I had a phone call with Michael Steinmann from SwissMicros this week to enquire about his views of the WP43C.StatsDoctor wrote: ↑Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:06 pmThe development of the alternative key layout and all of the discussion about this is very interesting, and has been a lot of work for those directly involved with this. Is there any chance that SwissMicros would manufacture a 43S and a 43C, or would they (as a small company) be stretched too thin to do this? Did a discussion on this already take place, in which case I may have missed it?
Michael finds the idea of creating an alternative firmware for the hardware of the DM42 exciting.
The WP43C layout of Jaymos is now so good that adapted hardware like specially printed keys and casing is not needed, but overlays will be required for this solution. The advantage is that the hardware already exists and is available. Michael (SwissMicros) agreed to make the required WP43C overlays when the project is ready and will offer them for sale in their shop.
The difference between the WP43S and WP43C which both run on the DM42, is that the WP43S can definitely not be used on the DM42 hardware without at least a keyboard change. Prospects of the WP43S were not discussed with Michael, but I want to confirm that the WP43C can and will not exist without the WP43S and it follows that the same time lines are applicable.
According to suggestions every now and then on the WP43S News forum, there is certainly a lot of work still to be done before the DM42 will run more that test WP43* firmware, therefore these overlays will not be required soon. Indications on the forum suggest "multi-year" to complete. The point of this post is to advise that SwissMicros will back the use of their DM42 by making DM42 overlays available when the time is right.
Michael explained that the use of overlays was part of the DM42 design and that the existing DM42's already allow for this. He explained that there are a number of locating slots provided on the inside edges of the DM42 keyboard to retain overlays.