Author Topic: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!  (Read 16264 times)

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Offline tuxsavvy

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HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« on: Fri, 01 November 2013, 02:42:10 »
So.. it has been a few days since I got my eagerly anticipated HHKB. Those of you who didn't know, I wrote out what I was getting in my "debut post".

What can I say about the HHKB? having now my own one I must admit:
  • First ever 東プレ (Topre) based keyboard switch that I own.
  • First ever HHKB keyboard.
  • First ever a Japanese (JIS) layout keyboard. The dedicated arrow keys are an exception.
Typing on a Topre based keyboard switches that others describe as the feeling of "cloud of boobs" or even just "boobs" wasn't quite true. Though I have to admit the feeling of rather soft but remains firm when pressed and released. Comparing that to say your average $10 keyboard which feels mushy and ALPS based keyboard which requires heavier key "punching" the Topre actually feels much lighter. In fact switching from an old cheap $10 keyboard to what is worth $300+ keyboard it is somewhat easy to accidentally hit the wrong keys when resting fingers on the keyboard. Though I'm sure it is only a matter of accustomising to the new and rather soft switches.
What about the layout? Some people have noted (when comparing to a non HHKB JP layout keyboard) that:I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.
As with tiny spacebar issue I must point out that this tiny spacebar issue is not specifically restricted to only HHKB. If one were to either use/own/see any Japanese layout keyboard (predominantly JIS layout where they have extra keys for things like 変換 (henkan), 無変換 (muhenkan), ひらがな/カタカナ (hiragana/katakana) for instance. The spacebar is also tiny compared to say a Japanese keyboard with English layout. With the Japanese language (I'd also must dare say with most other east Asian languages as well) there is no need to use spacebar that much because those that know about the language can clearly see what is defined as a word without needing spaces to separate them. Unlike English and most other European language where it is pretty evident that one needs to use spacebar more to separate individual words the east Asian language doesn't use that feature hence they made the spacebar smaller knowing that people who are going to write east Asian languages in general doesn't use spacebar all that often. Also there is the other issue of fitting extra keys which would seem quite daunting had the spacebar been the same sized as their western counterparts.
Now with that point being mentioned, another noteworthy information is that it is really not all that hard to hit the "tiny" spacebar. A touch typist would be using their thumbs to hit the spacebar. For me, I've been using mainly my right thumb to hit the spacebar. Aesthetically the spacebar looks tiny but to a real typist it would not seem as much of an issue because it is not like they would need to hit the spacebar constantly with other fingers. Notably one can clearly see that when proper touch typing is utilised and with fingers resting on the "home" keys they could see even with a tiny spacebar it is still within reach of both thumbs. It is not like the tiny spacebar is off-centred or placed in other obscure location which would make touch typist hard to reach when they would normally use their thumbs to reach for the spacebar.  I guess the only exceptions is for those that may not have all 10 fingers (.. or others would like to phrase it as eight fingers and two thumbs.)

The only real issues that lies with say for instace JIS layout keyboard are the extra keys (namely to be used for inputting Japanese words but is not restricted to only Japanese language per se) along with slightly weird keymaps. For instance, where there is normally an "@" (at) symbol on top of the number '2' now has double quote on top. The "@" symbol resides somewhere else instead. I must admit that this would only be an issue to those with a JIS layout keyboard and they are using JIS keyboard layout. Had one that ignores the key legends and uses say for instance the US layout that would virtually nullify the problem. On top of that having blank key legends for instance. This is really what software/drivers are for honestly, unless one learns the JIS layout, it would not be an issue otherwise. Also learning JIS layout for instance I'd say is just a matter of learning a few extra different key bindings. Much like how one were to switch from say for instance a QWERTY keyboard to DVORAK.

