Optimus Tester is a software written to help you in the discovering of faulty OLED keys on the Optimus Maximus keyboard.
The idea of a keyboard with every single key customizable both in its appearance and functionality is a great idea, and I hope this will become common for every keyboard in a not so distant future.
Until that day the Optimus Maximus keyboard (O.M. from now on) is a sort of prototype, and it can offer you the ability to experiment with the possibilities offered by a keyboard of this kind.
There are many good things in its favor (dynamic layouts, multiple languages, ability to map any key everywhere), but unfortunately one of the most evident shortcoming is the production quality of its little OLED screens.
They are not reliable as they should be, and their actual rendering of colors wildly change from one OLED to the next one.
Searching around the Internet for users' experiences I found many people lamenting the fact their brand new keyboard had some bad OLED keys right from the start.
I can add my testimony to those, and my new O.M. had some problems too in that department.
One of the keys died the second time I turned up the keyboard and went permanently black.
Another key was working but with some rows and columns of pixels dead. I noticed this only because it was the one positioned where the keyboard usually has the key with the Windows logo.
If the same had happened on a key with a "." or a "," or another small symbol probably I wouldn't have noticed for a while, since the dead pixels would have been outside the area used for a character of that size.
So I had to immediately replace two keys with the two spares you get bundled with the keyboard. Having used all the spares after one hour of use it's not exactly the best of the starts.
Then there is the uneven level of color saturation between different keys.
Every one is remarkably darker or lighter than its neighbors.
You normally don't notice this, and in its everyday use the keyboard's chars and graphics are really beautiful, very well defined and a pleasure to look at.
But the default background color you are using it's probably black, and if you have some colorful graphic on some keys probably don't have two or three of them near each other and they are not almost identical in appearance. So you can't easily compare the saturation level of the keys.
I contacted about this the reseller first, and Art. Lebedev Studio later. If you are interested in how the thing ended you will find it on this page.
The idea of this program is to use it if you have just bought a O.M., or if you sell them and you want to test them before shipping them, or if for some other reason you want a quick way to check if all the OLEDs are properly working.
Using this tool not only you can find if a OLED is totally dead (quite noticeable anyway I must admit) but also if it has some dead pixels (usually in rows or columns) or if it has evident discolorations in some areas (less common but it's happened too).
Before we pass to explain how to use the program and its requirements, a final but important warning.
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY:
This program can't hurt your OLED keys, but if you have a OLED already defective the excessive use of this program can accelerate its transition from "almost bad" to "bad".
Can't hurt your OLED because it doesn't do something it shouldn't. It simply display images on the OLED keys. They are there for this.
But if you have a weak, semi-defective OLED there is a good probability that keeping a black background, with a lot of pixels turned off, and some rows and columns never activated will give it a little longer to live without exhibiting a problem.
As you can guess I ran this program many times while I was developing it and without any adverse effect. But it's up to you.
And now, how to use it ...
You must have the MaximusDisk virtual file system enabled in the Optimus Maximus Configurator to be able to use this program.
Moreover the O.M. Configurator must NOT be running.
If you launch the program with the MaximusDisk not enabled or the O.M. Configurator running the program will show a message box explaining the problem and quit.
Once started the program disable the keyboard's auto-sleep timer and set the brightness level to 20%.
When you are finished using the program, relaunching the O.M. Configurator will re-enable your original settings.
Once started, you have three options selectable through a dropdown combobox:
This will draw on every key the following patterns in sequence: a three colors (R,G,B) flag, a RED box, a GREEN box, a BLUE box.
Then all the keys are cleared (filled with black, hence all pixels off) and the cycle repeats.
The persistence time of every pattern is set using the slider at the center of the window.
This will write on every key its ID, or the number used to identify a specific key on the keyboard.
Can be useful as a light version of the test above, and to uniquely identify a key by its position when talking to other O.M. owners.
Again the time between every write cycle is set using the same slider.
This will start a loop between 0 and 255, writing on every key the number of the current iteration on a gradient-colored background randomly chosen.
The interval between every loop is set using the usual slider and the loop restarts from 0 when 255 is reached.
By the way, for every test the default time set on the slider is the one I suggest, but you can change it if you like.