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    Original designer of the Atreus here; ask me anything.

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      Do you know if it’s possible to configure the Keyboardio Atreus firmware on OpenBSD? And if it’s possible to set up layers similar to the Planck keyboard?

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        And if it’s possible to set up layers similar to the Planck keyboard?

        Yep, definitely. You can create as many layers as you like, up to 64 or so I think? Layers can be momentary (only active while a key is held) or modal, where they stay until another key is pressed to deactivate it.

        Do you know if it’s possible to configure the Keyboardio Atreus firmware on OpenBSD?

        I’m not sure whether Chrysalis (the GUI frontend for the Keyboardio firmware config) will work on OpenBSD; it unfortunately depends on Electron which isn’t that portable. However, if you can run the Arduino toolchain on OpenBSD (I think this is pretty portable? but I haven’t looked into it) then you should be able to build the firmware from source, making your layout changes in your text editor of choice: https://github.com/keyboardio/Kaleidoscope/blob/master/examples/Devices/Keyboardio/Atreus/Atreus.ino#L61 (This is how I build it; I like to be able to keep my layouts in source control.)

        If that doesn’t work you can configure it with QMK, (a different yet compatible firmware codebase) which only depends on GCC and avrdude: https://qmk.fm/

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          So, after a bit more digging - the out of the box Kaleidoscope stuff is a bit tricky to build (I haven’t done so successfully yet.). Here is what I found:

          • Kaleidoscope needs arduino-builder which is a Go project. Normally this is fine, but a few libs arduino-builder uses are at versions that don’t support OpenBSD or flat out don’t support it (addressed one of them here, but likely there are others).
          • There are a few packages in arduino-builder that try to grab os-specific things. Those thing’s don’t exist for OpenBSD, so that bit needs more investigating.
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          I regularly flash my ergodox from OpenBSD (teensy 2 - using devel/teensyloader) - avrdude is also available, and should be able to flash the ATmega32U4 just fine!

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            Sorry, just realized you said “configure”! I’ll look into it :D (I have a Atreus on the way at some point). As a side note, we recently imported Microscheme into the ports tree, and I know that can be used to configure the OG Atreus.

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              That’s so cool to hear Microscheme is being packaged! I’m looking forward to digging back into that some time soon.

              Edit: The Microscheme firmware right now only works with the Classic Atreus, but it would be like 10-20 minutes of work to update it to work with the new Keyboardio one.

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                I have my own fork of said firmware that is tailored to be more OpenBSD friendly which I run on my classic Atreus. You can find it here: https://github.com/jturner/menelaus

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            Yet another new keyboard that doesn’t include the function keys.

            I know you can really only speak for yourself, but why are so many new designers doing this?

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              I know you can really only speak for yourself, but why are so many new designers doing this?

              I don’t find them to be useful, and I guess others don’t either.

              For decades you could only buy keyboards that had function keys, regardless of whether you found them useful. We’re only just now getting to the point where you have the choice to buy a design that actually fits the way you personally use your keyboard. For me it’s like a breath of fresh air.

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            I would judge the overall build quality as good. While it does not feel like an ultra-premium product, there is nothing specific I can actually complain about, no rough edges or manufacturing artefacts.

            @sulami For me the build quality really does feel very premium. It has no bells and whistles, like an aluminum case, but the it is really good quality plastic. The chassis does not creak when twisted, the keycaps are very thick (which is very unusual) and made from “the good plastic” (PBT). The only think seems to be the engraving on the keys, which tends to wear rather quickly on the early bird models. I’ve got one myself, but with the kailh box white. These switches are such a treat!

            The modifier keys at the bottom are unusual, but work for me. I use the three innermost keys with my thumbs, and the bottom edges by just pushing down with my palm. It does require some careful arrangement to avoid often having to press two modifiers on the same time at once.

            I also use my palm to push some of the buttons. Have you tried making the escape key a dual function key? I made the escape key (most bottom left) a momentary switch to layer 2, which makes it extremely comfortable to access all function keys and some of the other keys on layer three. This was a game changer for me, because I always had a hard time entering layer 2 in the default setup (same for the original Atreus). And you can still use your thumb to add more modifications, for example if you want to press CTRL-F2.

            The only problem I sometimes have is the lack of a status indicator. This means I have to keep track of the keyboard state in my head when switching layers. Not a big problem though.

            I think this can be tackled by using momentary layer switches. I too struggled with memorizing which layer I was in until I added the dual-function to the escape key.