Now with all the traits aside, I shall post my reasons for wanting a particular HHKB:
  • Because HHKB is small, portability in case for instance of relocating the keyboard elsewhere to say for example be used in a public space. the issue maybe would be of some concern. Whilst I must admit I actually find clicky keys quite aurally appealing, others may not like the noise as much. Instead of wanting to create extra attention to what is quite a well known keyboard (namely in the keyboard geeks realm) I personally don't want to create extra attention other than having to dig out my HHKB in public spaces. If one begs the question of why not buy the regular HHKB Pro JP and do-it-yourself silencing instead which may work out cheaper, etc. I will point that out later.
  • The Japanese layout bearing extra keys to me could also be put to use for other usages. Some people have notably remapped their Japanese layout keyboards suited to their own taste but also because I for instance will be wanting to type Chinese, I'm sure I could remap the extra keys to say for instance switch between different IME inputs and/or to deliberately type out the phonetic letters (in Chinese it's called ㄅㄆㄇㄈ (bopomofo) which is quite similar to Japanese's usage of ひらがな/カタカナ (hiragana/katakana)).
  • The dedicated arrow keys are somewhat a must for me because of old diehard habits using them to navigate around. Although I run linux (linux guys could see the irony in my handle of course) even when using command line text editors such as vi/vim I get  a bit lazy and use the arrow keys instead of h,j,k,l. As a side note I'm trying to learn proper ways of vim albeit at somewhat a slow rate.
  • Apart from the issues that I pointed out with JIS layout keyboards (which I must stress is of real no issue to me). HHKB Pro JP lacks USB hub. Whilst some may make use of the more common/popular keyboard as a ways and means of plugging in for instance their flash drives for instance. I personally don't see much need to have a keyboard with USB hub. I must admit that I'm more of a diehard fan of old keyboard technology/design where such extra handy features are virtually not available as it basically allows one to customise it to their hearts content rather than explicitly wanting extra features as dedicated knobs or buttons.
  • Compact keyboard layouts are of not much issue for me. I have had to deal with laptops for instance as well as handheld devices like Nokia N900. HHKB's compact layout isn't all that bad when one had to deal with various other compact keyboard layouts. I guess switching from a full sized keyboard to a compact keyboard regardless if it is tenkeyless (no dedicated number pads arranged in ways similar to that found on calculator) keyboard. I somewhat will miss having that numpad. Of course I could always go and buy for instance RealForce numpads but that is an exception.
Basically I bought my HHKB based on more or less of what I have contemplated heavily on (that is having done my homework and thoroughly researched) as opposed to impulsive buying. Even at that I must admit HHKB was based on 和田英一 (わだえいち/Wada Eiichi) a computer scientist and also a Japanese computer pioneer who proposed a keyboard mainly for UNIX environment had some influences apart from having well thoroughly researched on a keyboard that I have somewhat wanted for quite sometime (also much later on I found out that Richard Stallman a GNU advocate and founder is/was using HHKB as well as well as now as of writing this Bjarne Stroustrup who made C++ programming language.)
Speaking of which my HHKB of being JP variant is not quite the same as those popular people are usng but meh I couldn't really care less. It is still by PFU anyway.  :p
For those who may have wanted to know why I wanted the Type-S instead of do-it-yourself silencing mod instead which would work out cheaper. The idea of do-it-yourself is definitely quite nice but with so many different silencing mod, using rubber or using foam, it seemed like as if there may not have a one off solution. The rubber ring silencing mod looks a heck a  lot easier than foam silencing mod. Though regardless I probably wouldn't be that handy with it. Aside from HHKB realm, I have two ALPS based switches which are both old and they require fixing to make it work again. One having a button that doesn't work and the other has issues with multiple keys getting stuck or not registering. I decided to try and fix one of them which turned out horrible. I didn't have a key cap puller tool and I decided to use my bare hands to pull the key caps off. It was a very bad idea and yes I was totally naive. Ultimately I broke a few key cap stems on one keyboard and refused to touch the other after having broken a few key cap stems. Getting back onto HHKB, I looked at PFU's website and supposedly there's also a difference in the location of the springs (or so I thought). So ultimately I chose to get the Type-S not only because I wouldn't be hacking my keyboard hardware-wise on the first few days of ownership but also to see the manufacturer proposed methods of silencing and seeing how long would they last, etc.
With all that being aforementioned now I shall focus on showing off some photos:
42106-0
Here is the keyboard with keyboard roof and acrylic palm rest.
42108-1
Here is the keyboard in carrying bag along with keyboard roof. I like to point out that the bag is well padded but I thought putting my rather expensive HHKB in with keyboard roof on top wouldn't hurt all that much. In fact there was no dramas at all with it in the bag. I could still zip the bag up normally.

42110-2
Here is the box of spare key caps along with the key cap puller tool. This is basically more or less what you get for ordering a spare set of key caps from PFU Direct.

I have plenty more photos and other information on my own blog post for those really keen. The information contain from both within this thread is quite different than of that posted on my blog:
http://eidolon-sapphire.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/computers-hhkb-pro-type-s-jp-and.html
A forewarning that my blog entry may seem a bit long winded (as it is pretty much here I guess).  ;D
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline Polymer

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 01 November 2013, 11:44:16 »
I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.

Thanks for the review..but the above statement doesn't really make sense....It shouldn't really matter if you are left or right handed, you'd use both shift keys if you were typing with good form.

That said, if it works out for you that is all that really matters for your own keyboard...

Online rowdy

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 01 November 2013, 23:39:08 »
Anecdote: I was refurbishing a Model M that was missing the left Shift.  After I made a cable I used it for a week or so to make sure that it worked, before spending money on keycaps.  I found that I almost exclusively use the left Shift key - and using the right Shift was really awkward.  Even typing this I find that I am using only the left Shift key.  If my Model M had been missing the right Shift I probably would not have noticed.

I am right-handed.  My typing style is slightly chaotic - when typing forum posts I sort of mostly touch type, but not completely.

Perhaps there is some small grain of truth in the above remarks, at least as far as some right-handers goes.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thatís incorrect. Itís in HHKBís slogan, but when Americaís cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline ComradeSniper

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 00:25:25 »
I never use right shift and I only hit the spacebar with my left thumb. Not sure that that has anything to do with being right handed though.

Offline terran5992

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 00:32:16 »
Love the keyboard , hate the layout

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Offline Polymer

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 00:51:17 »
Perhaps there is some small grain of truth in the above remarks, at least as far as some right-handers goes.

It could be for those that don't learn how to use both shift keys there is a tendency to use one based on if you're right or left handed...I don't know...but with proper form you should be using both.  I can't imagine using just one...I mean, if you only use the left shift, does that mean "A" is done with a different finger other than your pinky on A?

Of course, whatever works for you is fine...

Offline tbc

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 02:02:53 »
I only use left shift because my right hand is usually on the mouse.

