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Open Source Hardware

A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video) 82

Posted by Roblimo
from the keyboard-as-cool-as-a-woodie-station-wagon dept.
Plastic, plastic everywhere! Except on most surfaces of the Keyboardio ergonomic keyboard, which started as a 'scratch his itch' project by Jesse Vincent. According to his blurb on the Keyboardio site, Jesse 'has spent the last 20 years writing software like Request Tracker, K-9 Mail, and Perl. He types... a lot. He tried all the keyboards before finally making his own.'

His objective was to make a keyboard he really liked. And he apparently has. This video was shot in June, and Jesse already has a new model prototype under way that Tim Lord says is a notable improvement on the June version he already liked. || Note that the Keyboardio is hackable and open source, so if you think you can improve it, go right ahead. (Alternate Video Link)

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A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video)

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  • Re:good wood? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jesse (306) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:11PM (#47526093) Homepage

    God no. Someone actually offered to sell us some endangered hardwood for the keyboards the other day. The plan is for something reasonably, pretty, reasonably hard, reasonably sustainable and reasonably inexpensive. N

  • Re:Not wooden (Score:5, Informative)

    by jesse (306) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:17PM (#47526135) Homepage

    Hi, jesse of keyboardio here.

    As of this week, the editors actually have it more correct than our website. We'd been prototyping in wood. In between when the video was shot last month and when this got posted, we finally got our first "finalish" aluminum prototype made. The aluminum prototype was what we talked about publicly on Highway1 (highway1.io) demo day and what we hoped to launch publicly. Once we had it in hand, we discovered a bunch of reasons we're not going to go with aluminum for production. (Mostly, cost, Weight, looking too much like an Apple product, weight, and weight.) We went back to the drawing board and believe we've got techniques, technologies and costs for commercial manufacture of a milled wood enclosure. We've been at OSCON this week, but should get the website updated soonish.

  • Re:Ratatta-ratatta (Score:3, Informative)

    by jesse (306) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:20PM (#47526155) Homepage

    I do a bit better when I've had a decent night's sleep and haven't spent the day on a trade-show floor. This was "Timothy finds Jesse standing around and asks him stuff" and not "interview with an agenda."

    That being said, I totally need to learn a bit about concise speaking. Also, thanks :)

  • Re:S'not Wooden (Score:3, Informative)

    by jesse (306) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:28PM (#47526229) Homepage

    When the production keyboards ship, they'll ship with a cord. (The same MicroUSB port charges the battery for the bluetooth controller, programs the keyboard and lets the keyboard be a regular USB keyboard)

    They'll also ship with firmware source code and a screwdriver ;)

  • by guises (2423402) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @07:29PM (#47526637)

    pioneered by Apple (AFAIK)

    I says to myself, "That doesn't sound right, Apple doesn't really pioneer anything..." After a little searching: looks like Maltron made the first one in 1978. [maltron.com] However, apparently a guy named K.H. Eberhard Kroemer published a paper describing a split keyboard in the journal Human Factors in 1972.

    So there you are. History!

  • Re:good wood? (Score:4, Informative)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Friday July 25, 2014 @09:18AM (#47530403)

    Bamboo.

    Hard - check
    Pretty - check (beauty..eye..beholder..blah)
    sustainable - check
    inexpensive - check

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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