Xah Keyboard Blog Archive 2018-08

Koolertron Keyboard

some news about buying 2 of them and use together as a split keyboard. May be a problem on the Mac.

Arrow Keys Arrangement Efficiency: vim HJKL vs IJKL

added a JavaScript version to compute score.

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 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, How to Choose Trackball

and i think a “scientific” way to judge is to play osu with different devices. i have collected video of them here Efficiency: Mouse vs Trackpad vs Touchpad vs Joystick vs Pen Input

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 reddit

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, How to Choose Trackball

and What is Mouse DPI? Does DPI Matter?

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 reddit

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.


@/u/SynBogaNajwyzszego

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. )

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

Keyboard Firmware

updated. thx to Max P.

Steno, PianoText, Michela, Englebart

johnkitchin keyboard 2018
https://twitter.com/johnkitchin/status/1026206042936340480
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. example: maybe 1% of emacs fan might actually buy/try.

See: Keypad and Gamepad

Keypad and Gamepad

Rubber Feet for your keyboard

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

Russian Keyboard Layout

now, added letter frequency.

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard 2018, incoming!