Xah keyboard Blog
if you like my writings, put in a few bucks in my patreon. https://www.patreon.com/xahlee Thanks.
Review of Ultimate Hacking Keyboard?
someone asked me about review of
My reply. Early patreon access article. https://www.patreon.com/posts/13930810
ergonomic keyboard history, new index
SmartYao LY092 Keyboard
my fancy keyboard arrived. It's fantastic. I reprogramed the keys to do all sort of shortcuts. See updated review.
new article Linux: xvkbd tutorial
also, major updates:
X No Chord Keyboard (new version)
if you like my keyboard analysis, put in a few bucks in my patreon. https://www.patreon.com/xahlee Thanks.
Maltron Keyboard Review (new video, for keyboard connoisseurs.)
Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman trackball (more photos)
Vortex KBC Poker 3 Keyboard (new video added)
added a video review. This video, changed my view about brown switches.
Elecom HUGE Trackball (now there's a video of the ball spin)
now explains how the octo feet works.
now on amazon.
vortex core keyboard
am seeing, the first nerdy keyboard as mass produced consumer product on amazon.
Logitech G700s gaming mouse is discontinued
Do-It-Yourself Keyboards, New Index
keyboard for life
Keyboardio Review (Watch a video of typing on it.)
be my first patreon
now i have a patreon account. be my first patreon. see first post at https://www.patreon.com/xahlee
New. Kailh BOX Switches. Water Proof, Dust Proof
Japanese Keyboard Layouts. Major update.
What questions would you like answered about typing/keyboard?
Marcin Wichary, is writing a book about typing/keyboard.
He asked: “What keyboards should I definitely mention? What questions would you like answered?”
and, there are some 100 replies. I trolled thru. Lots of interesting info.
and here's the questions i asked:
- origin of big space bar. (you covered)
- origin of alt key, and history of its function.
- on 1970/1980s terminal/keyboards, e.g. lisp machine, space cadget, many keys there are a puzzling to us. I never seen a comprehensive site that explains it simply. In general, have no sense of what 1970/80 keyboards/key do. Would love to read an overview (which probably will need to explain the computer (mainframe) at the time.).
- an overview of history of mechanical typewriters and their evolution. In particular, the physical layout, key size. especially things like return, backspace.
- related to all the above. The history of special keys. e.g. tab, page up/down, arrows, numpad, numlock, capslock. who first introduced it, who/when was it popular.
- like to read an overview of keyboard interfaces such as usb, ps2, adb, etc, basics working explained to programers who don't know anything about hardware or electronics. For example, it puzzles me why usb can have only 6nkro, how some keyboard overcome that, why/how keyboard can implement inserting arbitrary unicode such as greek letters without software layout.
German Keyboard Layout (major update)
Russian Keyboard Layout and Programing (major update)
Russian Keyboard Layout (major update)
The French Keyboard Layout is probably the suckest layout that exists, worse than QWERTY for English. See French Keyboard Layout (major update. Thanks to Max P for the detail)
Chinese Input Methods (updated. added detail.)
Japanese input methods and layouts and what i learned
spent some 2 days studying Japanese input methods and layouts.
it seems to me, the Japanese JIS X6004 Layout is the best. (this is just first impression random guess.)
The thumb-shift ones, Nicola and TRON, have the one hand thumb+shift+key strain problem. Though, it can be fixed trivially by using pre-fix shift. (that is, press shift first but not hold)
M-Type look cool before studying it, but is actually the worst, because its romaji based input. But better than QWERTY JIS of course.
was rather surprised, that most people in Japan, use the most inefficient system, the QWERTY JIS. Basically directly borrowed from USA keyboard with least learning required. This is the same situation as with Chinese input, and also English using stupid qwerty and non-ergo keyboard.
〔►see Chinese Input Methods〕
〔►see Alternative Keyboard Layouts〕
also surprised to learn, that the Happy Hacking Keyboard, is not only the most idiotic for English, it is also the most idiotic for typing Japanese.
