ASCII Keyboard Tester PCB and Kits


nijssen has released the second version of his ASCII keyboard tester, tested with a Datanetics replica keyboard for the Apple-1 and an Apple ][ keyboard. Schematic is attached.

Kaiweets KOT936 Soldering Iron Review

I was approached by Kaiweets recently, asking if we'd consider reviewing their KOT936 Electric Soldering Station. We don't get requests like this often, and especially not for soldering irons. In 2005, Dr. Webster wrote a scathing review of the ColdHeat Classic. For years, it was a top Google search result for "ColdHeat", prompting ColdHeat and Weller representatives to register at Applefritter and post rebuttals in a long forum discussion full of ColdHeat criticisms. ColdHeat is no longer in business.

That's why I was surprised when Jane from Kaiweets wrote me, saying "I browsed your site carefully and I noticed that there're some posts about soldering and related tools. So I think it would be a perfect fit to get our product exposed there." How carefully did Jane browse Applefritter? Is she aware of our history with ColdHeat and that confident in the KOT936's abilities? I normally ignore emails like this, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to put another soldering iron in Dr. Webster's hands. I accepted, and gave Kaiweets the mailing address of our resident soldering iron torturer, Dr—"it's such a pile of junk it's unbelievable it's still on the market"—Webster. He received the iron for free. Kaiweets has had no other influence on the editorial process. Will he like the KOT936? Will he destroy another soldering iron company? Read on to find out! –Tom Owad

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Comparing macOS file managers for remote server access (QSpace, Nimble Commander, Forklift)

I've been using Dolphin on KDE Plasma a lot and it's made me realize just how much the shortcomings in Finder limit how I work. Finder doesn't have good support for remote volumes, and a lot of the files I want to access are via SFTP and webDAV. I'm increasingly using a variety of computers, mostly running macOS or KDE Plasma, with Nextcloud to sync files. On some of these computers, I don't want everything synced, but do want fast occasional access. This is particularly the case on macOS devices, where I don't want to pay Apple's storage premium for disposable computers. What I want is to be able to connect to my Nextcloud server via WebDAV and access those files with the speed and convenience of a local file system. I also want to be able to access my Debian servers via SFTP.

This article offers a comparison of macOS file managers, with a focus on WebDAV and SFTP connectivity.


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