Weapon of choice



  • Niche.Niche. Posts: 86
    a Razer death adder, with a Razer game pad, I don't game, and nor did I much when I was younger—but the mouses are just so nice to hold, and if they are made for people that game—and who need precision, shouldn't we be using the same :smile:
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 273
    I have just bought a small keypad which I am impressed with, you might remember I made a device with a knob which could generate up/down & left/right arrow keys which proved quite useful and has been in regular use until last week.  I thought it wouldn't be long before someone produced something similar commercially but it has taken quite a while.
    I'm not writing an advert but I would like to write a mini review, I don't have any connections with the firm which produces this or with Amazon.

    All things considered this is quite a nice piece of kit.
    But not without it's problems.
    The manual is very small and written in Chinese, you can download a manual in English from the website whos address (URL) you can just about make out in the middle of all that Chinese text (www.deluxworld.com).  The website detects your country of origin and switches to English automatically.
    The English manual explains things adequately and concisely but should have been included with the keyboard.
    This is not a gaming keyboard but then I didn't buy it for gaming, I bought it to use with Font Creator and for that use it is quite good.
    The keyboard is not very functional until you install the driver software, the URL for this software is embedded in the Chinese manual in very small letters.
    The knob could have been better.  It appears to be loose but that is just the way it is attached.  There is a grinding scratchy feel to the knob as it rotates.  The feel of the knob can be greatly improved with a small squirt of WD-40 or similar oil or grease.  The problem is there are four plastic bumps on the rim of the knob which can scrape on the suface of the keyboard base as the knob rotates if it is not dead centre, I'm sure they could have designed this better.  It isn't that bad but if you are using the knob constantly it does keep reminding you.
    I have put a thin plastic shim under the knob with some silicone grease which also helps.
    The knob is not programmable but it has eight settings which will cover most use cases.  It can emulate a mouse wheel, the up/down keys, the left/right keys, the increase/decrease volume setting.  There are eight different settings for the knob.
    Most of the keys on the keyboard are programmable not just the G1 to G9 keys which I assumed from the Amazon product description.  This came as a welcome bonus.
    The keys 'delete', 'enter', 'space', 'alt' 'fn', 'ctrl', 'shift', 'tab' and 'esc' are not programmable, their functions are set in stone.
    The G1 to G9 keys can be programmed and there are four selection keys which can be used to select the functions of these keys whilst the keyboard is in use.  The selection keys are 'Num', 'M1', 'M2' and 'M3'.  When 'Num' is pressed the G1 to G9 keys act as number keys.  If one of the 'M' keys are pressed then the functions of the 'G' keys are set by one of the three profiles programmed into the driver software.  There are three profiles already included in the software for three leading graphic design applications but it is quite easy to roll your own if they don't suit your needs.
    The three profiles supplied with the software are for InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop but none of these wre useful to me so my three are for Font Creator, Pageplus and Inkscape.
    A key may be set as 'Single Key', 'Macro', 'Multimedia' or 'Combo Key'.  'Single Key' has some problems which I will come to shortly.  'Macro' records a sequence of key presses and replays them when the key is pressed.  'Multimedia' performs media player functions like volume up or skip to the next track.  'Combo Key' can record combinations of simultaneous keypresses like Ctrl+Shift+K.  I found this the best setting for recording even single keypresses.  In the Font Creator there is a mode which de-clutters the screen as long as the 'H' key is pressed.  Using 'Combo' the programmed key performed just as the 'H' key on the keyboard performed, however using 'Single Key' the mode would flash up momenterily.  This is the problem with 'Single Key' it sends one keypress which is immediately released even if that key is held down.
    The bonus I found is that the remaining five keys on the keyboard are also programmable which is not obvious either from the documentation or from the Amazon product description. This was discovered by accident.  These keys are not part of any profile so they can only be programmed for one function and retain that function whichever profile is selected.
    The plastic labels on the keys in the picture are my fault.  They are the functions for Font Creator.  After using it a while you don't need the labels any more because your hand remembers where the function is.
    In conclusion a very nice keyboard with a slightly annoying scratchy knob.  It is lower profile than the one I built and so is more comfortable to use.
    For that price they should have engineered the mechanics of the knob a bit better.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,515
    edited July 2019
    I just want to put in a vote of appreciation for the amazing Unicomp keyboard. It is not that it has special programmability or ergonomic features. Quite the opposite. It is just a joy to use and type on, and will last for decades. https://www.pckeyboard.com/

    Old-timers may recall that old IBM computers from the 1980s and early 90s had these remarkable tank-like keyboards. They were the spiritual descendants of the much-loved IBM Selectric typewriter keyboards of earlier years. Heavy and durable, with wonderful tactile response. Typists loved these things. The Model M was the best-known, sturdy classic of the IBM computer keyboards.

