27 October, 2020

Become a numpad ninja

by Erez Zukerman

It feels like fall here in Southern Ontario, and I’ve got three exciting product updates to share today. Let me start with the simplest one:

https://layout.new

From now on, all you need to do to iterate on your layout is simply go to https://layout.new. This assumes you’re logged into an Oryx user account. It goes to your most recent layout, and creates a new revision for you to tweak. If there’s already a revision you started working on but didn’t yet compile, it’ll simply open it.

So any time you’re typing along and wish something was different about your layout, simply go to https://layout.new, and make it so!

Live training for numbers and symbols

This is one I’m pretty excited about. Looks like this:

Number training

Here you can see my trying to master my new numpad arrangement on layer 2 of my layout. I want numbers right under my home row, but mastering them has been a challenge. Since I don’t spend my whole day typing number, the muscle memory doesn’t come by itself. Now, all I need to do is train.

You can choose train on numbers, symbols, or both. You can also throw in a bunch of custom characters (letters and such) if you’d like:

Training selection

There’s more to this feature than meets the eye: As you’re working through your training session, Oryx keeps track of what numbers or symbols you seem to be getting wrong. It then shows you those numbers and symbols a bit more frequently, until you master them. That way you don’t waste too much time training on characters you’re comfortable with, and can focus on building muscle memory specifically where it’s weak.

Live training with book excerpts

Typing the same exact parts of Alice in Wonderland over and over again is valuable, especially when you’re just starting out. It’s one less variable to worry about as you get used to a radically new way of typing. That said, it does get tedious.

Enter book excerpts:

Training selection

Cory Doctorow graciously allowed us to use excerpts of his work in this new training mode. Here, you’ll be presented with a random excerpt of prose every time. This should make for a less monotonous training experience, once you’re more comfortable with the keyboard. We’re definitely open to adding new excerpts and to feedback on this feature (and anything else, for that matter). Just hit us up at contact@zsa.io :)

I hope you like these three new features for October, and thank you for reading!

Erez Zukerman

Erez Zukerman

Erez Zukerman is the CEO and Co-Founder of ZSA Technology Labs.

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