User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Moderator: The00Dustin

Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

I use one or more iGesture devices (Pad, NumPad, Mini keyboard).
9
14%
I use one or more keyboards (TouchStream, MacNTouch, Digitouch).
27
41%
I use my device(s) daily.
26
39%
I use my device(s) occasionally.
1
2%
I haven't used my device(s) for ages.
3
5%
 
Total votes : 66

User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby TorbenGB » 10 Feb 2011, 15:32

I thought it would be interesting to see some "demographics" on our community -- what devices we use, and how often, and most interestingly how many users are still out there?

You can post a reply if you'd like to provide additional info.

This poll has no closing date.
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin
User avatar
TorbenGB
Site Admin
 
Posts: 518
Joined: 26 Apr 2005, 00:07
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby TorbenGB » 10 Feb 2011, 15:45

I'll start the poll off with my own info. I don't suffer from TSI (yet?) and I'd like to keep it that way. Here's a list of what I have:

in use:
1x TouchStream LP (purple Danish Qwerty layout) at my home desk.
1x Digitouch (silver Dvorak, white enclosure) in my living room, for controlling the media center pc.

sold:
2x iGesture NumPads, bought as backup and for use at work, but never really used them so I sold them to users who needed them more.

experiences:
I used to bring my TSLP to work but stopped that when stories of ribbon cable problems appeared in the forum. The TSLP then had a years-long hiatus as I felt that it was too slow to type on (I am impatient and missed the WPM of the physical keyboard), even though the mousing and gesturing is fantastic. I spent some time early on fiddling with custom gestures, but now that I have a family, there's just no time for such hobbies.
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin
User avatar
TorbenGB
Site Admin
 
Posts: 518
Joined: 26 Apr 2005, 00:07
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby jmadison » 15 Feb 2011, 20:38

Hey Everyone!

I'm typing this on my TS LP right now. It's a QWERTY, but I've been using Dvorak for years. I still use my Touchstream every day at work. I am an engineer, and do a lot of CAD work as well as a fair amount of database programming.

Sometime in the last several months (I can't remember exactly when) I finally switched out the ribbon cable. I bought a 18 inch cable to give me better separation. Now that I've been using it that way for a while, I realize 12 inches would have been enough. But, it's still nice.

I honestly can't imagine what it would be like -not- to have my TS for my daily work. I do have a traditional keyboard and mouse at my workstation too, and sometimes I use them when they are more convenient. For instance, typing strings of numbers is better on the conventional keypad.

In any case, I'm still a happy TS user, and I do hit up these forums on occasion to see what's happening.
Touchstream LP
jmadison
Smarty Pants
 
Posts: 80
Joined: 18 Nov 2005, 15:38

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby esperanto » 17 Feb 2011, 11:07

jmadison wrote:Hey Everyone!
Sometime in the last several months (I can't remember exactly when) I finally switched out the ribbon cable. I bought a 18 inch cable to give me better separation. Now that I've been using it that way for a while, I realize 12 inches would have been enough. But, it's still nice.


how do you hold the board with the longer cable?
Esperanto - Lingvo internacia - http://www.kurso.com.br
esperanto
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 06 Jul 2006, 08:06

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby jmadison » 17 Feb 2011, 16:31

Well, I bought my LP before the tent-stand was standard equipment. Hence, I don't have a Fingerworks tent-stand. Over the years I have made various tent stands of my own. You can see some of them here: http://sites.google.com/site/madisonnet/fingerworks

Right now, though, I have a couple of thin pieces of cardboard with rubber doorstops taped onto them to make a wedge. Sorry, I don't have a picture of that. So, there are basically two wedge shaped pieces on my desk tray, and I place one pad on each wedge. It gives me a tilt like the tent-stand, but allows me to slightly shift each half around on my desk to adjust the separation and the placement. Hmmm... I really should get a photo.
Touchstream LP
jmadison
Smarty Pants
 
Posts: 80
Joined: 18 Nov 2005, 15:38

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby hberg32 » 04 Mar 2011, 02:44

Three words: Cold. Dead. Hands.

For the record - I'm protecting my ribbon cables by securing the keyboard to the stand with velcro strips. It works fine for keeping the pads in place but I wouldn't call it a huge success as the hooks/loops have a better grip on each other than the adhesive does to the rubber underneath the pads. I've also tried to provide a little strain relief to the USB cable by wrapping it once around the center of the stand.

BTW - has anyone found any way to improve shielding from wireless devices? Between my iPhone and a wireless headset on my desk, my office touchstream is constantly registering ghost keypresses.

