On Thursday, 21 June 2018, the radio in my 2014 Ford Fiesta SE would not turn off. (For identification purposes, my car has a Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch radio.) I also couldn’t turn down the volume using the volume knob on the dash or the volume buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. I knew removing the negative battery cable would reset the radio and solve the problem, but so would removing the radio’s fuse, which would be easier.
I chose the latter.
The owner’s manual indicates that there are two fuse boxes: One underneath the hood on the driver side, and one behind the glove box on the passenger side. The radio-based fuses are in the fuse box located behind the glove box.
Fuse 10 (15A), marked F10, is the fuse for an “Audio unit, SYNC” radio, while fuse 24 (7.5A), marked F24, is the fuse for an “Audio unit.” Because I have a SYNC-based radio, F24 is rightfully missing; F10 appears in the top right group of fuses. (See below.)
With the car off and the key extracted from the ignition switch, I removed F10, waited five seconds, then replaced the fuse.
It’s been five days since this occurred and the problem has not resurfaced.
The Hong Kong-based start-up lofree is manufacturing a typewriter-inspired mechanical keyboard that was recently crowdfunded at Indiegogo. I purchased one for $79. It arrived on 12 June 2017.
Keyboard Layout: Numeric and Function Rows Misaligned
The main video on the campaign’s homepage claims — at time 0:48 — that the lofree keyboard “features the exact same keyboard layout as Apple’s Magic Keyboard.”
This isn’t true, and many people have expressed their discontent about this in the Comments section of the product’s Indiegogo page.
The numeric row and the function row of keys have been shifted to the right by a key, effectively forcing touch typists to re-learn how to type.
If you’re willing to re-learn the layout and this will be your only keyboard, then stop reading. For the rest of us who use multiple machines, however, the layout is unacceptable.
Keyboard Layout: Fix
Lofree advised me (and others) to use Karabiner to fix the keyboard layout, but Karabiner doesn’t work in macOS Sierra. Thus, I set out to create a layout that works in all modern versions of Mac OS X.
The layout re-aligns the numeric row back to the standard position, not the function row. The back tick/tilde key, now a dead key, is placed to the left of the delete, and the toggling you’d get with command + ` (back tick) is converted to a three-key combination: command + control + 1.
As for reliability, I’ve used the layout for two weeks in Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and macOS 10.12 Sierra without incident.
In February 2012, I purchased a Lacie iamaKey, which carries a 2-year warranty. Seventeen months later, in July of 2013, the drive stopped working—it wouldn’t mount in Mac, Windows, or Linux. Nothing I tried was able to revive it; Lacie replaced it. (I had to provide LaCie with proof of my having destroyed the broken drive before they would replace it.)
Eighteen months later, the replacement died—the drive became write-protected, and the protection could not be removed. The replacement drive only carries a 3-month warranty, so no replacement for the replacement. (The replacement was destroyed because I’m showing my disdain for this company.)
So, the original drive failed about a year and a half after I purchased it, and its replacement died exactly a year and a half later. Perhaps a coincidence.
These drives look cool, are convenient to carry, and are designed to be carted around on a keychain with other keys. They are, however, too unreliable. I have a SanDisk Cruzer that is about 8 years old, is encased in plastic, and has taken a beating since 2006. It works perfectly.
In the summer of 2014, I was approached by Packt Publishing to review a book about Max/MSP. Since I was in the planning stages of writing my own book, I thought it would be a good learning experience.
Four months later, in November 2014, Packt released the book, Multimedia Programming Using Max/MSP and TouchDesigner. Overall, it was a good—and fast—experience in understanding the back-and-forth of technical reviewing and editing.