541 days later

On the fourth of February in the year of twenty-twenty, I participated in my first group buy (a process where people sign up and pay before a thing is produced, and production goes ahead if enough people sign up). I think it was my first ever, and it definitely was my first related to keyboards.

My purchase? These fine keycaps right here.

KAM wraith keycaps KAM wraith keycaps

KAM wraith, as they are known.

I had been well informed to expect delays and overruns of time estimates.

That was good, because I could finally hold my purchase in my hands yesterday, 541 days later.

Fortunately, I do like them as much as I hoped I would. They even provide the position-helping markers on the F and J keys I missed in the previous keycap set I used on this keyboard.

As a bonus, they came in really nice packaging. I feel like putting the boxes on discreet display somewhere.

KAM wraith boxes KAM wraith boxes

In a display of what some would call "having learned nothing", I have participated in two more group buys since then. Neither are expected to have delivery times quite like this one, but I will cheerfully see anything before 2023 as a bonus.

Planck positioning

In related news, I think the ideal position for me and typing on a Planck-style keyboard is with the keyboard on my lap rather than on my desk. Most other keyboards do not sit very well on my lap, but my KBD4X does, being solid and just wide enough. I seem to be making a bit fewer mistakes too, which is always nice. And pointing devices need to compete with nothing for desk surface. (Well, except all the other stuff I shovel on there.)

Laptoping

For the first time since time immemorial (pretty much when I bought the keycaps, come to think of it), we traveled for a few days. Not only that, but I had some reason to bring a laptop. Ever since last autumn when its battery started feeling seriously unreliable, I have used my Macbook very rarely, almost exclusively for taking screenshots of Podcast chapters. But I knew I would have access to power for the tasks I needed to do (and they would be brief as well), so I brought it along.

Wow, it is still such a wonderful machine and size. It is so small I forgot where in my luggage I put it, and it gives me a very cosy computing experience wherever I can find a lap- or tray table-worth of space.

The experience reinforced two things for me:

There is no question about either point. A nice computing experience anywhere, and size and weight to ensure I can easily bring it anywhere.

It also does not hurt that Apple's new chipsets ensure whichever laptop I end up getting will be both outrageously more powerful and have better battry life. I am certain I could get the current M1 Macbook air and be completely happy for years to come. But since I am in no hurry, I will dream for a while longer of a return of the twelve-inch form factor. It is the machine for me, no doubt.