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    I appreciate that these custom-built keyboard posts are now adopting modern ergonomic designs. Seen too many minimalist flat slabs with retro colours and the loudest keyswitches anybody’s ever heard of. If I wanted to destroy my wrists like that it would be less work to just hit them with a hammer.

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      Well, mine does have the loudest switches too :) but yeah, for a flat slab typically you don’t need to design a custom PCB because there are so many existing ones already. A weirder layout like mine is a good reason to get into PCB design.

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        I do love the feel and the sound of blue switches.

        I recently started using a red switch keyboard (for gaming at a vacation condo) and I really liked the feel of that, too. Very quiet.

        Interestingly, when my son uses my blue switch keyboards, it sounds like barbarians invading, and everyone complains, but when I use them, no one notices the sound. I’m pretty sure that the “attack” that one has with the keys changes the sound quite dramatically. I learned to type on one of those IBM Selectric (?) typewriters with the ball head and the unmistakable audio that comes with it, and all my early keyboards for computers were the clicky IBM style keyboards, so the blue keys are my touchstone back to those fond memories.

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      Amazing DIY effort!

      Check out keymouse (dot com) for the original split with a trackball. It used to be wireless (that’s the one I run), but they gave up with that and went back to wired.

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        Thanks! Ha, keymouse seems… interesting. I’m not sure I would actually use two trackballs, heh. I’d probably get used to only using one with my right hand.

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          I would love two trackballs; one mapped to scroll and the other to mouse movements.

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            took more than a fair bit to get used to, but an eye tracker combined with a 3d mouse - scale it down and combine in a way like this (https://hackaday.com/2017/07/27/unholy-mashup-of-spacemouse-and-sculpt-keyboard-is-rather-well-done/ ) and it might be something. Twisting left/right is a nice scroll up/down, lifting/pushing as zoom in/out and the tilting to pan. Eye tracker gets you the coarse initial warp-to point while the 3d mouse adds the missing precision.

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              I have scroll horiz and scroll vert on two different layers, so one thumb press (not even sure which one now since it’s all muscle memory now) and I’m scrolling away.

              Are you saying that you actually use an eye tracker for this? And it works well? Holy cow that is freaking amazing!

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            I have both the original Alpha model and the Track. Both are good, but I far prefer the track. (I have had serious RSI issues over the years.)

            I do mostly use the track ball in the right hand, but I do a bit of both. It’s pretty neat … worth trying if you can get your hands on one. And Heber (the founder) is a tech guy who has a passion for it … definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme 🤣

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              How do you like the thumb clusters? With the distance between the thumb keys and the trackball, it seems like you have to stretch the Thumb quite a bit to move to one or the other?

              (I thought I had pretty much seen it all after following /r/ergomechboards for a while, but somehow hadn’t seen keymouse yet…)

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                I have the original and not the current. Thumb clusters are good. Personally, I’d drop the furthest thumb reach (the down and away button) and add two proper keys at the top of the existing cluster. Also, I don’t use the outside pinky column at all (I have a completely custom layout). Any extra reach is really hard on RSI, so I do 99% on 3 rows (I rarely use the numbers row) plus the thumb keys, with only one-key horizontal stretch on either the forefinger (easy) or pinky (less easy). I generally write 50-100kloc per year, plus lots of non-code stuff. No RSI in years now.

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                  Great to hear! I have switched to a Kinesis Advantage a couple months ago and my wrist pains have disappeared. But I am still very much interested in designs that push the state of the art forward.

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                    Kinesis are great keyboards. I have 2 of the Advantage Pros (with foot pedals) 🤣 and that’s all I used for many years.

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                      What do you use the foot pedals for?

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                        It’s been a while since I’ve used them, but the foot pedals are mainly for modifier keys or changing layers (e.g. accessing Kinesis macros). The Kinesis models that I have are a bit old now, so they don’t have the amazing level of programmability that you’d expect today from new keyboards with built in ARM chips or whatever. But I did use them to write a few software products (i.e. I personally typed in many hundreds of thousands of lines of code) without inflaming my horrible RSI, so I have a great deal of love and appreciation for Kinesis 😊 … so if you’re in doubt, always give Kinesis the benefit of the doubt by default.

                        On my Keymouse setup, I’ve added a dedicated layer for each hand to put all of the modifiers (ctrl, shift, alt, cmd) on home row. So one layer turns the left hand into a dedicated modifier set (and leaves the right hand unchanged), and another layer turns the right hand into a dedicated modifier set (and leaves the left hand unchanged). Then I have a layer for num pad (left hand is all modifiers, right hand is num pad), and a layer for function keys (left hand is all modifiers, right hand is all function keys). Here’s my layouts as of a year ago: https://1drv.ms/w/s!Al7tOqyQS2IveWlYnwO2D9msNHE

                        (Edit: I should explain a bit about the layers. I often have to type crazy combos like shift-cmd-8 or alt-command-f7 or whatever. This is the IDE keystroke hell that programmers have to deal with sometimes to avoid the mouse, e.g. in the amazing IntelliJ IDEA debugger.)

                        Coincidentally, this week I had hand surgery (unrelated to RSI) and I now have a literal club hand wrapped with an inch of protective stuff with a few fingers semi-sticking out, so for the first time in years, I’m using a normal keyboard 🤣

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          Fantastic write up and great looking result. Love that you used Horizon, Rust, and FreeBSD. Always enjoyed your projects and writing on unrelenting.tech (I still use a bar in AwesomeWM that I wrote that uses unixbar), looking forward to this new chapter.