Xah Keyboard Blog Archive 2020-08

Xah Monitor 2021: ASUS Pro Art Display PA278QV

todo, review

todo, review, work in progress

new section at bottom on ancient switches Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms

San Francisco Keyboard Meetup 2017

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

todo review

Hall Effect Switch Keyboards

todo, write up

discord 2020-08-02 s6M6K
discord 2020-08-02 s6M6K
discord 2020-08-02 TvhRT
discord 2020-08-02 TvhRT
discord 2020-08-02 zbWVG
discord 2020-08-02 zbWVG
discord 2020-08-02 h4yF3
discord 2020-08-02 h4yF3
discord 2020-08-02 B9zJC
discord 2020-08-02 B9zJC
discord 2020-08-02 sfJm5
discord 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.

Xah No Chord Keyboard updated

Programer's Dvorak
on its own page. separated from Ergonomic Keyboard Layouts

old article. someone asking about my monitor. Xah's Monitor, 2014

Best Ergonomic Keyboards, Xah Pick
minor update

Difference Between Apple and Microsoft keyboards
minor update

Atreus Keyboard
minor update

Keybinding Design is a Linear Programing Problem


Portuguese Ergonomic Keyboard Layout: pt-Nativo

Trackball Ball Replacement

Univac F-1355-00 Keyboard, 1971

added Butter Stick Programable Keypad to Programable Keypad

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

Racal-Norsk KPS-10 Lisp Keyboard

repost. minor updates.

Chinese Typewriter History
added a video

Xah Keyboard Testimonials

xah food 20200817 and you buy!

xah food 20200817 2czKZ-s900
xah food 20200817 โ€ข Ultimate Hacking Keyboard โ€ข Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard โ€ข Logitech G604 Mouse 1814ร—1361

Broke after 41 days. Do not buy.

on its own page.

major updates on ergodox pages

Gergo Keyboard
added my video

Speed Typing on Multiple Layouts (QWERTY, Dvorak, Colemak)

Linux: X11 Keyboard Key Names
minor update


added photos.

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

Russian Keyboard Layout and Programing
minor update.

added photo

new photo

added photos.