Xah keyboard Blog

Xah Keyboard Blog Archive

See also Xah Emacs Blog

Top Chi Solid Copper Baoding Balls, 1.5 Inch Buy at amazon

Dumang DK6 Keyboard
added a comment

Sonder Keyboard, 5 years, seems still no product. added video

Varmilo EC Switch c7Mpk-s250
Varmilo EC Switch

minor update.

you buy! Buy at amazon

Corne/Jorne Keyboard

Backspace Key: Key Label's Influence on Key Purpose
minor update

Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard
added a type 7 photo.

dumang diagonal 20201003 PZWkq-s250
Dumang Dk6 Keyboard

Xah Talk Show 2020-09-27 best programable keypad, unix config files, why JavaScript property sucks

minor updates.

Programable Keypads

Univac F-1355-00 Keyboard, 1971
added a video.

keyboard hand iron balls 2020-09-21 zpS88-s900-s250
RSI Hand Exercise Toys

French Letter Frequency, updated.

Xah Talk Show 2020-09-20 Keyboard Layouts, QWERTY Dvorak Colemak, Why PHP is Better Than JavaScript

todo, work on JavaScript to make the interactive char counter app to also show keyboard heatmap.

Major update. Write JavaScript + SVG for all keyboard layout diagrams. Still have lots improvements to do.

xah talk show 2020-09-14, programable keyboard, keyboard input tools for image/video editing

what is this?

geeksocial switch opener shN6X
geeksocial switch opener Buy at amazon
Loupedeck Creative Tool Editing Console 2020-09-14 V6h67-s250
Loupedeck Photo Editing Console

Arrow Keys added several more photos.

review, updated, repost.

Xah Talk Show 2020-09-03, Evolution of Laptop Keyboards

lol, someone bought this. 100 dollars. Was 20 back in 2003

ms comfort curve keyboard 2000 2020-09-03 TX4mB
Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000

Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000

microsoft surface book keyboard 2016 58947-s250
Microsoft Surface Book Keyboard
Macbook Pro 2015 keyboard 11256-s250
thinkpad 360PE keyboard 42810-s250
Thinkpad Keyboard

Logitech G604 Mouse added optimal setup for web browsing.

kneeling chair 2020-08-31 2bhpC
Kneeling Chair

Best Monitor, Xah Pick

todo, review

Atari 400/800

todo, review

todo, review, work in progress

todo, review, work in progress

DEC VT220 terminal LK201 keyboard 2JWcQ-s250
DEC VT220 + LK201, 1983

new section at bottom on ancient switches Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms

San Francisco Bay Area Keyboard Meetup 2017-11 Impressions

todo https://www.vexc-how-design.com/tech-specs

sezen's key switch ranking:

BTC is https://deskthority.net/wiki/BTC_dome_with_slider

Varmilo is Varmilo EC Switch

todo review

Hall Effect Switch Keyboards

xmit hall effect keyboard 2016-11-12 98908-s250
XMIT Keyboard

todo, write up

screenshot 2020-08-02 s6M6K
screenshot 2020-08-02 s6M6K
screenshot 2020-08-02 TvhRT
screenshot 2020-08-02 TvhRT
screenshot 2020-08-02 zbWVG
screenshot 2020-08-02 zbWVG
screenshot 2020-08-02 h4yF3
screenshot 2020-08-02 h4yF3
screenshot 2020-08-02 B9zJC
screenshot 2020-08-02 B9zJC
screenshot 2020-08-02 sfJm5
screenshot 2020-08-02 sfJm5

@demon btw there's also an article on 'ban shift key'. but, i've tried to get rid of shift about 3 times in separate years, but ultimately they all failed. basically, when using OS or app shortcuts, i find that sometimes one just need shift. hard to do so sans a dedicated shift as is. I also tried to have just a single shift, that didn't work out neither.

i guess my question is why not use the thumbs for shift?

@demon i think there are 2 reasons for me. one is, even with keyboard with lots thumb keys, but practically, each thumb can only have 3 comfy thumb keys. but there's lots commands competing for those spots. Also, if you have a thumb key for shift, there's a question about whether it should be both hands. So, it'll may use 2 thumb spots. For me, i ultimately chose not to have shift in thumb. But i think shift at thumb is absolutely a great idea. (the traditional shift spots, are shitty. )

the reason i ultimately don't have thumb for shift is because... few reasons. one is that, if you do it on one keyboard such as kinesis, but your other keyboards for work or home may not be the same keyboard, such as uhk or gergo or any other. So, you have some sort of juggling mental map/layouts of diff keyboards. If shift stay in traditional positions, you have 1 less such worry. Second reason is, as i mentioned, traditional software often expect a normal shift, at traditional position. so it's hard to remove all shift or make them one-time-shift or other weird mod. third reason is, the symbol keys (shifted number) is a bit complex. depending on what keyboard and cirmware capabilities, it's complex to create symbol map sans being a number key, or impossible to do that at all. (i think it's impossible on kinesis, but i haven't really explored.)

put it in another way: if you just have 1 keyboard, or just 1 type. say, all your keyboards are ergodox, then, you create your own optimal shift/symbol system, and that'd be good. but with diff keyboards, weird customized layout creates more complexity. (especially shift. unlike control alt winkey, the shift is more complex because it ties to number symbol)

and why use the number row if you have to reach farther?

