Behind the scenes #2023/38
Quick news, in the mailbox, games, typewriters, meetups, updates, etc.
Published September 22, 2023
This week I fought Vial, (is ` some kind of a forbidden character in macros?! – at least in the online version), made some noise with a newly acquired cute (and smelly) Triumph typewriter, and of course kept an eye on interesting keyboard projects to archive.
Welcome back for another weekly recap and behind-the-scenes write-up.
If you're joining us for the first time, you can read how this started out and what this is all about nowadays. If you like what you see, subscribe to the newsletter (free) and donate some bucks to keep this otherwise free and ad-free project alive.
Reading for the weekend
- Interview: Quentin Lebastard of Bastard Keyboards, designer of the Charybdis and Dilemma, answered my questions about his work and designs before the release of the Dilemma Max.
- I tested the M4CR0Pad by Ergohaven and thought it would be interesting to demonstrate the ease of setting it up, along with a typical use case: image processing.
- Nakamura Hideki announced the testamatta #011, a nice low-pro unibody angled split keyboard.
- New LEGO-compatible board announced by KBDcraft: Lilith is also 60% (similarly to Adam), but it comes in a new case with 5.5 degree typing angle and in both ANSI/ISO flavors!
- Already mentioned last week, Maximus is a unibody split with trackpad by Protieusz – inspired by Daraku-Neko's Ieneko42c. Now with case STLs and Gerbers.
- Cyberdeck: Giga40 update with HIGOLEPC – committed by mujimanic.
- Tools: Vial to Keymap Drawer by YellowAfterlife takes your Vial .vil layouts and converts them to YAML that you can pass to keymap-drawer. And keyfab, a promising keyboard layout design tool by Jaroslaw Weber.
- Mod: notshitashi made a Glove80 with a trackpoint – with details and lots of WIP photos.
- Keyboard art – So much attention to detail: EX-00 – a heavily customized AM AFA R1 by TheExStudio. A
life-sizehuman size keyswitch out of cardboard (by i_like_miniwheats). Keebio Cepstrum illustration/map by jadepug. And this Jabberwocky with the tasty wooden wrist rest belongs to this column too I guess.
- Weekly Diderot effect: colorful replacement feet for Halo keyboards. And a slightly over-engineered suspension system with gas cylinders. ('but why?!')
- Typing game in the making: Kanji Kitchen by MochiDev. Learn Japanese while clicking and clacking – with in-game keyboards and keyboard sounds. Coming later this year on Steam.
- I most humbly beg zzeneg's pardon because he's been a donor for four months now and I missed his subscription somehow. To be precise, I haven't missed it, the cause is even more embarrassing than that, which I'm not going to disclose. ;)
- And as always, many thanks to everyone who helped this project thus far, especially to donors with recurring donations.
In the mailbox
Vintage keyboards are so overpriced, aren't they? I don't feel like spending that much money sellers are asking for however cool, unique, strange, rare etc. they are. It seems overpricing turns me to typewriters.
You can find gorgeous typewriters for dirt cheap – even beautiful, working specimens in impeccable condition. A Triumph Gabriele has just arrived:
All right, I have to confess I also bought an overpriced keyboard. In my defense, I waited more than a month for the seller to reduce the initial price in several steps. Probably rubberdome but the model is somewhat historic – part of game-dev history. It wasn't even shipped yet so more on this next week.
It is evident that I'm not a gamer. The last game I played was Touch Type Tale – in March this year.
However, when I read that the new ZSA split (Voyager) comes with Nanotale, a typing based game released in 2021, I took another look at Epistory (2016), its predecessor which I loved for its slow pace and melancholic atmosphere. I got it for free but I've never finished it. Until last weekend! It turned out I was really close to the end of the story when I abandoned it, and contacted the developer, Fishing Cactus, with some questions about Nanotale.
And Bruno was kind enough to send me a digital copy for free. Unfortunately, while Epistory ran perfectly on my PC, it seems its resources don't match Nanotale's system requirements (and I'm definitely not going to buy a new PC for gaming). It really lags which kills the experience. Nevertheless, Nanotale is something I can relate to: the heroine is an archivist, collecting various creatures of her world, cataloging its mysteries and wonders, and writing about them – slightly similar to what I do with keyboards on these pages. ;)
Another promising game is Kanji Kitchen, which really resonates with me too – combining typing with learning Japanese? I can't wait to try it. Cute graphics, customizable in-game keyboard with nice sound. MochiDev told me the estimated release date is around the end of this year.
- キー部 6%, Tokyo (Sept 23.)
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.
New shops and updates to the database of keyboard vendors this week:
- ori kobo (Japan) added.
- A handful of shop logos added, some optimization here and there.
Still with me?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
That's all for today. Thanks for checking by. As always: Keep learning and building!
Until next time,
Published on Fri 22nd Sep 2023. Featured in KBD #136.