Xah keyboard Blog

Xah Keyboard Blog Archive

Xah Emacs Blog

Hall Effect Switch Keyboards

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

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.

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

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

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

todo , work in progress display

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

todo. work in progress 40 Percent Crap

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 .

Keyboards without Numeric Keypad todo, review

Majestouch MINILA 2020 ghc7v-s250
Filco Majestouch MINILA

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

French Keyboard Ergonomic Layout

niz plum atom66 ny4hx-s600-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

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.

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 club discord

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

How to Program Kinesis Keyboard
updated. bottom.

You got my page key philosophy wrong! I am never against page up down key. In fact, prefer to have those keys. And, i've always been espousing ctrl+pgup or pgdn to switch tab. Cuz, it's more ergonomic, and less keystrokes. But most nerd idiots insists ctrl+tab and shift tab. And those hhkb and 60% faaks no even have page up/down key, so they prefer ctrl+tab and ctrl shift tab crap. However, in studying the page key, all aspects, including history, i think it's a sorry state that the page key got invented. Because, mouse wheel, or touch pad swipe, is much more fitting. More efficient. But, understand, we cannot change history. Wheel and touchpad were invented 20 years later. So, in summary, it's a bit complex. Page up/down, physical keys, are great. Faak the nerd idiots with their 60% or 40% faak. But, in view of history, page up/down really shouldn't be there in the first place. Also, i so despise those nerds who use space instead of page down. Page down is proper. Space is hack. For example, u can see emacs, often have space to do page down. And it's very common among nerds in 90s. Faak hackers and their ways.

Keyboard Page Key

Keyboard Page Key
massively expanded.

Modifier Keys Usage Frequency
major expansion.

Gergo Keyboard
Massive update. New layout for xah fly keys. Fantastic. And criticism of gergo keyboard.

hisense a5 display ink phone 2020-06-26 68gqy-s333x188
Display Ink Phone
qmk logo 2020-06-24 w584q
QMK Configurator Tutorial

on its own page

Sticky Key

benzene666 keyboard
added. on hexagonal key arrangement

SilverBullet44 2019-12-01 6c7hh-s425x147
octopus girl q6swz-s1039x779-s289x216
Octopus Girl

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
added tips about save screenshot in jpg format

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts
minor update

Character Frequency Counter. Added new feature. Filter out Chinese.

gergo keyboard 20200121 zgxyd-s353x177
Gergo 50

major update.

Delete Key

photoshop keycaps 2020-05-08 trd9r-s333x188
Photoshop Keycaps
azeron keypad 4t547-s249x251
Azeron Keypad
datahand wnx34-s289x217

tons of new photos.

china double wheel keyboard 2020-06-19 f7t6k
China double wheel diy keyboard 2020-06-19 [source 2020-06-19 https://www.zfrontier.com/app/flow/22466 ]

See also: Keyboards with Volume Wheel

Das Keyboard
minor update

niz plum keyboard 2020-06-19 gcxr9-s370x169
Epomaker Niz Plum

Difference Between Apple and PC keyboards

Matias mini tactile pro mac 2020-06-18 76gyp-s250
Matias Mini Tactile Pro

new photo. thanks to sezen.

Logitech G502 Mouse
added more photos

Where to Buy Keycaps

Emacs vs vim, Compute Keybinding Efficiency
major update

CODE Keyboard minor update

Microsoft's PowerToys project, the Keyboard Manager, is looking good. added to Windows Keyboard Software Guide

Mac vs Windows vs linux

someone asked me, which is better. A very frequently asked question.

xah thanks  2020-06-17 rxknw
xah thanks capji 2020-06-17 https://twitter.com/calexandrepcjr/status/1273219044661956609

someone asked about typing dvorak with pinyin or other input system.

Elecom HUGE Trackball
Elecom HUGE vs Logitech MX Ergo, A review by Takom.

xah thanks sssslang 2020-06-14 hhxv7-2
xah thanks sssslang 2020-06-14

Trackball Reviews

gboards xahlee 20200612 36rmb
gboards xahlee 20200612

Best Laptop Someone asked. This is my recommendation.

Diverge 4 is out. and bunch of updates on other pages.

diverge 4 keyboard q6dxm-s1389x583-s386x162
Diverge 4

Mac Keyboard Tools

Xah Keyboard Guide
new gui design

Perixx PERIMICE 720 Trackball r4k7k-s216x289
Perixx PERIMICE 720
WordPerfect keyboard shortcuts strip x3k5d clip-s484x129
WordPerfect keyboard shortcuts strip

Windows Keyboard Software Guide
added a app that shows key press and keycode.

xah uhk keypad 2020-06-10 spz9k
2020-06-10 current status of my Ultimate Hacking Keyboard as programable keypad

See also: Programable Keypads

PERIBOARD-322 Keyboard with Trackball

Kinesis Keyboard Gallery added a new mod.

Best Numeric Keypads minor update

minor updates.

XahTV 2020-06-06. math of seashell, kinesis vs UHK vs xbows keyboards, juggling and math

now, am back to kinesis advantage2 as my main keyboard. I must say, it is truly more comfortable than uhk.

Jonathan Blow smashes Razer BlackWidow keyboard. see How Razer Keyboards Suck

kinesis keyboard covid19 shortage 2020-06-04 pyhrd
Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard five hundred dollars. covid19 shortage. Buy at amazon
xah thanks jp diy kbd discord 2020-06-03 dn48j
xah thanks jp diy kbd discord 2020-06-03

Xah Keyboard Blog Archive

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