Hesky has updated the Windows Port of Plover. It now support commands such as Escape, Backspace, Return, et cetera. This makes it much more useful to use as a replacement key entry system. I'm planning to use it as a monitoring system when I can't see my client's screen. For instance, I have a class tonight where the student likes to sit several feet away from me at a seminar table, while I sit near the back wall. Up until now, I've had to crane my neck and squint my eyes to read the words I was writing over her shoulder. My proprietary steno machine has dual outputs, which means that it can send the same steno signal to two separate Bluetooth recipients, but my commercial steno software won't allow me to run it on two computers at the same time, so even though I always carry both my laptop and my tablet PC with me, the other computer has been basically useless to me in this situation, unless I wanted to set up a StreamText job for myself, which would cost me $6 per hour. Last week I tried using the Windows version of Plover as a monitor to cut down on the eye strain, but because commands weren't yet implemented, Plover had to be restarted every time I sent a "new paragraph" command. Restarting Plover isn't that hard; you just click the red P on the task bar twice. But it was still kind of inconvenient. Now I'll be able to monitor output on my laptop while my client views the same output on my tablet, which is going to be really nice. I know that everyone using Plover for Windows applications will really enjoy this update too. This version is based off of the penultimate Linux version, so it still doesn't have correct number handling or any of the nice added features from Josh's last version (like the on/off toggle hotkey). Hesky's hoping to get to those in a week or two. This is still a really big improvement, though. Check it out!
By the way, I wrote this entire blog post in Plover on the SideWinder pictured in the previous post, with the epoxy keys. It's really amazingly smooth and comfortable, and both my speed and accuracy are drastically improved over the non-altered SideWinder. I'm very pleased. I'll be ordering more SideWinders and making more epoxy keys over the next few weeks, and hopefully I'll have built up a decent-sized stable of them by the time PyGotham arrives, so that we'll be able to accommodate anyone who wants to learn steno hands-on.