What will your set-up with TextBlade look like?

I got the ‘original - relaxed fit’. I live in Minnesota, and was visiting NE Ohio and NW Pennsylvania, so haven’t had any experience in ‘hot and humid’. Was around -20 going to and from the local airport in Fargo, and the extra warmth of the Outliers was appreciated - and the 25 degrees in Ohio felt like a warm spring day. I’ve got a pair of really thin Duluth Trading camping / hiking style pants that might work better the four days a year it’s ‘warm’ here; ask me again in July.

I forgot about the weird side / back hip cell phone pocket in the bluffworks - it works perfectly for my old iPhone 5s (although fishing it out takes some practice), but I fear it might be tight with the larger 6, and doubt it would work at all with the 6+ ‘phablets’. It made me wish all my pants had a pocket there, so I’d have a consistent place to hunt for it.

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Hazarding a guess here:…

For regular text typing, the Textblade seems just fine. But, for someone who uses spreadsheets a lot (myself included), a numeric keypad can be helpful along with easy navigation with arrows. The compactness of the textblade isn’t generally a feature that’s useful or necessary for desktop machines, so I don’t see any advantage in using a Textblade for most desktop environments.

I removed the threads to make the back cell phone pocket deeper to accomodate a Samsung Note4, but the opening is too narrow to be practical. It’s an interesting idea, but I don’t find it comfortable to use it with any regularity.

I do some spreadsheet stuff - though not a lot each day. But my present Apple keyboard doesn’t have a number pad (don’t understand why they only offer that with the wired one) so there is no loss on that aspect for me.

It is possible that the design (less reaching for keys) can increase speed though and I’m curious to see how that works out.

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Bought the TextBlade for my iPhone (now an iPhone 6S+). I will try it with my iMac as well, and see if it speeds up my typing through less travel between the keys…heck, might even try ColemaK! (Ordering it with QWERTY though.)

I didn’t know there was a gas-powered version :slight_smile:

Damned auto spell.

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Can confirm, with the symbol layer the numbers are on the top row, and it is very easy to hit them accurately. You can even get a good speed on them but it’s a bit confusing since left pinkie is 1 and right pinkie is 0. I don’t type that many numbers so I still occasionally type 0 when I needed 9 and so on.

I wonder if things would be better if the numbers started from 0 on the left but now I don’t want to mess with my muscle memory…

Well, maybe a little something different of a post on this forum for a change…

Apologies for the awful photo exposure as I tried to capture the projector image.

Everything pictured here is my latest lightweight travel set-up for a week-long international trip:

2 Wool & Prince shirts
1 Bluffworks pant
2 Merino wool base layers
Plus whatever I’m wearing when I get on the plane

MS Universal Foldable Keyboard
microUSB cable
miniHDMI cable
Travel USB plug

That’s all I packed in a small daypack. If I was really ambitious, I maybe could have vacuum-bagged all my clothing into a Scott-E-Vest type jacket, but it would have been bulky. The electronics could have been stuffed into the zippered pockets of my pants. As it is, the entirety of my electronics is about the same volume and weight as just the power brick of my laptop.

I felt very unencumbered during my trip. The only downside is that I got an extra Homeland Security interrogation exiting international baggage claim because they were suspicious over how little I packed when I came back.

I’m still a huge fan of Merino for travel and it works so well for trips. I did do laundry once just to refresh the base layers and to wash the Bluffworks from a food spill. I was pleased how fast it air-dried.

The projector is a Sony MP-CL1 pico. The brightness is sufficient for my typical usage in a darkened room with about a five foot diagonal image for Powerpoint. The other cool thing about the Sony is that there is a full size USB port that can serve as a device charger, which was extremely handy as I had difficulty finding power ports away from my hotel room during my last trip. I estimated I was able to get at least two full charges on my phone using this. The projector can also do screen mirroring wirelessly so I could potentially ditch the bulky HDMI cable. However, after testing this out, the wireless connection is finicky at best, with constant dropouts for unknown reasons. Plus I sometimes plug the HDMI cable to my hotel TV which is more comfortable to use as a monitor.

Away from the hotel, I bring the projector in closer to a 2 foot image to use as a personal monitor using Chrome Remote Desktop for my computing needs (thanks for the tip on Chrome RDP on this thread). I wind up using the phone as a trackpad so I no longer bring a mouse. From a productivity standpoint, this works okay. I don’t do a whole lot of content creation on the road, just need to run/edit Office docs, answer emails and display PowerPoint. Since most of my work revolves around Office and custom win32 programs, I’m interested in what the latest iterations of Continuum will bring or hopefully a potential x86 Surface Phone. For now, RDP gets me by.

