new UL owner has questions/grumbles

Wed, 15 May 91 10:28:20 -0400

I got my UL from DAK yesterday afternoon, and played with it for a few hours.
I'll spare you an exhaustive enumeration of my first impressions, and cut to
the chase.

I find the keyboard generally pretty usable, except the row of function keys,
which are more like chiclets. This wouldn't be a horrible problem, if not for
the fact that the ESC key's up there, and as a VI/EMACS user this is not
appealing. Aside from being a small target, it seems flimsier than the rest
of the keyboard. Comments?

The screen is decent under roomlight; I haven't noticed the smearing that has
been described, but I'm running at the low processor speed to save battery.
I'm also running with the config switch set to low brightness, and this is one
of my other problems: it doesn't appear to me that there is any way for me to
change the brightness in realtime -- i.e., without shutting down and
rebooting. I think that I remember that the switch settings don't take effect
until a reboot, and running SETUP doesn't appear to either. Is this so?
There is a keystroke sequence for setting processor speed; is there one that I
haven't found yet for changing screen brightness?

Finally, I qualified my general comment on the screen with "under roomlight"
because I tried to use the machine on the train and bus in to work today. The
train wasn't too bad, although the high-gloss screen made it tough to work
around reflections, but when I got on the bus the screen became virtually
unreadable. I never tried this with my T1000SE, but my impression was that
the SE screen was much better, and because you could adjust both brightness
and contrast you had a lot more control. Any comments on this?

BTW, I am assuming that the RF police will not come and take me away if I
don't use the modem cord supplied with the UL -- it will just emit more RF
interference. Is this correct? What's in the RF blobs anyway?

BTW2: has anyone looked into extenders for the power-supply cord on the
machine side, or is this another RF no-no? Having the machine on that short a
leash is a real pain, especially if you're *really* using it on your lap...

BTW3: the docs mention an external charger; anyone know anything about this
(like how many batteries it will hold, how long it takes to charge, and how
much it costs)?