Saturday, October 29, 2011

Believe it or believe it not, I have a working FrogPad again.
With my FrogPad I can truly touchtype. I'm still not as fast as a two handed touchtyper, but over the years I have got faster.

Problem is I have had many ups and downs  with my FrogPads, the reason for this is, altho' the design concept is good, the physical design is not very robust. The first disaster happened with a parrot named Fred who used to live with me, he prised off one of my keys, so I had to send it back to the States to get it repaired, this duly happened.

Then because of my clumsiness I managed to break the USB plug socket, at the back of the pad. The fact that the pad has a separate wire to the keyboard is a design fault. With most non WiFi keyboards, the wire is an integral part of the keyboard. I have had blue tooth, WiFi and Infra-red keyboards and I don't think you can beat the response of a directly wired keyboard.

I have dropped one on the floor which made it stop working, all these problems I have evolved work-rounds to.

For a while replacements were arriving from the States with a manufacturing fault in terms of the connection between the keypad and the electronic board, swapping around boards and keypads got around that one with help from a friend.

Then I discovered to my dismay, a FrogPad has a near total failure rate, with any contact at all with any liquid.

I managed to have one stop working, tried everything I could think of, to remove the very tiny bit of wine that had come in contact with it, to no avail.

Gave up and bought a new one and managed to carry on for ages and ages, then on 16/7/11 I did it again :( spilled the tiniest bit of wine on my FrogPad tried again and again, solvent distilled water you name it, so for  around  four months, I have been without what I would call a working keyboard.

The subject of this essay is the weird way, one thing leads to another, to sometimes world changing events.

So I gave up with the FrogPad, I can type on a normal keyboard, but with  nothing like the fluidity with which I am typing this.

To persevere with one handed  touchtyping, I bought an updated version of something that was around in the early eighties called a Microwriter
it works okay, but suffers from an awful keypad and that it has an unnecessary level of complexity, being that it is Infra red, most of all, there is the enormous amount  of mental effort it is for me, to remap the finger movements needed to get the characters required, I can do it but find it cumbersome, had I set out off back in 2005, trying to touchtype one handed, with a CyKey I have little doubt I would be using it now despite its horrible rubbery keypad.

The best bit of a story should come at the end of a story, which is, how am able to type to type this on a FrogPad?

I get used to certain implements in my life, and get upset if I have to use a substitute.

I have my favourite teaspoon which I make my tea and eat my soft-boiled egg with, so I made my breakfast this morning as usual, nearing the point where I am to sit down and tuck into its yellow eggy goodness and somehow or other my somewhat errant right arm swung across and knocked my favourite teaspoon flying.

To this moment I have still have not found my errant teaspoon, but in the process of looking for it I found a bag of old FrogPad bits. There was one old bluetooth FrogPad that I had had problems with in the past and it looked in good shape, so I thought why not give it a go, stripped it down, detached the keypad and swapped it with the keypad of my last working  FrogPad, viola I'm a writer again.   

Thursday, October 20, 2011



 The end of an era

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