Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Cheap-o Mechanical Keyboard Review. The F21-7D.

In the online PC hardware/gaming communities, mechanical keyboards have gained a bit of a cult following. For years, many people have praised the classic IBM Model M for its fantastic switch design. For those who don't know, instead of using standard rubber membrane switches like many other keyboards, this instead uses a fantastic "Buckling Spring" method to register input. As a result, using the keyboard offers brilliant tactile feedback, as well as there being an incredibly satisfying *CLICK* noise every time a key is pressed.

Since the IBM Model M was created in late 80s/ Early 90s, other companies have designed their own "Tactile" switches. For example, one company, Das Keyboard, specialise in manufacturing mechanical keyboards alone. Other hardware companies, such as SteelSeries, Razer and Rosewill also produce their own branded keyboard. I could bore you with the nerdy stuff about different switch types and actuation forces etc. but i'll save you, for now.

Now, the main problem with these brilliant keyboards is how expensive they are...

Now, me being fairly frugal, put off buying something like the "Razer Blackwidow" simply because paying £80 (~$125) didn't really seem worth it for a keyboard with clicky buttons. However, as with most things, there is always a solution, made from cheap parts and assembled in a warehouse somewhere in China.

The F21-7D

I found this keyboard on Amazon for a price of just £35 ($55). Honestly, I was fairly skeptical about the quality of the thing when i purchased it, half expecting the thing to fall apart within a week. Well after 4 or so months, it's still going strong!

The good
  • Arguably the cheapest mechanical keyboard on the market.
  • Nice tactile feedback from the switches
  • Quality far exceeded expectations.
The bad
  • Bizaare small backspace key takes some adjustment to get used to.
  • No option for plastic WASD keys, silicone only.
  • US ANSI layout only, no UK version 

Overall though, it's great quality for the price and probably the cheapest way of getting a mechanical keyboard.

                                                  Video via youtube user "

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Stuff i've watched recently: Breaking Bad.

Remember this guy in the TV show "Malcom In The Middle"? Yeah...He's not really that guy anymore. He cooks meth now.

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past year or so, chances are you've already heard about Breaking Bad and possibly have watched it. It follows the tale of a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White (Played by Bryan Cranston). Suffering from terminal cancer, he decides to make as much money to support his family once he's gone. What better way to do this than to turn to organised crime?

With Walter White being a chemistry teacher, he decides the best course of action is obviously to manufacture methamphetamine with ex-student Jesse Pinkman. (Played by Aaron Paul). Hilarity ensues. If you can picture a Dungeons and Dragons character alignment, Walt would be more "Lawful Good", with his deep moral code and believing in doing what's right. Whereas Jesse is more "Chaotic Neutral". As long as he gets paid he's happy.

The storyline of the drama is truely gripping, ask anyone who's watched the series and they'll agree that the writers have done an absolutely phenomenal job, they've clearly spent A LOT of time developing the plotline, with such deep foreshadowing in the earlier episodes and slowly building up and up as Walts crime empire grows larger and larger. All whilst he's dealing with family issues on the side, which leads to some fantastic sub-plots and dramatic irony. (For anyone who's watched it, the ending of the episode "Crawl Space". Oh my.)

If you haven't done already, you should definitely watch a few episodes. I'm not really someone who watches alot of dramas on TV. But Breaking Bad is easily one of my favourite TV shows of all time. A solid 10/10, everything about it was perfect and i'm deeply excited for the next series to start around July time!


Let's get the ball rolling.

 So...blogging. Kind of new to the whole idea but let's give it a go anyway. I suppose i should probably give an introduction about myself and what purpose this blog actually HAS.

I'm Alex. This is my's about things.

I guess i'll just post anecdotes, reviews, music you should listen to and all that kind of stuff. Not really sure. Although, recently i've been getting into Starcraft and the "E-Sports" scene. If some of you are reading this thinking "WtF is esports!!? nerde!". Well good. That gives me a topic to write about. I look forward to following people and sharing stories in the near future!

- Alex.