Another question - has anyone successfully repaired/replaced the ribbon cable connectors? My home touchstream was knocked over a few times before I learned to secure it to the base and while I was able to replace the ribbon cable, that keyboard continues to go a little wonky sometimes. Tapping the ribbon cable sets it right and usually triggers a left-panel reset which makes me think the connection isn't great. I'm thinking perhaps a pin doesn't have a tight grip.

Henry
hberg32
Hang-around
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 Mar 2011, 02:31

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby TorbenGB » 05 Mar 2011, 21:45

Hello Henry, and welcome to the community!!
It's always great to see new names around here, as we're a pretty small club. There must be more users "out there"...

Regarding shielding, the best advice is to keep any phones some distance away... There really is no good alternative because by nature the FingerWorks devices are sensitive (they have to be) and not shielded (otherwise we couldn't touch the sensor arrays). Our collective experience tells us that 2-3 feet / 1 meter is enough, so you don't have to put your phone out of reach.

Regarding replacing the ribbon cable, several users have already done this, and some have replaced it with a much longer ribbon for ergonomic reasons, so that the halves are much wider apart. The cable is fairly easy to replace. The most delicate part of the operation is opening the plastic frame, because it has small locking tabs that you can carefully pry open; just avoid breaking (too many of) them. Next, you'll see that the cable is glued to the frame for stability but not glued to the board itself; it just slides into a connector socket on each end. In fact, perhaps you can fix your problem without opening the device, simply by gently pushing the cable into the board? If you're lucky, it's only the glue that has come loose, and not the connection itself. Good luck!
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin
User avatar
TorbenGB
Site Admin
 
Posts: 518
Joined: 26 Apr 2005, 00:07
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby hberg32 » 07 Mar 2011, 21:07

Thanks for the reply. I actually replaced the ribbon cable on my burgundy TS at home (the one with the connector that I'm a little concerned about) a couple years ago but the left panel has never been quite perfect since then. I came to suspect the ribbon cable connector because tapping the ribbon cable always brings the left panel back (and diagnostic report no problems). Come to think of it, I didn't use any adhesive when I put in the new ribbon cable. Perhaps it's as simple as the pads being slightly unsteady on the base.

As for the intereference with the office TS, what got me wondering is that (to my knowledge) laptop, iPhone, and other capacitive touch sensors don't seem to be prone to interference. At least, I've never witnessed any. It got me wondering if the problem isn't so much false "touches" being registered by rogue EM interference through the "working surface", so to speak, but perhaps via unshielded connectors? Meaning, what if the interference is coming in through the side and inducing a signal in the solder traces (or in the ribbon cable, even). I'm almost tempted to tear down a laptop to see if manufacturers tend to put any shielding around the touchpad housing or circuitry which FW may have omitted.

I mean, heck, the iPhone has its own capacitive touch interface built right in, so I wonder what they did to protect it from the radio transmitters?

Henry
hberg32
Hang-around
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 Mar 2011, 02:31

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby TorbenGB » 08 Mar 2011, 14:16

My guess:
The large FW surfaces are "better" antennas and thus pick up more interference. In addition, the FW devices are earthed (grounded) so the interference actually flows *through* the device -- that doesn't happen to iPhones. As for laptop touchpads, assuming they are earthed (only while charging, and only if the charger is earthed (very rare!)), they use a different sensor technology and/or aren't as sensitive as FW devices, so they don't show the FW phenomenon to any noticeable degree.
TorbenGB - webmaster & forum admin
User avatar
TorbenGB
Site Admin
 
Posts: 518
Joined: 26 Apr 2005, 00:07
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby nomaded » 29 Mar 2011, 22:35

I still use my old TouchStream Stealth (the version that came before the LP that's securely attached to the tent stand) on my Windows 7 box at home pretty much every day. Its sensitivity to static electricity can drive me crazy at times. This computer is next to the couch, so I use it while sitting on the couch (with the monitor on a Ergotron arm that I can swing in front of me) and I place the TouchStream on the floor, on its edge when I'm not actively typing. It can pick up stray static from just my motions near it, and it'll start typing random things and opening random windows. Because it's attached to the stand, I don't need to worry about the cable that connects the 2 pads, but I have looped the USB and taped it to the bottom of the stand to prevent excess pull on USB/PCB interface.

I also use a Stenovations DigiTouch (Dvorak with white frame) at work, but only the right side of it (meaning only as a pointing device and only right-hand gestures). I find the white frame to be too high off the desk, and it covers too much of the edges to be comfortable to use as my primary typing/pointing device. So I pretty much use it as a big trackpad that does a bit more (aka an iGesturePad). It too is attached to a Windows 7 box.

To me, my most favorite configuration was using the MacNTouch with my 2 PowerBooks (an old Titanium one and an old Aluminum one). For whatever reason, those configurations seem to have the least problems with stray static electricity or stray RF signals. Also, I didn't find myself as frustrated by the fewer "blank" keys on the MacNTouch with Mac OS X, as I did when I tried it with Windows. I'm not using either MacNTouch because they're not really designed to work as a stand-alone device. And they don't really work with the unibody MacBook Pros without warranty-ending modifications to the MBPs.

