Media Layout for TextBlade

This is what I have so far (Sorry about the different sizes for the pictures):

I’m still not clear on how some things work with this approach. For example, it seems that most things I put on the Alpha layer (now a media layer on the right and an edit layer on the left (plus one of the right columns) also appear under the main Shift layer. But I think there were some things that didn’t turn out the same and I did some things manually. Maybe I lost track of some things I did as this layout developed from three previous layouts so far.

From my limited testing so far, it seems the edit and media stuff works and I only have to use one finger - which was my goal. So I can have the TB laying on my desk and if I need to change volume, etc, I can just reach out and easily change it, just as I could with the special function row on the Apple keyboard.

The edit part I put on the left is just something I figured I’d do since, well, I’m presently not doing anything else with those keys!

It also seems that I can be in this primary layout and then press the normal key pair for Edit and it works that way (with the edit positions on the right side as is “normal”. Vow, if you go down to the layer actually labeled “edit”, I haven’t changed anything. I assume that is necessary for the normal edit chord to work.

Lixewise, the original Media layer is left alone. I assume, but have not tested, this could be used for something else. After all, it will typically be easier to use my new media setup.

Now, the big deal, once I decided to make the media and Edit lock stuff to be on the primary layer, was to put the normal alpha characters someplace so I don’t have to use a jump slot (that wouldn’t be bad, but this is quicker and saves a jump slot - I just alternate activating or deactivating the old Number lock layer).

So, Num lock is totally act like what the original main layer and green layer did. Right now I’m with this layout and to get the letters, I just activate Num lock.

As I said, Shift still confuses me - why did a lot of the stuff I put in the main layers appear here seemingly automatically, but with a few exceptions? And the green layer of Shifc doesn’t give what this shows. I won’t get into details now. I need to sort it out myself!

The Function level only has stuff on the first of those and some of that may no longer be necessary. For example, I have volume up and down. Well, I have that on the main layers at the top! Besides, it seems that if I have Num lock on, the function chord doesn’t work. So I’d have to already be in the normal layer.

The whole process is kinda fascinating to me - because as I do one thing, it leads to seeing other things to change.

And there are things that work in odd ways with Apple - at least with iTunes. For example, on the media commands, we have both << as well as | < , but they seem to do the same thing. After I have time to do more evaluating, i may remove such duplicates - thus leaving room for other options.


Okay, got my first timing on the battery with this new layout. There are some caveats - while it showed a full charge, it is possible that it wasn’t actually full. We really don’t know how accurate this is. I suspect that before going to bed tonight, I’ll charge it over night just to be sure and then test again from scratch.

Anyway, I started at 8:00 PM. It was almost always in the num lock so 3 LEDs were lit almost the whole time. At 8:25 I checked the battery and it was already down to 9. Don’t know the change actually happened thought so it could be notably less than 25 minutes.

As a comparison, my prior two tests had the full 10 LEDs stay lit for 119 and 136 minutes so this is a huge drop! On the other hand, I was pretty much typing the whole time. Certainly no extended idle time.

If these numbers hold up, we can see why WT does have locks for layers that last very long!

I can see some options that could make it better - like maybe 2 or 1 LEDs instead of 3. Or, just one that blinks slowly! I don’t think that would be distracting since one’s hands cover most of the TB.

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I started over this morning with a fully charged battery (charged overnight). I have pretty much always had it in num lock mode so the three LEDs were lit 99% of the time. Maybe a lower percentage of actually typing, but so far it has been over an hour and it is still at 100% and this includes restarting it twice, including just now. So certainly much better than the less than 25 minutes I got last night when I had 100% but wasn’t really sure it had fully charged.

There have been some issues with this system. Well, one for sure. Not sure about the other.

Since my alpha/numeric characters are now all in Num lock layers and that lock only lasts 3 minutes if no key is touched, sometimes I’ll start typing and will be back to the main layer. For me, that is now the media and edit mode stuff. So, for example, when I first started this post I pasted some stuff from the clipboard in because I failed to notice the lights were off. I suspect that problem will go away as I get used to this setup.

The other is a possibility that the typing isn’t as accurate. I’m really not sure about this - right now I’m typing just fine. But I’ve had some streaks of much worse typing. The tricky part is, that happens to me sometimes anyway. I’ll think I’m typing correctly, get wrong letters and think the TB is acting up - but typically I catch myself someplace where I have kept my finger down after getting the wrong result and, surprise, my finger wasn’t on the key I thought it was! So, my fault. This is likely the same, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

Ah, it just dropped to 9 LEDs after 109 minutes.

Oops, I think I goofed on the 109 minutes. It was actually 9 minutes past an hour and somehow I translated an hour into 100 !!! So the total is actually 69 minutes.

Update: At 144 minutes and after a restart, I was still at 9 LEDs. Been fairly active typing.

Just dropped down to 8 LEDs after 182 minutes. So if that represents the average, it would last 1.5 hours per 10% so 15 hours total. Which would be fine since that would certainly get me through a day and I’d just charge it each night like I do my watch and iphone (ipad gets charged less often).

We’ll see how it goes until it dies.

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I got new firmware that is supposed to do something about my battery level display. So I’ll probably recharge tonight and start over in the morning to compare.

Meanwhile, the latest battery results for my new layout.

After 325 minutes, I’ve still at 8 lights. That has lasted for 143 minutes so far which is already longer than it took to drop the prior two lights.

update - dropped to 7 LEDs after 366 minutes

update - dropped to 6 LEDs after 433 minutes

Last update since I expect to recharge to check the new firmware from scratch starting Friday morning:

Dropped to 5 LEDs after 507 minutes.

It has been pretty erratic, at least before the firmware upgrade since LEDs would drop ranging between 67 - 184 minutes. I wonder if I made a miscalculation for that big one, but in the past I’ve had some pretty big differences too. For example, last time they ranged between 69 and 241 minutes! The test before that ranged from 74-255 minutes!

I have seen some kind of pattern in that the longest times seem to be dropping from 90% to 80% and from 80% down to 70%.

Will be interesting to see if it is more consistent when I start at 100% with the new firmware. I can say that that the time to change 10% since I got the new firmware has been pretty close - but I’ve only had two measurements since the firmware installation, but on my other tests, those particular levels were also about the same.

As for total time the battery may last with using my media layout - which means the 3 LEDs are lit most of the time - the 8 hours and 27 minutes MIGHT mean it will end up at almost 17 hours. But if the rest drops as fast as the last two, it may only total around 14 hours. But the important thing is that it is almost certainly enough so that I can use this media layout and still have it last the full day of actual usage before recharging over night.

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You inspired me to move a few things around. Here’s my new numbers layer.

So I gather you don’t have any use for an actual number pad! On my regular layout, I kept the number pad but also put the regular numbers in like you have. That simply meant moving the zero on their num layout and ending up also with two 6’s. Made other changes to, but that was how I handled numbers.

This is my first major rework of keys. I may not have hit perfection yet. I guess a layout giving both num pad and top row numbers would be good. I’m not done experimenting! It’s fun moving stuff around!

Here’s a link to my layout for the Number layer that I use when not using my special media setup. Just click on it to see the whole thing:

Thanks. I’ll check it out.