Background: I was in the third wave of TREGers, and my apologies for not reporting information earlier. My wife had major emergency surgery two weeks ago just after my TB arrived. Thanks for thinking about asking how she is doing. She is doing great.
The Experience: I approached TREG a bit different and in manner inconsistent with my personality style—I approached it as hypothetical “typical” end-user who reads documentation as a last resort. I also tried to pretend that I did not know as much as I did about the TextBlade and that I had perhaps the unrealistic expectation that it was just another keyboard—though albeit super cool keyboard—and thus had better act like a regular keyboard. I assumed the new user would know, or soon discover, about the green layer because it is printed on the TB and he would naturally wonder where did all the other keys go like the numbers and symbols. My alter ego for this exercise, I named Bubba—a good southern USA name, with the inference of having a reddish tint to his neck. [No offense intended.]
Bubba’s first experience was the unboxing. He (um, I) was quick to find the TB ready for use, and quickly snapped it together and saw the reassuring and intriguing little landing light show when it powered up. My jaw dropped and I said under my breadth, “Golly!” I instantly unsnaps it and re-snaps it together so I could watch it power down and up again. “Man, I wish Luana was home to watch this.” I quickly discovered the accessories box and set it aside for Luana, since she always like the latest in accessorizing. I then was ready to type on it. So I wake up my iPad and startup Notes and start typing. Man these keys feel great, so light, but hey where did my typing go. Stupid thing, doesn’t even work.
Hey, I remember something about linking things. So I fired up the TextBlade.app I had installed and setup when I got the shipping notification. Bubba quickly skimmed the menu for linking. Let’s see…Settings, Maps, Jumps, Legends, Demos, Macros… Umm, let’s try Settings. Nothing here, and man what is all of this stuff. Maybe the “Apply” button would make my iPad figure out that it needs a TextBlade to do anything and automatically fix things. Well this is progress. It says “No TextBlades Detected”. Blades? I only got one, and I just want this one to work. But with great resolve, I follow the instructions, “Snap your TextBlade together and press Start”. I did this and watched the light show again—nice, but I can't find the “Start”. I carefully examine each key and not a one is labeled “Start”. Hang-on. There is at the bottom of the screen a help section: “Are your blades connected? ”. Blades, again—Dang, I only bought one, maybe I do need more than one. Not doing no Demo, that is for sissies. Next: “Paired with this Tablet? ”. Now, this is more promising. Last time, I was paired up with anyone was at the church square dance last fall. I quickly pressed and was expecting it to say, “No”, but it came back with some great helpful advice. Uh Oh. We got a game here, I need to see the screen and the instructions at the same time. So Bubba whipped out is gold colored—just like daddies front tooth—iPhone and followed the instructions there. Ok, Bluetooth settings. On. Check. No other devices. What did I do wrong. Bluetooth on then off. Nothin. So I switch over to my iPad and do the same thing. Still no other devices. I look at the TextBlade and realize that the landin lights have went away. Maybe it got tired of waiting for the incoming connection and quit. So I pull the TextBlade a part and re-snap it together. Bingo. Landin lights and all, and more importantly the “Accessory” shows up on my iPhone just like the instructions said. But now I wonder if I need to go dig out that Accessories box I left for Luana. I went ahead and selected the Accessory and it asked me to type in a big honkin number in the TextBlade. Man, you should of seen my mouth drop when I discover that the numbers were all green on the TextBlade and the only green shift key looked more like a green house. I hold down the green house and type the number and Boom…it says my TextBlade 46DD is connected on my phone. Hallelujah. I lucked out, that my number did not contain a “1”, since I was holding down this key to get the green layers. [Note: Bubba has not figured out yet that the green layers are accessible by holding down the SpaceBlade.]
I switch to Notes and type away and learn that the most popular key is the delete key. I say to myself, “Bubba it gonna take some time getting use to this new fangled contraption.” I then turned my focus on upgrading to big screen by “pairing” to my iPad….You know we are headed for trouble because Bubba does not know about slots….To Be Continued…I will post more on Bubba’s initial experience, as time allows.
The Question: I was trying to answer in this first episode was “Can my non-techie dad handle a TextBlade unboxing?” My answer so far is yes, but only because my dad won't let something like this beat him. My mom would have called me, the first time she got stuck. My mom might have gotten farther because she would have watched the demo. Conclusion unboxing is not for everyone in its current state.
I would add there is a lot that WayTools could do to improve the experience. And I am expecting this all to fall in place as they put together a quick start guide. I generated several bug reports related to Bubba’s experience and WT was very receptive to this type of input.