Re: new UL owner has questions/grumbles

Brian Smithson (
Wed, 15 May 1991 19:18:58 CDT

> From: pastor@PRC.Unisys.COM
> Subject: new UL owner has questions/grumbles
> To:
> Cc: pastor@gem.PRC.Unisys.COM
> Date: Wed, 15 May 91 10:28:20 -0400
> 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?

It sucks, but I've gotten used to it. I also don't like the short vertical
key travel and the position of the cursor keys is a problem sometimes.

> [...] 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?

SETUP should do it. You can change the clock speed and the brightness.
Be sure to Exit and not Quit.

> [...] 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?

I've found that it can be difficult to use in a window seat on a plane
without closing the window shade. I kind of doubt that additional
controls would help -- it's just too bright. A CRT wouldn't even fare
very well (no pun intended).

> 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?

If you notice people in trucks with antenna arrays following you, or if
you suddenly find yourself blinded by aircraft landing lights coming your
way, I'd go back to using the RF blobs. :-)

> 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...

Good idea. It's another one of those 9-pin DIN plugs, like the RS232 plug,
but with a key to prevent it from being applied to the RS232 socket.
I haven't been able to find one. Anyone have a good connector catalog
out there?

> 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)?

Enquiring minds want to know!

-Brian Smithson
 Motorola Inc., Computer Group, Commercial Systems Division
 10700 N. De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014 USA, (408)366-4104, {apple | pyramid}!motcsd!brian