First time poster, long time forum reader
Textblade ordered 23 January 2015
Applied for TREG April 2016
Received my TREG Textblade November 2017
Textblade currently mapped to the following devices:
Windows laptop (work)
Macbook Pro (home)
Layout – Qwerty
Location - Sydney, Australia
When, why, how?
I learnt to touch type in 1993 which seems like a long time ago now. The method of teaching was to basically have a tea towel over your hands (tied around your neck) and to carry out repetitive key exercises. In short, it worked and I would highly recommend it. Given that, I have always found texting and emailing on my phone and ipad to be intensely frustrating. My fingers just can’t keep up with my brain. I’d be out having a coffee or away on holiday and think I’d love to reply to that email but the thought if two finger typing my way through it would really annoy me. So, I ordered the textblade and thought, brilliant, solved that problem. By the end of 2015 I thought, oh well, it will be a nice Christmas present, in time for holiday travel. I frequently checked in to the forum and read the increasingly frustrated posts and of course felt the same frustration but didn’t really have anything to add and I still wanted a textblade!
I celebrated the beginning of the TREGs as to me that meant at least it was real and it worked. I loved all the positive reviews and enjoyed reading the intricacies of it all although the Waytools updates lose me on the detailed programming side of it. I’d check in once a month or so looking for progress and thinking it can’t be that far off now can it…? November 2017 rolled around and the phone rung with a big long phone number from Washington DC and I thought, damned spam calls. And the rest is history.
My Golden Ticket
My textblade was fedexed on a Tuesday and I tracked it daily (okay sometimes hourly) until its early arrival on Friday – an excellent international turn around I thought. I was beyond excited and didn’t really achieve much at work that day before or after arrival. I immediately paired it to my iphone 6+ and then had some issues connecting to my Windows work computer which turned out to be because the Bluetooth drivers weren’t up to date. Got there within an hour and started playing around. Given that I was running so late after procrastinating over the arrival of the textblade, I had a number of urgent emails to get out. I got increasingly frustrated with myself as I tried to type correctly, copy paste text, would hit buttons simultaneously and lights would come up on the textblade and I’d feel a bit like I broke it (technically not physically). I was frequently reverting back to the laptop for commands and making a lot of typing mistakes. I gave up for the day resigned to trying again the next day when I could be patient again and read through the textblade app material.
Over the next few days, it continued to be the little things that were bothering me, the lack of cut/copy/paste, the number pad, esc, the ctrl, cmd, alt keys – things you use daily without really realising. I would revert to my standard keyboard where my auto brain could kick in. A lot of times, I could see the keys on the key pad, knew there were chords involved but just hadn’t had the time or patience to figure them out.
Regardless of all this, I can still say that straight out of the box, I loved it and I could definitely get words out it, but as many before he have said, there is a definite adjustment period. I think that whole ‘natural’ thing will be very relative. The textblade feels lovely from the get go but I liked going back to the thunky keys that were in the places that my brain was accustomed to. I think someone said that a hunt and peck typer would initially find the textblade easier to get used to and I can see that that would be true in a lot of cases. Although people who have watched me typing find it strange that the whole keypad depresses when you type a letter – I prefer not looking at the ‘depression’ as it does look a bit strange so a positive for the touch typer.
So how am I finding using the textblade now?
I am now 12 days in (certainly didn’t use it every day to date due to the initial frustrations) and after a two hour call with Mark on the weekend, my confidence has soared! I am using the textblade all day at work and then the odd time if I need to reply to a text message on my phone. Now I feel great with those and know it’s just a matter of practice.
So of note as of today:
Like many touch typers, I could never properly type numbers and that is already improving.
As I’m writing this, I’m mainly struggling with VB, RT and NM, YU – even G and H so basically both my forefingers. I’ve worked out that this is because on a normal keyboard these keys are offset on the diagonal whereas on the textblade they’re straight up and down.
Also I keep hitting return with my right pinky when trying to insert a ‘ (I just did it again!). Again because on a standard keyboard the pinky sits on the colon and has to reach for the hyphen. So I’ (dam it!!!) I’m basically having problems with the brain/finger retraining part which is got to be normal right but I’m finally getting faster and its starting to feel a lot more natural to me.
Getting used to shift vs chords vs green keys – all just re-brain training for me
Initially I had longer nails which have nowhere to go and were getting in the way of the feel of the keys for me. I have now cut them shorter and find that better
I can’t use the phone support as a stand as I have an Otterbox case on my phone (children) and therefore it is too thick to fit but I do have the Otterbox support to do the same thing.
Love ‘jumps’. I thought today that I might be able to copy something on my computer, jump to my phone and paste there…it didn’t work which I suspected would happen. Presumably the memory of the copy is saved on the computer and has nothing to do with the keyboard but it was a nice dream while it lasted!
Does anyone know if there is a ‘print screen’ button?
I am currently working on using my green keys without looking and the up/down/left/right arrows without looking. I notice the speed change a step down here as I have to stop and think but it’s getting better now on an hourly basis. Typing this lump of text is helping. This morning for the first time, I typed a few keys on the old keyboard and it has started to feel odd – keys far away and just a different feeling.
The Textblade App
Once Mark familiarised myself with the app tools I found them very helpful. I was looking for a ‘search’ function to figure out how to charge the textblade. There isn’t one at the moment but that would be on my wish list. I find an effective search is very helpful especially if you want to find a certain key or find out about a certain key, faq’s etc – but I am a follower of instructions. I think the information is all there, it’s just finding it. I should note that I’m sure any questions that I have would be answered in minutes by the Waytools team, but long term, think it would be a good function.
I will continue to type on in the hope that every keystroke I make, gets Waytools closer to a release and everyone else closer to receiving a textblade. I know how much I wanted mine and how excited I was to receive it and here’s hoping that’s ever closer for everyone else. I am grateful to be involved in this development process if not in a small way.
Happy to answer any questions and thanks for reading this far, Nik