Keyboard backlight and logo on laptop cover!?
#1
Has anyone tried to add backlight to the keyboard? Are there any plans to add one to shipped units?

I'm asking because I'm used to work in a completely dark room, with dark desktop themes. The reason is long exposure to natural or artificial light hurt my eyes, but I need to have the keyboard backlight activated at all times.

Also I'd love to have the Pine logo carved on the Pinebook cover illuminated with the same light as the screen, just like the MacBook Air. Has anyone tried that as also as a DIY customization. I'd bet that could attract attention of Mac users that might end up buying one Pinebook to support the project.
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#2
(08-23-2021, 12:07 PM)ohuw67 Wrote: I'd bet that could attract attention of Mac users that might end up buying one Pinebook to support the project.

Dream on. Vast majority of Mac users I've dealt with (and I dealt with a lot of them) are either die hard pragmatists that just want their shit get done with as little hassle as possible, or hardcore fanbois that will sooner die than admit Apple ever done anything wrong or there is anything better than Apple's products. And let's face it, other than freedom and price, arguably - keyboard, and completely subjectively - style, PBP is not superior to any Apple laptops in any way. That includes getting shit done with as little hassle as possible - despite vastly more mature software today than even a year ago, both PBP in particular and Linux in general are still far behind the appliance-like streamlined experience of Macs, not even speaking of performance.

Speaking of subjective - IMHO all those glowing logos are just gaudy kitsch. There, I said it, you can start throwing things at me now. From the more practical viewpoint - if it is implemented the same way as in Macs, if you happen to have a bright light source behind your screen you'll see that logo in reverse, especially on a dark screen. Happened to me more than once when I had to use MBP at work.

(08-23-2021, 12:07 PM)ohuw67 Wrote: Has anyone tried to add backlight to the keyboard? Are there any plans to add one to shipped units?

This will raise the price of PBP, I'm certain of it. And based on the Pine64's stated MO that would go against their goals.

I wouldn't mind though if there was an option of configurable SKUs - if people could choose whether they want logos or not (I don't), keyboard backlit or not (I don't), etc.

P.S.: Hmm, one thing that could buy my undying loyalty to Pine would be an addition of a solid TrackPoint implementation.
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#3
I kind of have the same impression. For me, I was a Windows user, support technician, and application developer, then switched to Linux but didn't like the overall experience, then started running macOS on my PC (what some people call Hackintosh), and was very impressed with the overall experience working with macOS but once I could afford a MacBook Air, like about 10 years ago, I bought one and it has been the best computer I've ever had. So you might say I'm kind of a pragmatists.

About the keyboard backlight, I guess I can get used to find the keys in the dark or work with the room lights turned on while wearing sunglasses, I've already had to do that sometimes when using computers that don't have backlight for extended periods of time.

I commented about the Pine logo (I like your suggestion about the logo being customizable, BTW) because that brings brand recognition, and it's relatively easy to make in production units. Although I haven't experienced what you said about seeing through the display, perhaps it could be some design flaw in some particular models.

Nowadays however, all the gimmicky stuff that Apple has added, like the Touch Bar and Neural chips, have worried me about getting a new MacBook Air with ARM chip. I'll rather wait a couple of years to se what happens, but in the meanwhile I might want to try out a Linux ARM laptop with the same form factor than a MacBook Air, which I like a lot.
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#4
Can you still buy those glow-in-the-dark keytop legend stickers? They light up amazingly well with a dim blacklight. Heck, it might be worthwhile to see if your PBP key legends glow under a blacklight.

The advantage of not being able to see your keys is that you get better at typing without looking. And, you can learn Dvorak without swapping keytops. Smile
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#5
(08-24-2021, 09:40 AM)ohuw67 Wrote: Nowadays however, all the gimmicky stuff that Apple has added, like the Touch Bar and Neural chips, have worried me about getting a new MacBook Air with ARM chip. I'll rather wait a couple of years to se what happens, but in the meanwhile I might want to try out a Linux ARM laptop with the same form factor than a MacBook Air, which I like a lot.

I wouldn't call Neural Engine a gimmick. Touch Bar - that would depend on whom you ask. For someone who uses a lot the applications that take full advantage of Touch Bar - it can be a pretty useful feature. For someone who touch-types the fact that Apple completely replaced the function keys with it is a big downer. But then, if you touch type, why do you need keyboard backlight?

(08-24-2021, 03:17 PM)KC9UDX Wrote: The advantage of not being able to see your keys is that you get better at typing without looking.  And, you can learn Dvorak without swapping keytops. Smile

Perhaps it's a bit the other way around - after I learned to touch type I found I no longer care about keyboard backlight. Even the key labels are kinda unnecessary now for me, especially since I do, in fact, use Programmer Dvorak. What I do miss, however, is the ThinkLight in the older ThinkPads - while it's questionably useful for lighting up the keyboard, it's very useful as an emergency light to read something off paper.
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#6
Many new features added to Apple products have been so good that have been copied by competitors, except for the ones that are added and then removed a few models down the line, that's what I'm referring to when I said that I prefer to wait a few years to see what happens with the Touch Bar and Neural Engine. IMHO, most of the features that end up being removed where almost certainly a gimmick back then when they were added.
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#7
(08-25-2021, 08:49 AM)ohuw67 Wrote: Many new features added to Apple products have been so good that have been copied by competitors, except for the ones that are added and then removed a few models down the line, that's what I'm referring to the I said that I prefer to wait a few years to see what happens with the Touch Bar and Neural Engine. IMHO, most of the features that end up being removed where almost certainly a gimmick back then when they were added.

Touch Bar has been around for half a decade already. Unlike other questionable decisions that Apple rolled back within five years, Touch Bar has not been removed. Based on Apple's track record with old-school "dinosaur-type" touch-typing power users, I'm inclined to say that this giant F*** Y** to them in the shape of Touch Bar replacing all the function keys is there to stay for the benefit of the more "casual" users that are more in line with Apple's traditional focus on multimedia production and presentation over content. Neural Engine is there to stay as well, though there is a small chance it will evolve into a different shape if there were a standard to get established for AI accelerators. I wouldn't bet my money on that happening though - if Apple cared much about standards they'd be using Vulkan instead of Metal, USB-C instead of Lightning (that is finally starting to change, thankfully, beginning with iPad), and so on and so forth.
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#8
Well, it looks like Apple finally removed the Touch Bar for good, in the latest MacBook Pro.

I'd bet they will end up removing the Neural Engine too at some point, maybe after another 5 years, who knows.

The thing with the NE is that apps rarely take advantage of it, but it's only being used by Apple for gimmicky things. So basically users are paying a premium for having something that is completely useless most of the time.
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#9
Many new features added to Apple products have been so good that have been copied by competitors, except for the ones that are added and then removed a few models down the line, that's what I'm referring to when I said that I prefer to wait a few years to see what happens with the Touch Bar and Neural Engine.
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