UGH!  It is dreadful but I am not upgrading it as the P2 M/C is of 1998 vintage.  This mouse IS ugly, jittery in use and painful to 'hold'.

My next is my HP dv2036ea Notebook, this has an external Kensington Orbit Elite trackball attached and I remember seeing a trackball being used on the Escort 650 Professional Marine Radar, 1969, (yep that's right 1969), fitted to the QE II ocean liner, (now sadly de-commissioned), I was impressed with that then and this trackball is easy to use and comfortable to the hand and wrist and apart from the ball falling out reliable.

I've just purchased another HP Laptop, dv6285eu with extra memory and have another external trackball that is absolutely useless, ugly and painful to use.  It is dreadful, whoever designed it wants laying to rest!
(Forgotten what type it is, maybe someone can enlighten me.)
See photo'...


Well the amiga mouse is basic, functional and painless and all of mine are the same as in the the above AMIGA A600HD picture.  They don't rank high in the good looks department but work without fault.  My A600HD one is about 15+ years old and my A1200HD one is about 14+ years old.  None have had a fault in all of that time including my A500 one which was purchased in 1989 and I would like to see any reliability like this from ANY other mouse(s), (mice :), on any other platform.

My old, now 'retired', '386DX40 mouse lasted only 2 years, my P2 lasted about 3 until I replaced it with the ANUBIS one above,  bad move. :(

That's all for now folks.  My next rant will be about display devices.






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