Author Topic: Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950  (Read 2365 times)

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Offline eyesnine

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« on: Wed, 11 January 2012, 18:11:26 »
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 37286[/ATTACH]

I think I'm on to something with this new layout I've been using for the past week or so. I'm still getting used to it, but I think that if I stick it out I'll see some real benefits.

The keycaps I'm using are old and yellowed, but pay no attention to that! It's the layout that's the interesting part.

The unmarked double keys in the pic are left shift and space. The unmarked single keys in the bottom left are currently unmapped (due to the G80-1950's firmware limitations), but are intended to be the Windows and Application keys.

The central design decisions were to:
- place the modifiers under the left thumb, to prevent finger conflicts when the pinky is occupied with a modifier, and to make capitalizing entire phrases MUCH EASIER
- have a symmetric layout with the same number of keys for both left and right hands
- provide access to all standard keys (though, I did end up leaving out the right windows key)
- access the backspace key with the right index finger
- implement a full number pad, with access to tab, backspace, and modifiers
- allow access to the navigation keys (plus modifiers) from either hand, for both right hand dominant navigation, and for using the left hand when the right is busy mousing
- to prevent excessive pinky stretching, by moving keys downwards, especially 1 and 0 (! is SO much easier now)

Thanks for taking a look at my layout. Any feedback is appreciated!

Offline mharrison

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 11:24:08 »
Nice, but I don't know that I would call this "split". Where did you get the keyboard?

Offline Inf3rn0_44

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 16:30:49 »
Awesome board dude! Matrix ftw!
Looking to buy This mouse!
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Offline dorkvader

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 19:25:30 »
Quote from: mharrison;488760
Nice, but I don't know that I would call this "split". Where did you get the keyboard?
He also posted in the great finds forum. There's a seller on ebay with a bunch. I think they're $70, which is good for a matrix 'board with browns and nkro.

eyesnine, excellent layout, I only wonder about the 9 and 0 positions. I really like having my brackets spmmetrical <> () and [] are all facing eachother. I feel like the position of 0 and \ should be switched...?
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Offline eyesnine

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 20:05:29 »
I purchased the keyboard from an ebay listing. The seller still has a few available. Like dorkvader said, I started a thread in the great finds section when I bought the keyboard, and recently posted in that thread about the difficulties I had with setting up the keyboard. link

I would term this a split keyboard layout, though it definitely isn't an adjustable split keyboard.

The theory behind the placement of 9/0 can be demonstrated by a simple exercise. Place your fingers in a relaxed position on the home row, then extend your fingers without moving your hands. I don't know about you, but my fingers extend up and to the right on my right hand, and up and to the left on my left hand. Also, my pinky doesn't extend nearly as far as my other fingers. When my fingers are extended in this manner they rest naturally on the 1234 and 7890 as I have them placed on my layout (the 1 and 0 are one column outwards and one row upwards, relative to the home row position). My dominant index fingers are used for two numerals each: 4/5 on the left and 6/7 on the right.

So, in a way, the 9 and 0 are next to each other. It's just that next to, in this context, means adjacent equally extended fingers, when one finger is significantly shorter than the other.

I haven't fully adjusted yet (I can't jump between numerals and letters unconsciously without some more hard practice), but I have done some very fluent switching between numerals and letters, though with not near enough accuracy yet. I think I'll need to give this layout at least a few months before I see any real benefit from the new numeral placement. However, I am already adding exclamation marks like a champ!

The placement of the square brackets was a compromise. With a split size of three columns there aren't two horizontally adjacent keys after the standard letters and the punctuation marks ,./;' are placed in DVORAK, QWERTY, or Colemak (what I'm using), except on the bottom row, or above the numerals, both positions I deemed to be undesirable. So, I placed them vertically adjacent and it's not so bad, since the bottom right corner is fairly easy to navigate with the right pinky [the advantage it has by being short is it's an easier reach to the bottom rows].

The square bracket placement isn't ideal, admittedly. I haven't adjusted to this layout 100%, and I'd rather adjust to a layout that has horizontally adjacent square brackets if possible, but I just don't see how that's possible without making a serious compromise.
« Last Edit: Thu, 12 January 2012, 20:34:53 by eyesnine »

Offline dorkvader

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 12 January 2012, 20:18:09 »
wow, that makes a lot of sense. Good layout choice!

