I just received my TREG unit, this thing is AMAZING! - Verxion

Kind of a strange update today. It may not make sense to read, so bear with me, this is new ground and kind of hard to articulate.

So I’ve been dutifully doing my TapTyping practice on a daily basis. It has been more difficult than I’d like to admit to fit that time into each day. The practice, if I’m honest, has been pretty frustrating. I had sooooo many bad habits to more easily tap the letters of the keys without using the correct finger.

A few glaring examples:

  1. Right index for b, always, for decades!!!

  2. I basically just flat out never typed the letter z without looking at it. I didn’t realize this until I began touch typing, but it is just a plain fact, I was ALWAYS looking at the keyboard to type the letter z.

  3. There is some AMAZING subconscious ability in my brain to type m versus n. I -cannot- tell you which key is in which place, but on a traditional keyboard, my fingers do the right thing. Put them in the home position, and I get them wrong all the time.

  4. I type BOTH v and b with my RIGHT INDEX FINGER on a traditional keyboard. I totally don’t get that. I don’t know why or how I began doing it, but I cannot do that on the TextBlade!!!

  5. I type a lot of “!”’s, and “-“‘s so I’m having a bit of growing pains using the spacebar to type them on the TextBlade.

  6. Yes, I -still- accidentally type enter when I don’t mean to.

  7. This one is likely all me, but it is very frustrating. I -STILL- have a horrendous time with the mod keys. I need to get this down because it is a real empediment to me being able to code with this keyboard.

My typing speed in TapTyping is very disappointing. I get, at best, 44 wpm, but more typically 22 wpm in their examples. GIven my 80+ wpm (with peak 100wpm) on a traditional keyboard, this feels exceedingly bad to see after every test. :frowning:

But in the last couple of days, I’ve noticed something. I am comfortable enough to “get by” with the TextBlade. And between iOS autocorrect and the need to ponder a bit when I’m composing (ie I’m not actually typing full tilt all the time when composing emails or coding), I can type on the TextBlade and not be as badly impaired as the “numbers” would seem to imply.

Further, and this is REALLY hard to explain - despite my typing speed on the tests being “horrible”, there are three things that drove me today to switch to TextBlade full time, even for coding:

  1. I am having occasional “bursts”, where my stream of consciousness allows me to type a set of words or even a whole sentence without any errors, and to do so at a rapid pace. This means I get a feel for what it feels like to type on the TextBlade at maybe 60 or even 70 wpm for a tiny burst

  2. Those tiny bursts of speed allow me to realize that when I do get this thing down, I’m going to be FASTER than my old method on traditional keyboards, which is VERY appealing and exciting to me!! :slight_smile:

  3. While I recognize that I will need to continue to use TapTyping on a regular, daily basis, typing on the TextBlade gives me the advantage that it doesn’t FEEL like work for works’ sake - it feels like being productive, just a slower kind of productive. And that (for me) feels more appealing than spending six hours a day practicing with some app…

Anyway, I’ve got a long way to go, but I am getting a better picture of where I am going to end up, and I cannot wait to get there!!! :slight_smile:

-Verxion

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I wanted to share my keyboard setup for the moment. I have a TINY k380 to use along with my TextBlade. If I need to hammer out a super quick IM response or use the F keys, it is my quick rescue. I am using the TextBlade for everything else. :slight_smile:

-Verxion

Bingo! My typing was slower than yours (in the 50s) and I was already touch typing everything except numbers and a bunch of symbols using correct fingers so I could improve pretty quick. But even when well below my normal speed, I could get by and it felt so much easier to type that I had no desire at all even then to use a regular keyboard.

I read someplace long ago about the importance of typing for kids who will be slower. Had to do with the ability to think of write at the same time. They said that once a kids gets into the 20 wpm range, they already improve their writing skills!

While I don’t do this as much as I used to, I still find myself just wanting to type so I’ll do a test or two for fun!

Verxion - for function keys - those are are already built into your TextBlade

F1 - F10 and even F11 - F20 are right there on the same number key locations.

Touch KL chord on home row and you have the function layer. Most find that easier to access than 6th row + Fn shift on legacy keyboards.

It’s in the app guide info, but you haven’t had a walkthrough call yet, so we should schedule one to go over those finer details for you.