I'm very sure that at this point, most members here don't actually have a mouse.... :/
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Offline Linkbane

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 02:56:35 »
I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.

Thanks for the review..but the above statement doesn't really make sense....It shouldn't really matter if you are left or right handed, you'd use both shift keys if you were typing with good form.

Very true. There is no such thing as a shift that you use, there are two so you should use both of them. It's inaccurate and slow to only use one shift, and you're buying a $300 keyboard, might as well use it correctly.
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Offline terran5992

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 03:13:28 »
I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.

Thanks for the review..but the above statement doesn't really make sense....It shouldn't really matter if you are left or right handed, you'd use both shift keys if you were typing with good form.

Very true. There is no such thing as a shift that you use, there are two so you should use both of them. It's inaccurate and slow to only use one shift, and you're buying a $300 keyboard, might as well use it correctly.

Feels kinda awkard to use the right shift IMO

Listokei Custom  |  HHKB Pro 2  |  Topre Realforce 103UBH  |  Armageddon MKA-3


Offline Polymer

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 03:15:48 »
I only use left shift because my right hand is usually on the mouse.

I'm very sure that at this point, most members here don't actually have a mouse.... :/

Your right hand is on the mouse as you're typing?  I mean, if I have to use both at one time, I'll use just my left hand cause that only makes sense....but I'm not normally typing out, say, this post, with my right hand on my mouse..

I will say, for things like CTRL-Z, X, C, V....I only use one hand...probably because at some point I didn't have a choice and that because when using those commands I'm probably more likely to have my right hand on my mouse..but for normal typing no...

Feels kinda awkard to use the right shift IMO

You're just not used to it.  Really you should be using the right shift for all of the stuff you would type with your left hand...and left shift for all the stuff you would use on your right hand...

Using a single hand is just so much slower...but again, if that is what works for you, that is all that matters..
« Last Edit: Sat, 02 November 2013, 05:29:52 by Polymer »

Offline Linkbane

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 02 November 2013, 11:59:26 »
I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.

Thanks for the review..but the above statement doesn't really make sense....It shouldn't really matter if you are left or right handed, you'd use both shift keys if you were typing with good form.

Very true. There is no such thing as a shift that you use, there are two so you should use both of them. It's inaccurate and slow to only use one shift, and you're buying a $300 keyboard, might as well use it correctly.

Feels kinda awkard to use the right shift IMO

That's probably because you don't try to use it.
Like Polymer said, the point is that you use the opposite hand's shift so that it doesn't disturb your hand working, and it can get back to typing asap.
At lower speeds it probably doesn't matter too much, though.
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Offline ctbear

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 03 November 2013, 01:43:32 »
Is that the same bag as the one found on elitekeyboards?

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 03 November 2013, 13:12:13 »
I never use right shift and I only hit the spacebar with my left thumb. Not sure that that has anything to do with being right handed though.


 
Anecdote: I was refurbishing a Model M that was missing the left Shift.  After I made a cable I used it for a week or so to make sure that it worked, before spending money on keycaps.  I found that I almost exclusively use the left Shift key - and using the right Shift was really awkward.  Even typing this I find that I am using only the left Shift key.  If my Model M had been missing the right Shift I probably would not have noticed.

I am right-handed.  My typing style is slightly chaotic - when typing forum posts I sort of mostly touch type, but not completely.

Perhaps there is some small grain of truth in the above remarks, at least as far as some right-handers goes.

 
I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.

Thanks for the review..but the above statement doesn't really make sense....It shouldn't really matter if you are left or right handed, you'd use both shift keys if you were typing with good form.

That said, if it works out for you that is all that really matters for your own keyboard...

I have to say that I personally hardly use right Shift key. I guess for left handers this may be an issue as they would most likely use their right hand to press and hold the right Shift key for instance to type out capitalised letters. True, but not so much for right handers.

Thanks for the review..but the above statement doesn't really make sense....It shouldn't really matter if you are left or right handed, you'd use both shift keys if you were typing with good form.

Very true. There is no such thing as a shift that you use, there are two so you should use both of them. It's inaccurate and slow to only use one shift, and you're buying a $300 keyboard, might as well use it correctly.

 
Perhaps there is some small grain of truth in the above remarks, at least as far as some right-handers goes.

It could be for those that don't learn how to use both shift keys there is a tendency to use one based on if you're right or left handed...I don't know...but with proper form you should be using both.  I can't imagine using just one...I mean, if you only use the left shift, does that mean "A" is done with a different finger other than your pinky on A?

Of course, whatever works for you is fine...
Thanks guys (as well as others) for your inputs, I also personally would never use the right shift key. It is far too easy for me to hit the left shift with my pinky for instance and if I were to type "A" my ring finger would be on the letter "a" on the keyboard.

So I thought left handers for instance may make usage of the right shift instead a lot more. In no ways was I implying that  left handers would be doing exactly just that but as a possibility. Ultimately I guess a proper touch typist would probably use both shift keys regardless if they were either right handed or left handed.

