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    Taking my daughter BMX racing in Preston, Lancashire, UK, and cheering her on like Kye Whyte did for Beth Shriever at the Olympics this morning!

    On monday - it’s back to job hunting now I’ve finished my MSc…

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      I’m going to finally finish my new keyboards configuration.

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        that Sofle V2 looks great!

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          Thanks. It was more when than expected in the end. Flashing a keyboard with standard parts is simple but mine has one side with the default controller and one with an alternative (USB C) one which suddenly makes things complicated.

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        the whole field of compliant mechanisms is really interesting - especailly when you consider that you can build acuators on silicon.

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          Thanks @hwayne for a great set of articles, which I can a cross due to the repost or the first article and hightlights the importance of learning from the pitfalls in other disciplines.

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            It’s nice to see folks trying new ideas in this area. I’d be curious to hear more about who this is really designed for. All the chords requiring the pinky finger make my emacs-crippled hands flare up in pain just looking at them. But that’s just me.

            I looked online and was glad to see the Twiddler was still a product you could buy. That was the one handed keyboard of choice among the wearables crowd at the MIT Media Lab in the late 90s. 12 core buttons for typing with the 4 fingers (with chords) plus extra buttons for shift, etc on the thumbs. A few friends of mine used them regularly and could type reasonably (20-30 wpm?) although I think they all preferred a full keyboard when they had the option.

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              I’d be curious to hear more about who this is really designed for.

              People who sometimes need to hold a child and type at the same time.

              People who need to hold a device (technician role) while typing what they read or observe into the computer.

              People in hostage situations where you need the plot to advance.

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                having just watch the demo video my immediate thought was why is the thumb ignored - although I appreciate that the design would need to be a different shape if you were using thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. The reliance of the pinkies on a standard QWERTY keyboard for me is a design failure…

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                  why is the thumb ignored

                  I missed it on my first read through, but they mention it’s to allow the thumb to help hold the device when you want portability:

                  Since only four fingers are used, the thumb is free to stabilize and hold the board. This simplifies the hardware design for portable hand-held keyboards made for ARTSEY.

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                    Yeah, I think the site could benefit a lot from a comparison with similar alternatives like the Microwriter.

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                    I’d seen Twiddler before but forgot it’s name, and I’ve been trying to find it again for ages. Thank you for helping me find it again :D

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                    Thanks for the roundup!

                    Re: keyboards…the reason for the tag is to filter them, and it might be better just to establish that sort of consumer electronics stuff as off-topic.

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                      “the reason for the tag is to filter them”

                      Many of us use tags to spot things of interest. That clicking on a tag shows more stories like it even supports that use case. They also do this by default whereas using them as a filter requires an extra step (adding the filter).

                      So, tags can both highlight and filter stories. Anyone voting on a tag should keep that in mind.

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                        Having posted a what keyboard do you use “ask” I would appreciate the addition of a “keyboard” tag, partly as I enjoy articles about keyboards and other input devices, as well as the fact that typing in some form is still the predominant input method for most people interacting with computing devices - and one that could still benefit from developing fast, efficient and accurate devices for input. From my perspective keyboards would never be off topic - but I biased :~)

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                          I agree. I wish there was a tag for “product review” or something, or that it was off-topic, as I basically never want to read an article about somebody’s cool new laptop/keyboard/router they bought

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                          This has had a python 3 update since it was last posted.

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                            I’ve never heard the term “yeet” before, in any context? What is it slang for?

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                              I had to look it up too. Here is my finding: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/yeet

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                                according to urban dictionary to throw with force :~)

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                                  It originated from this video specifically.

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                                  OP seems to be taken from a journal. The pdfs are different but the content is the same.

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                                    this is the ACM’s copy from the conference it was released at.

                                    Probably need a mod to merge the two stories.

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                                      You’re right. Merged. Apologies for missing that earlier, I was in a hurry.

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                                    Ugh, another one bites the dust — without giving the BSDs a chance. Try OpenBSD, the out of the box experience is the most pleasant one I’ve had yet, more so than macOS even, because it does exactly what I want it to.

