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[Official] Mechanical Keyboard Guide - Page 188

post #1871 of 14551
Hello Keyboard Afficionados!

I'm the researcher behind the new anti-ghosting feature in Microsoft's SideWinder X4 keyboard. I just wanted to let you know that we have a new site up that discusses the ghosting issue, and it includes a simple browser-based, on-screen keyboard so you can quickly get an idea of what ghosting issues you have with your own keyboard. The front page is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/appliedscie...iGhosting.mspx

As a caveat, I should point out that a browser-based keyboard tester is limited by what keystrokes get passed up from the system through the browser. So it won't tell you everything. But it should give you a feel for the capabilities of your keyboard.

The site also includes a detailed description of what the limitations of the X4 are with respect to simultaneous key presses. I'm very pleased that we are able to provide this sort of information. It should help clear up some confusion about what is and is not possible.

By the way, I know some of you will take issue with the definition of anti-ghosting as pressed keys that fail to function correctly. I know this is not what may have been originally meant, but it is how it is currently used by the industry.

Thanks!
post #1872 of 14551
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulHDietz View Post
Hello Keyboard Afficionados!

I'm the researcher behind the new anti-ghosting feature in Microsoft's SideWinder X4 keyboard. I just wanted to let you know that we have a new site up that discusses the ghosting issue, and it includes a simple browser-based, on-screen keyboard so you can quickly get an idea of what ghosting issues you have with your own keyboard. The front page is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/appliedscie...iGhosting.mspx

As a caveat, I should point out that a browser-based keyboard tester is limited by what keystrokes get passed up from the system through the browser. So it won't tell you everything. But it should give you a feel for the capabilities of your keyboard.

The site also includes a detailed description of what the limitations of the X4 are with respect to simultaneous key presses. I'm very pleased that we are able to provide this sort of information. It should help clear up some confusion about what is and is not possible.

By the way, I know some of you will take issue with the definition of anti-ghosting as pressed keys that fail to function correctly. I know this is not what may have been originally meant, but it is how it is currently used by the industry.

Thanks!
But by calling it Anti-Ghosting, Microsoft is enabling people to remain uneducated regarding what Anti-Ghosting really is. What Microsoft is marketing as "Anti-Ghosting" is really "N-Key Rollover". "Ghosting" is when you press like 2 keys, and a third character (which you did not press or even accidentally press) appears. N-Key Rollover refers to how many keys can register simultaneously. Microsoft needs to learn and teach this difference in order to help people feel confident in buying from them so that they can further increase sales.

Why not use the ads and marketing to teach the difference and sell the keyboard at the same time? I'd be much more comfortable buying from a company who knows what they're talking about instead of just using terms in order to make money. It's hard to explain what I'm trying to say, but it's like Microsoft is taking advantage of the lack of education and capitalizing on it. I don't like buying from a company who's willing to do that. It shows no respect to the customer.

I'm not sure how else to attempt to convey what I'm trying to say, so I apologize if this only confuses people.
Edited by TwoCables - 2/27/10 at 11:01am
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post #1873 of 14551
I agree with tator about the browns. They're too light sometimes. Although I have to say I've never been able to type faster than on those browns, but I bottom out so much. Maybe it's just an old habit from the g15's.

BTW the Microsoft Sidewinder x4 does look pretty danm sleek and neat. I wonder if those macro keyes are close enough to the keyboard layout or not for quick presses.

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post #1874 of 14551
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tator Tot View Post
Cherry MX Blacks (Majestouch Linear Force)
Cherry MX Browns (Majestouch Tactile Touch)
Cherry MX Reds ( G80-3600)
Cherry MX Blue (Majestouch Tactile Click "Otaku")
Simplified Black Alps (ABS M1)
Alps Strongman (Matias Tactile Pro 2.0)

I didn't get much time with the Alps strongman though, I picked the board up for a friend who did alot of typing and programing on his Mac (he is a tad of a total fanboy.)
Though, I didn't like them to much. I bottomed them out way fast and the noise was annoying to me.