The MS keyboard works okay. Unfortunately, I think there is an issue with bluetooth on Android Lollipop 5.x with device connections. In this case, it has to rediscover/re-pair everything time you turn off the phone or keyboard, its definitely a huge inconvenience. Hopefully that issue is well investigated with the TextBlade.

Speaking of the TextBlade, I’ve got a lot of trips coming up. The keyboard is about twice the volume of my phone, so it is currently the largest electronic item in my pack. I can’t wait to replace it with the TextBlade and make my set-up ridiculously more compact.


Very cool!

I’ve been looking into merino stuff - not sure how well it will work in warm Hawaii, so my main focus is on socks. Do you recommend any particular brand and to you get 100% merino or, all I’ve found, some percentage mixed with nylon, etc?

Merino wool is very comfortable in the winter, but really not suitable for humid climates.

Although I see a lot of websites recommend synthetics for humid weather, I think they are best avoided (except for sports) when in that kind of climate because they can end up being rather stinky. I grew up in the tropics. Seeing websites recommend synthetics in humid weather makes me wonder if those people making the recommendations actually spent time in the tropics, or are they just applying their theoretical knowledge of synthetic material (i.e., good rate of evaporation) and think that is all that counts in humid climate.

Agreed, although I did wear my Outlier shirt to locales like Hawaii over the winter. I think the extra warmth is offset by its superior evaporation rate, at least in my opinion compared to cotton.

I will definitely not wear any synthetics in my travels.

Yeah, I figured there was a chance it may be too warm for Hawaii, but then, maybe not if it the particular item was light enough. Or maybe not good for daytime outside, but fine for inside in AC or if out at night - especially in winter. Even here on Oahu, in winter the temps will regular get down at night to 70 or lower (I think 65 degrees is the typical overnight low in the depths of winter. I’ve seen it reach 55, but that was a record for that date.

But socks may work out fine. Only two times I normally wear them. One is low-cut socks on bicycle rides. I where bicycle sandals with clips that are of a design where I can walk normally with them. Since they are sandals, the feet are well exposed to the air and I ride after 10:00 PM anyway so I don’t think heat will be a problem. The other time is when I fly 8-10 hours to the mainland. Other socks I’ve used tend to get smelly so I thought this might help. But the only ones I’ve found here are about 66% merino wool. I need to find out if higher percentages would be better - and what brands to trust.

I’ve read that merino wool does not hold well to abrasive use (so this would exclude its usage from long hikes, etc.) Do you have an REI where you are (or when you’re on the main island? They should be able to provide you with knowledgeable help.

I did a search for REI - looks like california is the closest!

I don’t hike. My knees could be a problem as well as my back. But I can bicycle pretty well - typically over 17 miles on a ride. That’s nothing compared to what I was doing every other day 10 years ago though. Back then it was 50-78 miles every other day. I’ve seen merino wool stuff for cyclists, but haven’t found them here. I suspect some things, especially for night riding, could work. Besides the socks, maybe the bicycle shorts. But any kind of bicycle shorts can be a very personal thing for comfort.

Darn Tough are the best Merino socks. They have a lifetime guarantee and will replace them if you wear them out. See darntough.com.

Checked their website quickly. Noted they had cycling socks cut low. But also noticed that these tended to run from 40-52% merino wool. I know you need some mixture apparently to make them a little stretchy to hold up as well as to protect high wear spots. I have no idea if, for example, 40% is much worse for my purposes than 52 (or, for other usage socks, as high as around 67%).

I did buy a pair of socks locally by Smartwool. The packaging had “Merino” on it - as if was the name of the sock. The actual details said “66% wool”. I assume merino wool, but I guess it is possible they gave the socks a misleading name and it is regular wool!

Anyway, I guess I’ll deliberately give them a serious workout, weaning them for longer than normal and see what happens first. It looks like “Darn Tough” will be a good source - hard to beat free replacements - which will solve any issue not only with wear, but if I buy a style that turns out not to suit me.

I do need to get at least one pair of cycling socks from them, but not sure what would be best yet.

DarnTough is a great brand for Merino socks, highly recommended.

Costco sells a 70% Merino “Kirkland” brand, that’s a cheap way to get started to see if you like them.

Merino definitely isn’t as durable as synthetics or even cotton. So, for this, I tend to just rely on gentle handwashing and air drying which is what I do during trips anyway. All my merino clothing, aside from socks and underwear, have yet to see the laundry machine.

@dabigkahuna, considering that you’re largely interested in socks for cycling (as I understand), then the question of durability for Merino socks shouldn’t be of a big concern. I used to cycle a lot too and the bicycling shorts was where most abrasion occurred.

I would imagine that something equivalent to REI would exist in Hawaii; it’s such a big spot for adventure tourism.