Why does a hacking keyboard have to be minimalist? I want more keys, not fewer, because why not? I’ll find uses for them. In particular, I want more modifier keys – hyper! super! ultra! everything! Also, I want a Kinesis style, with the negative spaces for keys. And, a pony.
Case in point: the Sun keyboard, though Unix workstations were generally known for having lots of keys.
(As an interesting aside on keyboards, I tried using a Sun keyboard like the one pictured—but a decade of using Thinkpad keyboards has thoroughly acclimated me, and I get really annoyed trying to use a keyboard without a Trackpoint. The plethora of keys were nice, though.)
It’s slightly astonishing that this no longer looks like a lot of keys. Mainstream keyboards seem to have followed suit. :)
I’ve always appreciated keyboards that do more with less keys because I found the farther away a key is from my home row the less happy I am to use it. It’s the same reason I use vim, really!
Serious question here, does anyone know of a retailer that sells a Space Cadet replica that can interface with modern computers through USB?
Part of the problem is that the USB HID standard only defines four (eight if you count left and right as separate) modifiers. Plenty of room in there for golf club selection – not a joke – but an impoverished view of how the most important Human computer interface actually works. God, I detest computers.
You could still make some sort of dumbed down replica, couldn’t you?
What characteristics would you preserve, apart from the many modifiers? I guess the math symbols above the letters?
That makes sense, those definitely do seem useful.
I saw it and thought “happy hacking keyboard” and my first impression is immediately, “as opposed to bringing me happiness, this one should bring me ultimacy. It seems it’s only one or the other”
Second impression: I like it but the case has (imo) aesthetically distracting large ugly border (the extra spacebar and mod button on the border is totally unnecessary), $200k is a wild funding goal for a drop of mechanical keyboards when other lines have gone out on much smaller funding (and at a lower production price). The letter LEDs at the top are cool but they’re probably (combined with the microcontroller and extra work to implement) a better candidate to cut production price than trying to crowdfund a $200k drop of mechanicals. It’s a pretty feature-complete keyboard but definitely needs work on its aesthetics and minimalism before it’s really earned the moniker “hacking keyboard” imho
All that thought and they kept the columnar layout. My fingers go up and down - whose fingers go up to the left and down to the right?
I literally know only two keyboards still made that get this right: the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard and the TypeMatrix—and I’ve never seen anyone use either one, so I’ve ben really, really reticent to shell out a couple hundred bucks to see if they’re good. (My old stand-by, the TouchStream SP, hasn’t been made since Apple bought them. I really, really miss that keyboard.) For some reason, all the “innovation” we have in keyboards is at best about weird layouts, and not about fixing this most basic issue.
ErgoDox and the Planck
The Kinesis keyboards are columnar, as is the homebrewed Ergodox.
The Ergodox had regular parts group buys on Massdrop until they released their own variation, Infinity Ergodox ~6 months ago. Massdrop had some kind of big production and shipping delays - I only poked around the forums a minute, but problems included manufacturing delays for PCBs and handling problems in the warehouse; maybe half the customers have received kits and the other half are vocally unhappy about the situation.
But, yeah, the low production runs on columnar keyboards mean high prices; the tiny production runs mean even higher prices and risks. And the customers are either looking for ergonomics or hobbyists, so they want high-quality mechanical switches… so I pretty much never expect to see a cheap columnar keyboard. It’d take a big sweep in demand to drive prices down.
The one I linked downthread is still going through the early steps of manufacturing, but it does very deliberately have truly vertical key-columns. I think the traditional diagonals make a lot more sense in the context of a one-piece keyboard; for split keyboards they’re obsolete, because you can turn the halves to the angles your wrists need. But I haven’t tried it yet so I don’t know how I’ll like it. :)
Controlling the mouse sounds neat, but given the option I’d opt for just using a widow manager designed for mouse-free movement from the start.
One day, one day I will find something like this with Topre switches.
I recommend the Leopold FC660C. Really great quality minimalist board. Not as customizable, but has a few DIP switches for the basics.
It’s tiny! Myself I have a Type Heaven, which I quite like.
There’s a large number of really cool keyboard projects on Kickstarter. The one I’m waiting for: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keyboardio/the-model-01-an-heirloom-grade-keyboard-for-seriou