Elvish SA Keycaps

I’ve been waiting for this set since December last year. The Elvish SA group buy was ran by Sennin32 of Doyu Studio. Sennin32 isn’t well known as a group buy leader among the Geekhack and r/MK crowd, but they are well known on eBay. If you’ve bought a Satan GH60, you probably bought it from Sennin32.

Elvish SA is a Chinese-manufactured clone of Signature Plastics’ SA profile keycaps. At only $70, these keycaps are significantly cheaper than Signature Plastics typical $100+ offerings.

This group by predates the wide availability of other SA clones like those from MaxKey. I’ve a set of MaxKeys on order from KeyClack, so I’ll have a post about those when they arrive.

The set is made with single shot PBT plastic, with a mix of dyesub and laser etched legends. The set has dual legends in both English and Elvish. Row profile is 1-3-3-3-3. The dyesub work is just okay. Legends are not particularly sharp, especially on the Elvish legends. The laser etched legends, however are clear and sharp. I would’ve rather seen the entire set be laser etched. Texture on the keys is good, there’s a slight texture present, but these are no where near as rough as other PBT sets like Signature Plastics DSA. Stems left a bit to be desired, they aren’t very consistent - some keys were easy to put on switches, others took much more effort.

Overall this set is okay. If you’re looking for SA profile the price point is quite nice, but the quality isn’t nearly as good as Signature Plastics. It was worth buying, but I wouldn’t buy a set from the same manufacturer again.

Typed on MacBook

Scott Forstall On The Genesis Of iPhone

We went to the design team, and they made a simple demo.

It was a simple list of names. With your finger you would drag along. It probably had rubber banding, everything. You’d tap on a name, and it would slide across and reveal the card. You’d tap on a name or a phone number, and it would say it was calling.

The second you saw this demo you knew this was it. There was no question. This is the way a phone had to behave.

Steve saw it, said put the tablet on hold. Let’s build a phone, let’s build a phone based on multitouch.

Scott was interviewed at the Computer History Museum on June 20th. The video is here. Scott’s interview begins about 1 hour 5 minutes in.

This the first time (I can recall) that Scott has talked publicly about iPhone since he left Apple in 2012. In Keynotes, Scott was always one of my favorite presenters, he was clearly cut from the same cloth as Steve.

Great interview.

Typed on ErgoDox Test Board

Reviewing The First iPhone

Steven Levy writing for Wired:

As launch approached, the anticipation reached a madness-of-crowds level. So when Apple chose only four judges to give the first verdicts on the product—our reviews were to appear two days before the public would have a chance to buy iPhones—each of us knew that these would be the most scrutinized reports in our career.

In the early 1980s, reviews were fairly technical, and directed at the aficionados and hobbyists who were early adopters of the products. As technology became more mainstream, however, product reviews sometimes became news themselves. The iPhone experience was the apex of that trajectory. No product will ever be as hyped, and no tiny group of reviewers will ever get such weight dumped on them

Ten years ago I was a high school kid in the Midwest, pining after the iPhone. I devoured all the reviews and news leading up to and after the launch. I was obsessed. In many ways, I still am.

[via The Loop & Wired]

Typed on ErgoDox Test Board


Halide is the new camera app from Sebastian de With and Ben Sandofsky.

In a sea of camera apps, what could possibly set Halide apart? Design.

Halide not only has to fight against the stock camera app, it must also fight against all the other ‘pro’ camera apps. I’ve tried almost all the ‘pro’ and ‘manual’ apps out there. These apps sell themselves as giving user manual control, but often fall flat in usability.

A pro camera app should be about is giving a user power & with ease of use. The stock camera app takes great pictures, but you can’t dial anything in. Pro apps like Manual allow you to dial everything in,but UI is filled with too many buttons and is too complicated to use.

Where Halide shines is its simplicity. It gives you power, but not enough to be overwhelming.

Halide in action.

You can dial in focus, exposure, iso, and white balance. Everything else like shutter speed is automatic - great when you know what you want, but don’t necessarily know every bit of minutia about cameras. Just play with a few basic things and you’ve got a shot dialed in.

To adjust exposure, simply drag your finger up and down the screen.

To set focus, swipe from left to right using the bar at the bottom. Halide even has focus peaking, so you can easily tell what’s in focus.

The app offers simple ISO slider, and simple white balance control.

Halide also has great photo-triaging built in. 3D touch your latest photo to see a preview. Tap to view full screen.

Swipe left to delete.

Swipe right to favorite it (this puts the photo in favorites album in Photos.)

There are a lot of really pro features here, like the histogram and RAW. I’m a knowledgeable enough user to know about white balance and manual focus, but not savvy enough to know what a histogram is.

Where Halide excels is making everything super accessible and easy to use. In using the app just today I’ve seen how intuitive and easy it is. This is brilliant work.

Get Halide here.

Typed on ErgoDox Test Board