Cherry Blacks:
Great for gaming, I love the stiff feel and the no noise from them. I don't bottom them out very often, unless I honestly start key spamming (rapid pressing of the same key in succession.) Typing is a little lack luster as it's more of a chore to type because they are so stiff

Cherry Reds:
Gaming not quiet as good as the blacks, but they still work well. Typing is better, but if I really get into gaming, I can bottom out the keyswhen I start using multi-key combos

Browns/Blues: To light and I don't like the clicks.

Simplified Black Alps:
They were nice, but my M1's lack of full NKRO has caused me some issues in the first place. And I don't like the click they make either.


In the end, I'm a fan of my blacks, but I would like to find something that's just inbetween the blacks & the reds.
So it sounds like you want to stick to linear switches then. You're going to need something a bit obscure.

There are four linear Alps switches - Greens, Yellows, Darker Yellows, and Reds. But the Reds are even lighter than the Cherry ones, so we'll skip those.

Greens: Start at 25g, end at 55g. Travel depth is 3.5mm
Yellows: Start at 30g, end at 60g. Travel depth is 4.0mm
Dark Yellows: Start at 25g, end at 70g. Travel depth is 4.0mm

I think Yellows will fit you best, but it's up to you.
Edited by Manyak - 2/27/10 at 11:08am
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post #1875 of 14551
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulHDietz View Post
Hello Keyboard Afficionados!

I'm the researcher behind the new anti-ghosting feature in Microsoft's SideWinder X4 keyboard. I just wanted to let you know that we have a new site up that discusses the ghosting issue, and it includes a simple browser-based, on-screen keyboard so you can quickly get an idea of what ghosting issues you have with your own keyboard. The front page is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/appliedscie...iGhosting.mspx

As a caveat, I should point out that a browser-based keyboard tester is limited by what keystrokes get passed up from the system through the browser. So it won't tell you everything. But it should give you a feel for the capabilities of your keyboard.

The site also includes a detailed description of what the limitations of the X4 are with respect to simultaneous key presses. I'm very pleased that we are able to provide this sort of information. It should help clear up some confusion about what is and is not possible.

By the way, I know some of you will take issue with the definition of anti-ghosting as pressed keys that fail to function correctly. I know this is not what may have been originally meant, but it is how it is currently used by the industry.

Thanks!
Wow, this thread is that noticeable?



I do appreciate that the meaning of words can change over time, especially in a fast moving industry. And to be fair, a major reason membrane keyboards don't have NKRO is because keys are blocked to prevent ghosting, among other reasons. So anti-ghosting is a reasonable name for the technology, though I'd prefer "expanded rollover" or some such.

I also like the keyboard test thing on there. Essentially the same functionality as KeyboardTest without having to deal with a trial period or buying it.


What would be really helpful to consumers, however, is a map of some sort showing what keys on the Sidewinder x4 can be pressed at once. Unfortunately this is a very complicated chunk of information and probably hard to represent two dimensionally. So maybe list common key combinations that the standard IBM matrix is incapable of, and compare them to the combinations the x4 can do.
post #1876 of 14551
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulHDietz View Post
Hello Keyboard Afficionados!

I'm the researcher behind the new anti-ghosting feature in Microsoft's SideWinder X4 keyboard. I just wanted to let you know that we have a new site up that discusses the ghosting issue, and it includes a simple browser-based, on-screen keyboard so you can quickly get an idea of what ghosting issues you have with your own keyboard. The front page is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/appliedscie...iGhosting.mspx

As a caveat, I should point out that a browser-based keyboard tester is limited by what keystrokes get passed up from the system through the browser. So it won't tell you everything. But it should give you a feel for the capabilities of your keyboard.

The site also includes a detailed description of what the limitations of the X4 are with respect to simultaneous key presses. I'm very pleased that we are able to provide this sort of information. It should help clear up some confusion about what is and is not possible.

By the way, I know some of you will take issue with the definition of anti-ghosting as pressed keys that fail to function correctly. I know this is not what may have been originally meant, but it is how it is currently used by the industry.

Thanks!
Thanks, that's a great reference for the x4's capabilities. Though most of us here aren't actually limited by our current keyboards. Using PS/2 and having diodes in series with each keyswitch makes things pretty worry free.

