Initial thoughts on the CODE Keyboard

Firstly, I definitely plan to write a more in depth post about my experiences with the CODE Keyboard, but I thought I would give a quick report of my initial experience and thoughts.

1) Taking off all of the keycaps to remove the sound dampening o-rings was very tedious (and annoying), but wasn’t as bad as I thought. If you decide to purchase a new CODE then I strongly recommend watching their video on how to remove keycaps using the provided tool here. I did have an “Oh shit, I already broke it moment when removing the Return key. The clasp that stabilizes the key to the base of the keyboard popped off. I was able to clip it back in, but the initial thought was definitely dread. Removing keycaps is not hard, just take your time and be careful.

Doing some minor surgery on my new CODE keyboard

Doing some minor surgery on my new CODE keyboard

2) The Cherry MX Green are noticeably stiffer than the Cherry MX Blue that I’m used to. These are definitely for “strong typists” who don’t mind having to push the keys down. The extra resistance is most noticeable in the larger keys, like the Backspace and Return.

3) Key placement is just weird. Even though the majority of my muscle memory is mapped to Apple’s default layout (from primarily using only Apple keyboards for a long time), my fingers easily adjusted to the Das Keyboard. However, my hands are having a hard time finding some of the keys on the CODE. Definitely anything to the right of the Return key is going to take some time to get used to (which includes the arrows keys and Home key six-pack)

4) Lastly, my confidence that I made a worthwhile investment is at about 60% right now. The keyboard is definitely going to take some time to get used to. Like, for instance, I notice that I have to actually sit with better posture (straighter) for my fingers to get a little more pressure on the down stroke. I don’t know if this is just mental, but even just typing this short post has made my fingers feel like they’ve typed a lot.

[June 27, 2014 12:02 AM] Update…

Alright, as much I hate to admit it, I cried “uncle” and relented to the stiffness of the Cherry MX Brown switches. My fingers were literally getting sore after an hour relatively continuous typing. What’s worse, and my main concern, was that I was having trouble typing on the keyboard of my MacBook Pro. It was like the muscle memory that had been hardwired into my hands over years of using Apple keyboards was in the process of being overwritten, or at least pushed out of working RAM.

So what did I do?

I haven’t given up on the CODE just yet. I just replaced most (soon to be all) of the o-ring sound dampeners, not to reduce sound, but to reduce the amount of travel of each key. My theory is that if I reduce the amount of distance the key has to travel before activating and then ultimately bottoming out, I can reduce the amount of fatigue on my fingers without sacrificing the crispness of the Cherry MX Brown switches.

To be fully candid, I’m writing this addendum to the original post on my Apple Wireless keyboard. In part because I haven’t put all of the o-rings back on the CODE, but also to give my fingers a break.

More to come…

WordCamp Austin Day 2 Recap

First, let apologize for the tardiness of this post. Things have been busy post-WordCamp. However, I’m still eager to share my notes from the 2nd day of the event. Let me preface my notes with an explanation of my conundrum. Sunday offered a number of really interested presentations, especially in the technical track. However, since I work for a hosting company and with a number of very technical people I have to constantly ask myself, “Is this something I can learn at home or at work?” After all, one of the main reasons people go to these kinds of events is for real human expertise.

So even though there were some great sessions about WordPress development using Vagrant and how to improve your PHP, I deferred to attend some of the less technical sessions to better understand the scope and extent of the WordPress community.

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WordCamp Austin Day 1 Recap

In a nutshell, the best part of WordCamp Austin has been all of the great sessions that I’ve attended. The worst part has been all of the great sessions that I couldn’t attend. Conferences like these always install a low-grade anxiety because I’m afraid I’m going to miss some vital piece of information in a session that I’m not attending.

I took a lot of notes during the first day of WordCamp Austin. Here are some of the highlights of what was covered in the sessions that I attended. I’ll see if I can share more later on.

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Where’s Palumbo: WordCamp Austin Edition

WordCamp Austin 2014 is fast approaching and this year’s camp offers a great line up of presenters. I’ve shown up to conferences and camps without a plan in the past and I’m not making that mistake again. I’ve read over all of the presentation summaries and these are the ones I’m planning to attend.

Saturday

8AM – Keynote

10:45AM – Escaping the Impostor Syndrome (presented by Chris Lema)

11:45AM – Lunch

1:45PM – Advanced Online Marketing with WordPress (presented by David Vogelpohl)

3:00PM – Best Practices for Planning and Organzing the Content of your WordPress Site (presented by H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik)

4:15PM – The Sport of Writing (presented by a panel)

6:00PM – After Party

Sunday

10:30AM – Simple Ecommerce – Selling with iThemes Exchange (presented by Elise C. Alley)

11:45AM – Lunch

1:15PM – Basic Theme Building (presented by Chris Nichols)

2:30PM – Scaling WordPress for Fun and Profit (presented by  RC Johnson)

3:45PM – Different SEO Struggles in 2014 (presented by Yusuf Chowdhury)

Honorable Mentions

Unfortunately, I can’t be at two places at once, but if I could here are some of the other sessions I’d like to sit in.

Cain and Obenland in the Morning (presented by Michael Cain and Konstantin Obenland)

Building a Profitable Bootstrapped Business on WordPress (presented by Jason Cohen)

For the Love of Jetpack (presented by Michele Butcher)

Lessons Learned Building a Plugin Startup (presented by Nelson Joyce & Andy Cook)

10 Ways to Improve Your Code (presented by Pat Ramsey)