Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beautiful Plover Skin for Rainmeter

Shayne from the Google Group writes:
I've created a little (Windows-only) desktop widget to show Plover's status (running/stopped) in a more aesthetically pleasing way than keeping the window up all the time to watch the big "P". After a few months of working out kinks, I think it's working well, and wanted to share it with you all:

It's a Rainmeter skin with three variants (left to right: bubble, icon, letter), with an AutoHotKey script included that needs to be running to alert Rainmeter.

How it works: the AHK script registers with the Windows shell to get messages whenever windows redraw; any time the Plover window does this, the script checks the window title ("running" or "stopped") and, if it's changed, sends a message to Rainmeter to refresh the skin, changing the colors.

Note that it requires both Rainmeter ( and AutoHotKeyAutoHotKey ( to run.

Available for download:
Source available, too:

How to install it: Download and install the .rmskin file, then run the .ahk file in the installed folder (and put a link in your startup folder so it runs on boot).

It is especially nice if you have a second monitor. Hope some of you find something useful in it.
Isn't it gorgeous? If you run Windows and you want something beyond the blocky and admittedly uninspiring Plover "P" box, go give it a try!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Keyboardio Kickstarter is Live

Back in August, a Plover fan asked the Keyboardio Twitter account if their keyboard would have true N-key rollover. They said they were working on it, and asked us how many keys of rollover we needed. I told them 16 or more would probably do the trick.

According to their Kickstarter page, they have succeeded:

"True N-key rollover (NKRO)

For a variety of reasons, many USB keyboards limit you to pressing 6 keys (plus modifiers) at once. Most of us would never notice this limitation, but an intrepid few really, really need to be able to hit more than six keys at once."

I'm not sure if that was a specific reference to the Plover community, but regardless, the thought is very much appreciated.

The column-based layout and tripod compatibility are certainly ideal for steno. I'm not sure the big ridges between the thumb keys will make for the most comfortable vowel writing, but they don't look sharp enough to be a dealbreaker.

At $300 per keyboard, it's certainly on the pricier side for a Plover-compatible keyboard that's not explicitly intended for steno, but if you anticipate a lot of mixed use, don't want to keep both qwerty and steno keyboards at the ready, and don't want to build your own Ergodox, the Keyboardio Model 1 is certainly an attractive specimen. The Kickstarter ends in 29 days, so you've got about a month to decide!