Your progress learning 8 finger touch typing is impressive. That usually takes many weeks no matter what keyboard you’re using. Hope TextBlade is making that easier for you.

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Holding a baby at the moment so no TextBlade use in my short term future until my wife gets back from shopping. Thanks for the chord help. I was reading the guide and misinterpreted the chords shown as how to type the function key itself.

I very much look forward to the official call. :slight_smile:

-Verxion

I’m going to write a long update tomorrow. Things are looking UP! I’m so much more comfortable with the TextBlade as of now. I had some urgent deliverables at work this week that prevented me from both coding on the TextBlade as well as from doing my daily typing practice on it either.

Tonight though, I had four hours of mandatory Foster Care training I needed to attend (which was actually SPECTACULAR for a change), during which I took notes on my iPhone X while typing on the TextBlade. I felt like it went really well, measured my sentence typing speed afterwards and I’m up to 50wpm now!

Also, fully half the class wanted to see what the TextBlade was about. :slight_smile:

More details tomorrow.

-Verxion

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So I missed my self imposed deadline of yesterday to post this. Sorry about that.

In a nutshell, it goes like this:

I’ve now built up muscle memory for things like (these may seem small but they AREN’T):

  1. The exclamation point. (!)

  2. Numbers so that I don’t ever even have to look anymore, (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0)

  3. The dash key (I use this more than I realized!!! (-) )

  4. The parenthesis ( () )

  5. The colon (needed for smilies!!! :slight_smile: )

  6. The percent key (I use this while coding %)

  7. The vertical bar (used in coding as well ( | which is a tad bit harder because it uses the shift too)

  8. Curly braces (again, used while coding: ( {, } )

  9. Brackets (coding kind of sucks in terms of how many of these specail characters I need! ( [, ] )

  10. Less than, greater than (essential in my coding: < >, these feel weird to me still, but I can find them by touch)

  11. The slashes, again, needed for coding; ( / \ )

  12. The arrow keys, including the ability to go to beginning, end of lines, documents (which is great because it is now consistent across platforms, though I think I’ll look into reversing the positions for document versus line)

In a nutshell, I’m not typing at my previous speed yet (85 - 90 wpm vs. 50 wpm on TouchBlade), but I’m already typing TONS of characters I’ve never EVER touch typed in my life!!!

The reason this list is important to me is that none of these things I listed above are things I’ve ever been able to type without looking. NONE of them!!!

I can now type them all without looking on the TouchBlade! So I’m expecting that once my speed goes up, it will REALLY go up because the typing test I took didn’t include these characters.

Two other things:

  1. For some reason, one of my initial problems with the TextBlade was that if I made a typo, I seemed to flail at fixing it. Hard to explain, but on a traditional keyboard, I knew if I made a typo, I could hit backspace and get back to typing right away. Initially, on this, I’d hit backspace and typo over and over. Essentially, if I missed the key, I’d miss it over and over until I looked, at which point I felt like I must have been an idiot to have missed the key because it was right where I thought I’d been typing, but I wasn’t. And first try after looking ALWAYS worked. Now I am much more consistent, and that feels sooooo much better, which brings me to:

  2. I just REALLY enjoy typing on the TextBlade!!! I’m not saying that to rub it in. I’m saying it because it is important. It truly is different, and if it is different but NOT enjoyable to use, people might not put in the effort, and that could lead to it failing. So it is AWESOME how enjoyable it is to use, and I take that as a very good sign of the chances of it succeeding.

This whole thing was typed on my beloved TextBlade, without ever even once looking at it. Yes, it has reached that coveted position. :wink:

-Verxion

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I suspect that’s the same thing I experienced then I’d think the TB messed up. I was sure (by feel) that I hit the right spot, saw the wrong result, and would move my finger further in the direction it should be - and still get the wrong result. Might repeat one or more times before looking down and, even after all that shifting, see that my finger was still in the wrong place! I suspect the increased problem is because you are on the same keycap and while you can feel the ridges for each character area, it isn’t going to be as obvious as a whole different key cap!

Verxion - Wow! Many thanks for this robust chronicle of becoming a touch typist.

