Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stenotoppers: 3D Printed Keys for Your Mechanical Keyboard!

The most exciting recent news in the Open Steno sphere is Jason's new Stenotoppers models, which you can print on any 3D printer (or have printed for you by a 3D printing shop, though that can get pricey), to turn your staggered-layout mechanical keyboard with steno-unfriendly beveled keytoppers into an ortholinear steno-style layout with smooth interfaces between rows.

It works with any Cherry or Gateron switches (I recommend clears/whites if you're in the market, since they have the lowest actuation force) and is entirely free to download and modify. If you have a mechanical keyboard and a 3D printer or access to one via your local makerspace, this is a great robust alternative to our laser-cut acrylic keytoppers, which are sometimes a little fiddly to align. Please note that these are unfortunately not compatible with the Zalman NKRO keyboard, which at $45 is the cheapest solution for entry level steno. Most mechanical keyboards with compatible switches are in the $100 to $150 range, so budget accordingly.

Speaking of which, if you'd rather just buy an ortholinear keyboard at the outset, the Planck is currently available on Massdrop for another 5 days. I have one, built and donated to me by the fantastic Scott of SOFT/HRUF fame, and it's quite a nice little machine. A little clickier than my beloved StenoMod, and somewhat bulkier than the sleek and compact SOFT/HRUF, but a very strong contender in the dual qwerty/steno keyboard bracket. Even better, the firmware comes with a Plover layer built right in. You'll have to assemble it yourself, but I've been told it's not terribly difficult, even for beginners.

The Plover README file has been updated to include recent developments in the Open Steno community.

Finally, there's a new expanded StenoJig landing page that allows you to customize your drills in a more flexible way without editing the URLs as you had to do previously. Extremely convenient!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Plover 3.1.1 Released

This is a minor bug fix release affecting Linux and Mac users.
  • Fix a certain type of NKRO on Linux (#644)
  • Fix control key on macOS Sierra not working with global shortcuts
  • Fix an edge case of output for Mac, where certain keys wouldn't be shifted
Check out the release on GitHub.