I really need to try to find a few of the discontinued small Apple USB keyboards, so I can try to adapt the keyboard housing into a case for the MacNTouch/DigiTouch.

Out of all the FingerWorks devices I have owned and still own, only the original white MacNTouch (well 2nd one) is not really in a usable condition - the USB cable needs to be re-soldered on correctly.
@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
nomaded
Smarty Pants
 
Posts: 131
Joined: 27 Apr 2005, 04:11
Location: MA

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby dongadoy » 14 Apr 2011, 17:06

I use my TouchStream LPs exclusively. I have two - one at home and one at work.

I have lost two TouchStreams to static electricity (I assume), so I know it's only a matter of time before it happens again. I have an ebay search so I can buy a spare. But the ebay sales tend to be much higher than I want to spend for a spare. Some lucky person got one a couple of days ago for $550 - that's cheap!
Touchstream LP since 1 Oct 2003
I was snow.surfer in the old world.
dongadoy
Regular
 
Posts: 32
Joined: 08 Mar 2006, 14:36

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby nomaded » 14 Apr 2011, 18:10

Agreed. $550 is close to how much they cost when new. Very lucky.
@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
nomaded
Smarty Pants
 
Posts: 131
Joined: 27 Apr 2005, 04:11
Location: MA

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby ahales » 24 Apr 2011, 22:54

I also use my LP daily, and bought a second used one on eBay in 2008. It came faulty, and then got worse, probably after some static discharge.

Is there still no alternative in the market ? I bought an iPAD hoping it would help relieving the typing load out of my hands, but I found the keyboard rather small and only useful for very short email writing, but no way I could use that for larger texts or even less for scripting.
ahales
Hang-around
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 24 Apr 2011, 22:14

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby Ninotchka » 25 May 2011, 21:24

I also use a Stenovations DigiTouch (Dvorak with white frame) at work, but only the right side of it (meaning only as a pointing device and only right-hand gestures). I find the white frame to be too high off the desk, and it covers too much of the edges to be comfortable to use as my primary typing/pointing device. So I pretty much use it as a big trackpad that does a bit more (aka an iGesturePad). It too is attached to a Windows 7 box.


This is almost exactly how I use my DigiTouch (QWERTY) -- mostly as a trackpad, but with gestures, but my favorite thing about it is the ability to type a few letters with my right hand without switching back to the keyboard. My habitual setup is left hand on a standard keyboard, right hand on the Stenovations. I do a fair amount of mousing interspersed with typing, and it works great.

Agree that it's a bit too high and the frame is too deep to be super comfortable to type on, but it sure makes a bitchin' trackpad. I sometimes think that the right wrist rest configuration might help, but I haven't tried.

I also have two iGestures that I'm hoarding. I should probably sell one... but what if a meteorite wipes out my Stenovations AND one of the iGestures? then I'd be sorry.
Ninotchka
Hang-around
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 05 Jul 2005, 14:31

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby SkylarkNZ » 29 May 2011, 07:43

I still use my Touchstream LP every day - I'd be lost without it. There have been a few scary moments when the lefthand keypad has stopped working but unplugging the USB has always cured it. Very hot weather caused problems last summer, but switching on the AC and manipulating the surface of the keypads cured it. The USB cable is frayed where it enters the righthand pad and often stopped the keyboard working but I have now taped the cable to the back of the keyboard to prevent further movement. I plan to chop the cable and resolder to the PCB if I have any more problems in this area. I have blutacked the keyboards to the baseplate so the ribbon cable doesn't get stressed. I am constantly on the lookout for another Touchstream LP as having a backup would give me peace of mind.

I have emailed Steve Jobs a couple of times, requesting that Apple start making these keyboards themselves. Maybe if everyone in this forum did the same we might get a secure supply of replacement KBs.

Chris
Christchurch
New Zealand
SkylarkNZ
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 May 2011, 07:26
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Re: User Poll: Are you still using your FingerWorks device?

Postby buserror » 12 Oct 2011, 18:11

Also still use my LPs all the time; I have secured a couple of backups keyboards years back, and I use one at work and one at home. They are shinny with use!

One thing which degraded is the gel pads... I managed to hack something together by butchering a "keyboard restpad" but it's not /entirely/ satisfactory...

This is my desk, I use the 2 machines (mac pro, and big linux workstation) and share the TouchStream via https://gitorious.org/touchstream (which I wrote for that purpose)
Image
buserror
Hang-around
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 17 Jun 2005, 17:14


Return to Members' introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron