Xah keyboard Blog

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On the Terminology of Key Chord vs Key Combo

trackball vs mouse

here's epic trackball playing fps (battlefield 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhY0LcvYyiE

and here's epic trackball playing osu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfbPwAYdemU

yes, the trackball am refering to is same as you are using, the Logitech Trackman Marble. here's my review and photo of me with it Logitech Trackman Marble Review yes, it's 300 dpi only. i've been sloppy on reddit here.

there is some debate in the comment here you might find interesting Trackball vs Mouse, and How to Choose a Trackball

and i think a “scientific” way to judge is to play osu with different devices. i have collected video of them here Test Your Mousing Efficiency!

maltron right hand keyboard 1eb9d
maltron right hand keyboard 1eb9d [image source https://eldritch.cafe/@LadyOscar/100525820105275388]

See also: Maltron Keyboard Review

japan diy helix keyboard carrying case. nice.

see https://twitter.com/yohewi/status/1029591617173315585

See also Helix Keyboard Helix Keyboard

mouse and trackball, dpi, internal acceleration?

reddit discussion https://www.reddit.com/r/Trackballs/comments/97abhf/the_physics_of_internal_mouse_acceleration_or_are/

nah, i don't think this makes sense.

as far as i know, no trackball has internal acceleration. Actually, i don't actually know a mouse that has acceleration built in, though i've heard they exist.

there's lots myth about this topic, and seems to be a perennial obsession since optical mouse around 1998 or so.

polling rate does affect cursor speed. e.g. if you have a gaming mouse, and you set polling rate from 1k hz to 0.5k hz, you can notice a speed up in cursor speed, even the dpi is set to 1200 and didn't change.

on linux, the os acceleration is typically, when certain distance is reached within a given time, then multiplier kicks in.

so the curve looks like, beginning with a small flat segment, then a straight line going up. (x axes is speed, y is distance traveled)

i think ms windows acceleration does the same, but not sure.

trackball dpi has very diff effect than mouse dpi. The larger the ball size and smoothness (e.g. can it spin), the more dpi it feels. imagine a maglev ball that can spin for 10 seconds and ball size of palm like in some arcade games. such trackball, even technically 300 dpi, will feel like 3000 dpi.

you can see many comments here (my page) Trackball vs Mouse, and How to Choose a Trackball

and What's Mouse DPI? Does DPI Matter in Gaming?

for lots discussions. There are many nerds who created custom acceleration software for Microsoft Windows. But i think it's not worth the effort. Just get a nice mouse or trackball with good enough dpi, and arguably turn on acceleration.

to trackball or not trackball

reddit discussion https://www.reddit.com/r/Trackballs/comments/95h5t1/is_there_any_objective_evidence_showing_the/

nah, i don't think there's any evidence at all.

i've read a lot articles about trackballs , and am obsessed about how it compared to mouse as a input system, since 1990s. i actually didn't own any, untill few years ago.

now i've used a few trackballs daily for a few years, and i'd say, nah.

there are some wiz kids who use trackball more proficient than mousers at FTP shooter. it's on YouTube. i'll find the link if you need.

I also conclude, trackball can't be controlled as precisely as mouse either. e.g. when you have to say aim at the close window box quickly.

one easy test is to write your first name in print on screen with trackball and mouse, as fast as possible. Am sure, vast majority will be more accurate with less time by using mouse, given same amount of time/training with each device.

trackball is just in general easier to use, and easier on hand.


that video https://www.reddit.com/user/SynBogaNajwyzszego is most annoying. how do we know he's using trackball? well, maybe trust can be established from his reputation or his other video recording showing trackball in parts of the screen... but still, yeah, we need to see that video.

the Logitech Trackman Marble is ancient. I have it. Even last month, i tried to use it again, but decided to put it away. The resolution is too low. (something like 800 dpi?) yes, i have acceleration on. but i also noticed, on the Mac, it makes the cursor jump.

(one interesting thing about polling rate i discovered is that, when OS acceleration is on, higher dpi can make the cursor moving speed significantly slower. here's my story: few months ago i got logitech g502. it has 1k Hz polling rate by default. I have acceleration on. And i set dpi to 1200. And i have another logitech mouse plugged in, the g600, also set to 1200 dpi but polling rate at 250Hz. Then, i noticed, the g502 is a lot slower. If i reduce its polling rate to 500hz, then it becomes faster. while doing all these, i have also my trackball plugged in, the ancient logitech trackman marble. The trackball becomes very jumpy sometimes (when cpu is busy or something) when acceleration is set to highest. )

Addison Reveal keyboard 02889 s311x201
PC Reveal. ~1995

apparently, you can still find this in trash if you are lucky.

qtronics trackball d00d2-s289x217
Qtronix/iOne Trackball

Keyboard Firmware

russian layout heatmap f0502
Russian Keyboard Layout

updated. thx to Max P.

Steno, PianoText, Michela, Englebart

twitter discussion. https://twitter.com/johnkitchin/status/1026206042936340480

Englebart 5-key chord keyboard
Englebart 5-key is stilted because it's bit aligned. (no frequency of use considerations) [image source https://twitter.com/batchout/status/1026264436712120322]
Maltron FrogPad MIDI pads Uq2IC
Maltron, FrogPad, MIDI pads. [image source https://twitter.com/batchout/status/1026264785392939008]

been thinking that too. Something like Akai MPK Mini could work. there's already midi/usb/key interface. @batchout has done it. and there's steno/pianotext/michela as “layouts”. I've been really wanting to do. think it'd be most efficient. Not sure what's the long term effect on hand.

am thinking, would take ~6 months to do this project. e.g. so others can just buy a mini controller keyboard, install software, and read tutorial, as complete PC keyboard replacement, including for ctrl etc shortcuts. (and maybe 2 months to become fluent)

as a personal project i think it'd be very interesting. it can include many ways to do emacs commands. i think the downside is, effort cost is big, but 0 commercial prospect, cuz most people don't want new input system. e.g. maybe 1% of emacs fan might actually buy/try.

