Dusting Off my TextBlade

With the move from my usual place of work, which doesn’t allow Bluetooth (or any RF) devices, I’ve been able to once again use my TB for work. It’s been over two years and have only brought it out for some extended travel. This time it’s been 6 months since last use and I was surprised to see that the battery was only 1 LED shy of a full charge. That’s excellent given my TB is over 3 years old. The only issues I had were poor connectivity between the blades (got the Battlestar Galactica LED pattern) and a sticky Space blade. Cleaned the contacts, exercised the Space blade a bit, paired with my work Windows laptop and was off and running…well not exactly running. Still working through remembering the different layers, but am glad to have a chance to use the TB regularly again. At least until I go back to the hole with no RF. Will try to provide updates on my experience and any differences I notice since I last used the TB as my day to day keyboard.

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ABQgeek - wired mode in new infrastructure firmware should solve those rf no-fly zone scenarios.

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Sounds interesting. If you have any specs or info I can pass by the IT mafia at my work location once we are back up and running after the COVID isolation, let me know.

Plugs straight into USB port, charges and runs concurrently, presents as standard wired usb keyboard to host device. Optimum latency, and no possibility of rf interference.

Most Bluetooth keyboards don’t offer a wired mode, but treg experience (like yours) has demonstrated the value of supporting this feature. Another reason we built the new firmware infrastructure.

People get to liking the advantages of TextBlade, and want it to work universally across all their use cases, including those where Bluetooth is unavailable. Ergo the new code platform.

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Any need for a TextBlade application to run on the attached computer? If not, how is the TextBlade configured for operation with the particular operating system? Can it be pre-configured using the app on a device before bringing it into the work center? Does the TextBlade require any data or info from the connected computer.

Just thinking through any security concerns.

I can only speak for the existing TextBlade set up; yes, TextBlade can be configured per Jump slot. I ordinarily have four different device configurations on my TextBlade at any one time. TextBlade can communicate codes to the host device to ‘appear’ like a US English keyboard and act like a different keyboard map from your finger’s perspective.

Thought I’d do a bit of theorizing here, based on posts since we first knew firmware was changing. Partly because I suspect people see your comments above and forget what was said before.

So, I think the rationale went like this:

Primary reason: We have filled up memory which will cause a huge problem with support. This is because to even fix a discovered bug, we may have to rewrite some other part of the firmware just to make room for the fix. Such a situation means it takes much longer to fix AND you could create new bugs when rewriting other sections. Every single time something needs fixing.

Second reason: Same as primary reason because it is that critical! :slight_smile:

Third reason: Yep, same as primary. Because no matter what benefits I list further on, even if they didn’t exist, the primary reason much be dealt with.

Fourth reason: We know we will be looking to add new capabilities, which will require even more space, which we don’t have. So the rewrite for the primary reason happens to solve this one too!

Fifth reason: After working through so many issues discovered during Treg, at the same time we do a rewrite, we now know how to not only same space, but make it more energy efficient, quicker (changing slots, etc).

At least, that’s how I see it. One critical reason which all the rest happen to benefit from.

@ABQgeek, do you know if the IT mafia require that Bluetooth be switched off?

@WayTools, will this be possible with the new infrastructure?

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That’s what I was wondering too.

It sounds like the wired adapter might turn BT off automatically when connected? Is there/can there be an option to leave BT running while connected.

Or, the better way to ask is can a toggle be added to switch BT transmitter off (if/when required) while using the wired adapter.

Leaving Bluetooth on would allow for an instantaneous Jump between the Bluetooth and USB hosts; an option for Bluetooth on or off would help.

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Gmadden + JMacRury - yes, exactly.

You want to still be able jump to other hosts via Bluetooth, even while wired to the local host.

You also need ability to turn off Bluetooth completely, if you want TextBlade to go radio silent.

Both are supported by the new firmware infrastructure.

Above are features we never imagined you’d need until we had collected input from current users.

These are more great examples of why we built new infrastructure.

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BT and other RF emissions must be off. Most common things (fitbits, watches, headphones, etc.) are not brought into the workarea.

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Curious, is this due to the nature of your work, and is it a technical reason or a security reason? Or is it a preference of the company?
How do you shield the laptops and monitors so they don’t radiate?

Preference of the company mostly for security/privacy info sort of concerns. Probably reduces some vulnerabilities wrt those concerns. Having fun though, getting back into using the TB daily. I’m seeing some improvements in areas I had problems with before except for my right “pinky”, I don’t have issues hitting the wrong key. Getting close to making some boundary adjustments for that finger as I’m fairly consistent on the mistakes I make.

It’s been interesting getting back into using my TB as my daily driver. Hasn’t been all pleasurable as my unit tends to on occasion at start up send out a continuous stream of characters. Most often ‘spaces’ from the space blade, but sometimes the YUHJNM key. It’s interesting that it isn’t at the fast rate one sees when holding down a key but a ‘once every second’ or so. Sometimes all it takes to recover is a power off and reboot. Other times it takes powering off, tapping the offending key a bit harder than normal and then restarting. Once I get it resolved, it doesn’t reoccur until I startup a new session. But as I said, it doesn’t happen every time I start, just more often than I would like.
However, it looks like daily driving with the TB is about to come to an end. I’ll be headed back to the office where RF devices are not allowed. I’ve enjoyed the short finger movements required for the TB so much that I decided to breakdown and ordered a Planck keyboard today. Anyone have any experience in switching back and forth between the TB and a Planck? I intend to use the TB at home and on travel for all my other keyboarding needs.

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I regularly switch between a Textblade, Planck and Keyboardio Model 01 with no problems.

I switch between Colemak on TB and QWERTY on laptop keyboard, with 0 switch confusion. I’m not able to type those layouts the other way round, the shape of the keyboard is included in the muscle memory :smile:

Good to know. I plan to create a TB layout for the Planck to help with going back and forth. Got a few weeks to wait for the Planck to come in though.

I’ve done some of the lifting with a hand wired Planck if you want either a jumpstart or a sparring buddy (there’s a lot of optimising I could do)?

The rabbit hole is deep when it comes to modding the mappings on the Planck.
I am using a lot of leader key macros; tap-dance sequences; auto-shift and now have just started using combos.
The possibilities are really endless; since the mappings are stored in the KB you it doesn’t matter what you connect it to.