Anyway, with my HHKB JP layout, I now find it would be somewhat much harder to hit the right shift key. Considering a full sized keyboard layout and the location of where the right shift is placed for instance. The right shift key virtually sits after all those non-alphabetical keys as opposed to the left shift key which I guess if one were to use a QWERTY layout keyboard it would be sitting to the left of the "z" key. On the HHKB JP I would have to somewhat reorientate my right hand more just to reach the right shift key with my pinky finger. If I were to use the "up" arrow key as a right shift (the "up" arrow key on the HHKB functions also as a right shift key but only if one uses the Fn key in conjunction) key I would basically need to sort of learn a new layout if I were to strictly use my right hand for inputting say the letter "p". Right Fn+Up arrow+p key. If I were to seriously do that I would have much preferred to use my left hand to hold left Fn key and potentially the left shift key whilst at that.

Ultimately my statement with right shift was to sort of find a reason why it would be a heck a lot smaller. Of course the dedicated arrow keys are also in the way and the Up arrow key also serves as right shift key (with the catch of one needing to press Fn key obviously).

What I didn't cover in my initial post was in conjunction with the keyboard's usage under linux. For days on end I have been fighting over with the layout of the keyboard and somewhat learning new quirks. For instance the left arrow key would force my browser to go back to the previous page (if that option was available for instance). That really did annoy me as it actually took me several times of having to try and not hit my left arrow button when I'm trying to navigate around texts. Also with the up arrow key, it does not work well under my GUI environment so ultimately I've decided to sacrifice my right shift key in favour of if being as my up arrow keys. This again is also because of the fact that I virtually would never use my right hand to activate the right shift key with me using its default QWERTY layout.

Last but not least, with the statement above I must credit HaaTa's help for me to get HHKB JP working somewhat relatively well with linux. Had HaaTa for instance not helped me I would have had lots more issues trying to get it to work properly (and I can imagine more swearing would ensue). lol

Love the keyboard , hate the layout

The layout I must admit may seem daunting but for most parts it really isn't all that hard. For say a person whom is already used to the ANSI layout of a regular keyboard, they don't necessarily need to remap say for instance the "@" symbol key elsewhere. Even if remapping is needed it ultimately does not hinder one that much because they wouldn't be looking at the key legends constantly just to see where all these other character inputs are located.

I must admit that at times I heavily use the tilde "`" key quite a fair bit, on my PS3 where I have set it to JP (mainly because of the fact that setting it to JP will allow me to type proper Japanese words) in order to switch in between the IME inputs (no, PS3 in my case does not allow me to use the JIS layout on the keyboard whereby like for instance with a Chinese keyboard showing the key legends of both the English key as well as the locale specific alphabet/phonetic symbols) I have to hit Ctrl+` to switch. I set my computer to also act the same way (in a bid to constantly remind myself should I go switching the keyboard between my computer and my PS3 regardless of which keyboard I am using). Since with HHKB JP and the "`" key being accessible mainly to my right hand I basically had to remap it on my computer as Ctrl+@ (Ctrl+Fn+@ didn't work with my IME) to make it work. I haven't tried using my HHKB JP on my PS3 but I guess this will be very interesting regardless of how it will pan out.

That said, also in conjunction with what I posted up initially. I must admit that if one were to seriously learn the JIS layout, this is where it would get very interesting with keycode set to specifically whatever key legend is printed on the HHKB JP layout. It would virtually need one to somewhat learn more. Though really, at the end of the day there isn't all that much of an issue with HHKB's layout. Every piece of technology requires one to learn should they want to keep it, so it ultimately depends on the fact of one's willingness. I'm sure for my case, learning HHKB's layout when it is specifically set to JIS sort of layout is nowhere as daunting as say for instance HaaTa's (or anyone else's) non QWERTY usage on say for example what was once a QWERTY keyboard that has been set to COLEMAK, QWERTZ, AZERTY, DVORAK, etc. Learning those other keyboard layout would virtually need a heck a lot more patience (virtually re-learning to touch type from ground up again) compared to trying to say forcibly learn JIS layout whilst sharing more or less QWERTY layout.

It really doesn't matter all that much honestly.  :))

Is that the same bag as the one found on elitekeyboards?

I believe it would be. I sort of made an incorrect statement with the "varied" bag designs on my blog page. It was actually supposed to be the bag from elitekeyboards.com versus say for instance those found on ebay/amazon.

I actually was wondering about that when it came to me wanting to buy all these accessories from the same bloke that I bought my HHKB from. I thought that PFU had changed the design from what was offered in the photos of one site for instance over to another one where one would normally shop (i.e. ebay/amazon for instance). To make matters worse, the photos provided by PFU originally on their own site does not even tell one specifically about the notable differences between the two varied photos provided by a fair few sites. It was basically three different sets of designs, one with zippers that had the little black and blue tags, one with zipper that has no tags (on the zippers that is of course) and last but not least (from PFU official site) showing no zippers at all except for the teeth (for zipper to allow either opening or closing for instance the bag.

I also asked my HHKB seller at the time the same question, however his response was that he could not tell whether PFU would either provide the zippers with the little tags or not. My seller at that time provided me the official photo from PFU site which again I must mention that it does not clearly show whether there was the little tags are provided with the zippers.

Short and sweet to the point, I do not believe PFU would be stocking the official HHKB bags without the little black/blue tags on each of the zippers. In other words there is only one variant available officially.
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline shrumpkin

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 03 November 2013, 22:32:39 »
Hi Tux,

    I am going to buy this keyboard (the normal HHKB Pro2, not the Type S), and was wondering if I need to speak Japanese, or can I order keycaps directly from PFU? I really wish that Japanese-based companies would show some of us "Gaijin" some mercy, and let us also order some good technology. It's not my fault I don't live in Japan. I am a lover of fine keyboards, and I am willing to give these companies my hard-earned money, so why can't they open it up?