@demon this is about the science of keymapping. :slight_smile: for example, i can ask, why press 2 keys when you can just press one?

i have a article on how to compute shortcut layout efficiency score. Emacs vs vim, Compute Keybinding Efficiency http://xahlee.info/kbd/efficiency_of_keybinding_emacs_vs_vim.html

and my last vid on gergo keyboard talked about that

gonna post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjtW6bJh3ws

Xah Talk Show 2020-07-18 gergo keyboard review, and keyboard geeking

@demon i've been using uhk for 3 months as my main. and that is extensively used.

one major problem with that is, if you have a duel function key, that key will lose the ability to be hold and repeat. One great example is the back delete key. I put it on thumb. (partly due to kinesis habit, partly because it's really freq used). But, i also made it to be a dual fuction modifier. But now, i can no longer hold that key to repeat delete.

this is the biggest problem i found with dual function key.

another issue with one-shot shift is that, now if you need TO TYPE CAPS, the one shot shift becomes a problem. Unless, now you need another key for capslock.

or, unless you always work in emacs vi etc that has a command to upcase word or sentence. But, often in browser, discord, chat etc, it's not practical to assume you always in emacs.

for example, when in chat, someone is typing all caps, either as a joke or something, and you want to joke back or report, STOP THAT! but, then you realize it's hard to type that cuz u don't have standard shift nor capslock.

or for example, say you are not a gamer, but this one time you want to try out a game your friend suggested. Then, you realized you can't cuz your keyboard no have normal shift.

small issues like that.

another example. In Mac or Windows, sometimes you have pressing shift 5 times to turn on certain keyboard feature.

the thing with extreme customization is that, once you stopped using that particular keyboard or system, for a few months, it's hard to come back to it cuz you forgot what keys do what. This happens in life. e.g. unexpected you have a vacation, covid, or got sick, etc.

in those situation, when u r back at your keyboard, you have to fetch your notes or diagram of your layout. Or, when your app/OS changed due to new comp etc or switch job, or lang, the workflow changed. then, often you find your ultimate, truly finely customized ultimate layout, is no longer optimal. Then, it's back to redesign all over again. very time consuming.

todo, read https://mntre.com/media/reform_md/2020-05-08-the-much-more-personal-computer.html

todo. work in progress 40 Percent Crap

Keyboards without Numeric Keypad todo, review

Xah's Truly Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts todo need fix the layout app new url

todo. read. [Chapter 6:CASE STUDY 2:CHORD KEYBOARDS By Bill Buxton. At http://www.billbuxton.com/input06.ChordKeyboards.pdf ]

Bill Buxton is a input expert in academia. He's old, 60 or 70s. He has a collection of input devices and website. But the photos are all tiny. He's on twitter. But i stopped following him. Cuz he doesn't really post interenting things.

Chromebook keyboard 71336-s250
Chromebook Keyboard

X No Chord Keyboard updated

Dvorak vs Programable Dvorak
on its own page. separated from Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts

old article. someone asking about my monitor. Xah Monitor 2014

Best Ergonomic Keyboards, Xah Pick
minor update

Difference Between Apple and PC keyboards
minor update

Atreus Keyboard
minor update

Keybinding Design is a Linear Programing Problem


Ergonomic Keyboard Layout for Portuguese: pt-Nativo

Trackball Ball Sizes and Replacement

Univac F-1355-00 Keyboard, 1971

NEC APC-H412 blue oval switch y6k7j-s250x250
NEC APC-H412, 1989

added Butter Stick Programable Keypad to Programable Keypads

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB HDD 20200823 p7nqV-s250
Best External Drive

Advantages of Solid-State Drive vs Hard Drive (SSD vs HDD)

Racal-Norsk KPS-10 Lisp Keyboard

repost. minor updates.

invac optical switch 20171111 86729-s-s289x217
Invac PK-200, 1966

Chinese Typewriter History
added a video

Xah Keyboard Testimonials

xah food 20200817 and you buy!

xah food 20200817 2czKZ-s900
xah food 20200817 • Ultimate Hacking KeyboardKinesis Advantage2 Keyboard ReviewLogitech G604 Mouse 1814×1361
gameball 2020-08-16 92FyY-s250
GameBall Trackball
mikicat tablet pen 20200802 GSb7c-s250
Stylus Pen

Broke after 41 days. Do not buy.

icecube keycap znYty-s250
Cute Keycaps
gergo xah fly keys layout L0 2020-06-27 sjfb2-s250
Xah Gergo Layout

on its own page.

major updates on ergodox pages

moonlander keyboard 2020-08-13 WvrMJ-s250
Moonlander 72

Gergo Keyboard
added my video

Typing Multi Layouts

Linux: X11 Keyboard Key Names
minor update

touchscreen helm USS Dewey DDG 105 8x6zv-s264x237
Navy Wants Knobs and Sliders, No Touchscreen


xah art reaper table 5qg75-s250
Best Computer Desk
mikicat tablet pen 20200802 GSb7c-s250
Stylus Pen

added photos.

new photo. emacs logo on trackball.
L-Trac Trackball

Russian Keyboard Layout and Programing
minor update.