For forum members, it’s a fascinating look at the process of advancing from improvised techniques, to true touch-typing - where your eyes are on the content, and not the keys.

Progressing from 30 years of habit, to full 8 finger typing, entirely by feel - that’s a nontrivial leap, with any keyboard.

The notion that TextBlade’s unique attributes can actually facilitate this - that’s been one of our highest hopes for this new architecture. It’s so great to see that playing out with you and many other customers who’ve written us.

Smartphones have now become such amazingly powerful computers, it simply must get easier for us to touch type, anywhere.

Besides your ultimate speed getting faster than before, and besides the reduced physical labor, there is an even more fundamental benefit to be had:

Your cognitive load gets relieved, so your quality of intellectual synthesis goes up. It’s simply easier and more fluid to form and express your thoughts if your visual cortex does not get diverted to hunt for keys.

Most often, when users say it just feels better to write this way, it is that relief from the cognitive stress that underpins the benefit they can feel.

It’s so great to see this, thank you for posting Verxion.

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One other tidbit - I’ve now had the TextBlade for roughly a month, and decided to charge it “just in case” (I didn’t want to unexpectedly run out of power). It appeared to show it still had 30% power, which means even with all the diagnostics on for TREG testing, it is definitely capable of month long runs on a single charge. :slight_smile:

For me, to have a keyboard making my AirPods and Apple Pencil look power hungry is kind of amazing, :slight_smile:

Also, just for completeness, I’ve now reverted to the standard (default) boundaries. This feels more like I’ve mastered touch typing better than anything else. I had changed the boundaries because I kept missing certain keys. Now that I have their positions memorized better, I’ve got far fewer failures, and when I do fail, I know it was me and why and can correct it very quickly.

I notice a few things remain from my improvised non touch typing - I -still- find myself trying to reach for the “y” key with my left index finger. That fails every time. Oddly enough I also (though less frequently) end up reaching for the “t” key with my left index. Clearly, in fifth grade, when I first learned to type, I didn’t think my method through very well. :wink:

A couple other bad habits that get me are right index for “b” and left index for “c”. That last one is really hard to stop. Oh, I also go for the “p” key with the wrong finger as well. I’m documenting this stuff here for myself more than anything else. It should allow me to better assess my progress down the road.

Finally, I’ve reached the point that I no longer have my Logitech keyboard on my desk at work. I’m all in on TextBlade now, even for coding. This simple act, while slowing me down a bit in the short term, is, IMHO, the fastest way to improve my accuracy.

-Verxion

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I want your battery. All I can get is about 4-5 days

H2guy - pls ping us on your treg support thread, and we can run a battery profiler from the cloud to confirm your system’s battery health.

Battery follow-up - Per phone call, h2Guy battery life checks out fine.

30-35 hours operating time per charge is normal spec.

So depending on number of hours of typing per day, it typically goes between one week and one month on a single charge.

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I’ve been doing typing practice sessions plus actual use for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half per day. So that falls right in line with the battery life Waytools just quoted.

Today, however, I did a full nine hours of typing on the TextBlade. So I suppose my need to charge will increase dramatically now.

I don’t care, this thing is AMAZING!

I’ll have some stuff to post about using it all day long in the next day or two. Initial thought though is that the transition to it being the ONLY keyboard requires some investment (which is done, though not as much as I should have), but once you get over some initial hurdles, this thing is absolutely unreal.

The customizability of the TextBlade as well as the thought and care that went into the “as it comes” layout/design is immensely obvious. I’m actually in awe, and I don’t say that lightly. I realize not everyone is going to dig super deep into what this thing can do, but it is unreal.

Also, for the first time EVER in my life (since the commandline days), I was writing code, compiling, and debugging without ever looking at the keyboard. The ability to nearly immediately type numbers, F keys, and most symbols without ever moving your hands… I’m in love.

I guess that got a little longer for my INITIAL thoughts on today than I’d intended but I’ll leave it as is. I think I’m two or three days I’ll go more in depth.

-Verxion

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That’s what I get. Recently usually 31-32+ hours. I think it fits the original promotion of it as a mobile keyboard - something people would use for those odd times they aren’t able to use a regular keyboard. But must of us have found it is the only keyboard we want to use so it gets far more daily use. But even with exceptionally heavy use like 16 hours a day, you can go two days. I suspect for most people, 8 hours a day would be a lot, so at least 4 days. Considering I charge my phone and watch every day, this is just part of the routine - except I don’t have to charge the TB as often as those two things.

