New TechTalk Update Coming

Found this on MacWorld:

There are rumors circulating that Apple will soon be announcing new iPad Pro models and, with them, a new take on the Smart Keyboard.

BREAKING NEWS: WayTools to buy Apple!

Further evidence to support the rumor that WayTools is in the works to buy Apple has been found. In serching the history of this very forum, WayTools has seemed to have prior knowledge of new Apple products that were yet to be announced.

WayTools have also provided tech support to our own @dabigkahuna when he recently upgraded to a new mac mini and was having bluetooth issues. Normally, tech support issues would be provided by the manufacturer.

Those two items are a few “things that make you say hmmmmm”.

More to come…

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Just a question, do you think you might have it backwards and might Apple be looking at buying Way Tools? I have been on this forum for several years, not so much anymore, but I can’t believe that Way Tools has more than maybe 15 employees, just a guess, and Apple is a very large and rich company. No way could Way Tools buy Apple but the other way around, I can see it. It appears that the Text Blade could be a great addition to the Apple line. Just wish that my order would be fulfilled and not sure if Apple owning Text Blade would get that done.

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Certainly possible. But we are only kidding about WT buying Apple!

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BREAKING NEWS: WayTools to buy Apple!

This rumor has been verified to be false. Upon further investigation, while leaving the WayTools offices, Mark actually said that “he was going out to buy AN apple.”.

Also, the rumor about Tim Cook was also proved to be false. What Tim actually said just before the door slammed was “It will take WAY MORE TOOLS to fix it.”

While it was nice to think that this may be the cause of the delays in providing an update, this isn’t the reason.

In other news, the beavers are still extremely silent of late.

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As long as we are imagining things, how about a small laptop, even smaller than the MacBook Air (but a bit bigger than an ipad mini) which is designed for extreme portability and has a TB built in. Even better if it could be designed so the keyboard could be easily taken out used with other devices! Or, similarly, designed with indentations on it that let you set any TB into it with a connector that gives you essentially a wired connection.

It would have to be bigger than the mini ipad because the TB will not quite fit in the dimensions of that device. Maybe a 9 or 10 inch laptop. Screen could be bigger since my old mini has pretty big bezels which could be reduced.

It could be a nice niche device. For years people used to talk about ever bigger laptops, but more and more I read about people liking the 11 inch Air size. And it would be the only small device without a compromise on key size. It would let people who want something really small have it while also getting the TB out into the public where, like many of us testers found, it wasn’t just a really nice portable keyboard. It was a better keyboard than our full size ones.

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If WayTools were to “merge” with Apple like NeXT “merged” with Apple, it would be earth-shaking:

  • Suddenly it would become a product company again.
  • Stagnant products would get real changes.
  • iPad Pro would live up to its name (do professional work, not just be an emergency text editor).
  • Keyboards - wow.
  • Actual value for the customer. My stepmom had a 6 year old MacBook Pro Retina 15”/16GB/500GB. She bought it new for < $2500, taxes in. Today, the current model with 2/3rds the equivalent spec (ie 16GB/500GB) would be $2,999 before taxes, and have a worse keyboard.
  • They might develop new products that we wouldn’t want to live without, but not charge us prices like they have us in a chokehold.
  • People might like them again.
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Maybe one day we’ll have laptops that simply have a place you can slide in any compatible keyboard you want! Probably be complicated, but it would be cool to have the option.

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Well, that was a week ago. I’m really happy there will be more detail on that in the update. I’ll be happier when I see the update! 34 days till the last day of winter.

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… products would no longer get released.

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Tim Cook would personally take on all company communications?

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Those mini-laptops were popular here about 15 years ago. They had shrunken keyboards that took some getting used to, but you could type on them full-speed after a while. I myself used one for years.

One with a TextBlade in it would be lovely.

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Of course, another option would be an ipad that could act more like a laptop, with a TB style keyboard.

An ipad with a TB keyboard cover could be nice too, but as has been discussed before, Apple seems intent on limiting it.

You mean like the Mac Pro getting regular updates from 2013 to 2019?
The Mac mini getting regular updates from 2014 to 2018?

Just got to wondering what might be included in the new firmware from @waytools - and what might be included in the info they post in the update.

We know they are trying to get at least parity with the old firmware. We also know some things have been improved, such as how quickly it jumps or starts up (or both - I can’t remember the specifics they posted). Oh, and reduced energy draw on the battery.

We also know some things that are coming eventually. For example, they mentioned 12 jumps. Also more boundaries we can adjust. Plus the ability to edit special key positions such as shift, or to put modifier keys in other places. As well as the ability to put combinations of modifiers on a key, without needing to add a normal key to it. IOW, you could assign a key to be Command+control, but that’s it rather than the need to add a regular character to it as you do now.

