Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Behind the Scenes of Issue 104

Giveaway follow-up, advent calendar line-up announced, new vendors/discounts, etc.

Published November 25, 2022
Creators! Feel free to tip me off about your keyboard related projects to bring them to 120K readers.

Hey y'all,

Welcome back for another edition of Keyboard Builders' Digest (this time Issue #104), a weekly roundup of this DIY keyboard focused newsletter and blog from Tamas Dovenyi – that's me. If you are new to this, you can read how this started out and what this is all about nowadays. If you like what you see, you can subscribe to the newsletter (free) and donate some bucks to keep this otherwise free and ad-free project alive.


Quick news

KBD.NEWS Advent Calendar

It's official: the first ever KBD.NEWS mechanical keyboard advent calendar is about to set off on Dec 1!

The format may be familiar from Japan: 24 revered members of the community will write some longer form articles, mostly on their projects or summing up their whole year in the hobby.

The write-ups will be published one by one. Here is the timeline with the epic line-up:

We don't have to stop on Dec 24 so feel free to contact me if you'd like to share your story.

Cody volunteered to turn this into a PDF-zine – thanks! –, but that's going to be a huge effort, so don't expect it anytime soon.

Giveaway update

No panic, I'm still in the midst of notifying winners. You can still win a lot of things despite not having heard back from me this week.

I made the raffle, which means I have a list of subscribers in a certain order. However, instead of matching the first hundred people on the list to prizes offered in their region (that was the plan), I changed my mind and ask each of the winners about their preferences.

It's a lot of work and takes much more time, but it's pretty much the only way to ensure every winner gets something useful. I mean, an all-1u ortho guy wouldn't be very happy with a stabilizer set.

And how came I to this (crazy) idea?

Since my original plan was to match winners and sponsors based on their region to minimize shipping costs, I asked X-Bows about what parts of the world would they ship to. And the answer was:

[…]the cost of shipping is not very important compared to whether the winner likes our prizes or not[…]

And this makes a lot of sense. So that was one reason for changing my mind. The other was this piece by Erez Zukerman on the black friday phenomenon.

109 prizes

Yep, 109 prizes. In the run-up I wrote that the prize pool contained 111 offers, but I decided to merge two smaller prizes and there was a mistake in the list too, so that's why "only" 109 prizes will be distributed.

For some reason I thought there will be a lot of interest in this monster giveaway, but in the end there were only 500 applicants.

That would be a nice number if I wouldn't send my weekly newsletter to 2,500 subscribers. :D I don't really get what was wrong. According to the stats, more than half of the subscribers open those mails, so there should be at least 1,200 applications from the newsletter subscribers alone.

Anyway, in a last-minute effort I posted on Keebtalk and r/ergomechkeys in the final hours to try to give the event some more publicity, and then closed the application form a few hours later on Sunday, at about 8PM CET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the evening is over. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and will see you all again in 1974 2023…"

I'm pretty sure I won't do another giveaway on this scale before the blog turns 3… or at all.

I'll contact the winners in the coming days and possibly weeks. Please, be patient. Correspondence with 159 parties will take some time…

Btw, you don't make my work easier either. I wanted to check if the applicants met the terms (are subscribers or followers), and it turned out 8 out of the initial winners wasn't able to read or succesfully interpret the two-line participation rules. :D

Seeed competition

The Seeed keyboard competition is long over, it was organized by Seeed Studio on their site, but in the end I was asked to help out with evaluating and ranking all the great projects you submitted.

I received a shortlist of 34 entries, and went through all the projects, checked the documentations, blog entries, github repos, write-ups, etc. and gave points to be able to come up with a proper ranking as objective as possible.

I set up my criteria and factored in how useful, original, innovative, well-documented and presented all these keyboards and macropads are.

To be fair, my personal top list probably won't be the final ranking since it will be blended with another one from Seeed.

So I made a separate post for you to introduce my favorites.

Vendor database


No new donors this week. Thanks to all the supporters who set up a recurring donation.

If you can afford to help, here is the donation form.

Small developments

  • Advent calendar landing page, and a lots of stuff in the background.

In the mailbox

Another Olympia typewriter. Typewriters are much more affordable than vintage keyboards these days. I like the calm and classy Olympia-green, but this one will be maroon which looks nice as well. No photos yet, it patiently awaits me to send out the newsletter – sitting unboxed in my car. ;)


That's all for today. Thanks for reading.

Feel free to comment in this issue's r/mk thread, and as always: keep learning and building.

Cheers, Tamás

Do you like this post? Share, donate, subscribe, tip me off!

Published on Fri 25th Nov 2022. Featured in KBD #104.


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