See: Input Devices

mitosis keyboard LxmE3-s399x157
Mitosis Keyboard

Input Devices

Rubber Feet for your keyboard

Discovered this product. Rubber Feet, bumper pads Buy at amazon

apple mouse charging bda31-s306x204
Worst Apple Designs
elecom ex-g pro trackball f5d09-s286x218
Elecom EX-G Pro
teletype optical keyboard 201711 cd7dd-s289x217
Teletype Optical Switch Keyboard

Russian Keyboard Layout

now, added letter frequency.

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard 2018, incoming!

truly ergonomic keyboard 2018 0c1b9-s306x204
Truly Ergonomic Keyboard 2018 “cleave”
marquardt butterfly keyboard 201711 71864-s289x217
Marquardt Butterfly Keyboard

not sure what this is. if you have info, comment please.

intro to Chinese Input Methods

lisp knight keyboard-s339x184
Knight Keyboard

more update. on its own page.

jp diy keyboard w wheel c8124
Japan diy keyboard with scroll wheels 2018-07-26 [image source https://twitter.com/age_jaco/status/1022380097666342912]

very nice design!

the scroll wheel can be used as arrows.

and for the other hand:

emacs keyboard used in 70s and 80s

emacs keyboard history

keyboald layout travel graph, interactive app

keyboald layout travel graph 6d92c
keyboald layout travel graph https://beehivemedia.com/dataviz/keyboardviz/ by Bill Shander https://twitter.com/billshander, 2018-07-17

very interesting.

head tracker

this is a head tracker, for gaming. TrackIr 5 Head Tracker. TrackIr 5 Premium Head Tracking for Gaming a new type of input device that's becoming popular. it's very significant for programer as well. replaces mouse. Use together with OS's “dwell” (autoclick) feature

See also: Ergonomic Mouse

Dvorak Keyboard Layout

minor update

Racal-Norsk KPS-10 keyboard 1-s303x206
Racal-Norsk KPS-10 Lisp Prototype Keyboard

top keyboard experts

top keyboard experts i know of (no order):

they usually have ~100+ keyboards, historical or otherwise. Done research on various keyboard tech etc.

history of the inverted T arrow key arrangement on keyboard

great article.

[history of the inverted T arrow key arrangement on keyboard By Jim Burrows. At http://www.eldacur.com/~brons/NerdCorner/InverseT-History.html ]

2018-07-12 to read [The Keys To Success. A lot of early video game consoles secretly wanted to be home computers, too: Their makers either sold keyboard add-ons or failed miserably in the process. By Ernie Smith. At https://tedium.co/2017/04/27/video-games-keyboards-intellivision/ ]

thanks to Marcin Wichary

SAIL keyboard b1c80-s306x204
SAIL Keyboard

Lisp Machine Keyboards

major update. more photos.

Space-Cadet Keyboard

major update. more photos.

lmi-cadr keyboard 1st gen space cadget 31997-s289x217
Lisp Machine LMI-CADR keyboard
invac optical switch 20171111 86729-s-s289x217
Invac Optical Switch Keyboard

Workman Keyboard Layout still going strong

Elecom DEFT Pro Trackball News. Works in linux. plug and play, all buttons detected understand latest kernel. thanks to t184756

ussr capacitive keyboard 201711 59268-s289x217
Soviet Capacitive Buckling Spring Keyboard

best keyboard site. Marcin Wichary, JavaScript expert, and segmented display

of all keyboard sites on the web, if there's only one best one, this is perhaps the one.


you don't want to miss it.

its by Marcin Wichary https://twitter.com/mwichary he's writing a book on history of keyboards. He research, have tens of books on the subject, and travels the world to dig info. and often, he take high quality photos of ancient keyboards that you would not find anywhere.

i've mentioned him a few times here. e.g. he gave me answer to why space bar was a bar. see Typewriter Spacebar History

by the way, he's also a coder. He used to work for Google, and he wrote the google packman doodle. He's a top expert of JavaScript.

segmented display

he recently wrote this fastastic app, on segmented display. https://aresluna.org/segmented-type/

max keyboard falcon 20 keypad 07243-s274x228
Max Keyboard Falcon-20 Programmable Macropad

See also: Programable Keypads

it's extremely annoying that on the Mac, mouse thumb buttons do not work by default. Why? of course, noboby'd buy Apple's mouse or trackpad if so.

one thing annoying on the Mac is that in Safari, it doesn't support holding Ctrl or Cmd and scroll mouse wheel to zoom in/out. It's trivial to support, but Apple's lose sale for its trackpad.

SANYO Medicom MC-KM5600B keyboard e13e9-s333x188
SANYO Medicom MC-KM5600B keyboard
truly ergo keypad 20180325-s245x255
Truly Ergonomic Numeric Keypad

Mac: Keyboard/Automation Tools (updated. Added more good tools.)

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/

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]

Did i $save$ you from getting a brick?

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