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Re - charge life, some info on our design goals and reasoning -

  • Phones set the toughest requirements for new keyboard tech

  • Phones are the smallest and lightest computers we own

  • So every spec for TextBlade was set by what phones demand

  • Other platforms are much easier. If we’re good on phones, the bigger stuff is fine.

  • Travel size had to be much smaller and lighter than a phone - 1/3 size, 1.5 Oz

  • Yet battery had to last much longer than phone - 5 to 30 days vs 1 day for phone

To keep it small, TextBlade is all keys - there’s no ‘box’ or electronics brick at all.

So our battery had to fit inside just one key, the space bar.

We were able to get 5X-30X better run time, with a battery just 1/10 the size of a phone’s.

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I’m now ready to post what I would call some reasonably informed thoughts on the TextBlade, trying to go chronologically:

  1. Initial impressions, even in my memory right now, were and remain SPECTACULAR. You truly have no idea from the videos or photos what this thing is like in your hands, in daily use, and ESPECIALLY in the depth of the truly pro level features it has.

  2. I love the keytravel. I remember reading some people’s posts where they said it was the best feeling keyboard they’ll ever used and I have to admit I was skeptical, I’ve found over the years that people, especially online, seem to “forgive” shortfalls if something else (say the cool factor) is significant enough. So I read those posts assuming what they meant was “the key feel is very good, and because this thing is so portable, I consider it to be better than anything else I’ve used”. In actual fact, the keys are spectacular! Even compared to other standard keys. I’ll put it this way to put it into perspective: If they made a standard layout/size keyboard with these keys (keytravel, mechanism, etc), I seriously think it would be incredibly popular, especially oh laptops. One other thing I think is worth mentioning on this front: The keys also have a reassuring sound. They aren’t loud at all but do have enough (and soft) of a sound to reassure you and give the feedback that I like having.

  3. Please remember I wasn’t a touch typist before getting the TextBlade, I was initially pulled in by the cool factor and portability, but my efficiency at typing was very poor at first. The angle of the keys meant my previously learned two finger method wasn’t usable on the TextBlade. Here are some ways this was manifest for me:

A. If I had limited time to type a long post here, I’d do it on a regular keyboard because it took too long to do with the TextBlade

B. If I had a lot to communicate to a co-worker, I’d use a regular keyboard rather than have them wait what felt like forever (more to me than them, honestly, because of going from 90 wpm to 15 wpm) for me to type things out.

C. I just lacked confidence. In retrospect, this stemmed largely from having to stop and really SEARCH for characters like @ or !. It is hard to explain, but I’ve prided myself on being able to type faster than “most” other people. At least of those I’m around, I’m the fastest typist. That meant I could rapidly send information to someone at work over IM or email. It meant sending out a long email to document a complicated finding was a task I looked forward to because it wou.d go quickly and would alleviate confusion instead of being a dreadful long chore. My initial use of the TextBlade was troubled by this in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I guess it was a bit of pride. I had feelings like… “what if they think I’ve suddenly become unable to type well?” And “what if they feel like I’m taking too long to respond” or “what if I end up having to send my response with typos in it just to try to send it in a reasonable amount of time?” For me, these were real feelings that impacted my willingness to use the TextBlade for all my daily activities.

  1. It felt (and still does actually) very strange to have to “shift” numbers to type them. In other words, to first have to hold a key down to type a number in. I guess after DECADES of typing numbers in without doing anything special, this just felt odd. It still feels odd. I find myself typing the letters instead of the numbers on occasion because I still forget. This is a VERY WORTHWHILE trade off though. I can now easily touch type all the numbers without looking, something I’d never done in decades of typing! And in addition, because of how they do function keys, I can touch type the function keys, which is VERY handy for coding. So the trade off is well worth it, just takes a while to overcome decades of muscle memory. And speaking of that…

  2. Learn to touch type before you get your TextBlade!!! That would have been huge for me. Instead, a huge part of my transition has ALSO been learning to type properly.

