Very quick but very juicy update. I got the first batch of prototypes for the Tolkien sets and they are lovely!Continue reading…
Tolkien sets development proceeds at a steady pace. All colors have been finalized and they are delicious! Legends should be final; for the Elvish set most of the work was already done (from previous Sindarin keycaps), for Dwarvish things are a little more complicated.
The official material is very sparse so I had to rely on Neo Cirth, which is an effort to expand the little Dwarvish vocabulary we have documented from Tolkien. It won’t be super accurate, but it’s a close approximation.Continue reading…
It took forever but it’s kinda sorta semi-official that we will soon™ release licensed Tolkien keyboards, keycaps, desktop mat, …
It’s not clear yet how much stuff we are going to do, but I would like to start from a few sets of Elven and –this time also– Dwarven keycaps. Both being composed by extremely complicated glyphs we can’t do double-shot, so this is going to be MT3 profile in PBT material with dye-sublimated legends. It is somehow limiting in the color selection (we can’t use light on dark schemes) but we can use any sort of iconography from the Tolkien world.Continue reading…
UPDATE: now live on Drop!
When we designed the MT3 keycap profile we had very specific vintage keyboards in mind. One of them was the IBM 3277 (and the whole 32xx series). So before venturing any further in colorful and extravagant color schemes I had to honor the 3277 by dedicating an MT3 set to it.
Hence I’m proud to introduce to you simply “3277”, the next MT3 double-shot to be produced in the coming months.Continue reading…
It was March 16th –basically 12 years ago in the time of covid– when I first told you that Susuwatari was going production. I was not happy about it, we weren’t ready and I had no trust in a factory that to that point gave only disappointment.
Well, when I’m wrong I’m wrong. Today I got the production prototypes for Susuwatari… and to my great surprise they are pretty darn good.
If you follow me you know that I’m an annoyingly perfectionist and I’m never 100% happy with my work. Well, this time I’m moderately optimist. I have no clue how the manufacturer pulled this off after the countless low quality tests we made in past year, but I’m not gonna complain.
Of course there’s something I’d still like to fix. Colors are still not a perfect match of what I had in mind and a couple of keys (not important ones) would need some retouching, but anyway they are ready for production and shipping as they are.
So warm up a special place in your collection, Susuwatari is coming to you real soon!
Let’s start with the good news. /dev/tty2 is finally live! I thought it was “ready to buy” but it turned out Drop started with a preorder page. But there shouldn’t be delays, this is the third time we make these and the manufacturer can vomit /dev/tty pretty easily by now.
Please note that there will be some updates in the coming hours! More keys will be added and few things fixed. Honestly I didn’t know Drop was about to release the Kraken so soon.
Susuwatari is in production right now and as far as I know it is very close to be completed. As I said few weeks ago they rushed the production so I’m still not sure what will be actually released. We sent the manufacturer a very detailed report but I don’t think we’ll be able to fix any error unless it is very very bad.
That’s all for now! Stay safe!
We’ve built our keyboard from scratch, now it’s time to put a brain into it.
A keyboard functionality may seem trivial but the firmware job is all but simple. Dealing with the USB HID interface is tedious, that’s why it’s good to start with a controller that has integrated keyboard/mouse/keypads support like the Teensy and some ready to use libraries.
There are various firmware we can choose from but for the sake of this tutorial I’m going to use QMK. It was born as a fork of Hasu’s TMK and developed into its own thing. Unfortunately at the time of this writing TMK doesn’t compile properly with Chibios (aka modern controllers like the Teensy 3.x) so we are going to work with its equally capable cousin.Continue reading…
This is a kind of good-news-bad-news situation.
The good news is that Susuwatari is going production. The bad news is that Susuwatari is going production.
I just got a new round of prototypes, but I’m informed that they are not prototypes, they are final and they are going production with what we have.
The keycaps had a series of production hiccups at the beginning, then Corona Virus. It was not an easy journey, but the sane thing to do at this point would be to stop and wait for this global emergency to cool down a little. Drop decided this is not the case, they want to deliver asap. I understand people are pissed of the delays and anyway Drop needs to return the investment (which was huge).
Of course I have no saying in this decision. After all they use my name to sell stuff but I have close to zero decisional power.
So at this stage is the set good enough? Yes!
Is the set ready for production? No.
You know by now I’m a perfectionist and I’m rarely happy with anything I do, I’m pretty sure very few will be upset with the keycaps we have now, but still it’s not what I designed and it’s not what I signed off. Not to mention that I haven’t seen all the kits, just a bunch of keys.
It is what it is. Stay strong, at the end Susuwatari right now should not be your top priority.
There’s no sugar-coating, everyone knows what is happening in China (and in the rest of the world). Factories are requested by law to stay closed and they need special permits to re-open. As far as I know until last week most of China was closed for Corona Virus. I don’t have news regarding the last few days but I’m pretty sure Susuwatari production has stopped for quite some time now.Continue reading…