So now I have the proof of concept, I debated changing the keymap based on the Gieger Code Chorder project but decided to keep it how it is. Next step is to make it into something more useful. The Labjack is a great quick and dirty prototyping device but it's useless if I want to use the keyboard at work, hooked up to my android slab or at anyone else's house but mine. Even if they have Linux installing the Labjack drivers and support programs makes it a somewhat nontrivial matter. I need something that will work with USB HID natively.
I generally work with straight AVR's, 2313's a personal favorite of mine. I decided to be lazy this time though and go with the Arduino Leonardo. I chose this platform for three reasons:
A) Native USB HID support
B) I could pick it up at microcenter without waiting for the parts to arrive
C) I received an Intel Galileo for Christmas so if I ever want to rebuild the keyer into a stand alone editor A La the MicroWriter I already have the board for it.
Since I'm doing dev work on a new system, even if it's a system built atop one I'm familiar with, it's best to start small with blinking LED's and basic input. Since real time feedback is obviously helpful I'll start by having a simple set of indicator LED's for all of the keys. Press a key and the corresponding LED lights up. Once I have input and output down on the platform the sky's the limit