Best,
Michael

Offline Linkbane

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 03 November 2013, 23:16:11 »
Hi Tux,

    I am going to buy this keyboard (the normal HHKB Pro2, not the Type S), and was wondering if I need to speak Japanese, or can I order keycaps directly from PFU? I really wish that Japanese-based companies would show some of us "Gaijin" some mercy, and let us also order some good technology. It's not my fault I don't live in Japan. I am a lover of fine keyboards, and I am willing to give these companies my hard-earned money, so why can't they open it up?

Best,
Michael

It has nothing to do with Japanese keyboard manufacturers and their opinion of outsiders; in the same vein, it's not their problem if this one out-of-country customer wants their products. Do you know how egotistical it sounds when you say that a company should open up an entirely different language because you want their things?

If you want the keyboard, do as everyone says and get from elitekeyboards, which has them at reasonable (relatively speaking) prices. If you want the keycaps themselves, stop complaining about everything not being catered to your desires and get a proxy.
Quickfire TK MX Blue Corsair K60 MX Red Ducky Shine 3 Yellow TKL MX Blue Leopold FC660C
Current best: 162 wpm.

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 04 November 2013, 03:43:47 »
Hi Tux,

    I am going to buy this keyboard (the normal HHKB Pro2, not the Type S), and was wondering if I need to speak Japanese, or can I order keycaps directly from PFU? I really wish that Japanese-based companies would show some of us "Gaijin" some mercy, and let us also order some good technology. It's not my fault I don't live in Japan. I am a lover of fine keyboards, and I am willing to give these companies my hard-earned money, so why can't they open it up?

Best,
Michael
Hi Tux,

    I am going to buy this keyboard (the normal HHKB Pro2, not the Type S), and was wondering if I need to speak Japanese, or can I order keycaps directly from PFU? I really wish that Japanese-based companies would show some of us "Gaijin" some mercy, and let us also order some good technology. It's not my fault I don't live in Japan. I am a lover of fine keyboards, and I am willing to give these companies my hard-earned money, so why can't they open it up?

Best,
Michael

It has nothing to do with Japanese keyboard manufacturers and their opinion of outsiders; in the same vein, it's not their problem if this one out-of-country customer wants their products. Do you know how egotistical it sounds when you say that a company should open up an entirely different language because you want their things?

If you want the keyboard, do as everyone says and get from elitekeyboards, which has them at reasonable (relatively speaking) prices. If you want the keycaps themselves, stop complaining about everything not being catered to your desires and get a proxy.

I virtually agree with what Linkbane said. Speaking Japanese is optional, not a necessity and there's already a fair few vendors that offers HHKB Pro2 and/or virtually any other HHKB lineup apart from HHKB JP series for sale. elitekeyboards is definitely one of them. There is also amazon.com for instance as well. With what Linkbane said about buying it through a proxy, you can also do that as well should you feel comfortable of buying from amazon.co.jp and go through company like tenso.com to get the item forwarded to you (obviously also includes a small fee as well).

You can order the spare set of key caps from elitekeyboards.com as well. There is no need to go through for instance PFU but again if you feel there is a need you'll need to make use of some translation software as well as possibly a forwarding company (again like tenso.com for instance) to do your bid.

I did note here that with HHKB being bought elsewhere (apart from instance from Japanese sites), the HHKB layout is not readily available as I guess non-Japanese retailers would not see a market outside Japan for the JIS layout keyboard. So if say for example you want basically HHKB Pro2 JP you may need to go through sites like for instance amazon.co.jp and also register with both amazon.co.jp along with tenso.com. Here is a guide found on reddit website detailing how does one order items from Japan and to have them forwarded to them: http://en.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/18387i/guide_bought_my_hhkb_pro_2_from_amazoncojp/

I personally don't also reside in Japan, should my Japanese be really formidable with the native Japanese speakers it would have been my third language that I know of. So really I guess I am more or less in the same sort of shoes as you are.

Two more other points that I would like to point out, one of which is that HHKB did sort of make a mentioning on the very same PFU website. There is a catch with that, of first being very few information (let alone accessories) that are being mentioned in English format. The other is that with ordering the keyboard, PFU's HHKB English webpage points to two manufacturers one of which I do not believe stocks any more HHKB keyboards and the other only stocking the Lite2 variant (which I am sure it would not be the one you want). The bottom line is, is that PFU did take some steps to accommodate for non Japanese buyers into their product range but it is still ultimately left for the non Japanese buyer themselves to sort out the best way to source a specific HHKB that they want and/or the accessories. Their HHKB page in English: http://www.pfusystems.com/embedded-keyboard/hhkb/index.html

