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First Impressions 
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Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:19 am
Posts: 2
Post First Impressions
Unfortunately my first impression was greatly soured by the fact that ThinkGeek shipped me a used unit (I paid full price for what was advertised as new). I'm not talking maybe this was a floor demo, or maybe some geek employee was using it until sold... the packaging was in shambles and the item had obviously been around the block a dozen times. Can you imagine the disappointment of unveiling this thing for (supposedly) the first time, from a ravaged sleeve only to find my "brand new" OM covered in smudges, fingerprints everywhere, hairline scratches, what I suspect are cookie crumbs lodged in various crevices, stuck keys and one key that doesn't work at all (nothing to do with the display, the keypress event simply doe snot register). Talk about anti-climactic... when opening something I've been waiting to treat myself to for years, only to find out it's been USED! Tainted! I don't know what kind of shady operation their running there, but it doesn't fly with me. Needless to say ThinkGeek got a "piece of my mind" email regarding this... to which they replied "must have been some kind of mix up". To which I replied "I don't care... Make it Right!". Well see... but to all a word of caution when purchasing from them.

All of that aside I'm fairly impressed with the device. Installation a snap, even works find with my Gefen switch hardware, and the whole configuration thing was a key purchasing point for me. (although I should note that the BIOS on a couple machines detected the memory card as a bootable device and I had to resort some boot order stuff... not the keyboards fault, just the nature of the device).

All in all though... Pretty damn cool! Unfortunately the reports of the keyboards "action" and general usability for real world tasks (like typing lots of code all day long) are true... it's "clunky" at best, and for someone like me who's a poor typist to begin with, this thing is making matters much worse in that regard. Though I'm finding a little practice with it makes it usable for most other tasks. A little disappointing though in the sense that I was hoping to use it with my development tools and map all my common coding shortcuts. Unfortunately I just don't have the time to perform any of the suggested mods (such as sticking little blocks of gaffers tap onto the bottoms of the keys in hopes that might help improve things)... and not sure that would help the general problem of key just being generally very resistant and not depressing at all if you don't happen to hit them with considerable determination at just the right angle.

Oh well, so while the concept is clever and sound, it is indeed more of a novelty for my purposes. So that being the case, I'd like to play with it for a day to see what it's really capable of. For example are there any cool "demo" layouts I could load in to show of the video possibilities? Where do I find an archive of layouts... for example the layout demonstrated in the flash demo... does it exist somewhere? Looks much cooler than the default one. And finally, as a small suggestion, it would be kind of nice to be able to change the color / hue of the keys globally... say for example I would like to render all my key bright blue... It seems that with the current configurator this is a time consuming process as I have to modify each layer individually where fonts / colors are used, and then it seems I have to create unique bitmap layers for various states of the other keys... for example the number pad, arrow keys, etc. I've seen some postings in the layers secton of this forum, but it there a more complete repository somewhere?

Thanks :)

Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:17 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:12 am
Posts: 235
Location: Surrey, UK.
Post Re: First Impressions
Welcome to the forum b2b, and firstly I must say I totally feel for you upon reading about how your first keyboard arrived. Not right at all in my books especially for something that cost as much as this.

I have been using my keyboard for about 2-3 years now. I forget now when i bought it and I am very happy with it and have got used to the clicky keys, but they have not improved over time. You just can't get away from the clicking. ;)

This forum contains the biggest collection of layers available. If there are any others, I havn't found them yet. I would also look at the art lebedev site as they have a few Microsoft Office layers all ready to go.

As for changing hue and fonts etc. It is actually much easier than you think. So read this and this.

As for anything more special, then using the text entry or making up your own icons are the only way.

Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:41 pm

Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:19 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: First Impressions
Well I managed to get it replaced with a new one :) Not sure how "used" the one they sent me was, but I'm finding the action on the new one much more "usable". When I called for a replacement because they sent me a used one, the guy at ThinkGeek actually had the nerve to ask me "It works right? So what's the problem". I won't touch that here, but a true geek would never dare to ask such a question... the whole transaction just felt insulting. Anyway, whoohoo! Brand new Optimus and lovin it!

Q: The media vol up/down keys don't seem to work... play/back/next do though with iTunes and MediaPlayer (haven't tried anything else)... any suggestions? Not really familiar with how that part of the OS APIs work, and don't really have any time to play with the SDK right now.

Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:33 am
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