Trade Unused MacNTouch DVORAK (Al PowerBook) for an ST or LP

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Trade Unused MacNTouch DVORAK (Al PowerBook) for an ST or LP

Postby dacc » 11 Mar 2006, 08:00

I bought a MacNTouch DVORAK from Markus through these forums, but now I'm forced to get an IBM notebook for work and can't buy the mac.

The keyboard is still new, unused, and comes with instructions for installation.

Anyone willing to trade me an ST or an LP for it? DVORAK preferred, but not required.

Thanks!

- Daniel
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Postby Will » 25 Sep 2006, 22:29

I have a DVORAK Touchstream LP and am searching for a MacnTouch for my upcoming Macbook Pro, but trading? Sry, the Touchstream was much more expensive. Why arent you using a Macbook Pro with Windows? Or is that a notebook of your company?
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Postby dacc » 25 Sep 2006, 22:39

Hey Will,

The newer PowerBooks, and also the MacBooks (I *assume*) don't have easily removable keyboards. I believe the MacNTouch was designed for up to the January 2001 G4 Powerbooks, which still had removable keyboards. This was before the backlighting started, I think.

That said, you could certainly wrestle this thing into a newer machine. Maybe not without voiding your warrenty, though. I've considered hacking it into my T41P Powerbook, which has a removable keyboard.

I'm looking for something portable that has good ergonomics. Is the LP the one that folds? I might worry about it wearing out if I folded it all the time...

I might throw in some cash with the trade if you're still interested. It's funny you should write, because just today I was considering selling it. =)

- Daniel
daniel DOT carleton AT pobox DOT com
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Postby nomaded » 26 Sep 2006, 21:36

Note: there are 2 different kinds of MacNTouches: the white ones and the silver ones.

The white ones were designed to be easily installed in the TiBooks. Installation involved popped out the keyboard and detaching the cable, then snapping the MacNTouch into place.

The silver ones were designed for the AlBooks and would potentially work with the iBooks (with some small modifications). Installation involved partially disassembling the AlBook (or MacBook Pro) in order to remove the builtin keyboard, then screwing (or adhesively attaching) the MacNTouch in place.

Neither MacNTouch would fit a MacBook without warranty-voiding modifications to the MacBook.

I would suggest that the OP specific which MacNTouch they have.
@nomaded

TouchStream Mini - February 26, 2002 - Sold
TouchStream Stealth - March 18, 2002 - Windows 7 Ultimate (home)
TouchStream MacNTouch (white) - July 23, 2003 - Retired
TouchStream LP - March 31, 2004 - In storage
TouchStream MacNTouch (silver) - December 1, 2004 - In storage
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - Windows 7 Ultimate (work)
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - In storage
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Postby dacc » 26 Sep 2006, 22:39

Oh wow, I wasn't aware of that!

I have one of the silver colored ones designed for the AlBooks, and so it sounds like I could put it in a MacBook!

Good to know, thanks.

- Daniel
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Postby nomaded » 26 Sep 2006, 23:10

dacc wrote:I have one of the silver colored ones designed for the AlBooks, and so it sounds like I could put it in a MacBook!


Please note that I said the silver MacNTouches should still fit in a MacBook Pro (with disassembly similar to what is needed for an AlBook), not a MacBook.

With the MacBook, you need need to use a dremel (or a saw) to remove the inter-key spacing that is part of the upper surface of the laptop. Undoubtably, this would void the warranty.

On a MacBook Pro, I would expect (much like on an AlBook) that you would need to unscrew the upper surface of the MBP, then unscrew the keyboard from the upper surface. The silver MacNTouch would then be attached to the well that the removed keyboard leaves behind. Having done this with my Oct2005 AlBook, and looking at the disassembly instructions for the MacBook Pro, the procedure should be very similar.
@nomaded

TouchStream Mini - February 26, 2002 - Sold
TouchStream Stealth - March 18, 2002 - Windows 7 Ultimate (home)
TouchStream MacNTouch (white) - July 23, 2003 - Retired
TouchStream LP - March 31, 2004 - In storage
TouchStream MacNTouch (silver) - December 1, 2004 - In storage
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - Windows 7 Ultimate (work)
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - In storage
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Postby Will » 27 Sep 2006, 20:25

Yeah, the keyboard of the Macbook is part of its enclosure, so it definitely ain't work. Unfortunately. I've searched for alternatives to the MacnTouch, but couldn't find any. The keyboard part is no problem, but the mousing is unique.

I first overread that your MacnTouch is still new. That increases it's worth, so maybe I would be interested in a 1:1 deal.

