Previously unseen Chinese Realforce sublegends

00.

04 Aug 2018, 13:43

I recently came across something that piqued my interest - a few people are aware of the Realforce 103Us that came with Zhuyin sublegends many years ago that 002 has documented on the wiki - from what i know these were primarily marketed in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. They seem to be very difficult to find.
zhuyin.jpg
zhuyin.jpg (13.09 KiB) Viewed 1653 times
Apologies, i know this is a less than stellar picture.
As i was snooping around for one of these, i noticed a site that at first glance appeared to be covering the release of the standard English 103U. Scrolling down a bit more, however, revealed these pictures.
whitetotal.jpg
whitetotal.jpg (56.73 KiB) Viewed 1653 times
whitezoom.jpg
whitezoom.jpg (58.94 KiB) Viewed 1653 times
whiteupclose.jpg
whiteupclose.jpg (62.01 KiB) Viewed 1653 times
packagedwhite.jpg
packagedwhite.jpg (57.16 KiB) Viewed 1653 times
It appears there is an alternate set of Chinese sublegends (excuse my ignorance, i don't know which alphabet or dialect) which differs significantly from the Zhuyin ones. These resemble more traditional Chinese sublegends found on most keyboards. Has anyone seen these before? They're completely new to me and as far as I know most people and sites, including the wiki. Seems like they were offered as replacement kits to existing keyboards.

I would be very interested in getting my hands on some, naturally. The article about them was 10 years old, so it's not going to be easy. I've known about this taobao listing for a while. It's for a 103U, however the (poorly translated) title claims it's white, yet the generic pictures and description suggest it's black. I've tried communicating with the seller to find out whether it's the English or Zhuyin/traditional Chinese one, to no avail. Would anyone be able to check with him, possibly obtain the model number or better yet, some pictures? He doesn't understand my Google Translate Chinese. The price is quite high, otherwise I'd order one myself and find out.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a2 ... =10#detail

okaboni

04 Aug 2018, 14:50

Those white caps in the pics seems to have legends for "Cangjie" input method for Chinese language.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cangjie_input_method
According to Wikipedia JP, Cangjie is commonly used in Hong Kong today.

But sorry I'm not in China so don't have any information about those Chinese Realforce or their replacement caps :(

User avatar
LightningXI

04 Aug 2018, 14:53

Would love to hear more regarding the availability of those. I'd grab a board with the white caps.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

04 Aug 2018, 16:32

Ah, good old Topre. Making juicy stuff and never even remotely trying to sell it to us since year dot. You stay you!

00.

05 Aug 2018, 06:10

I have actually found a black zhuyin one in taiwan. for now, i am working on getting the taobao listing translated. i'll report here with any new info.

User avatar
Drclick

05 Aug 2018, 14:20

00. wrote: I have actually found a black zhuyin one in taiwan. for now, i am working on getting the taobao listing translated. i'll report here with any new info.
I know that one, the description says they are out of stock.

00.

05 Aug 2018, 16:02

Drclick wrote:
00. wrote: I have actually found a black zhuyin one in taiwan. for now, i am working on getting the taobao listing translated. i'll report here with any new info.
I know that one, the description says they are out of stock.
think we might be looking at separate ones, this one has no such information

User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

06 Aug 2018, 05:06

What's neat about the source of those images is that the two keyboards being reviewed appear to be the SE1100 and SE11B0, both listed on the Topre OEM Keyboards page as prototype models (10 of which were made in each colour). I am just using Google translate but it sounds like they were made available in a "trial sale". If you've found one of those, that would be quite the score.

Also odd is that the SE11B0 is listed on the OEM keyboards page as having Hangul sub-legends. Might be a mistake inherited from the original transcribe + translate of the Moonlight Cafe Realforce / Topre keyboard reference; or maybe there were prototypes made with Korean legends as well.

Because of the date of that review (2007), these keyboards are likely based on the Realforce 101 (ML0100) which is why they share similar traits such as the 'Back Space' legend being on one line, PS/2 interface, yellow-green LEDs, and small legend size.

User avatar
MightyJabba

07 Aug 2018, 07:42

Would these sublegends have had any actual purpose or were they decorative? I don’t see how they could be used to input Chinese.

User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

07 Aug 2018, 10:11

Sub-legends serve a purpose if you are using direct kana input as opposed to romaji in the case of Japanese. What you type on your keyboard then becomes the sub-legend. I suspect it's the same for Chinese and other languages too. It's not just for keyboard memesters :)

User avatar
hansichen

07 Aug 2018, 10:33

MightyJabba wrote: Would these sublegends have had any actual purpose or were they decorative? I don’t see how they could be used to input Chinese.
Those are all used for several traditional input methods for writing Chinese. You can read more about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_i ... _computers
In mainland China most people use pinyin on their PCs which uses qwerty layout, that's why these sublegend-keyboards mainly come from areas who use traditional Chinese like Hongkong and Taiwan.

User avatar
MightyJabba

07 Aug 2018, 10:43

Very interesting. I speak and write Japanese, and in that context we would call these "radicals" (the parts that make up a single character). I had assumed that there would be too many of these radicals (over 200 in Japanese, and presumably more for Chinese) to fit on a qwerty keyboard, but it sounds like the software is able to cope with that.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”