Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Steno Hardware Picture Post

I really do plan to get that Georgi review post out to y'all, but I've been too busy spending 9 hours a day using my Georgi to caption an intensive medical review course. Spoiler: It's doing a damn good job of it! I put in an order for a new Infinity Ergonomic after my old one kicked the bucket, but there's a 10-week wait time until it's shipped, so this little thing (and my backup machine, the new featherlight TinyMod that Charley sent me) has seriously saved my bacon. I've used it to caption conferences, huge public outdoor events, an assortment of challenging classes and webinars, and it's been up to the task every time. I've even gotten the hang of the thumb-driven number bar, which is a wonder. More details about specific pros and cons in the actual review, but I just wanted to give y'all an update.

Now that that's out of the way, a picture post! Just some very pretty steno hardware posted recently in the Plover Discord that I thought people might enjoy looking at.

laptop with illuminated keys in a steno pattern

idiahaus's Alienware laptop from 2015, with steno keys stuck onto the illuminated keys of its keyboard. My own Alienware laptop got stolen in Newark last month (I'm in the market for a new laptop with NKRO if anyone's got recommendations), so this picture is bittersweet to me. Awfully pretty, though.

Georgi mounted on a tripod with a big trackball in the middle

mknr's Georgi + trackball tripod mounting system. I'm so impressed with this! Functional, elegant, and ergonomic. Definitely inspiring me to try to up my current Georgi tripod game.

Georgi in molded plastic ergonomic case

Speaking of the Georgi, here's a prototype by Jane herself, the Georgi's inventor, with a contoured ergonomic case designed by pseudoku. It's wacky-looking, but I confess I'm intrigued. Definitely want to see more of this sort of thing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

New Dotterel Release!

Nimble has released Dotterel v0.2.0-dev, a new Android steno keyboard app that's compatible both with NKRO devices (using a USB-OTG adapter) and with your phone or tablet's on-screen keyboard.
  • Add support for custom systems defined in JSON. This allows for customising keys, prefix and suffix strokes, orthography rules and command aliases among other things.
  • Add new orthography model based on finding longest matching end of word followed by longest start of suffix (for use in addition to regex orthography model).
  • Add improved English orthography rules.
  • Add commands for performing Android IME actions.
  • {IME:EDITOR_ACTION} Perform editor action, usually submit or search.
  • {IME:SWITCH_PREVIOUS} Switch to previous IME.
  • {IME:SWITCH_NEXT} Switch to next IME.
  • {IME:SWITCH:ime} Switch directly to IME ime.
  • {IME:SHOW_PICKER} Show IME picker dialog.
  • Add dialog to go to keyboard settings screen when Dotterel is currently disabled.
  • Improve dictionary load performance.
  • Change behaviour of {>} to match Plover's (only change first character to lowercase). This was causing issues with uppercase fingerspelling
  • translations following lowercase fingerspelling translations.
  • Fix Dotterel ignoring back button instead of closing the soft keyboard.
  • Fix version string in about page showing as undefined on some devices.

Download the new Dotterel apk here! Thanks, Nimble!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Di's Misstroke Dictionary

A lot of steno beginners find themselves perplexed and somewhat intimidated by the many misttrokes included in the Plover default dictionary. While I'd argue that misstrokes are at worst harmless and at best quite useful, for a learner who's using the dictionary as a tool to grasp the finer points of stenographic theory, they can be a bit confusing. If that's you, and you feel like misstrokes have been holding you back, check out this misstroke-free dictionary (along with several other interesting dictionaries) by the ever wonderful Di. She says:

The aim is to remove all the misstrokes from dict.json to give new stenographers greater confidence in learning new briefs. The first step is to remove all the misstrokes for the shortest available brief for every word. If there’s a misstroke in a longer word, it is less likely to be suggested by Typey Type or dictionary look up tools.

It follows Plover's default main.json dictionary with misstrokes removed from the top 10,000 words. You can use this dictionary instead of Plover’s.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Kenneth Whups Typeracer on Video

I've been skeptical of Kenneth's ROPE system in the past as a too arbitrary and memory-intensive briefing method that might be hard for other people to use, but it's clearly working for him! Check out this  impressive video of him plowing through 15 short Typeracer texts at 200+ WPM!