            I also want to highlight the truly amazing effort Keyboardio puts into supporting their customers. You can browse the Kickstarter or their GitHub projects to see how much effort they put into this, and I have been in contact with Jesse myself while trying to debug a debouncing issue in the firmware. I am very happy to support them with my wallet.

            I fully agree!

            One thing I would add: The hot-swap keys are a very welcome addition to the Atreus feature-set. My original Atreus had a few Matias switches that started to bounce after months of usage to a rate that even debouncing wasn’t effective anymore. I have to disassemble the whole chassis and resolder the key, which is… much more work then just pulling out a faulty key and adding a factory fresh one.

            BTW @technomancy: Thank you so much for the original atreus, it still is just a wonderful design.

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              Glad you like it so much!

              The only thing seems to be the engraving on the keys, which tends to wear rather quickly on the early bird models.

              You can avoid this by getting blank caps; that’s my recommendation.

              All the problems they’re having with the manufacturing of labels really validated my decision to sell nothing but blanks with the kits. You need to keep a cheat sheet around when you’re learning anyway since the labels don’t show you what’s on the fn layer. So the labels are of limited utility anyway.

              The only problem I sometimes have is the lack of a status indicator. This means I have to keep track of the keyboard state in my head when switching layers. Not a big problem though.

              The default layout has one momentary layer and one modal layer. It’s easy to tell if you’re in the momentary layer (are you holding the fn key?) and if you can’t remember if you’re in the modal layer or not, it’s easier to just activate the layer you want. Tap fn if you’re trying to hit something on the base layer; if you were on the modal layer it will switch, and if you weren’t it will do nothing. Tap fn+esc if you want to use the modal layer; if you’re already on the modal layer it will have no effect, and if you weren’t it will switch.

              I could see this being an issue if you’ve modded the firmware to create more layers, but you could set the layers up so they have the same property of being able to be switched to idempotently from any layer with some thinking ahead.

              My original Atreus had a few Matias switches that started to bounce after months of usage to a rate that even debouncing wasn’t effective anymore. I have to disassemble the whole chassis and resolder the key, which is… much more work then just pulling out a faulty key and adding a factory fresh one.

              Out of curiosity, was it the clicky Matias switches or the quiets? I stopped selling the clicky ones a few years ago due to reliability issues reported.

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                You can avoid this by getting blank caps; that’s my recommendation.

                Oh yeah, I prefer blank key caps as well. I referred to the engraving because it is the only problem I’ve encountered from a quality standpoint.

                Out of curiosity, was it the clicky Matias switches or the quiets? I stopped selling the clicky ones a few years ago due to reliability issues reported.

                It’s the quiet matias. In some cases resoldering the joints helped, but most of the time I had to change the key.

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              I’m a happy owner of an Atreus keyboard. Although I use a model 01 when inside the house. Mainly because the model 01 is split. Are there any plans to support a split atreus keyboard?

              The only thing that doesn’t work for me is the bottom row. Especially the keys in the middle like super. How do you press them. I’ve been tucking my thumb bbut that makes pressing super t hard. nevermind pressing multiple modifiers at once.

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                The middle modifiers I hit with my middle/ring finger by just going down two rows, that works pretty well once you’ve got the muscle memory. That being said, I reorganised my modifiers to still avoid those positions as much as possible.

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                The review says: “Even with relatively quiet switches, the open construction means that the sound of the keys getting released is audible in most environments.” Which makes me wonder, are there mechanical keyboards that are particularly quiet (for a given switch) because of their chassis?

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                  The classic 42-key Atreus is a bit quieter, but this has more to do with using Matias Quiet Click switches (with a built-in rubber bumper) than the chassis construction, though I expect using wood for the chassis helps some.

                  You can open up the Kailh switches in the Keyboardio Atreus and add rubber bumpers to each switch, but it’s a somewhat involved process. You might be able to buy MX-compatible switches with the bumpers preinstalled nowadays; I haven’t looked into it. The keys are hot-swappable though.

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                    There are the Cherry MX silent red that have built in rubber on the bottom of their stems so they dampen the impact when bottoming out the key. They’re linear. I used them for while; they are very quiet and a joy to type on.

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                    In some cases, adding a neoprene mat (like a full-desk mousepad or something similar) underneath a mechanical keyboard can make it quieter, assuming that the bulk of the noise comes from the chassis transmitting vibrations to the desk. A solidly-constructed metal backplate should help as well.

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                      From personal experience I know that different material and build-style cases, different material/thickness keycaps and different mounting styles all affect the sound, see for example this video.

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                      I’m waiting for the next iteration of the model 01. I waited too long to order one and they are permanently sold out until the end of 2020.