A More Modern M0LLY

And by modern I mean in the layout and USB-C connection, not the price

After the M0110 Macintosh Keyboard, Apple released the M0110A Macintosh Plus Keyboard with a number pad in 1985. It’s a little bit less beautiful to me, but the modern versions of it are more usable and Thekey.company has a version in Polycarbonate (fancy plastic) with extra-special metal plates, a metal weight, and a small USB Hub, and it is called M0LLY

Sadly the price for the M0LLY group buy is a whopping $500 which puts it out of my territory, but if you’re interested you’ve got until April 23rd and it is expected to ship in July.

The M0ii0 + KaWaii PCB kit

A tiny version of an ancient Apple keyboard

This is the M0ii0 + KaWaii PCB mechanical keyboard by Yohe, it looks like it is about $266 USD in beige, blue gray, or dark blue, but it is only currently available through the booth.pm webstore in Japan during this group buy. The keyboard layout looks like it would be a real challenge to get used to. If you’re up to the challenge, check it out at this link and there is an optional parts kit here that appears to just be an extra PCB and plate so you can have an extra if something goes wrong with the original. The group buy is open until April 25th.

The layout of the M0ii0 + KaWaii is based off of the original Apple M0110 from 1984 which had a few more keys. I absolutely love that layout and shrinking it down to make it extra small just makes it cooler, even if it is more challenging.

The Secret Life of Components: Glue

Only one more episode after this

Tim Hunkin is back at it again, this time he’s teaching us about the wonderful world of glue with a little history and some real-world demonstrations both in his workshop and at his arcades. It is those demonstrations and Hunkin’s presentation that really make these videos work, and turn what might be a completely boring subject, like glue, into something fun.

One of the most interesting things about glue is how it is used today in phones, laptops, and some monitors. Usually glue is used to hold glass on to the body of the device instead of something with a visible mounting system. I used to think knowing about the glue trick these companies use devalued the devices because glue seems like a cheap answer to that problem, but it must be the most practical solution or there would be a replacement after all these years. I’m sure the people who fix these devices don’t appreciate having to heat up and remove the bond, just to have to re-do it again and hope you get it right without pinching any of the tiny connecting cables.

As always, I recommend checking out Hunkin’s website for more information about The Secret Life of Components series and consider pitching a few buckaroos Hunkin’s way using the links there if you’ve enjoyed the show. The Secret Life of Components has already covered Chain, LEDs, Hinges, Switches, Springs, and Connectors. Next week: Bearings!

Apple Announced a New Infomercial for 4/20

It’s the weed number.

Apple, has an event on the 20th at 10AM Pacific time with the subject line “Spring loaded.” Surprisingly, the event was leaked by Siri the night before it was announced.

The biggest rumor has been for new iPad Pros and I’ve even seen the idea that they might be getting a version of Xcode this year. Shipping code for the tablet that was developed on it may be a real maturity step for this now eleven year old platform after it got mouse and keyboard support last year.

Microsoft Breaking Java Minecraft on Raspberry Pi with Microsoft Accounts

Minecraft was acquired by Microsoft about 7 years ago, but 2021 is the year where Minecraft is finally switching to Microsoft’s account system and an updated launcher that will leave out players who have gotten the Java version to work on the Raspberry Pi platform in the transition.

There is a free version of Minecraft for the Raspberry Pi called Minecraft: Pi Edition and while that version is in some ways more accessible to modifications the Pi Edition isn’t compatible with Minecraft Java or Minecraft Bedrock worlds and servers. Minecraft: Pi Edition can’t even run in fullscreen and hasn’t received updates since 2016.

Because Minecraft Java can run on any platform that can handle Java, users of the Raspberry Pi have been able to run it in the past as long as they had Minecraft Java claimed on their Mojang account.

Players have also noticed that any new Minecraft Java purchasers today get Microsoft accounts to log into the Minecraft website instead of Mojang accounts. All Mojang accounts will also be forced to switch to Microsoft accounts that don’t work with the old Java system and only work in Mojang’s new launcher that uses the Microsoft login system. The newest Minecraft launcher is a native app on Linux, macOS, and Windows that isn’t cross-platform.

Not everybody can afford hundreds of dollars to purchase a gaming computer in 2021, but it doesn’t take a lot to run Minecraft Java, and the low-cost Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 have been powerful enough to unofficially run Minecraft Java for a long time now. Unfortunately those users will be locked out of the platform unless players can convince Microsoft and Mojang to bring the new launcher to the Raspberry Pi or developers with projects like the alternative launcher project MultiMC can figure out a workaround. There is one other possibility, x86 emulation on the ARM-based Raspberry Pi might get fast enough to run the official Java editions of Minecraft and their Microsoft-account-supporting launcher but that probably won’t happen on the Raspberry Pi 3 or 4.

I bought a Raspberry Pi 4 for my son earlier this year to run Minecraft, but I was surprised to see that the Microsoft account was an insurmountable barrier to playing the game. Java is supposed to be cross-platform but Microsoft has found a way to remove that cross-platform support by tying it to their login system and launcher.