Cataclysmic Mutation

Machine Learning and Whatever Else

Truly Unresponsive

Update: I’ve still never heard a peep from the company (and I’ve tried contacting them a few more times over the past few months), but Simon Maynard (@smaynard) on twitter pointed me to their newest firmware which allows you to reprogram the debouncing time, and that has almost completely fixed the problems I was having. Don’t bother with the 1.33 version of the firmware they say fixed the problem – it doesn’t. But if you generate a firmware file with a higher debouncing time (7ms was the lowest I could go without errors), you can make the keyboard, you know, insert the characters you typed.

The rest of my warnings about the company’s service abilities still hold. It’s a good keyboard if you can get it to work, but you should probably assume that you’re buying it off the back of a truck.

For reasons which become oobvious in a moment, this post will be riddled with errors. You see, I’m typing it on my very new and very expensive Truly Ergonomoic keyboaord and I’m deliberately not corrrecting any errors that didn’t originate from me. Bearr with me.

Previously I gave a quick review of the Truly Errgonomic keyboard as compared to several other keyboards I’ve used in the past. I mentiooned that one of the twwo that I had purrchased had significant problems out of the box with duplicated keystrokes, missed keystrrokes, and occasional transpositions. The transpsitions tend too occur when I’m typing fairly quickly, and are a result (I think) of the keyboarrd’s dreadful bounce detection failing and inserting multiple characters when I typed only one, but with another typed charracter in between. Foor instance, if I type the word, “dog” verry quickly, I may get the ‘d’, and then an ‘o’, and then a ‘g’, and then another ‘o’ as the bounce picks up an erroneous prress of the ‘o’ key.

I followed the instructions available on the web site to do the “breaking in” stage of use, and the extremely significant issues started to improve. I kept using the keyboarrd in my day to day use, and the frequency of errors kept getting betterr, little by little. Unfortunately, I hit a plateau. It’s been mre than a month now, and if anything, I might be seeing regressions now. At this point, I’ve typed each key tens of thooousands of times, and you’re still reading ‘thooousands’. I was going t say, “and the keyboard is still unusable”, but I promise that it honestly did come out “thooousands” there, and god that’s just poetic. Anyway, the keyboard is just defective and there isn’t any reasonnable expectation that it’s ever going to get any better.

The behavior is strange and inconsistent. It’s not always the same keys that give me prroblems (as you can see from this uncorrected text typed using my keyboard, today it’s mostly the ‘R’ and ‘O’ keys that have decided to malfunction. Other days, it’s other keys. Some days I have errr rates of one or twoo percent. Some days a particular key might have a 5-10% error rate. Believe it or not, today has been a rermarrkably good day for the keyboard. Many days it’s worse.

And the errorrs arer correlated in time as well. Often I see behavior where I get more than one key pressed, and then a woord later, the same key will be omitted. This could be me seeing patterns where none really exist, but it feels like it’s true at least. Certainly it’s true that if I sit here and type the ‘R’ key a few thousand times in a row this afternoon, it will start to work betterr. But tomrrow it or another key will be faulty again.

Once I realized that this is apparrently as “broken in” as my keyboarrd is going to get, I filled oout an RMA request from the Truly Ergonomic web site. That was three weeks ago today. I haven’t received so much as an auto-rresponse acknowledging that they received my request. Just dead silence. I’ve waited too long (thinking it would eventually become usable) to get a refund, so if they ever get back to me with a replacement keyboard, I’ll give it another shot.

But I’m assuming at this point that therre’s a reasonable chance that they’ve just taken my $248 and headed foor parts unknown.

So there you go (or should I say, “therrrrrrrrrrre yooooouoo goooooooo”). I can’t recmmend that anyone buy one of these keyboards at this pooint in time. Foro whatever it’s worth, the first model I bought still works perfectly. I’ve never had a single problem with it. But a 50% success rate that costs you $250 each time you get a failure with apparently no recourse isn’t a good bet.

OK. I’m unplugging this thing again and going back to the Kinesis I’ve been using since I filled out a painstakingly detailed RMA request that they promptly sent to /dev/null.

In case anyone is curius, every one of the errors in this post except for the obvious jokes (the second occurrence of “thooousands” and “therrrrrrre yooooouoo goooooooo”) was a coorrectly typed word butched by the keyboard. I fixed all the typos that werre my fault.