Xah keyboard Blog

Put $5 in my patreon. https://www.patreon.com/xahlee

my webcam arrived.

Logitech C920 Webcam 12fde
Buy Logitech C920 Webcam, 1080p

it's very good.

OrbiTouch keyless keyboard 6dd64-s299x209
OrbiTouch keyless keyboard

Why You Need 9 Buttons Mouse? (updated)

Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard New photo, type 7.

tesoro keyboard trackball 2-s372x168
Tesoro G6TL Keyboard with Trackball

spend $220 on amazon, or, how i became a keyboard expert

spend $220 on amazon. that's, like, biggest spending in 12 years. a shoe, a mouse, a usb hub, a web cam. necessity for rich living.

when u wanna buy a keyboard, u spend days to read all reviews. undecided. it becomes months. Then after 10 years of daily fretting, you still haven't decided which one to buy. That's how i became a keyboard expert.

the things i got are:

ergo keyboard history 2018-06-15
Ergonomic Keyboard History
dactyl manuform keyboard d5912-s1386x1039-s289x216
Dactyl Manuform Keyboard
japan action figure 2018-06-14 1efd1
Japan action figure 2018-06-14 She's cyborg called Cibo, a character of the movie BLAME!. buy BLAME! [image source https://twitter.com/GPARTS_Master/status/1006832233477332992]

Vintage: HP 02648-60005 Mechanical Keyboard (1970s)

HP 02648 60005 keyboard b18bf
HP 02648-60005 Mechanical Keyboard (1970s) [image source https://twitter.com/thomasfuchs/status/1006719692994744320 2018-06-12]

currently on ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/273284114558

XMIT Hall Effect Switch Keyboard. added a video by Chyrosran22

hyper 7 keyboard 9613f s434x144
Hyper 7 Keyboard

TRS-80 keyboard

tsr 80 computer ce8c5 s1386x1039
TSR-80 computer 4160×3120 [image source https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/8pf5qx/keeb_in_the_wild_trs80_with_updated_internals_and/ 2018-06-08]


haven't found out exactly which what is this.

Manus keyboard

manus keyboard 8b035 s1467x825 s333x187
Manus Keyboard

Apple Keyboard History ⌨ (lots more photos)

lots more updates.

Apple Adjustable Keyboard 1993 (added a video of typing on it.)

Northgate Omnikey Evolution Ergonomic Keyboard (updated with more info)

Keyboard Articles Index (updated. now 531 articles)

IBM 5155 computer 4b0c5 s1185x1021 s269x232
IBM Portable PC Computer 5155 model 68 (year 1984)
MCM Model 70 Microcomputer b4350 s314x199
MCM Model 70, 1972
IBM 5100 keyboard 14510 s289x217
IBM 5100, 1975

best usb hub

ok. after 2 hours research, the best usb 3.0 hub seems to be Buy LENTION 4-in-1 USB-C Hub with Type C, USB 3.0 you want shielded cable. Else, it screws wireless devices.

Best powered usb hub is Buy Anker PowerIQ Charging Macbook Surface

i have a Mac mini. 4 usb ports. 1 for keyboard, 1 mouse, 1 keypad, and just 1 left. So, to record a video, need 1 for cam, 1 for headset. Not enough.

need web cam

someone buy me this Buy Logitech C922x Webcam i can't record video reviews with my current lousy cam logitech c270

enamel paint your keyboard

just got a great idea. just buy some enamel paint, and you can paint your keyboard pretty.

you can see a example at Kinesis Keyboard Gallery

you can go basic by painting home key with diff color, or the esc key. Or, paint dvorak label, or on programable keypad.

or, you can go artistic. at that point, anything goes. comics, drawings, math formula, abstract, or whole thing pink Cadillac.

Kinesis Keyboard Gallery added many photos.

mitosis keyboard

diy. mitosis keyboard. https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/66588f/wireless_split_qmk_mitosis/


elecom ex g pro trackball f5d09
Elecom ex-g pro trackball


it'll replace their Elecom EX-G Trackball

modern m0110 keyboard 3ac74 s311x201
Modern M0110 keyboard (DIY)
Apple Macintosh 512 keyboard 18366 s306x204
Macintosh Keyboard (M0110) (year 1984)

(new page)

smith corona acoustic keyboard 201711 40801 s289x217
Smith-Corona Ultrasonic I Plus 1983

Apple Keyboard History ⌨. New page

Apple Keyboards ⌨ (more photos)

Emoji Keyboard. No longer made.

