late review and some ideas

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Aleksey Cherepanov

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Jan 18, 2017, 3:34:19 PM1/18/17
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Some years ago, I promised a review of AlphaGrip to Mike Willner
because I bought it. Back then, I used it only 1 week and I was able
to type at acceptable speed. But later I abandoned it being busy. So I
have mixed feelings: I like ideas behind the design, I have quite
pleasant initial experience with AlphaGrip, but then it did not suit
my needs and I found points that cause discomfort. But I did not
switch back to a regular keyboard.

Reasons for my discomfort:

- I did not find a single position for hands to reach every key easily
and to hold AlphaGrip well at the same time. So either I move hands
back and forth, or I place AlphaGrip on surface of my pants and hold
it very lightly by fingers only. It may be a problem with size of my
hands.

- It is harder to access green shift than red shift. And there is no
way to remap them. (I'd made it like red-green-red-green instead
current green-red-red-green, so green shift would be more accessible
to left hand and red shift would be more accessible to right hand.)

- I type a lot in Russian language, and there are 33 letters in
Russian alphabet, so colored shifts occur typing regular text. But
this problem was expected.

- I'd like to type much faster. So many keys for thumbs instead of
other fingers do not seem to allow such productivity. And this problem
was expected too. I'd like to see 3 keys per finger where there are 2.

- I did not like the shape of backside, it felt unnatural for me. But
I can't insist on this point.

- I use membranes with much lower actuation force now and I don't see
other way to go.

So AlphaGrip is not for me. Maybe some changes could improve it for
me. Handheld design is very cool.

There are several other strong handheld keyboards already in
production:
http://www.trewgrip.com/AboutUs.aspx
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/octodon/octodon

I'll write only a few suggestions for improvements: 1) use a
programmable controller and allow users to remap everything (including
colored shifts), 2) make the whole design 3d printable and Open Source
(under GPL 3 license like ErgoDox keyboard), it'll allow users to
tweak design till perfection and help you develop the best keyboard
ever. Good luck!

Thanks!

--
Regards,
Aleksey Cherepanov

Aleksey Cherepanov

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Jan 18, 2017, 4:15:36 PM1/18/17
to alphagrip
On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:34:15PM +0300, Aleksey Cherepanov wrote:
> There are several other strong handheld keyboards already in
> production:
> http://www.trewgrip.com/AboutUs.aspx
> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/octodon/octodon

I overlooked that octodon is canceled, so it is not in production. But
its design is worth investigation.

Also Back-Type AlphaUI (Twiky) may be interesting:
http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/channel-programs/225700033/gallic-fries-french-tech-tour-serves-up-hot-startups.htm/pgno/0/2

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Regards,
Aleksey Cherepanov

Lars Krueger

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Jan 19, 2017, 1:26:21 PM1/19/17
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Regarding the remapping: While it is true that you can't remap red and green, you can remap almost all other keys. There are hundred of AutoHotkey scripts around to do that. If you are a linux user, a similar tool (usbhotkey) exists. I use a remapping where the keys above red and green (kc, space, enter etc.) work as red, green, control, alt, etc.
 
Regarding international languanges: I use the US International layout with dead keys, so to get an Ä, I have to type "A. I guess something similar exists for Russian.
 
Somebody announced a DIY project on this list a few years ago to replace the controller with something programmable. Don't know if this is still actively developed.
 
I feel with you regarding the "mechanical" problems. I have similar problems.
 
Dr. Lars Krueger
 
 
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 18. Januar 2017 um 21:34 Uhr
Von: "Aleksey Cherepanov" <aleksey....@gmail.com>
An: alphagrip <alph...@googlegroups.com>
Betreff: [alphagrip] late review and some ideas
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Aleksey Cherepanov

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Mar 21, 2017, 7:16:48 PM3/21/17
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On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 12:15:32AM +0300, Aleksey Cherepanov wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:34:15PM +0300, Aleksey Cherepanov wrote:
> > There are several other strong handheld keyboards already in
> > production:
> > http://www.trewgrip.com/AboutUs.aspx
> > https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/octodon/octodon
>
> I overlooked that octodon is canceled, so it is not in production. But
> its design is worth investigation.

I got off-list tip that octodon is not canceled: it moved to
indiegogo.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/octodon-blazing-fast-and-accurate-mobile-keyboard#/

Just noticed interesting detail of its design:
"you can reposition OCTODON input elements individually"

Nate G

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Mar 28, 2017, 8:24:50 PM3/28/17
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Yes and there are only four days left for it to get funded! 
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