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Logitech G15 Keyboard [May. 1st, 2006|05:05 am]


Well, I finally broke down and bought a Logitech G15 keyboard (true to tradition, only after spending three days looking for the cheapest place possible online: $55USD) and took a little bit of time to dork around with it.

Here's my conclusions so far.

The keys are very nice, and nearly silent. A darn fine replacement for my Zippy EL-610. It takes very little effort to push 'em down. The internal illumination looks good, but the black parts don't appear to be painted on, but rather some thin coating of soft rubber. I don't know that adding a coat of laquer or enamel is going to prevent wear on these without ruining their finish. I suggest people keep their hands very clean.

I could still care less about the "G-keys" for macroing, but I'm sure I'll get around to just binding them to applications in time.

The display is very cool, and the Windows driver software was pretty easy to work with. However, all the fonts pretty much suck. It's like since everything's been using anti-aliased vector-based fonts for so long, that humanity's skills in dealing with a 1 bpp bitmapped font have just atrophied and fallen off. I found a Linux application called g15lcd which, after a bit of hacking up (because it won't compile out of the box), I can use to write to the keyboard's display. I'm using perl to build my own app for that, because I'm going to have to hand-craft a font so that I can have 6x4 letters that don't suck, and a larger font that doesn't suck for displaying time information and so forth.

Depending on how well it comes out, I may publish it. If it comes out really well, I may actually put a little Paypal tin cup next to wherever I store the package itself. So far the fonts are coming out well, and I have a clear idea in my head of how I want the data structures arranged for speed of access. I definitely know that I don't want to hear word one from those whiny Windows users about porting the application back to Windows, unless someone's writing me a check. That goes double for some Linux users who I am sure will insist that what I'm writing just absolutely has to have something as frivolous as XMMS visualization support. Hint: I'm almost going out of my way to ensure that what I'm writing can never be used for that efficiently. I'm mainly concerned with a very small number of things: Displaying the time/temp/forecast, possibly making a dbus listener, and having a way for multiple apps to write to the display at once, and have an LCD display manager cycle through these displays so that it doesn't become an all-or-nothing thing with any one app. The last of these tasks is the easiest, provided I completely ignore profiling strategies for handling any application insane enough to think that >45 updates per second on an LCD display is something other than stupid.

[User Picture]From: evildagmar
2008-03-15 11:00 am (UTC)


OKay, after extensive testing I felt it was worth coming back to comment on these.

In short, the G-keys downright pwn for games like World of Warcraft.
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