Hello from Oakland,
Since we last wrote, we’ve been working with the factory to finish off production of preordered keyboards and extra keycap sets. Our shipping partners have delivered our fourth production run (“MP4”) to customers, getting a few hundred more Model 01s out into the world. We’ve been working with the factory to coordinate delivery of MP5 keyboards, extra keycap sets, and replacement wooden enclosures. We had a long call with the factory last night. As of today, this is the latest status:
The factory started production of the 500 unit MP5 run on Saturday. 100 units in, they discovered that about 30% of the enclosures (from supplier ‘A’) had warped enough that they weren’t perfectly flat. On Tuesday, they sat down with factory A’s sales person, sales manager, engineering manager, and QA manager. They told our factory that the issue was due to the heat and humidity in southern China this summer. On top of that, they reported that they were seeing an approximately 50% failure rate of the 500 enclosures they’d already produced for MP6. They agreed that this was a really serious issue and that it was their responsibility to resolve it.
Until it’s sorted out, we don’t expect to be able to get our hands on more than a handful of replacement enclosures.
The upside is that between the 500 enclosures they’d made for MP5 and MP6, there appear to be enough good sets for MP5, which our factory tells us they now expect to have ready for inspection on Tuesday, June 5.
As of this moment, we believe that MP5 will fill all outstanding orders and that we will have some keyboards in stock for immediate sale in early June.
On the call, the factory also gave us some frustrating news about extra keycap sets. When they were inspecting the blank and QWERTY keycap sets to prepare them for shipping, they discovered that the paint…just sort of didn’t stay on the keycaps. They’ve sent engineers to the keycap painting facility and are digging into the root cause of the problem. When we pushed for a revised estimated delivery date, they told us that until they’ve figured out what went wrong, they can’t really commit to a delivery date. While not really what we wanted to hear, we can’t really fault them for that.
As we have further updates, we’ll share them here.
Jesse and algernon (but mostly algernon) have been working on a fairly major firmware update, reworking the plugin system to be faster and more extensible. Algernon has been working on issues that prevented the keyboard from working in BIOS or macOS’ FileVault mode. Jesse’s nearly done with a major update to the keyscanner firmware, which we believe will dramatically reduce the chance of keychatter and reduce (our already pretty low) keypress latency. When everything is ready to go, we’ll push out a new stable keyboard firmware version, along with straightforward instructions about how to update your keyboard without needing to compile anything or edit any text files.
If you’re interested in what other folks are doing with their Model 01s, there’s lots going on over at community.keyboard.io.
If you have trouble with your keyboard, or have questions about your order, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org is your best bet.
If you just want to chat, you can usually find us on Twitter.