Keyboard Key Label Tech (minor update)

someone is looking for a doctor specializing in Repetitive Strain Injury, in San Francisco Bay Area.

does any have recommendations?

answer at https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/8nae7v/fingertips_tingling_with_keyboard_usage/e01sxrh/

Best Trackballs 2018 (updated)

Elecom HUGE Trackball (updated)

Trackball vs Mouse, and How to Choose a Trackball (minor update)

naive keyboard d4077 s333x188
Naive Keyboard

to read

[Assignment Problems for Optimizing Text Input By Anna Maria Feit. At https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/31312 ]

She's keyboard/input reseacher. She wrote the PianoText

[see Using Piano to Type Text]

keyboard with volume wheel fb6f8 s1056x947 s264x237
Keyboards with Volume Wheel

fingertips tingling with keyboard usage

another Repetitive Strain Injury


my comment:

you have pain already? I think you should immediately see a doctor. And, stop at all costs from typing on laptop keyboard, and also stop typing on flat PC keyboard. It is typing on ibook, that got my first RSI in 2005.

Tingling is first sign, but reaching the point of pain is already kinda late, but you can still recover.

Of kinesis, dactyl, maltron, i think kinesis is the way to go. Unless it's ok to spend $200 more. Because basically dactyl or maltron will be $500...

alternatively, keyboardio, or other flat split with mech keys, are also good candidates.

about ergodox, i wouldn't recommend it. It has thumb problems. See this story Ergodox Keyboard Thumb Keys Pain also, a nice pre-built ergodox is about the same price as kinesis.

on key switch, i'd recommend blue or red. (not brown, black)

for exercise, try this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiRC80FJbHU

But, don't just blindly follow that. Try to spend 1 hour per day, for a month, reading about Repetitive Strain Injury. (but note, there are tons on the web. You want to read those who had RSI, not from people who did not have RSI. Beware of many bad advice about RSI. There are many such. Some are from spammer/scammers e.g. They'd say ergo keyboard is useless or that you can heal by pure mind/meditation. Some are from “strong opinion” programers telling you about swapping capslock etc.)

you can find RSI reports by searching here, or r/emacs , hackernews, deskthority, geekhack, stackoverflow.

also, RSI is not fully scientifically understood. So, seeing doctor may be useless. (e.g. lots people have reported that seeing doctor didn't do much. (but see a doctor anyway as one should.))

I have many bouts of Repetitive Strain Injury since 2005. Each time i tried to document it. You might find helpful: Typing Habits, Repetitive Strain Injury ⌨

good luck.

How to Create APL or Math Symbols Keyboard Layout

video review. Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard

Xah Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard Review

added to Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard Review

keyboard history pics 2018

Keyboard History ⌨

now looking good

Linus Tech Tip Became Stupid

linus @linustech getting more and more idiotic everyday. his video review on gaming gear was popular, maybe 10 years ago, then, he became a YouTube pro. Now, churning out vids like actors, and also hiring others to act. but, it just became stupid.

linux tech tip, on Safe Type Keyboard

Safe Type Keyboard

when you became a pop star, usually you became lame, doesn't matter what field. because, to expand audience to the populace, means you need to fit the masses. so, you become lame. This applies to tech corporations. look at Facebook, google, twitter.

xah window system demo

added a video to the page

Why Tiling Window Manager Sucks (xmonad, ratpoison, dwm, …)

so you can see how i work. (you may have to refresh browser)

Tokidoki unicorn wand + Happy Hacking Keyboard

Now, add an extra boost to your gear.

colorful vibrator keyboard 2017 03 04 92839 s s333x187
Tokidoki unicorn wand

Happy Hacking Keyboard

Apple Snow White bite s289x216
Laptop Sticker

do not buy razer stuff

do not buy razer mouse/keyboard. razer is the worst. they force you to use their cloud for your customized settings to work. get logitech instead. has onboard memory, connecting to cloud optional. #linux

context https://twitter.com/xah_lee/status/999101674915430400

also, razor's mouse are usually 1/3 more expensive than logitech, with less feature. it's that way cuz razor market to ignorant teen gamers, much like girls follow @KimKardashian idol.