    When IBM stopped making desktop computers, they sold the factory at which they had been making keyboards. Another company bought the rights to the design and the physical factory, and started making the keyboards. They updated the keyboards to use modern USB connectors (I think IBM had been using the PS/2 connector?). They added the Windows key, which acts as a necessary extra modifier key for those on a Mac. But for the most part, it remains the same Model M keyboard.

    I have had mine for at least a decade now. If I were attacked in my office, I might first grab a sword for self-defence, but second choice... the Model M keyboard. It is practically indestructible!

    Unicomp still makes the darn things. You can buy them direct from the company, or on Amazon. $79 and up, and worth every penny!
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,441
    edited July 2019
    I still use one of those old honking keyboards [Tactile Pro]. There is an easy distinction between keys and they are spaced far enough apart.  The keys have a cupped recess to help you center on them without fat-fingering others. They happily make an audible click when you type them so you know you have pressed the key. They have a numeric keypad, full set of function keys, and full arrow set. Yes, it is ugly as shit, yes, it looks out of place next to my silver iMac.  But the damn thing just works, day after day, year after year.  It is a tool after all, what more could I want.
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 273
    edited July 2019
    I have a really ancient Cherry keyboard which I got many computers ago.  It isn't flashy or high tech (it still uses a PS/2 interface) but it just keeps on working faultlessly and I have no reason to change it.

    I don't even know if it is still made.
  • Peter BakerPeter Baker Posts: 162
    Probably not that exact model, but presumably still the old-style feel:

    I lust for one of these (Unicomp, Tactile Pro, Cherry). I learned to type 50 years ago on something a bit like this

    and I cannot adjust to modern computer keyboards (the one on the current MacBook Pro was I think designed by Satan himself). I think I'll order one of these and lie to my wife about how much it cost.
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 227
    Been exploring mouse options, and recently picked up a Razer Basilisk X Hyperspeed. Mac support is limited, but there are some cumbersome workarounds.

    One thing I've not been able to configure has been the side buttons to page back/page forward with Safari (works with Chrome out the box). 

    I like the shape of this mouse so far, and if I can't get those assignments to work, I'm wondering:

    What custom assignments/commands have you given to those "extra" buttons that have proved to be useful, whether for type / graphic design or day to day tasks?
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 227
    edited July 2022
    I swear by ergonomic mice - the really weird ones that look as though they've been rotate 90° onto their side. Takes some time getting used to (your hand, wrist and arm are in a handshake position) but it's virtually eliminated the repetitive strain injury I developed in my right (mousing) wrist. Anker has a decent budget entry model available on Amazon (https://tinyurl.com/jmdn8cm) but the best one out there is Evoluent's: https://evoluent.com/ It also effectively repels "Here, let me show you," ADs ;)
    Are you still using this kind and found it to still be comfortable and design-friendly @Jess McCarty?

    There's a new option from Logitech ("Lift") that I'm curious about. https://www.logitech.com/en-us/products/mice/lift-vertical-ergonomic-mouse.html
  • Rob BarbaRob Barba Posts: 83
    Hi everyone

    I would like to know what do you use to design type on your computer?
    Do you you use a regular mouse or any other, like a gamer mouse?
    Do you prefer to use a tablet and a pen?
    Let me know!
    I'm currently looking for a substitute to my apple mouse since working on it for hours has given me a really bad tendonitis.
    Okay, I'll weigh in on this one.

    I use two items for designing fonts:
    1. Logitech G502 Gaming Mouse.  This is what I use for the majority of my work.
    2. Huion Inspiroy H640P Graphics Tablet.  This is what I use when I want finer detail.

    On occasions when I really want to get detailed, I'll bribe my wife and use her Huion Kamvas Pro 16" Drawscreen.  I'd get one myself, but my desk is overloaded as is.
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