All the other Japanese keyboards have fancy input methods and or fancy thumb keys, competing for efficiency, yet the HHKB sticks with the QWERTY JIS.
sometimes, the elite goes for the most idiotic things. e.g. emacs fanatics swear by emacs keybinding, hacker type of coders swear by certain programing language idioms, and keyboard fans with HHKB.
i think the reason is cult factor. Once a cult is formed, some identity elements will not be open to challenge, because it risks disruption of the cult.
Japanese Hiragana Frequency Table
Evaluating Japanese keyboard layout efficiency is very complicated. You have to convert kanji to hiragana, then get frequency table. And, get the ease-of-press scores of left/right thumb combinations with each and every key. (this part is particularly hard, because it's subjective, yet, the score is critical, as many Japanese input methods rely on the left/right thumb combination heavily.)
After that, you multiply each hiragana to the key-ease score of how to type it, sum them. Then, you have the score of that particular input method.
But, that's only the beginning. As there are lots other complications, such as typing kana with diacritic signs, romaji input system, whether they have special keys such as 变换.
See also: Japanese Keyboard Layouts
μTRON Keyboard (major update)
This great keyboard is now discontinued, in March 2017.
apparently, some nerds are still designing keyboard letter layouts.
it's like, is x++ faster or x=x+1? Like, keep hacking a dead horse.
it's by Michael Dickens
His layout is called MTGAP layout. Apparently based on evolutionary algorithm.
I haven't looked into detail what he's doing, but he seems to have spent significant effort, for like 10 years.
he's got a list of layouts, more than that i know. But lots of it is now dead link. See http://mdickens.me/typing/alternative_layouts.html
New photo. μTRON vs Cherry Ergoplus. Cherry G80-5000 Ergoplus keyboard
Quiz of the day. Look at your keyboard. Each row are shifted, but not all by the same distance. What's the pattern? (there is)
Trackball Ball Sizes and Replacement (updated. more choices)
Cherry POS keyboard (point of sale, swiping credit card) and other weird keyboards at http://batchout.blogspot.com/2017/06/midi-grid-keyboards.html
The layout is maltron layout.
mouse double click problem, an implicit collusion?
my Logitech G600 Mouse, the pinky button is now doing double clicks.
i think there's implicit collusion among mouse makers, that lets mouse buttons do double click after a year or two.
Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries: A Self-Care Program
for those with hand pains with typing, found this highly rated book
〔 Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries: A Self-Care Program By Sharon J Butler. At Buy at amazon〕
The Split Keyboard: An Ergonomics Success Story
Great article, survey and summarize research on keyboard ergonomics. 〔The Split Keyboard: An Ergonomics Success Story by David Rempel, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California. split_keyboard__david_Rempel_2008_HF.pdf〕
this is about my best. 90 wpm. try at http://typing-speed-test.aoeu.eu/?lang=en
for tutorials etc, see Typing Habits, Repetitive Strain Injury ⌨
Mac Keyboard Viewer and Unicode (major update)
Never Buy Razer or Das keyboards
Razer Orbweaver Keypad (major update)
Never buy Razer products. They market to ignorant gamers, with price twice as is worth. This is similar to Das, marketing to ignorant programers, whereas cheaper and better keyboards are widely available in gaming community.
the thing is, you'll get gamer or coder idiots huffy and puffy defending their ignorance.
Esrille New Keyboard Review (updated)
logitech m570 trackball protective travel case
I don't unstand, what kinda people would buy this? would you?
Matias Mini Tactile Pro Keyboard (updated. this one is a lemon)
that's currently on amazon, $150.
I presume it's brand new. Grab it, and i think you could sell twice that.
found “k9 crystal” balls for trackball replacement. see Trackball Ball Sizes and Replacement
Diverge 3 Keyboard (added gorgeous photos)
Water Resistant Mechanical Keyboard and backlit!
new keyboards from Corsair Corsair Keyboards. Corsair keyboards now have the cloud problem. On linux, it becomes a brick.