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    I could recommend utilizing the thumb keys more and offloading work from pinkies. For instance, Shift is a very heavily used modifier and I really like having it on my most accessible thumb key. If you don’t want to lose an existing key, mod/layer taps are a very useful feature (although sometimes you need to tweak it to get it working to your liking). I am comfortably using a 36-key keyboard thanks to these features + combos (aka chording).

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      I’m looking at using autoshift to offload most of my shift use. I started with it enabled, but it was really messing me up so I disabled it. I will probably end up using it though.

      I do have a gergoplex kit coming in the mail soon. Once it gets in and I solder on all the switches I will write about it and how I adapted my config to it.

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        Autoshift sounds very useful but I admit I haven’t given it a proper shot. When I tried it required me to change my workflow for Vim/Vimium since I tend to hold down keys for scrolling (bad habit).

        Good luck with your Gergoplex, it’s a fun experience optimizing your workflow for 36 keys! Also it is not on QMK master yet, but I have been using this branch successfully.

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        Interesting, why that? I have just mapped backspace to my left pinky (Capslock) on an Ergodox and it feels very natural to me.

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          Pinky is the weakest finger, so requiring holding it down is less comfortable. You also have to move off the home key positions to reach the outermost column. In contrast, thumbs are pretty strong and you don’t have to contort your hand when holding down a thumb then pressing other alphas.

          There are even layouts which move the most frequent alpha, e.g. E to the thumb: https://precondition.github.io/pressing-e-with-the-thumb

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            I do appreciate thumbs keys, previously on an ergodox and now on a Planck. I can’t recommend the SZA ”EZ” products enough.

            That said, the thumb is not really at ease on this keyboard. I find that while it’s strong, the movement required to tap the keys is not the most natural. That being pinching, in an plane orthogonal to the other fingers. As a consequence, I find that turning the keycaps around (with the slope facing the user) helps a bit.

            It’s great at holding modifiers though. My setup is such that each thumb has two tap/hold keys lower(esc), os(space), shift(return) and compose(BS). I often press two modifiers with the same thumb.

            I also kept the lateral and symmetrical control and shift, just for the occasional ZZ, etc.

            The moonlander has a tilted thumb cluster, that should help with that. However those keyboards are so big that holding a key with the thumb makes it problematic to reach the distant keys. In the end, I prefer the Planck/preonic for factor, even with my big hands.

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            I feel like this is less keys that are tapped on their own and more an issue for modifier keys; it can cause strain on some people’s hands to reach a far key while the pinky is holding down shift/alt/super/etc.

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          I also recently received a ZSA Moonlander.

          Frankly, my biggest disappointment with it is that is not open hardware in the same way the Keyboardio Atreus I also recently purchased is, and that the Oryx configurator isn’t open source either (unlike Keyboardio’s Chrysalis GUI). That said, I was aware of this issue before I bought it. I had a friendly discussion about this with Erez Zukerman at ZSA over email, where he said:

          For Moonlander, we might release something for the thumb cluster going down the road, because I want to help people DIY their own custom thumb clusters.

          and generally was positive about open software + hardware without committing to any other improvements at this time. I at least felt they were open to becoming more open in the future and felt good about their intentions / willingness to talk about things.

          As for the Moonlander itself, part of why I bought it is because I loved their previous Planck EZ (which had been based on an open hardware design), so the biggest issue for me has been adapting my layout and muscle memory from that smaller keyboard to this larger keyboard. Sometimes it feels like it has too many keys, which is wild given its small size compared to standard layouts.

          I have to say I really like the version control for layouts in their configurator, and how easy it is to share your layouts with other people.

          If you’re wondering what happened to my Atreus, my girlfriend loves it, and I think it might be hers now. Which is just as well, I didn’t really need 3 keyboards anyway.

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            Nice review, I’ve also bought an Moonlander, but when I suspend my PC the lights won’t turn off. Have you had any issues with this?

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              I still don’t understand why they thought the Ergodox needed fewer keys.

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                Because you can have like >30 layers.

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                Thanks for the review! There’s not much out there about the Moonlander, so I’m happy to see more thoughts. I’m looking forward to getting mine soon, too!