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SneHebNor

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There is a need for UMPCs next to phones and tablets (they are merging especially in Asia) and people are getting annoyed with Android and iOS, especially tech people. Because I need some modern stuff I cannot get working at all on the Pandora, I got a mipad 2 with external keyboard but Windows is horrid. It is a bandaid for me, not a solution like a modern Debian or Ubuntu would be on a Pyra. And many of my friends have the same feelings.

I agree completely. There is a market (not a huge one, but a not-so-small niche) for small computers you can carry in your bag - and you can trust. So no mobile phone, less so with any mainstream OS and proprietary drivers.

As soon as I get my Pyra, I'll show it all my friends. They will turn green with envy, but eventually they will buy a Pyra, too.

It would be nice to have - at some later point in time - a variant of the Pyra, that were not optimised for gaming, but for communication instead. I.e. which had a front camera for video chats (XMPP, SIP, ...) and maybe less gaming knobs...
 

canseco

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Dpad as cursor keys, the buttons as Home/End/PageUp/PageDown, and shoulder buttons as Shift/Control are great on OpenPandora for non gaming tasks.

Pyra having more buttons that act like keyboard keys, would be great for shorcuts and the like.

Last time i did check Debian on OpenPandora, it worked fine. Same with Slackware.
 

Grench

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Pyra having more buttons that act like keyboard keys, would be great for shorcuts and the like.
What do you have in mind?

The Pyra has both left and right versions of 5 modifier keys = 10 modifier keys that can be applied to nearly every 'normal' key. You could program in, quite literally, thousands of shortcuts with the existing keys. What would the 'more buttons' do?
 

canseco

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I just wanted to say that the gaming controls, can be used as keyboard keys too.

On the Pyra side i was talking about, Insert/Supr face buttons, and the extra two shoulder buttons being more accesible for my use case, maybe others too.

Having more modifier keys on Pyra is great too, as i use them often.
 

rygD

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Why not? They are holding a big exercise right now.
I don't want to get political, so I will just say it rhymes with Rump.
I think they should have killed it. Maybe I will feel better in 4 to 8 years. Maybe.

That is kinda on topic, based on the title, but to be even more on the current topic:

I think the dpad works, and has been present on many primarily communication devices. I like to believe this is because it helps with editing text or navigation menus. It could just be that people wanted to play games easier. I am not sure how well other buttons that are not gaming buttons would work out unless they were shortcuts for browsers and email and such. For me a usable keyboard is of great importance ESPECIALLY on a communication device. Maybe a more communication oriented Pyra would have a keyboard that better supports a wider range of regional keyboard default layouts and their related languages.

Welcome back to the keyboard thread! ;)
 

Grench

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For me a usable keyboard is of great importance ESPECIALLY on a communication device. Maybe a more communication oriented Pyra would have a keyboard that better supports a wider range of regional keyboard default layouts and their related languages.

Options that would have allowed for very broad multiple language use caused fear and panic in a segment of the English speaking crowd. Even the mere presence of German characters on the Fn layer as we have now was met with mild protest. If the Pyra takes off and becomes a resounding success to where an alternate keyboard layout becomes possible, there are several examples of what this could look like.

However, since the keymat itself is simply a very complex sheet of rubber, there would be no way to 'autodetect' which layout is installed. If a 2nd international or regional layouts become a thing, there would need to be a selector process in the 'first boot' scripts to ask which layout you are using.
 

levi

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The keymat could easily have up to 8 spots defined on it that could be printed with carbon pads when they keys are printed on the underside. These could be detected by the mainboard and used by the OS to load different keymaps. I'm thinking of either two in each corner, or four on each corner and four on each edge midpoint - although I think there's some electronics top mid center, so that might limit us to a 7-bit code. 128 permutations ought to be more than enough for the lifetime of the Pyra I'd have thought.

You'd need a new mainboard with the detector pads on them, along with a new keymat if you wanted to mod your pandora with a different keymat, so maybe ED could just produce different mainboard that are configured to match different keymats, and avoid this detector pad stuff. But it might be simpler to just produce one mainboard with the detectors on, and sell it with different keymats.
 

Grench

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The keymat could easily have up to 8 spots defined on it that could be printed with carbon pads when they keys are printed on the underside. These could be detected by the mainboard and used by the OS to load different keymaps. I'm thinking of either two in each corner, or four on each corner and four on each edge midpoint - although I think there's some electronics top mid center, so that might limit us to a 7-bit code. 128 permutations ought to be more than enough for the lifetime of the Pyra I'd have thought.

You'd need a new mainboard with the detector pads on them, along with a new keymat if you wanted to mod your pandora with a different keymat, so maybe ED could just produce different mainboard that are configured to match different keymats, and avoid this detector pad stuff. But it might be simpler to just produce one mainboard with the detectors on, and sell it with different keymats.

Or just a step in the first boot script, "Please locate and press the X button." (Replace X with a key present in the top layer of both versions but at different locations.) It could be followed by a screen with an image of the selected keymat asking for the user to verify.

Both ideas, though, have as a pre-requisite that the Pyra with it's current keymat sells in large numbers.
 

Neelix

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Or just a step in the first boot script, "Please locate and press the X button." (Replace X with a key present in the top layer of both versions but at different locations.) It could be followed by a screen with an image of the selected keymat asking for the user to verify.

Both ideas, though, have as a pre-requisite that the Pyra with it's current keymat sells in large numbers.

To extend that you could have them type a short sequence, e.g. QAZ which would allow for identification of QWERTY, AZERTY or QWERTZ layouts.

-Neelix
 

Grench

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To extend that you could have them type a short sequence, e.g. QAZ which would allow for identification of QWERTY, AZERTY or QWERTZ layouts.

-Neelix

Some day, if the Pyra sells 10,000 units and still going strong, I could see ED considering a 2nd printed layout. I doubt that would extend to more than that though. So, it might need to be a true 'multinational' support layout. I.e. beyond AZERTY or QWERTZ.

When it comes to language support and gaming capabilities, I'm still fond of the #6 option from the 'final poll'. Direct support for nearly any Latin based alphabet without any real compromises to English support and the ability to lock the numeric and function key layers to the 'top' at the same time would have been great for gaming. Perceived compromises is where it falls down though - convincing people that it is OK to have symbols present that they won't use - and that they can still use that key for other things - is difficult.
https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/keymat-layout-the-final-poll.76143/#post-1347936

What we have now is very good - so long as you speak English - and pretty good - so long as you speak German or French - and should be livable - if you speak another Latin character based language and navigate compose and remap a few Fn layer keys to your own language. But - if there is only going to be one additional (someday, maybe) 'multinational' layout, i think that it would need to be pretty flexible in it's capabilities.
 

Neelix

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That would depend who organises it and who's funding it. Theoretically there's no reason a third party couldn't crowdfund the creation of a keymat with their preferred layout and pay ED to have it made.

-Neelix
 

Grench

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That would depend who organises it and who's funding it. Theoretically there's no reason a third party couldn't crowdfund the creation of a keymat with their preferred layout and pay ED to have it made.

-Neelix

Very true. And since the molds wouldn't change, that side of the dev costs wouldn't be as high. However, just printing the characters onto the keymat isn't the end of that story. That 3rd party would also have to build out a definition file for it - which is not an insurmountable obstacle - just one that shouldn't be ignored. Then you're getting into the 'hackerspace' though and that grants a lot more flexibility than a project has with the included during shipping version.
 
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