                                    I have to use a MacBook for work, and while the UI is pretty and all, I find its tiny quirks and overall rigidity very annoying. I can’t do things the way I’d like to.

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                                      without giving the BSDs a chance.

                                      I gave FreeBSD a serious chance for months. I hacked a little on i915 trying to fix some backlight bugs. I contributed to what became the implementation of the utimensat syscall implementation for the Linuxulator. I was even featured on an episode of the original BSDNow in 2015.

                                      I suppose you could argue some value of stability and release engineering still exist in FreeBSD, but they’re even more hostile to older hardware and the desktop experience is even worse as more and more software assumes Linux.

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                                        The entire time reading this article I was thinking that NetBSD would be a much better fit for you than Linux

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                                          One reason I like my OpenBSD Desktop is that it is still running great on my 2012 Toshiba Portege - I’ve upgraded the RAM to 16Gb and the HDD to an SSD - the only draw back is getting decent batteries for portability is now becoming an issue. But I have heard that OpenBSD may be coming to the M1 in the near future :~)

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                                          Ugh, another one bites the dust — without giving the BSDs a chance.

                                          did we read the same article

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                                            The article complains Go’s PowerPC baseline is POWER8. OpenBSD’s PowerPC baseline is POWER9…

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                                              There are two power ports: powerpc64 (POWER9) and macppc (G4/G5 and maybe G3).

                                              Browser support in macppc was pretty abysmal last I checked though.

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                                                macppc supports all New World models, including the G3.

                                                I think NetBSD is probably the best of the BSDs for running on PowerPC, if we’re talking about it; in addition to macppc they have ofppc, amigappc, bebox, etc.

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                                              As a Mac user who mostly likes the way it works on the surface, I wish it were as straightforward beneath the surface as a BSD.

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                                              | No interviewers were harmed in the process of writing.

                                              but one was schooled :~)

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                                                Are you interested in lobste.rs users, or people who are into mechanical keyboards specifically? My keyboard is “generic 15E-ish logitech, but I had to look at the keyboard to remember what brand it was”. I imagine that even on this site, keyboard-agnostics probably make up the majority.

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                                                  In terms of my research I interested in all keyboard use - including touch screens. I have been amazed that QWERTY is the standard layout even on most touch screens - I understand that this is a legacy hangover from the mechanical keyboard but I was expecting better options to occur on mobile phones - something like the Keebee. I assume that most people will use whatever keyboard comes with their device - but I am hoping that the future holds more keyboards that are built for the your own hands and connect by Wifi / Bluetooth / USB to what ever computing device you are using.

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                                                    Keybee is nice but as most alternative keyboards it is not only latin-alphabet centered but english-centered. I use the Google one because I input text in french, english, chinese (with bopomofo) and a bit of arabic. I use the same qwerty keyboard for all latin scripts language and can switch back forth between the others with a swipe.

                                                    Edit: only talking about touch devices.

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                                                      This has been a point of my research that I have deliberately avoided (partly as I only speak English), but I am aware that the non-english languages don’t necessarily easily map to a standard keyboard design. I do wonder if a better layout design could help with these issues as well. I have read some of the Google research on adding languages to their Gboard and the challenges it poses.

                                                      Can I ask how you get around using non-english languages on a standard keyboard?

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                                                        I don’t due to the mental burden of learning multiple keymap to be honest. I only use multiple languages on my smartphone thanks to the visual aid of the Gboard. Worst also, I am so used to touch-type with AZERTY that most of the time I stick to it or QWERTY on a standard keyboard. I try moving to Colemak/Dvorak/Bépo a few times but did not put the energy necessary to make the switch.

                                                        I hoped to find keyboard with small e-ink keycap that would change based on the keymap selected on my computer and as I mainly use a laptop without external monitor (I was most of the time on-the-go and did not need to use other language than latin script based ones for work), a visual aid on the screen tend to take to much place. My partner touch-type on QWERTY and Bopomofo and could switch from one keymap to the other easily because she learned this way.