typing on the kinesis video from xah

recorded my typing on the kinesis keyboard. Watch at

Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard Review

Mouse Weight Comparison (updated)

a beautiful white kinesis

kinesis keyboard 2018 05 21 f5a2f s289x217

[see Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard Review]

thanks xah keyboard 2018 05 21 9rk57
thanks xah keyboard 2018 05 21 9rk57

cheapest logitech mouse with spin wheel

logitech m570 mouse mhw6j s665x737
logitech m570 mouse

see Logitech Mouse with Spin Wheel

tactile bump stickers for keyboard key

apparently, there's tactile dots you can buy, to stick to keyboard keys. tactile dots

How to Choose a Gaming Mouse? (updated)

mouse heaven 2018 05 20 cfd83
mouse heaven

Mouse Reviews , massive update

logitech mx performance mouse ecc80 s299x209
Logitech MX Performance Mouse

Best Mouse for Programers (updated)

trackball with many buttons? https://www.reddit.com/r/Trackballs/comments/8k56km/recommendation_request_im_looking_for_a_trackball/dz7lvrz/

deft pro trackball m6n2d s207x302
Elecom DEFT Pro Trackball

now on amazon.

tn 236x265 3m ergonomic mouse stick gnbps
3M Ergonomic Mouse Stick

discovered contour unimouse

contour unimouse 1e0e8 s342x183
Contour Unimouse Buy at amazon

See also: Left Handed Mouse

roccat leadr mouse and logitech spin wheel

currently eyeing the roccat leadr mouse. amazon its basically a wireless version of tyon. Featuring, recharge pad.

first impression, based on reading reviews ROCCAT Leadr Mouse

i desperately miss the spin wheel on my logitech g700. It has double-click/drag issue after 5 years, and i dumped it last year. Also, it's discontinued. Logitech G700s Mouse Review

so, if you want a spin wheel, current options are Logitech MX Master Mouse or Logitech G502 Proteus Mouse or Logitech G903 Mouse which would you prefer?

LZ Ergo Keyboard has staggered layout. and the function keys row is not split into 3. meaning, middle keys e.g. f3 f8 f9 will need eyes to hit.

what's the m.7 layout? also, how much is it? am guessing it's a hundred or more, for prebuilt, than xbows.

X-Bows Keyboard Review

Swiftpoint Z Gaming Mouse

Added a video. This mouse, not for programers.

Keyboard Joysticks does it work well? no.

x bows is shipping. it is the best non-tented keyboard.

X-Bows Keyboard Review

where is space enter backspace on batman keyboard?

for batman keyboards there is no standard layout. That is, the position of Enter Space ⌫ Backspace can differ wildly depending on keyboard.

but i took a short survey, it seems, they pretty much converge on kinesis advantage's layout.

i.e. Space is right hand thumb, ⌫ Backspace is left hand thumb. Enter is usually middle or right hand to the left of h or n.

why's this important? because when you design a keybinding system, e.g. xah-fly-keys, after consideration of PC keyboard layout, you want to consider common fancy keyboard layout.

batman keyboard means these Ergonomic Keyboard Reviews or these Do-It-Yourself Keyboards

X-Bows Keyboard Review

taking the x bows out for a spin. am still waiting for them to have a Mac driver. because without, i can't remap the many keys i need. well, you can do it via os key tools, but it's very cumbersome and limited.

How to Avoid Mouse Hand Pain

I got asked this often. Goes like “am a emacs/vim/heavy keyboard user, which should i buy”. Or, “i have hand pain...”, etc.

any of these would be great. Best Ergonomic Keyboards 2018

and all tips i can give i've placed there.

Japanese Keyboard Layouts (major update)

How to Set Key to Switch to Browser (minor update)

Japan Keyboard Layout Design Community

see New Stickney layout at bottom Japanese Keyboard Layouts

the New Stickney is kana based. and is heavily updated in past 2 years, with new version coming out. it's from the creator of the Esrille New keyboard. The guy uses it. (he's active on twitter)

and, just few days ago, i learned a new japanese layout “eucalyn”. you can see in first pic here Helix Keyboard

and many pictures of it in yesterday's tokyo mech keyboard meetup.

but it seems it's romaji based, but i don't know anything about this layout.

Linux: xmodmap Tutorial (minor updated. added example of swapping numbers)

Keyboard: What's the Most Efficient Layout for Numbers? (minor update)

Ban Extended Pinky Column

recently, had a new chapter of understanding about Repetitive Strain Injury.

i've typed too much again in the past 3 months or so. My left hand, is feeling uncomfortable. Note, the exact cause of RSI is illusive. It can be caused by specific keyboard, and or your particular habit of pressing certain key, and other things.

it seems, this time, the cause is left hand pinky pressing the Caps Lock key too much. or, the a key, or the Tab or left Shift.

