Two Months Into the TREG - pete

Uniquenospaceshort - insightful observations, thanks.

FYI - we built (and patented) alternate configurations with split keys for index and pinky fingers. So 12 keys total instead of 8. It wasn’t as good as we expected.

12 keys didn’t test as well with users as the TextBlade architecture. There’s something magical and resonant about the one-key-per-finger paradigm. It’s less physical labor to type, and cognitively far simpler to stay aligned with the home row.

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If I could just test that for myself…

Hope the TB stops being magical and turn real…wink, wink

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Yes, it sounds almost dreamlike.

Tried changing the green layer timing (slower), and also the v/b boundary. After an hour I changed the v/b back and I seem to be doing better than prior to monkeying w/ the boundaries. Possibly I’m just more careful about that key because I’ve been thinking about it.

The green boundary change seems an unalloyed win so far.

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At some point - AFTER the major update - I’d love to hear more about this since it is something I’ve wondered about from the start. The single “advantage” I see in a regular keyboard is the totally separate keys. You either hit the right one or you don’t. Very simple, at least in comparison to the TB.

I could see the narrow keycaps on the TB as perhaps being necessary because individual keys may really suffer from whatever mechanism (butterfly or whatever) you chose to use at such small sizes. But since the 6 character keycaps greatly increase the complication of hitting the wrong spot, I wondered why they couldn’t all be 3 character keys.

True, the characters on the ends are on narrower parts of those keys and, if separate, that may create issues I don’t have the knowledge to know about. But then, no reason I could see why those keys couldn’t be made the same width. Certain is room towards the center by just making the metal connectors narrower. And you can always expand to the outside - you’d simply have a TB that is ever so slightly longer. Considering the competition, that seemed like a non-issue!

So, I’m trying to figure out why that would be an issue. Based on my experience with the TB, I certainly assume you are correct, but some day I’d like more insight into it.

I’d also like to know who came up with the original basic concept because while many things are clever about the TB, I’m most impressed that someone even got the basic idea in the first place! That “basic” stuff would be doing everything with just 36 places to put your finger (not counting the space bar) and doing everything else in layers. The details in implementation certainly are important too and in many areas, I’m impressed with the choices. But without that starting concept, we never get to the other details!

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The 8 keys on the TB also have indentations on each of the keys to provide a tactile feel for your fingers when they are in the proper “home” position. Additional keys would probably lead to having your fingers off by one key in either direction at times leading to garbled input. I’ve had this problem on regular keyboards and like that I don’t have that issue with the TB.

I am sure I remember in one of the phone calls from Mark that he mentioned they had done trials in early prototypes with extra keys but they did not prove successful.

I can see potential issues, but not particularly about the indentation and extra keys - at least not any more than with any other keyboard. If just extra key CAPS (12 instead of 8), the indentations would essentially be the same - just a slight wider end section to make them all the same size.

ADDITIONAL keys, such as adding a separate key for command, etc, could be a nice option, but not for the present concept. Some extra keys on, say, a laptop that used the TB concept could be useful to some who just don’t want to learn new chords. And if it was also programmable, it would be even better. In this approach, I could see a place for a separate command, control, alt, and esc keys - BUT everything else would work as what we have now. These would just give options in a situation where the space is available and not needed for anything else.

I agree with dbk. I see no need for additional letter and number keys. However, my one issue is with the space bar where I think it would be better with the hot corners on separate keys. Often, when holding down the space bar to get to the green layer to type a number, my thumb gets too close to the Command hot corner and instead of typing a 5, I get a new tab in the browser (command-T).

Two, three, or four discrete keys on the Space Blade is definitely something I would like to see.

For me, based on the present TB, any additional keys would have to be add-one - assuming that could be done. But if a TB version were to be created in a laptop or as a permanent keyboard (not foldable), then I could see extras. After all, the space would be available. But on the present version, we need to keep the extreme portability.

Yes

I hear you. However, it’s not going to be an ideal keyboard for coders, not ever. I do code w/ it, and fairly effectively, but I could use a few more keys.

I do agree, however, that there is great value in the current footprint.

If we get this shipped and successful then I can see all kinds of variations in the future. Heck, the wired thing that they mentioned that would use the present version could have extra keys included.

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Wired thing?

I forget what thread, but there were some comments from WT about how they could make a frame or something that the TB would fit into which, in turn, would plug into a computer.

Edit: Not sure why it didn’t work the first time but this is supposed to be a link to the wired reference.
@petek @dabigkahuna @JMacRury

I don’t remember the thread that this was mentioned in either and don’t have time to search for it but basically, it was an adapter or docking station type device that would allow you to use the TB while charging and for all intents and purposes, turned it into a wired USB keyboard.

Not sure if WayTools considered adding additional keys to this, but in theory, it should be possible.

On my call with Mark I mentioned that a USB version would be a great thing. Noting, among other reasons, that one TREGer moved to a new contract somewhere where wireless keyboards were not allowed and it was causing him considerable stress.

I was not sure if that was public information and was glad to see it mentioned on the forum a few weeks ago.

This should be an actual USB keyboard, not USB charging while using BLE. Think of all the “gating issues” that would have been bypassed by a USB-only TB! Of course the original idea was that it was to be used with phones so it had to be BLE all along.

I will plan to by the USB version when it becomes available.

As for more keys, yes I would take some, but I am going to try to live with the TB as-is. While programming with the TB I sometimes give up looking for a special character and use another keyboard connected to the workstation. If I made a cheatsheet for those key’s location on the TB it would help…