cmw.osdude 120000QT77 Comment (1) Visits (1902)
Previously in Walden's Ponderings...
So, yesterday I was giving a preview of the new gadgets I will be brining to bear at SXSW when my bluetooth keyboard gave out on me. That put an end to what I was writing and I had to finish out the last few lines with my finger. In case you are new to the party, I'm using a Periboard-804 keyboard with a new Droid Bionic. As I got things going again I ran into a number of speedbumps to the kind of blogging I want to be able to do from SXSW. I'm going to cover the issues here in the hopes that someone else can avoid some of my pain.
They didn't have phones in mind
I've had a few adventures working with the developerWorks community tools to blog. I'm used to a different kind of environment (read hacked) when I've done things on the web and the structured nature of Lotus Connections, which sits beneath the developerWorks community, imposes rules and limitations on me. This is good from and IT and enterprise protection standpoint, but frustrating to someone who likes to tinker. I've learned to live with and work around most of it for my needs. However, when I went to do a blog entry, I discovered that they just didn't have phones in mind. The word processor interace was just not workable with my phone I started to justtype HTML into the alternative editor and discovered idiosyncrasies on my keyboard. Don't worry, I'm going to walk you through all of this, but it made for some frustration, I can tell you!;
A perfect pair
I decided pretty quickly that a bluetooth keyboard neeed to be in my kit if I was going to keep from carting my laptop around for a while. I found the Periboard-804 by Perixx on Amazon for a pretty reasonable price. (I paid $34 for it with free shipping.) It is lovely. It's about the size of a keyboard on a netbook and as thin as a pancake. It had to be charged for a couple of hours through it's micro-USB port and then I was ready.
I fired it up and turned on my phone. There's a little button on the
bottom of the keyboard next to the power switch that puts in in pairing
mode and a little bliinking blue light told me that it was seeking. I
told my Droid to look for devices and it found it immediately. Success!
It asked me to put in a code. 0000 is what I've used with headsets and
it looked like it was going to work... but it didn't. I tried this
several times. I read the manual (what there was of it). I looked on
the Internet. I found
Pairing a Perixx Periboard-804 bluetooth keyboard with a Droid Bionic Android phone
I'm trying to make this easy to find for the next person who
searches. If this is obvious to you then feel free to jump ahead. It
That was it. Entering the code on both devices did it and the keyboard was usable immediately. Yay! I went to Facebook and typed long messages to people. I started chatting with people. It works great. Except...
Just one thing
After all my mad typing in other Internet tools I was finally ready to do a blog entry through my phone and keyboard. Then I found out I had a problem. My keyboard shows "greater than" and "less than" symbols on it. They are printed as the shifted comm and period resptively. However, when I press those keyes I get a semicolon and a colon. I can't type the most common symbols required to create HTML. Without the HTML, I can't really type in my entries on the road.
It's possible that I could have typed in everything using CAPS and ***asterisks*** for emphasis like in the old ASCII email days, but I like to put a lot of links and things in my writing when I can. It just wouldn't be as good as I want. I actually cheated on yesterday's entry and sent the plain text to my laptop so I could enter it in with formatting. That would take to long from the road. Not a solution. (I have no minions to do it for me either.)
Typing special characters on a bluetooth keyboard paired to an Android phone
Again, I want this to be easier for the next guy or gal ho is struggling with this.
If you've worked with an Android device long enough you've dealt with the multi-touch feature of the screen keyboard. If you long-press a letter such as "e" you'll get a pop-up showing you different options for accents and such. This is how it works on the bluetooth keyboard. I'm not going to go through all of them, but here are a few you might be looking for:
As you can see, I found them. There are other symbols on other keys. Just experiment holding down different ones and you'll find what you need. So now, I'm typing this in a local text editor. I'll copy and paste the code into the HTML view of the blog editor and that should do it. It is more of a pain to have to type the codes as each "<" costs four keystrokes, but at least I can do it. I don't want to be limited if there's any way to work around it.
That's my first SXSW adventure, and the event hasn't even started yet! I hope that my trials will save someone else some time. If anyone who writes manuals for this stuff should happen to read this, feel free to copy all that you wish to document it in your literature. It sure would have saved me some time!
As Lobo, played by Tor Johnson, would say: "Time for go to bed." More on everything later.