  3. I think for me, reaching just 40 wpm on the TextBlade was enough for me to be comfortable enough to transition. I’m now at 50 wpm and will get higher over time I’m sure. I can feel a huge improvement after just using the TextBlade for two days as my only keyboard!

  4. Some continued mistypes occur for me as I get used to the TextBlade. Most notably, I hit backspace instead of the letter p, less often return instead of ‘, and z remains difficult for me to consistently type. I have some issues with v/b n/m and r/t and y/u. If you look at a TextBlade, this comes down to me having problems around the characters that share the same physical key. It is going to take me some time. I feel it getting better the more I use it, and honestly the most difficulty stems from poor form on my part. My previous typing style had me hovering over the keyboard by several inches. If I do that with the TextBlade, my fingers lose their place. I need to stick closer to keys now and this feels different but will translate to increased typing speed from my fingers having less distance to travel. Time and practice will fix this, I am certain.

  5. There is no way I can express this well enough here, but the sheer depth of configuratiom is wholly unparalleled, I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain this, and I’ve failed, but this is my best bet: Some keyboards and mice have zero configurability to change things like what the keys do, macros, etc. And MANY people would say you don’t need to change that stuff. And for some people, that would be true. I’ve owned several 4+ button mice in my life. Some of them were fully customizable, some had effectively none. In a particularly bad situation, one I bought from Logitech began life with lots of customizability, but later software releases reduced this immensely to where I could no longer do what I’d done before. Then you get to those situations where you use a mouse or a keyboard on multiple operating systems. I’ve owned DOZENS of mice and keyboards over the years, and none of them handle multiple OS’s in a consistent way. And always there is one that is “primary” in terms of what you can adjust (ie, on windows you have lots of options but on OS X you don’t or vice versa). Granted, the APP to adjust things for the TextBlade is iOS specific, but once configured, those changes work equally well on each OS (windows, mac, iOS, android). Further, the sheer depth of what can be configured is off the charts. I’ll be honest, and I don’t like to be critical, but the documentation, to me anyway, isn’t as good as it could be. I would even go so far as to say it isn’t as good as it NEEDS to be in some cases, but I’m going to be working with Waytools to improve that. NONE of the documentation issues are such that they should delay general release, but I still want to help improve the situation.

In summary, the TextBlade is on the surface an alternative keyboard with immense portability. In depth, however, it is something truly extraordinary in a breadth of areas, some unexpected, many of them things not everyone will need, but surely everyone will need or at least appreciate some of them. The portability still blows my mind, as does the customization.

Waytools the company, the people, despite the impression you may get from the naysayers here and elsewhere, they have a heart, a soul, a desire to make something extraordinary, and it shows. The care with which this device has been crafted in every dimension from the hardware to the software, to even the layout of the shifted/chorded keys is remarkable to me. I mean that very sincerely. In almost every case that I’ve had the power to remap where things are on a keyboard, I’ve been able to make vast useability improvements almost immediately. The TextBlade is thought out so well, I haven’t had any need to do that. But the capability exists (i know, I used it to make changes I eventually realized I didn’t have to. :slight_smile:). One of the things that gives me confidence in the TextBlade is knowing that if I want to make any changes in the future, that I can.

Having used the TextBlade for nearly a month now, I am truly in awe of not only how much is packed into this tiny device, but HOW WELL it was packed in.

-Verxion

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I was only needing to break 10 years of habit, and still it took me about 8 months back when I learned to touch-type, and that was with Madame Harris walking up and down the rows of Selectrics swatting your hands with a rolled-up newspaper if you got out of line!

It would be in interesting test to take a bunch of non-touch typists and train them to touch type with some using the TB and some regular keyboard to see how long it took. I would want it broken down by speed as well since it is possible folks who already type fast the “wrong” way could be affected differently than those who aren’t so fast because they don’t type as much.

Re - learning to touch type -

One of the killer apps here for TextBlade is K-12 education.

If first graders with very small hands can easily reach with the correct finger, they won’t be prone to improvise or start off wrong.

8 keys for 8 fingers also means you never get lost - much less intimidating for children than a sea of 80 keys.

This makes learning to touch type much easier, and more fun.

If kids learn early and start off right, they’re advantaged for the rest of their lives.

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