                                                        Multi-language physical keyboards are still putting on the stress on the user memory where touch based keyboards provides a constant visual aid. It is a hard problem imho to do it correctly on standard keyboard. Touch-typing in multiple languages with non latin script characters on a standard keyboard demands so much more energy than on a touch-device.

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                                                    I’m also interested to see if there is a link between touch-typing and ergonomic keyboards - as learnig to touch-type was one of the reasons I bought my first ergonomic keyboard - as with a standard keyboard layout my wrists would ache after 20 minutes of typing, but that didn’t happen on the Microsoft Ergonmic keyboard that I bought in the late 1990’s.

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                                                      Can’t be a strong correlation from my experience.

                                                      Coworkers (programmers) who touch-type or mostly touch-type: 95%

                                                      Coworkers (programmers) who use ergonomic keyboards: 10-15.. out of everyone whose desk I saw in the last 20 years. (Don’t know what they have at home, of course, but I’ve never seen a workplace that wouldn’t let you bring your own keyboard).

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                                                    The questionnare is not “short” if I first have to take an online WPM test, because I don’t know how fast I type. Fast enough. And touch-typey enough. Unless on some days where I can’t seem to hit any key.

                                                    Sorry, can’t complete this.

                                                    But if it helps you, the two keyboards I use daily are a Noppoo Choc Mid and a Cherry MX 710+, described here

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                                                      Thanks for the feedback - you are right having to take a typing test is not quick. I didn’t intend to get people to do a typing test, I have now changed the wording to ask people to enter 1 if they don’t know their typing speed.

                                                      Thanks for the information, and the feedback.

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                                                        Thanks for changing that, filled it out now.

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                                                      I’m using an OLKB. I love it more than anything. It took a second to adjust, but less time than I had thought. It has ruined all other keyboards for me, and now as the days go by I’m convinced there needs to be laptop with an ortholinear keyboard built in. OR I need to somehow change my laptop to be some combination of portable computer, keyboard, mouse, and portable screen

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                                                        I think the future might an iPad type computer with a seperate keyboard that you connect to it by Wifi / Bluetooth / USB

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                                                          AKA the ”naked robotic core” computer concept.

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                                                        I use a corne with low profile, 20g, linear switches. I use colemak for the letter keys and have the rest of the keys I need arranged to my tastes on several layers. It’s the best keyboard I’ve ever had the pleasure to use, typing fatigue is virtually non-existent.

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                                                          Removing typing fatigue should be the holy grail of keyboard design.

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                                                          I got the impression that the questionnaire is making the assumption that touch typing is better and/or faster than all alternative methods of typing.

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                                                            It might be, if you’re transcribing or writing, but I find that thinking/coding is not constrained by my typing speed or correction rate (~35 wpm) and my half-learned touch-typing.

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                                                              I touch type but don’t care about the home row. I just hit the keys I want to without sight being necessary.

                                                              Not needing to use your eyes to type helps

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                                                                The questionnaire defines touch typing as “using all the fingers and thumbs to type without looking at the keyboard.” By this definition, I touch type, because I use all of my fingers and thumbs to type, and I don’t look at the keyboard, even though my resting position bears no resemblance to the standard “home row” technique that’s usually taught. Rather, my fingers simply know where they need to be and I hit each key with whatever finger happens to be closest at the time. My accuracy isn’t brilliant, but I can sustain 60wpm corrected, and at that point, I don’t find myself limited by typing speed.

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                                                                  I didn’t mean to give that impression.

                                                                  As @Vaelatern and @thequux point out not looking at the keyboard when typing is generally more efficient. From the research I’ve found, the evidence seems to point to the minimising finger movements and setting keys so that common letter clusters can be typed by different hands seems to improve speed, accuracy and comfort. The current default staggered QWERTY layout - does not allow natural hand placement, thus increasing the risks of fatigue and injury. The default key size and spacing was design for less than 6.1% of the worlds population, I’m hoping in the near future everyone will be able to get a keyboard that is a unique fit to their bodies, and thus a pleasure to use :~)

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                                                                  Took the survey.