Now with that being said and done, another key point that I want to point out is that the warranty for HHKB should their subsequent owners are not based in Japan and/or they did not buy their HHKB from a Japanese retailer. The warranty (which only lasts for one year as per stated on the HHKB's warranty registration form) will not cover exceptions. In other words, by one having bought HHKB and having it sent overseas (outside Japan) the warranty is basically null and voided. Regardless of one may have bought their HHKB from, should the warranty registration form:
  • Does not contain seller's information along with other important information such as date of purchase, in other words it was left blank. and/or
  • Does not also contain the clientele's details (which implies the buyer in question) and you don't for instance have a friend, relative, etc that you can forward the HHKB back should it ever be deemed faulty with the warranty period.
Your one year warranty period will not be honoured should you have issues. In my case I had neither of those fields filled out, I believe my Japanese proxy just ordered the items (on my behalf) from PFU direct (PFU's online outlet mainly for HHKB) and probably have had them sent to him before he forwarded to me. I do not know how elitekeyboards website work let alone other websites but just as a caveat emptor that should either or both fields are left blank, there is basically no warranty.
About the warranty as I pointed out above, I am not in any ways pointing out one will have an issue with their HHKB but as a forewarning simply because of the fact that the warranty restrictions are fairly restrictive. I noticed the warranty registration form implied the restriction a few hours after I received my HHKB.
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline zoolzoo

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 04 November 2013, 06:21:39 »
I like it, perhaps even more than the standard HHKB layout. Can the extra keys be remapped to macros, short cuts, or commands in Windows? Sorry if you covered that and I missed it.
Leopold FC660C, Topre 45g | CM QFR, MX Blue | Rosewill RK-9000v2, MX Red | Cherry Slimline G84-4100, ML

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 05 November 2013, 00:40:34 »
I like it, perhaps even more than the standard HHKB layout. Can the extra keys be remapped to macros, short cuts, or commands in Windows? Sorry if you covered that and I missed it.

I personally don't run Windows but I have heard someone on IRC suggested to use autohotkey for probably those type of things. That said having no experience with HHKB under Windows environment I had a glimpse of the autohotkey's webpage and it seems that autohotkey boasts features equivalent of that found on linux (which is the sort of environment I am using HHKB in minus PS3) if not more.

With autohotkey mentioned for various key bindings and what not, HHKB Pro (as far as I know of) boasts DIP switches, each of these DIP switches turns various features of the HHKB on or off. Most of them having to do with sending out of certain key codes (this is how I associate it with running under linux) hence would allow different sort of actions under one's OS/platform.

If neither autohotkey nor the various DIP switches satisfies one, hasu has created as well as been maintaining TMK keyboard firmware for various keyboards. Notably hasu has demonstrated that the TMK keyboard firmware has been working on hasu's HHKB. Whilst hasu's HHKB is neither the same layout as my HHKB (primarily being HHKB Pro2 versus HHKB Pro Type-S JP) hasu mentioned that it is likely to make TMK keyboard firmware work with HHKB JP for instance with very little modifications. I would personally agree as virtually most of the key maps have already been laid out besides the sheer bulk of work has already been done for one as well. With that said and me still having certain issues with keymaps on my computer I would be looking forward into getting hasu's TMK board along with potentially working alongside with hasu on getting TMK firmware to work with my HHKB.

Short and sweet to the point, one does have a few options available in my opinion.
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline helenching78

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 02 January 2014, 08:45:40 »
Thank you very much for your review.
I've also bought the HHKB Pro Type-s JP as my own X'mas present.
Because they had a special X'mas campaign for giving the "Control+Esp key color keycap set" + "the leather wrist rest" free.
So I decided to get it. I bought via a proxy.  Actually, I bought the HHKB Pro 2 black back in October last year.
I was torn between modifying it or buying the type-s. Finally I decided that I don't want to open the keyboard up yet.

Yes, it is also the first time that I buy a keyboard with Japanese layout. I have to say that the layout need some getting use to.
Mainly because the backspace key was so small and the Enter key a little more far away. The small spacebar did not bother me much though.
Sometimes I try to use the right shift key. Well, before I get into the mechanical keyboard thing, I only use the left shift to type every capital letter.
When I get addicted to keyboards I want to a better typist so I practised to use the right shift more.

Part of the reason for getting the JP layout was for the arrow keys obviously. Another reason was that sometimes I also type Japanese.
The Kana/Change keys can be helpful I guess. But it also need some getting use to.
Another thing I resent about the JP variant was that it doesn't have the USB slots.
Although the use of the USB slots on HHKB US layout was somehow limited, it can still connect my Razer Deathadder(But not the Naga I noticed) and my Samsung smartphone.(most regretably, NOT a USB drive!) It can come quite handy sometimes.

When compared with the ordinary Pro-2 model, the keystroke of Type-s really feel lighter, although they said their weigh were the same at 45g.
Obviously the type-s is more silent. I found the noise of Pro-2 a bit disturbing after some time.
Anyway, I enjoy my new keyboard! (The keyboards become some of my toys... ) The HHKBs really save a lot of space and feel great to type on.
I enjoy practising typing because of them.

Next time, maybe I may also get the carry bag and the keyboard roof. These two items are not essential for me though.
I usually just carry my HHKB in my backpack.
Keyboard I own: DasKeyboard Ultimate S Silent, Filco Ninga Brown, HHKB Pro 2

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 02 January 2014, 11:31:20 »
Thank you very much for your review.
I've also bought the HHKB Pro Type-s JP as my own X'mas present.
Because they had a special X'mas campaign for giving the "Control+Esp key color keycap set" + "the leather wrist rest" free.
So I decided to get it. I bought via a proxy.  Actually, I bought the HHKB Pro 2 black back in October last year.
I was torn between modifying it or buying the type-s. Finally I decided that I don't want to open the keyboard up yet.