Sooo, what I’m wondering is, will any of these things (or others I can’t recall) be included when we get the firmware sent to treg?

Now, before anyone gets all upset and says something like, “Don’t add more jumps now because that would delay things”, it (or some of these other things) may not delay things at all. After all, it’s a rewrite. Some things will improve as a natural result of that. Whether actually activating more jumps takes more time would depend on what is involved and whether the mere existence of more jumps can cause problems.

I think of it this way, just as a theoretical. Suppose you had a spreadsheet which had data for 6 sets of data, each on their own row. You may have something in the spreadsheet which will do something based on a particular row of data that you specify. The row you want may be put in a particular cell (let’s say “A1”) and the row numbers you can enter would be 2-7 (6 rows). So if A1 contains a “2”, the other part of your spreadsheet simply acts on the data in row 2. Now, in such a structure, what difference would it make if you added another 6 rows of data? It wouldn’t be any more complicated.

So, if this is how the jump slots on the new firmware work (not a spreadsheet, of course, but in concept), then you could add lots of jumps, limited only by available space and, of course, how you access them. Obviously, doing it the way they are accessed now is easy. Just press two adjacent keys. You wouldn’t want to get too complicated even if you have the space, so maybe slots 7-12 use the same chords, plus the space bar (green layer).

That’s just possibilities, my point is simply that they could activate 12 slots and it may have no impact on shipping. If it did, then I would certainly favor doing that improvement later! Same with any of the other things.

In any case, I’d like to know about these things.

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My concern with slots adjustments will be ensuring that existing slot mappings are maintained. Especially as it relates to the dongle currently slotted to slot 6 for most of us as it is not trivial to reslot the dongle if the connection is lost.

As i am hopeful that new firmware will not facilitate all of the TREGers from needing new issued TBs to continue the TREG testing.

Well, let’s remember that we are testers so if for some reason the changes require slot changes, that’s just one of the burdens. Though it would be nice if they could avoid it.

As for the dongle, I’m not sure what issue you are referring to. Right now the 6th slot is for the dongle (for those who got it) and the dongle is already paired to it. So if they send you a new TB and new dongle and it is connected to, say, slot 12, you still just plug it into your computer and chose the appropriate slot.

Now, if they just upgrade the firmware and that process somehow messes up the dongle slot so it no longer works, that would be a challenge for people to get it back working again from what I’ve read from others. I don’t know if WT can just send another dongle what will immediately work with you TB or not.

I don’t see an issue if they send new TB with the firmware. True, I’d have to do my pairings, but that just doesn’t take very long. Besides, I’d still have the old TB if I’m really crunched for time. Even if WT wants the old ones back, I doubt they’d say it had to be done immediately. They never did before. And after early testing, they normally didn’t ask for them back at all. There is also good reason for us to keep them during the testing - if the new firmware acts up on whatever unit they send us (if they do that), it will be important that we can go back to the old unit to see if it has the same problem or not for comparison.

So, unless I’m missing some specific situation you may have, I don’t see an issue with this at all.

I believe the messed up dongle slot you mention is what @tlrogers is referring to. If the dongle somehow gets disconnected from it’s assigned slot (i.e. you accidentally erase the slot, it gets erased through a software error, etc), it can be a harrowing procedure for some to get it reassigned. The procedure in the wiki can be followed to reconnect the dongle (or to add your own) but some people do have trouble with getting it to work.

I believe @waytools have in the past sent a new dongle and spaceblade to correct this issue.

Ever seen this one?

I keep seeing conflicting dates for the end of Winter, 2020. Siri say March 18. An online site says March 19 (but that it at 11:37 HST so I assume in California it would be March 20).

Anyway, using the March 20 date, we are now down to 29 days till the end of Winter, which is also the latest shipping estimate on our order status pages. Well, at least for those who ordered fairly early.

Based on prior WT comments, we would still need the update posted as well as firmware sent to Treggers before release. It has been my personal view that treg testing, even if no problems are found that would cause a delay, would be a month. Which would mean we won’t make the estimated date. Of course, they could be planning to have treg testing last no longer that they intended the first time, which was 2-3 weeks. That would make it possible to achieve the estimate, but not for long!

I doubt anyone is going to be surprised if they estimate changes to Spring. But @waytools really needs to take that next step - which is the update.

Maybe even send the firmware to just one tregger (verxion would be a good choice) with permission for him to at least make general comments about how it is going.

Personally, while I understand wanting to do most testing “in house” until you think it may be ready, I do think even a small amount of treg testers may help avoid last minute problems.

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