121: Hardware Launchers


I have no need for a Xencelabs Quick Keys device.

But I so want one.

And only $89 at B&H w/free shipping …

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Loved the episode. Wil dust op my Streamdeck…

So the hyper key again, it has been such a wonderful finding and finally a use for the caps lock key.
I took a sort of frugal approach to the hyper key and programmed only ⌘⌥and ⌃ to it. That way you can combination this with the shift key and have double the extra key combos.

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I like mine :slight_smile:

The info in the podcast was incorrect. The Quick Keys does come with a wireless dongle (+ usb-c adaptor), cable and case. You have the option to buy a spare wireless dongle when purchasing.

The software needs a bit of work as it currently won’t recognise certain key combinations – like Control+Tab – and you can’t work around this limitation. I’ve been told that this will be fixed in a forthcoming release.

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I wasn’t aware of the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. On a similar level (in terms of capabilities and price) there’s a keyboard by ZSA called the Moonlander. I recommend people check that out.

Coincidentally I was looking at the Xencelabs device just before I did some ironing. Then “Our Rose” :slight_smile: mentioned it … :slight_smile:

Question, though: Is the knob at the top programmable - like a rotary indicator? Or should I stick to my home-grown circuit with 2 in and a Raspberry Pi Pico?

Addendum to the show notes:

Hammerspoon, the layer BTT is using, whose repo is here.

Hi @Martin_Packer . I see that you replied to my comment. I still, as of yet, do not have one of these. As much as I like it I don’t really have a use for it. So my bank account is safe … for now. :slight_smile:

Any ways, the description on the Xencelabs Quick Keys reads in part, “The programmable physical dial …”.

Perhaps @orpy can chime in?

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Thanks. Could be interpreted several ways.

I’m wondering what app Rose is talking about at 9:51 where you can press and hold command key to get a similar pop up to iPadOS showing what you have keyboard shortcuts mapped to.

:joy: at 15:10 she answers. It’s called Cheatsheet.

I’ve used Cheatsheet, Keycue, CustomShortcuts and Shortcut Detective. Does anyone else know of anything similar? None of these quite work how I wish they would.

Paletro looks interesting! It gives you a command palette in any MacOS app.

I have been using both KeyCue and Paletro for quite some time. It is worth highlighting the point that Paletro works with menus rather than hotkeys.

You ask for an app that might work how you want, but you don’t actually say what it is that all of those other apps are lacking.

Right. I was intentionally vague about why the several apps I mentioned didn’t work for me as it has been years in some cases and it is hard to remember why each one in particular ended up not working. Was just hoping for people to suggest some keyboard shortcut apps that they might use that I might not be aware of so that I can look into them.

I tried Brett Terpstra’s Cheaters also. I liked that due to it being customizable. I’ve settled on just writing notes in Obsidian for keyboard shortcuts for the apps that I use and also having handwritten index cards for each app if I want to access them that way. The purpose is to give me a reminder for when I may have forgotten or for the time before I have the shortcut memorized.

If it’s been a few years it might be worth trying them again. Some updates make an app almost unrecognisable (in good ways even sometimes)

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Quick Keys arrived. Have been playing and it is nice.

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Likewise the Stream Deck Plus. I think Quick Keys will be good for when I’m on the road. But Stream Deck XL and Stream Deck Plus will be my “in my home office” setup.

This episode inspired me to share my setup. Finally got around to writing it up; I quite enjoy Alfred companion app: Alfred Remote. All the details I wrote about here:

In addition to Quick Keys I got a Adafruit Macro Pad working nicely for me. Required CircuitPython but that really WASN’T a pain at all.

I also purchased a Xencelabs Quick Key Remote after listening to the episode and looking up the details for the device. While I currently have an Intel Macbook Pro with a touch bar, my expectation is that at some point in the next year or two I will potentially switch to Apple Silicon and have to say goodebye to my touch bar/Better Touch Tool combo that substitutes for my Stream Deck when I’m away from my home office. I am priming the Quick Keys Remote to fill that gap.

Unfortunately, I found the software does not really lend itself to automation unless you want to rely on keyboard shortcuts for everything - which I don’t. As a result I spent a few days last month working around this limitation, and I have finally given it a bit of a write up.

If you are interested in using the Quick Keys Remote for automation with a Mac, it may be worth a read, to get some ideas on how to do it or at leats an alternative perspective on how it could be done.

In fact there’s a little bit of scripting/app goodness in there that may be useful to any Mac user regardless of whether you have or plan to acquire a Quick Keys Remote. :wink: