Monday, December 26, 2022

Cantonese Steno Explainer With English Subs

I love this video so much! It's in Cantonese with both Chinese and English subtitles, and it's full of beautiful demonstrations of how steno works, with clear visuals and a really engaging style. It features Samuel, one of the people working on the Cantonese steno theory I mentioned here back in September, alongside his friend Israel, who's gotten up to around 120 words per minute in only six months of practice. Just a great piece of work all around!

Monday, December 19, 2022

£19.90 NKRO Keyboard on Amazon UK

For our UK readers, Ryan on the Google Group just offered a tip on an NKRO keyboard for £19.90, the E-Yooso Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Pretty decent price! The keys are staggered, of course, and the springs are probably a bit too heavy for long-term use, but it might be a good machine for a newbie who's just looking to try steno out without too much up front investment! The same keyboard is available on Amazon US for $22.99. Let us know if you try it out. I'd be interested to hear how it works for steno.

Monday, December 12, 2022

YASK - Yet Another Steno Keyboard, a cool open source DIY option

YASK - Yet Another Steno Keyboard, developed by Thomas, is a nice new simple option for people who enjoy assembling their new boards.

Thomas writes:
It's relatively easy to assemble if you have basic soldering skills and a hot glue gun.

I like it better than the other DIY or "low-cost" options I found, because:
* The two hands are spaced apart somewhat, but it's still a mono-bloc design (it can rest on your lap). The "number" and "*" keys are duplicated, for comfort.
* It uses 2U keys (a single, long key for two positions), to avoid unnecessary gaps. They still hold well and remain smooth despite the overhang.
* It connects over Gemini PR protocole. No interference with your existing keyboard, even if you have Dvorak re-mapping and funny input methods.
* It's cheap, if you can build it yourself (especially if, like me, you're going to need 2 or 3 for your home and office)

What I don't like about it (look out for a Version 2!):
* It's not wireless. Silly me! Where did I have my head!
* It doesn't have any fancy features like recording your strokes into a memory bank when you're off-line, and then re-playing them when connected.

You'll need:
* The PCB, which you can order at any PCB shop.
* 28 mechanical key switches. I've used Gateron KS-9 RGB switches, but most brands should fit. White stem (35g), the force is just right, even when pressing multiple keys together.
* the same number of key caps. I suggest XDA keys (but any should fit), they feel good when pressing 2 keys with the same finger. I bought mine here: They're good and they have 2U keys, but you might need help from a Chinese friend.
* a RP2040 microcontroller board. They're the star of the year (2022), so you won't have trouble finding one.
* Some 2.54mm header pins
* a USB cable.

Software you'll need:
* the Micropython image for the RP2040
* Thonny
* and

Monday, December 5, 2022

Stenokeyboards Sticker Sheet

So I mentioned a while back that there's firmware available for the Uni v4 called Javelin steno that allows you to use it as an embedded steno device. I'm very intrigued by this and will probably be purchasing a Uni v4 in the near future to try it out (the Uni I currently have is a v3), but in the mean time I wanted to highlight the Legendary Sticker Sheet, also from Stenokeyboards, which is adorable, and which I will definitely be purchasing alongside the v4. Some old school steno people say it's cheating to put letter stickers on your keyboard, but to be honest, I've never understood that. My kid's TinyMod has sparkly bejweled letter stickers from the drugstore stuck all over it, and if I wind up giving him a Uni with embedded steno on it, I'd want it to have its keys labeled as well. The goofy stenosaurus and cool plover face stickers are pretty nice as well. I've found that stickers are a great way to capture a kid's attention, so I'm thinking this sticker pack will definitely become part of my kid's steno tutorial process at some point.
sticker sheet featuring a plover, a stenosaurus, and several steno-specific letter stickers