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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Behind the Scenes of Issue 110

Ongoing projects, Kamakura, new year's resolution, etc.

dovenyi
Published January 6, 2023

Hey y'all,

Welcome back for another edition of Keyboard Builders' Digest (this time Issue #110), 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.

–-

A lot of stuff is going on behind the scenes but not much to show off yet. I'm working on some articles as well, a review and a piece on a strange early typewriter, but I'm waiting for permission to use some archive photos.

Azimuth PCB?

I have a bunch of low-pro POM MBK/MCC caps at hand (thanks MoErgo/SplitKB!) and I have to draw up some plates with various spacings to be able to showcase/compare/review them (I have only MX spaced plates right now). So, instead of editing my daily driver Azimuth's plate – originally drawn from scratch in Inkscape –, I thought I'd recreate the whole project via Ergogen. That could end up as a PCB of the originally handwired board as a byproduct.

Well... After some research now I understand the comments reflecting to MrZealot's Ergogen v4.0 post about the docs... :D

To say the truth, designing more traditional split layouts would be probably a breeze, but mine has a pretty unique pinky cluster, as well as some stray keys here and there. Anyway, I'll keep researching existing YAML files to understand what I should do.

Kamakura

Hide-key's lion head macropad brought back fond memories: the word "Kamakura" – a place and the name of a Shinto shrine – sounded too familiar, and after some thinking I realized I was there many years ago.

I missed the amulets mentioned in the post but visited the huge Buddha statue. And then walked to the nearby island of Enoshima with my wife. She was pregnant at the time and couldn't really eat anything, especially raw and unfamiliar Japanese food – and coming from a landlocked European country, pretty much every Japanese food looked unfamiliar. :D And then, on the bridge connecting Kamakura with the island, we eventually stumbled upon some food she could eat: ice cream in matcha and sweet potato flavor. :D

Keylogging project

I had three kbd.news-related new year's resolutions in 2021 – and managed to realize two of them. Sort of. One was regularly posting on twitter, the other was to learn all the 2,200 joyo kanji to better understand Japanese texts – I can only recognize them, no clue how to pronounce most of them, nor could I write them I guess. (And I have no idea what the third resolution was. :D)

For this year I'm quite late, but have some ideas. One of them is logging my keystrokes all year long. Keyloggers have their pros and cons, but knowing the cons this project may turn out as something useful.

Benign keylogger seems to be harmless. Its code is short and clear enough to check for any suspicious behavior, so I set it up and will have a decent dataset soon. Only about 360 days to go for a full year's worth of gigantic typing test. :D

Since this piece of code logs timestamps as well, I'll be able to do much more than language statistics. I'm particularly interested in active/passive periods, length of typing sessions, as well as general typing speeds – not artificial runs like e.g. in monkeytype.

A few years ago I read a blog post from somebody. I can't remember the name but he was a German software dev doing a similar keylogging project. He ended up at about 4 million keystrokes/year if I remember correctly.

If you are interested, try to set this one or the keylogger of your choice. Let's turn this into a community experiment. And we can do a comparison in 12 months or even more frequently. I had some difficulties during installation/setup, but restarting my PC solved the issue with the environmental variables.

Quick news

Vendor database

I'm waiting for feedback from some new shops/projects. Some updates but no additions this time.

Meetup database

No new meetup either.

As always, this meetup database is both a calendar and an archive, so feel free to send me upcoming events or even ones from the recent past to make this collection as comprehensive as possible.

Donors

No new donors this time. Thanks to all the regular supporters!

If you'd like and can afford to help, here is the donation form.

Small developments

  • Only some small fixes: Usually, I put images and issues in directories with names of the actual year – approaching 2,000 projects, that helps to keep things organized. But since we have a new year, there was some expected strange behavior until I found some hardcoded years – mostly in utility scripts, e.g. the one generating the cover image. ;)

–-

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

Published on Fri 6th Jan 2023. Featured in KBD #110.


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