Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Meet the Ultra-Portable, Ultra-Adorable, Ultra-Affordable TinyMod!

The amazing Charley of StenoMod fame has released a new machine: The TinyMod!!! I bought one a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it. Go check it out!
It uses the same switches, keycaps, and processor as the classic and the hinge, but has only 25 keys instead of 34. The whole row of number keys is gone, replaced by one number key between O and E for the thumb to press. It's 7 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches by about one inch tall. Since there are fewer parts and it's easier to make, I'll be charging less. $160 USD plus shipping. For the immediate future I'll be stocking all three, "classic", "hinge", and " TinyMod". The classic and hinge will still be going for $200 USD.

Another Typey Type Update: Steno Revision

Di has updated Typey Type, her steno learning tool, with a nice new feature:

Typey type for stenographers now lets you choose words at the end of a lesson to revise. You can deliberately practice misstroked words as much as you like:


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Use Plover + VLC for Timecoded Transcription

I've done my time in the transcription mines, starting in-house at a handful of firms and using proprietary software, then going freelance and mostly using a combination of Vim plus either Winamp or VLC. On the steno side, I first used DigitalCAT, then Eclipse, then Plover, and moved from play/pausing audio with a footpedal to using only steno commands. I still take on transcription from time to time, though I haven't accepted any jobs requiring timecodes in years and years, mostly because it's felt like too much trouble to figure out a good workflow for them. Happily, Ted rides to the rescue with a step-by-step post on how to add timecodes to your text file using Plover's VLC plugin. If you're a transcriptionist or considering dipping a toe into the biz, check it out!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Limited Time Offer: StenoGherkins At Cost!

The amazingly generous Paul, new Open Steno community member, recently made an incredible offer: If you buy the parts for a Gherkin keyboard, he'll assemble it for you, no charge! He enjoys assembling keyboards and wants to help people get low-cost, ultraportable machines, even if they don't have any electronics experience. Of course, this offer is always dependent on his own amount of free time and energy. He can't guarantee it'll be valid forever, so I encourage anyone in need of a StenoGherkin to get while the getting's good!



As he said on the Plover Discord:

If I am putting it together for you I will include the standoffs and screws, I have plenty and won't ask you to buy 50 standoffs and 100 screws when you only need a dozen or so but if you're doing this yourself, you want m2 hardware and standoffs at least 10mm long, 10 is the perfect length in my opinion but you will have to trim down the pins the pro micro is soldered to, like this https://bit.ly/2IiVmvr. Not a problem just a caveat.

Keycaps you're on your own for, I can throw in some for a couple bucks just so you have something to use right away but ultimately you will have to source your own and decide what you like (the ones I can include will be DSA profile and could be any color or have any markings on them, whatever I have laying around from grab bags)

G-20 profile caps are very popular for mx style switches and steno, probably the most popular. if you want them, just google 'ortholinear G-20 keycaps' or 'planck G-20 keycaps' these will yield results with only the 1unit caps (almost, the planck sets will usually have a single 2unit cap as well for the space bar on certain planck layouts) which are all you'll need. For this layout, you NEED 25 but you'll probably want 30 so you have a cap for every switch, even if you don't put one on all of them(edited)

Gherkin build materials list:

PCB kit, $20
Pro micro, $8
Diodes, $2.50
Gateron clears, $7.50 for the 30 needed (you can pick any MX style switches you like. MX style is very important to make sure they work with the board. The lightest weight linears possible are what you're looking for. These are only 35 grams of force and would be perfect for most people). I'll update the link if an even better option presents itself.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Typey-Type Update

Typey-Type has been updated with more public domain lessons and the ability to review error strokes after lessons. Thanks to Di for her continuous improvement of this excellent resource.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Passive Haptic Learning for Computer Stenography



Check out this fantastic video by longtime open steno community member Tim! He's been working on research designed to lower the steno learning curve by introducing haptic stimuli into the learning process. The premise seems extremely sound to me, and he's gotten very promising results so far, so I'm really excited to see where this will go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

More Laptops with NKRO!

The number of NKRO-enabled laptops has been exploding recently! I've got an Alienware 13, and it honestly works pretty well with Plover, but it's a bit on the heavy side. Lead dev Ted has compiled a list of 11 laptops sporting NKRO keyboards, which offers much more choice than we've had up to this point. I'm not currently on the market for a new machine, but when I am I'll definitely be consulting this list, and I'm really happy to see this trend in new high-end and gaming-focused machines. I hope it keeps going!