TP-Link AC1750 WiFi Router 20200802 xDFmj-s250
Cable Modem and Wifi Router

added photo

Leopold fc980c 2020-08-02 RStZK-s250
Leopold FC980C

new photo

Creative Pebble Speakers 20200802 D2jtg3
USB Speakers

added photos.

L-Trac Trackball
back on sell at amazon.

a highly recommended headset.

HyperX Cloud II - Gaming Headset Buy at amazon

Ergodox Keyboard Thumb Keys Pain

macOS: Create Custom Keyboard Layout
major update

Mac Keyboard Viewer

Matias Mini Tactile Pro Keyboard
more updates

you could return the Leopold FC660C keyboard and buy 3 Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard or Optical Key Switch Keyboard or the superb Epomaker Niz Plum or any number of ergo mech programable split Best Ergonomic Keyboards, Xah Pick

gergoplex 20200724 83dHD-s250
Gergoplex 36

gonna play with this in the coming days.


roccat ends linux support?

Roccat keyboard and mouse used to have great linux support. Seems, that ended. see


optical switch 95YB7
Optical Switch
Topre key switch-2
Topre Switch

Kailh Switch
major update

Romer-G key switch 41681-m
Romer-G Switch
kailh box switch 2020 fJs7c-s250
Kailh BOX Switch
kailh choc switch 7n3wg-s250
Kailh Choc Switch

major update.

got a new idea. gonna swap the keycaps in HAVIT Keyboard to use on Gergo Keyboard

Keyboard Page Key

intel nuc 10 2020-07-20 dwkzy-s250
Intel NUC Mini Computer

Laptop Sticker

old pages, minor updates

major update. now formula in JavaScript

my old article. my spacious office in y2k, with Sun Microsystems hardware. Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard
old article, repost.

wow, you can buy a Huawei phone on amazon.

Huawei P30 128GB+6GB RAM (ELE-L29) 6.1″ LTE Factory Unlocked GSM Smartphone (International Version) Buy at amazon

random updates.

minor updates. ROCCAT is known for linux support.

my smart phone Moto G5 Plus, 2017

minor updates to a bunch of pages. mostly fixed the amazon link to direct product, not search.

why laptops are so fragile 2020-07-14 4nw7s
why laptops are so fragile 2020-07-14

minor updates

keyboard spacy spacebar 2-s250
Space Bar
keytron 2020-07-13 53qqj-s250
Keychron K2

French Keyboard Ergonomic Layout
updated. thanks to the creator of dvorak-fr.

tactile bump stickers chbzp
Tactile Bump Stickers

now, i need a unicode symbol to represent wireless, for wireless keyboard

ok, here's a symbol closest to bluetooth . Unicode Rune ᚠ .

Majestouch MINILA 2020 ghc7v-s250
Filco Majestouch MINILA

French Keyboard Ergonomic Layout

niz plum 84 bs29m-s800-s250
Epomaker Niz

added a video

now, review.

g604 mouse 20200709 49753-s900-s250

Microsoft surface book problems

My Microsoft surface pen stopped working one day after a Microsoft Windows update. Also, typecover keyboard, which i don't use much. But one day, i tried to use it, it won't power on.

updated Microsoft Surface Pro

NetDot Gen12 USB Magnetic Cable 2020 4zyf2-s250
USB Cable

I repeat, never buy logitech webcam. Added a video review.

Logitech C920 webcam gd42g 2-s244x256
logitech webcam sucks

Action Camera as Best Webcam

Mistel Barocco is back!

Mistel BAROCCO MD770 475f8-s250
Mistel Barocco Split

Novation LaunchPad

Best Way to Insert Parenthesis/Brackets

Ultimate Hacking Keyboard
updated on the spec of the bridging cable.

cheap action cam can work as webcam

just discovered.

Campark ACT74 Action Camera 2020-07-03 5xngw-s247x253
best web cam

someone bought this. Logitech G700s Mouse. $400 on amazon. by the way, that was the best mouse.

massive curved monitor

Dell Monitor U4919DW 2020-07-02 zys2s
Dell Marketing USA LP Ultra Sharp 49″ Screen Led-Lit Monitor Black (U4919DW) Buy at amazon

someone bought it. join xahlee discord

Typing Habits, Repetitive Strain Injury ⌨
now with nav box at bottom of every page there.

How to Program Kinesis Keyboard
updated. bottom.

Xah Keyboard Blog Archive

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