Am not 100% sure yet. However, it seems to me, if i stop pressing Caps Lock or keys on that column, i feel comfort.

So, anyway, now i have a new theory. That those Tab, Caps Lock, left Shift, keys, should be ban'd.

Basically, the whole column of keys to the left of 1 q a z should be gone. and similarly for the right hand.

now, this is extreme.

basically, i think once your typing is similar to data-entry clerk or heavy writer (like me) for years, then, the extreme keyboarding advice like the above isn't applicable to others. because, really, most people, do not type that much. Really heavy writer would be something like 1 in 100k users perhaps. (they'd include some gamers. because in some games, such as Second Life, you basically type chat all day.)

but still, this advice, about ban'ing the extended pinky column keys, is still useful, for those ergonomic keyboard designers, such as lots diy keyboards. Think of it as advanced advice for professional athelets.

note, i've already written many articles about past Repetitive Strain Injury, see

My Typing/RSI Experience 1992 to 2017

Also, for keybinding efficiency and Repetitive Strain Injury advice, there are orders of importance. the above one today is probably not for you.

the order of importance

the order of importance is roughly this:

  1. Get a Keyboard with mechanical key switches. then, try to get a split sections or 2 pieces one. then, try to get one with many thumb keys.
  2. if you are a programer, then, you want efficient keybinding. e.g. in emacs, use xah-fly-keys or ergoemacs mode or evil mode. In vi, you want to set esc to be capslock position or a easy thumb key position. (or one of those hack that lets you press df together to switch to command mode.)
  3. if possible, ban shortcuts that requires you to hold a modifier, e.g. Alt Ctrl ⌘ command. make all frequently used shortcuts to be single key, such as F1 F2 F3. possibly also ban Shift key, turn on sticky key.
  4. now, if you type a lot, e.g. writing docs, then consider using Dvorak layout.

read more about them at

Apple Facing Massive Keyboard Recall

macbook keyboard problem 2018 05 07 7f33d
MacBook keyboard problem 2018-05-07

Apple: Recall MacBook Pro w/ Defective Keyboard, Replace with DIFFERENT Working Keyboard https://www.change.org/p/apple-apple-recall-macbook-pro-w-defective-keyboard-replace-with-different-working-keyboard

keyboard tent cart s96y7 s306x204
Keyboard Tenting Cart
e lead noapad c41c9 s289x217
E-Lead NoaPad (Year 2007)

ok, tons of updates in past few days.

i thought of like holding them and just post 1 per day... but that just isn't my thing.

if you like my writing, put $5 in my patreon. https://www.patreon.com/xahlee

please don't do $1. Rather, do $5 at least, then you can take off next month.

keyboard and music keyboard 45096
keyboard and music keyboard [image source https://twitter.com/cydonianbanana/status/986589577363075077 2018-04-18]

X No Chord Keyboard (added a keyboard photo)

Helix Keyboard (much update)

Iris Keyboard more photos.

nyquist keyboard 4m37j
Nyquist Keyboard

this is the best.

planck keyboard MustacheRabbit 2015 2
Planck Keyboard

vastly expanded. The worst keyboard possible.

contour roller mouse red 824cf
Contour Roller

new version.

thor hammer keycap 7a7e8
thor hammer keycap 640×640
overwatch tracer ass keycap 5c108
Overwatch Tracer ass keycap 1000×667

Artistic Keycap Gallery

Mac keyboard key unicode symbol change

mac keyboard viewer changes 2018 05 01 fkjyd
Mac keyboard viewer changes 2018-05-01

[see Mac Keyboard Viewer and Unicode]

Mac finally changed its home/end key symbols from the incomprehensible to the make sense .

Though, arrows was is now .

i guess that match the symbol printed on keycaps.

While page up/down became generic . Also worse.

Note that logitech non-gaming keyboards also use . for arrow key's key label.

[see Logitech Keyboards]

Note that the home/end keys on Mac moves to top/bottom of file. While on Microsoft Windows and linux, it moves to beginning/end of line.

See also: Keyboard Home/End Keys Arrangement

for laptop key labels, see Evolution of Laptop Keyboards, No More Page Up/Down Keys!

See also: Unicode Keyboard Symbols ⌘ ⏎ ⌫

Keyboard Menu/App Key (updated)

Difference Between Apple and PC keyboards (updated)

Did i $save$ you from getting a brick?

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If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.