Yes, it is also the first time that I buy a keyboard with Japanese layout. I have to say that the layout need some getting use to.
Mainly because the backspace key was so small and the Enter key a little more far away. The small spacebar did not bother me much though.
Sometimes I try to use the right shift key. Well, before I get into the mechanical keyboard thing, I only use the left shift to type every capital letter.
When I get addicted to keyboards I want to a better typist so I practised to use the right shift more.

Part of the reason for getting the JP layout was for the arrow keys obviously. Another reason was that sometimes I also type Japanese.
The Kana/Change keys can be helpful I guess. But it also need some getting use to.
Another thing I resent about the JP variant was that it doesn't have the USB slots.
Although the use of the USB slots on HHKB US layout was somehow limited, it can still connect my Razer Deathadder(But not the Naga I noticed) and my Samsung smartphone.(most regretably, NOT a USB drive!) It can come quite handy sometimes.

When compared with the ordinary Pro-2 model, the keystroke of Type-s really feel lighter, although they said their weigh were the same at 45g.
Obviously the type-s is more silent. I found the noise of Pro-2 a bit disturbing after some time.
Anyway, I enjoy my new keyboard! (The keyboards become some of my toys... ) The HHKBs really save a lot of space and feel great to type on.
I enjoy practising typing because of them.

Next time, maybe I may also get the carry bag and the keyboard roof. These two items are not essential for me though.
I usually just carry my HHKB in my backpack.

Welcome to Geekhack!

I must admit that I am a little surprised there was another response to my old thread. These days I am doing a bit of keyboard rotation but after reading what you have wrote I decided to go back onto my HHKB once again (and breaking the keyboard rotation).

You are lucky to get the Control+Esc key colour keycap set, they are quite rare and somewhat more so well sought after now. There was someone wanting the Red Esc key (but unlegended) and that happened a few months ago (in 2013 of course).

For Type-S I admit I was a little confused over choices. Though it was after several days of mulling over to go Type-S or not I decided to take the plunge.

I also agree most of what you said about the Japanese (better known as JIS) layout. The space bar was definitely both the essential and somewhat also the most trivial part of the layout to get used to. Essential for writing European languages (mostly) and trivial because thumbs are only needed to hit the space bar when touch typing. If anything there is only very little loss on typing speeds for adjusting to the space bar and really it only takes matter of minutes. The enter key is definitely a little further away, I guess in a way to sort of uphold the ISO sort of enter key. Thankfully it is not (too) small either and it basically adds extra key. The forth row (where the both shift keys are located) seems a little confusing when the extra key is added in between. Granted I don't use the right shift all that much (even much less now considering that when I wrote the thread up I was dealing with a few issues on hand. I guess one needs to accomodate a little more especially when using the JIS layout as it is, sometimes hitting shift+0 and hoping to get right bracket ')' I end up getting Kana wo 'ヲ' instead which was as intended if one enforced JIS layout on their machines. Someday I guess I should try and also balance my typing out a bit more by also using the right shift key, though it seems on the HHKB layout it is hard to sort of draw up a mental image to hit it in a more natural sort of sense. It is far too easy (for me) to hit  the left shift key, probably because of the size (compard to HHKB Pro JP) and more so the natural inclination due ot muscle rehashes.

One of my main reasons for JP variant was also that (to use the dedicated arrow keys), even though I am slowly moving away from heavily relying on it I still find it handy for other uses without having to reach and hit Fn key with my left hand for instance to simply navigate around places. To this date I still haven't made much use of the kana keys like I planned. That will be another set of hurdles for me to sort of conquer as it seems that there is no IME input that would input hiragana/katakana keys as they are labelled on a JIS keyboard. For example hitting the letter 'Q' it should normally produce 'た' and/or 'タ' but instead keyboard is still recognised as hitting English characters (maybe it has to do with key bindings I guess).

Initially I was a little saddened by no USB hub (I guess you and/or anyone else can clearly see in my initial post it seems like PFU sort of cheapened the image of HHKB Pro JP - maybe to compensate in some way or another?) though it seems I might as well get a self powered (wall charger) USB hub instead. Also as you stated (a few others also have faced similar problems) with only certain devices that can be plugged onto HHKB Pro2 and that it will work. Again I sort of wonder in hindsight could this be PFU's doing? ;)

Thanks for the weight comparison (for actuations) between Pro2 and Type-S. Personally I am quite surprised to hear that as I am not sure if I have posted on this thread before but a couple of times I have posted on a few other threads that the feel is really weird. It is extremely soft - almost like typing on a brand new rubber dome board (which may sound sad but it seems to be somewhat true at least to me). Someday I may eventually dream of opening my HHKB only to find that I was scammed for rubber domes on membrane (lol), the silencing and the feeling is just too eerie for me then again you get what you paid for. As for now my HHKB is only this (HHKB Pro JP Type-S) keyboard, I am a little tempted at times wanting to take the foam based silencing (factory silencer apparently) off to see how loud it would go. Though considering the way the foams are most likely put on (and how PFU chose to mold the slider housing as part of the keyboard frame) I am somewhat a little wary of opening the board and taking the foam out. Probably because PFU may have also chosen to glue on those foam based silencing and that the notches on the end of the slider (where the keycaps go) are more protruded. If say I tried to yank the foam silencer out I may rip the foam apart regardless if it was glued on or not. :D

On second thoughts about the smoothness of typing on Type-S I recall discussing with 002 and pointing out a link to silenced versus standard sliders (ok the link to be frank wasn't exactly that one, I should have bookmarked it). Apart from the notches and extra material (which is just foam padding) it seems as though the the sliders seems to be more smoother on the Type-S as opposed to the standard one. Maybe that has a little impact on the feel I suppose.