                                                                  I use a basic external one at my desktop with Mac M1 Mini and then have a MBP M1.

                                                                  I’m sure you’re on https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/ but mentioning just in case.

                                                                  I noticed the keys on a keyboard are correlated with a few waves of innovation, could be a fun thing to look into: https://breckyunits.com/how-old-are-these-keys.html

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                                                                    I’m sure you’re on https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/ but mentioning just in case.

                                                                    There’s also https://geekhack.org and https://deskthority.net/.

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                                                                      Oh nice! I am a new entrant to this world so hadn’t seen those. Very cool, thanks!

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                                                                        No problem! I’d say they’re good because their focus isn’t limited to “mechanical” keyboards only. There are some great “non-mechanical” keyboards out there too.

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                                                                      thanks for pointing out How old are these keys - I like the visualisation as well.

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                                                                      I use a Kinesis Freestyle Pro, and a custom built mechanical keyboard. Both are split ergonomic keyboards

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                                                                        Out of interest do you have a preference for the othrolinear Kinesis or your staggered custom build?

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                                                                        Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, though it’s a bit worn out.

                                                                        Your questionnaire asks for a typing speed. I was surprised to reach 99 wpm, according to this random website.

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                                                                          My 4000 is old and has most of the keycaps polished shiny, which reminds me it’s time to buy a second and store it in the top of my closet. It’s the most comfortable typing experience I’ve encountered.

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                                                                            Thanks for doing a random typing speed test - and 99 wpm is a good speed. Currently my consistent typing speed is only about 40 wpm, but I think that is partly my brain…

                                                                            When I was learning to touch-type I was typing 100 wpm - 40 wpm was me back typing out errors - but that gave me the 60 wpm that I needed to pass the secretarial test at the temping agency and increase my pay by 250%.

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                                                                            I use an ErgoDox EZ, but I’m not happy with the number of keys. I think it could be easily improved by adding one more row to each side which would get rid of all of the awkward key placements (e.g., brackets, backslash)

                                                                            I use an entirely custom layout, that’s based on the Planck layout. Here’s a list of things I think most keyboard layouts for “alternative” keyboards get wrong that I’m compiling here because why not. I’ve never had serious RSI, and I’m not an expert on it, these rules come from me having minor aches and pains and looking at what was causing it and making adjustments until they went away.

                                                                            1. Do not have only one thumb that can access the space key. The spacebar is by far the most used key, make sure both thumbs can access it.
                                                                            2. Do not use the left caps lock for control. I did this for years, and I used to love it, but it promotes bad keyboard habits. You’re supposed to hold down the modifier with one hand, and press the key with the other. That’s why the shift key is on both sides of the keyboard. Using caps lock for control encourages key chording, which forces your hand into unnatural positions.
                                                                            3. Make all of your modifiers accessibly via both thumbs. The thumb is the strongest finger, and holding down modifiers puts the most strain on a finger. So use your thumbs to hold down modifiers if possible, and have your modifiers on both sides of the keyboard so you can avoid key chording and distribute the work between both thumbs.
                                                                            4. The guiding principle of your layout should be to minimize key chords. This means keyboard layers are bad, because they promote using additional key chords. If you have to have layers (I do myself), use your thumbs to activate them, and try to avoid key chording as much as possible by having one hand hold the modifiers and the other hit the key.

                                                                            I haven’t found the perfect keyboard and layout yet, so half of these I still violate myself all the time. These are aspirational goals.

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                                                                              These are really good points. It’s interesting that on Maltron keyboards the ‘e’ key was typed with the left thumb as it was the mosted used letter and that way one of the strongest digits was used for typing it. I think thumb clusters are really useful, but I’ve not come across a perfect number of keys for my thumbs yet :~)

                                                                              Another point I would add to the list is why do only two of the keys have rasied bumps - to locate the home keys F and J? Our fingers are super sensitive - one of my design ideas is to put the braile dots on each key to represent it’s letter / symbol in braille as even if you didn’t know braille your muscle memory and touch sensitivity would allow your brain to know where your fingers are without looking - which would aid in learning touch-typing.