I've got one question though: How does the keyboard report more than the standard 6 alphanumeric + 4 modifier keys over USB? I'm very curious as to the specifics of how the limitation was avoided.
Edited by Manyak - 2/27/10 at 11:37am
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post #1877 of 14551
I don't see how the term "Anti-Ghosting" can refer to allowing multiple, simultaneous keystrokes so that they can all register at the same time (for the sake of gaming, of course). I mean, how does the term "ghosting" even fit in? What's the term referring to?

This is why the term "Ghosting" refers to when you press 2 or more keys, and then another character appears that you did not press (or even accidentally press). It's just a ghost that appears out of nowhere - get it?

Yeah, I know I can't single-handedly correct it all, but it's rather annoying.
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post #1878 of 14551
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
I don't see how the term "Anti-Ghosting" can refer to allowing multiple, simultaneous keystrokes so that they can all register at the same time (for the sake of gaming, of course). I mean, how does the term "ghosting" fit in? What's the term referring to?

This is why the term "Ghosting" refers to when you press 2 or more keys, and then another character appears that you did not press (or even accidentally press). It's just a ghost that appears out of nowhere - get it?

Yeah, I know I can't single-handedly correct it all, but it's rather annoying.
By my understanding, the way the traces on a membrane keyboard are set up certain key combinations can make it appear that an additional key has been pressed. Thus ghosting. To compensate for that, manufacturers modify the controller to block the keys that "appear" when used with other key combinations, to prevent ghosting. The downside is that if you want to press said key, but it's blocked to prevent ghosting, then you're out of luck.

By preventing or at least reducing ghosting on the membrane itself, or somehow telling a normal keystroke from a ghost, a manufacturer can unblock keys and allow them to be registered, without picking up ghosted keys. Thus anti-ghosting means more keys can be unblocked, leading to greater rollover.

However, I can see why they did not use the term rollover, because rollover is dependent on the minimum number of keys that can register, and if the antighosting tech is only applied to one section of a keyboard then other parts may still be blocked. Thus the rollover hasn't been increased, just the maximum.
post #1879 of 14551
Also, we may wish to consider emailing this guy in case he never comes back to read any responses.
post #1880 of 14551
@PaulHDietz

You are referring NKRO not Ghosting. That's use of an improper term. That's like when people say Mac's are not PC's (Personal Computers.)

You're going to sound up uneducated to your market. While gamers in the past may have been easier to fool, and computer users easier to get things by on, that's not the case.
Many users are crossing over into the enthusiast world and actually buying things based on information gathered.

I know just in the last year, without I even having to mention things, many people come into the local computer shop and ask for Mechanical keyboards and Item's that would not have normally been asked for or mentioned before.

I'm not trying to be insulting, on the flipside, I'm a Business Administration & Marketing major. I have a fairly good understanding of how these things work. And Wording in your adverts is very important.

I would hate to see (as I've already witnessed similar circumstances) a review site or personal blog give your boards bad remarks just because you marketed it wrong.

That will happen, more so with the way keyboards are right now. Like Power supplies, the few sites that do know what they are talking about and have a more "proper" (even though it's much harder to test a keyboard comparatively to a Power Supply in some regards) testing conditions and methods. And will most likely harp on your board just for the inaccurate wording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manyak View Post
So it sounds like you want to stick to linear switches then. You're going to need something a bit obscure.

There are four linear Alps switches - Greens, Yellows, Darker Yellows, and Reds. But the Reds are even lighter than the Cherry ones, so we'll skip those.

Greens: Start at 25g, end at 55g. Travel depth is 3.5mm
Yellows: Start at 30g, end at 60g. Travel depth is 4.0mm
Dark Yellows: Start at 25g, end at 70g. Travel depth is 4.0mm

I think Yellows will fit you best, but it's up to you.
I'm not aware of any boards that use Yellow Alps.

Do you have any in mind? Perhaps with just the basic layout like my Filco's or ABS M1?
It can have extra buttons as well, but I would prefer to stick to that standard layout.

Though, I'm considering getting a board with Cherry MX Browns that's a natural as well, if you have any in mind that would be nice.

Again, Danke for helping me with boards in the past and now Manyak.
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