Toys are fun, they are even more fun when one actually plays with them. Otherwise they just sit there and look pretty like ornaments. Typing on HHKB feels really nice (it is hard for me to switch to another keyboard, at the same time I somewhat longed for returning back to HHKB). Sure the keyboard is/was expensive but let's not make that money go to waste. I can't stop thinking about the amount of money I sunk in for it and all but heck it seems to pay off. My typing speeds seems to fluctuate up when I tested myself a couple of times on type racer but when I switch back to an old keyboard (APC Clicker F-21 with APC membrane) it seems as though my typing speeds are slower even though they are still fluctating. Maybe my hands in hindsight are preferring HHKB lol. HHKB is probably evil, luring me in like a fly is to a venus fly trap haha.

I must admit that I sort of went overboard on "pampering" my HHKB, getting various accessories (and a little more). The keyboard bag I must admit it looks both cute and the colour scheme is just *drools*. It will probably look even more appealing if HHKB were to be dressed up like that Realforce limited edition keyboard:


At times I thought about bumping this old thread of mine to include key cap swap that I did a few months back but I decided to not bother. Seeing as how it has been brought back I might as well add this:


In all honesty I personally believe HHKB Pro JP should at least have Japanese key legends as accessories if not part of the keyboard. If PFU knew that not many HHKB Japanese owners would be buying HHKB Pro JP for instance but us (foreigners) they should be even more accomodating. ;D
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline Beca

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 02 January 2014, 14:58:30 »
That is a lot of accessories. Did it come with the lavender/red bonus keys too?

Offline tuxsavvy

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 02 January 2014, 18:14:07 »
That is a lot of accessories. Did it come with the lavender/red bonus keys too?

Nah unfortunately mine didn't because I did not order it when they had those limited edition key caps. I guess they will only release those key caps on certain (and usually it seems special) occasions and also only if one buys the HHKB Pro from them. That is regardless of how many accessories one buys whenever or even just by buying the HHKB when they are not celebrating some event they won't get those nice looking key caps.
HHKB Pro JP Type-S | Northgate Omnikey 101 | APC/"Clicker" F-21 (GOG3YL) | Cherry G80-5000 HAMDE

僕の日本語が下手です。我的中文也一樣爛。

Offline edb5s

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 05 November 2015, 13:21:17 »
So this may be a dumb question, but where can I (as a US resident) purchase an HHKB with the Japanese layout?

Offline Bromono

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 05 November 2015, 13:27:03 »
So this may be a dumb question, but where can I (as a US resident) purchase an HHKB with the Japanese layout?

You can ask this question without necroing a post =)

but your best bet would be to use a Japanese proxy and buy one from amazon.jp

I have used Evo_Spec's proxy service on here and he is great. He tests everything, packages everything really well and his prices are really good.


Offline edb5s

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 05 November 2015, 13:33:13 »
So this may be a dumb question, but where can I (as a US resident) purchase an HHKB with the Japanese layout?

You can ask this question without necroing a post =)

but your best bet would be to use a Japanese proxy and buy one from amazon.jp

I have used Evo_Spec's proxy service on here and he is great. He tests everything, packages everything really well and his prices are really good.

OK thank you. Sorry for the posting faux-pas - I wasn't aware of that protocol.

Offline Bromono

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 05 November 2015, 13:36:11 »
So this may be a dumb question, but where can I (as a US resident) purchase an HHKB with the Japanese layout?

You can ask this question without necroing a post =)

but your best bet would be to use a Japanese proxy and buy one from amazon.jp

I have used Evo_Spec's proxy service on here and he is great. He tests everything, packages everything really well and his prices are really good.

OK thank you. Sorry for the posting faux-pas - I wasn't aware of that protocol.

All good, some people on here get their jimmies rustled about necros  :thumb:

Offline Signature

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 05 November 2015, 14:00:16 »
So this may be a dumb question, but where can I (as a US resident) purchase an HHKB with the Japanese layout?

You can ask this question without necroing a post =)

but your best bet would be to use a Japanese proxy and buy one from amazon.jp

I have used Evo_Spec's proxy service on here and he is great. He tests everything, packages everything really well and his prices are really good.

OK thank you. Sorry for the posting faux-pas - I wasn't aware of that protocol.

All good, some people on here get their jimmies rustled about necros  :thumb:

Offline Bucake

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Re: HHKB Pro Type-S JP and accessories arrives!
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 05 November 2015, 15:07:26 »
So this may be a dumb question, but where can I (as a US resident) purchase an HHKB with the Japanese layout?

You can ask this question without necroing a post =)

but your best bet would be to use a Japanese proxy and buy one from amazon.jp

I have used Evo_Spec's proxy service on here and he is great. He tests everything, packages everything really well and his prices are really good.

OK thank you. Sorry for the posting faux-pas - I wasn't aware of that protocol.

i also vouch for Evo_Spec!
IBM Model F XT // Realforce 87U 55g Type-S // HHKBP2 45g Type-S // KBT Pure Pro Cherry MX Red