My Touchstream LP is about 2 years old. It's DVORAK-mapped and red (burgundry). But overall it's still in good condition. The problem is, I'm German, so the shipping could become quite expensive, I guess?
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Postby dacc » 29 Sep 2006, 06:23

Will,

Yes, the MacNTouch is still new. I've only plugged it in a couple times to test it.

What I need right now is a portable, external keyboard. I've been trying to think of ways to make the MacNTouch portable, but they're all pretty involved.

I might be interested in a trade also.

I originally bought the MacNTouch from someone in Germany, and I don't remember the shipping being that bad.

I do have a couple concerns.

One is that I don't know what age means for the Fingerworks products. Does the keyboard become less responsive? Do they have a certain lifespan? Maybe you can chime in here, nomaded (thanks for the info so far).

With no moving parts and good care, maybe the age is simply cosmetic, which doesn't bother me. However, if a new keyboard has greater likelihood of long-term functioning and performance, I might decide to stick with the one I have.

I also wonder about the folding feature of the LP. This is really great because I need a portable keyboard, but how strong is the bend point? Does it eventually wear out and break?

If there are agreeable answers to these questions I would definitely be interested in a trade.

- Daniel
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Postby nomaded » 29 Sep 2006, 06:52

As you can see from my sig, I do own a few of these keyboards. 3 of the 4 are in active day to day use, except my white MacNTouch, but that's because I don't use my TiBook anymore (any one want to buy a 800MHz TiBook or a white MacNTouch that works very well with it?).

About the only type of wear I would worry about is on the cables - USB cable and the interconnect cable on the LP. I would not fold/unfold/refold the LP, along the interconnect cable. There are a few posts on this forum, and many more posts on the defunct FingerWorks forums that describe how fragile that interconnect can be. That said, there is a replacement cable that can be bought to replace the interconnect when in wears out.

The other thing to keep an eye on is static discharge and other types of RF interference. During winters, with dry air, the TouchStreams can go "nuts" from static, but generally it can be fixed with a reset (either with a series of full hand taps or unplugging/replugging of the USB cable). RF interference from some mobile phones or cold cathode tubes will cause similar behavior. As with any semiconductor electronics, a large enough static discharge will cause irreparable damage.

If you do get a TouchStream LP, and you do find yourself transporting it a lot, I would advise that you firmly attach it to the tent stand (via something like velcro) and transport it as a whole. No, it won't be compact, but you will be doing the least amount of flexing on the interconnect cable. Additionally, I have taken to looping the USB cable on my TouchStream Stealth (aka ST) once and duct taping it to the bottom of the stand, so that if I do accidentally tug hard on the USB cable, the duct tape takes the brunt of the force, not the USB cable.
[/i]
@nomaded

TouchStream Mini - February 26, 2002 - Sold
TouchStream Stealth - March 18, 2002 - Windows 7 Ultimate (home)
TouchStream MacNTouch (white) - July 23, 2003 - Retired
TouchStream LP - March 31, 2004 - In storage
TouchStream MacNTouch (silver) - December 1, 2004 - In storage
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - Windows 7 Ultimate (work)
Stenovations Digitouch (dvorak) - 2007 - In storage
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Postby dacc » 29 Sep 2006, 07:03

nomaded,

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Did you say that the interconnect cables are still available for purchase? If I could buy a couple of these as back-ups, I might risk the folding. It seems like the safest thing for portability might be a hard case, and I think I have one that's the perfect size for a folded LP.

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but I suppose replacing the cable might be a risky operation. Do you know if it requires complete or partial disassembly?

- Daniel
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Postby TorbenGB » 29 Sep 2006, 08:34

dacc wrote:Do you know if it requires complete or partial disassembly?

It requires that you remove the plastic frame from both halves. By doing that, you risk breaking off the small plastic tabs that keep the halves together. Also, near where the cable enters, there is super glue applied which you will have to remove with a sharp knife.

I would not recommend any TS surgery unless absolutely necessary, so do not count on that as a backup solution. It is better to minimize the causes for such surgery, meaning flex it as little as possible.
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Postby Will » 29 Sep 2006, 14:05

dacc wrote:I do have a couple concerns.

One is that I don't know what age means for the Fingerworks products. Does the keyboard become less responsive? Do they have a certain lifespan? Maybe you can chime in here, nomaded (thanks for the info so far).

With no moving parts and good care, maybe the age is simply cosmetic, which doesn't bother me. However, if a new keyboard has greater likelihood of long-term functioning and performance, I might decide to stick with the one I have.

My Touchstream is still very responsive and I can't remember it being more responsive when I bought it.

I clean the surface averagely once in a month with a wet handkerchief, so I would say it is in a cssmetically good condition. The gel pads are still usable, but, of course, have oldened. AFAIK they are wearout objects.
Sometimes I have problems with being statically charged, but the LP does not seem to have been damaged from it.
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