Mostly Harmless vckyb6 Keyboard – Making Online Meetings Better

Unlike many, I like online meetings. It gives me an option to attend an appointment from the comfort of my home office and listen to virtually anyone. Also, I have a very efficient way of taking notes. My home office - Tokyo, has good light and air. Any physical meeting in any other place won't reach this level of comfort. That said, there are things that I still want to improve.

  • Ability to control and manage the meetings using dedicated hardware
  • Ability to update my home assistant my call status (like "On Air" feature)
  • Ability to record any session and store it into my local file server

One of them got solved recently, thanks to Mostly Harmless. They are free software and hardware makers and assemblers from Bangalore. My initial interaction with Abhas (founder of Mostly Harmless) was around LC230, a mod of Thinkpad x230 running free hardware, free bios, and free OS. It's currently used as my second computer, primarily for screencast recordings and software development. I am yet to blog about it. I will do it soon.

Anyway, while talking about online education with Abhas; We spoke about this small keyboard device he designed for his child to take online classes. It seemed interesting, and I asked for more details. It seemed like it will match my requirements. There are meetings (like daily stand-ups) where I don't take notes. I listen or speak. I use the mute button extensively. This seemed like a really good option for that. So I got one. It works like a charm.

Close up of my vckyb6 keyboard

It's a mechanical keyboard, also has a rotary encoder for volume control. Currently, it's configured to work for Google meet but can be reconfigured for any other system. The keyboard firmware and configuration is based on QMK. As of now you have to rebuild the firmware and flash it if you want to change the layout. It's not a big deal. 

The vckyb6 has two layers. You can enable layer two by pressing and holding the green button. I plan to use this extra layer to work with the record, pause, stop of OBS.

I love it. It makes my life easy. Also, it helps my family members to put me on mute very quickly if they want to talk to me in any emergency. It's the yellow button.

A wireless feature will be great. It would help with my cable management which is currently out of control. Also, an easy way to configure the keyboard layout for non-programmers would be great too. 

Talk to Abhas and get one for yourself or your kid.