(I'm getting some access-is keyboards soon, so I'm considering what sort of split matrix I'll be wanting)
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 02:29:47 »
Eye: Outstanding info, very applicable to ergo needs. I'm
making a note to follow up with your Humble-Kopy layout :)

Dork: Getting the ACCESS-IS boards? What particular model?
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fossala

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 02:35:58 »
I think he is reffering to the ones I proxied. They are AKE072820/2.

Offline Architect

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 05:41:51 »
Thanks for the tip, I bought a handful (ha ha) of these.

Not sure what I'll do with them yet. I love the matrix, or semi matrix style like Kinesis and TE. Considered using the XKeys matrix boards for a custom keyboard out of desperation in the past, but the XKeys guys didn't recommend that. Split design (other than minimal split) isn't so important to me.

Anyhow the TE is working out to be pretty ideal, thinking I'll use these for custom application such as Photoshop or software devel. Keep us informed of your progress!
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Offline Architect

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 07:26:11 »
Commenting on your layout ...
 
Maybe I've got symmetry on the brain but I like having Enter-Delete-Enter in the bottom center between the two space bars, then Ctrl, alt shift beyond the spacebar. I'm finding that being able to hit return is very convenient from either hand while doing some shortcut key combination
I'd have the function keys along the top in a row as is traditionally done

Hmm, I see what you did, you added an extra two columns in the center to five you a big arrow block, but now that takes away from the traditional seven column per hand layout. Well, I guess I'd rather stick with the typical layout, take a look at this

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 37389[/ATTACH]

Then use the other keys for whatever else you want, but I'd drop the old hangout PrintScr etc

Edit: Doh, forgot the return key, put it somewhere in the middle and shift around.
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Offline tjweir

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 09:03:18 »
I just bought a Tipro 8x16 and the layout I plan on using is similar to this.
I code in Scala all day and plan on dedicating a few keys to operators/braces/parens.

Nice stuff, I'm going to have to give this a shot.

Offline eyesnine

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 15:43:44 »
Quote from: Architect;489415
Commenting on your layout ...
 
Maybe I've got symmetry on the brain but I like having Enter-Delete-Enter in the bottom center between the two space bars, then Ctrl, alt shift beyond the spacebar. I'm finding that being able to hit return is very convenient from either hand while doing some shortcut key combination
I'd have the function keys along the top in a row as is traditionally done

Hmm, I see what you did, you added an extra two columns in the center to five you a big arrow block, but now that takes away from the traditional seven column per hand layout. Well, I guess I'd rather stick with the typical layout, take a look at this

(Attachment Link) 37389[/ATTACH]

Then use the other keys for whatever else you want, but I'd drop the old hangout PrintScr etc

Edit: Doh, forgot the return key, put it somewhere in the middle and shift around.

With 4 space bar positions you've taken the number of keys down to 102, which isn't so bad, but could cause compatibility problems. I settled on 103 keys because I have never seen a shortcut key that requires the use of the right windows key (that cannot be done by the left windows key). So, the traditional 104 keys minus right windows key seems about right to me. Also, I didn't want to have the space bar occupied by both thumbs - I think that one thumb is enough. The left thumb, in my opinion, can be put to better use.

I think that placing the space bar anywhere but on the bottom row is a mistake. It will be difficult for the thumb to reach over the bottom row, unless you are leaving those keys unassigned, in which case you're down to 100 keys.

In my experience, placing the space bar directly underneath the home position for the index finger results in an unnatural hand posture, as the thumb will need to slightly tuck itself under the hand to reach the spacebar. Your placement of the left and right arrows seems to force the thumb to rest in this posture. The reason why in my layout I have double keys for the left shift and space bar is to avoid this unnatural posture. For my hands, the natural resting position of the thumb, with my fingers on the home row, is somewhere between the key on the bottom row that's under the index finger, and the key to the inside of that one. Initially I tried a single key for space, but found that neither single key position felt natural, so I made it a double key and it feels much better now.

Also, maybe I'm not reading your layout correctly, but I don't see a shift key anywhere... Maybe it's in its traditional location? That's obviously a safe choice, but I wanted to experiment with a more creative solution in my layout. I wanted to put the shift key on the left thumb to avoid finger conflicts.

Consider, for example, the acronym ASAP. Which shift key should be held down when typing that? If it's the left, then the left ring finger will need to slide over to cover the keys that are usually typed by the left pinky (A), then the middle finger types the S, since the ring finger is occupied with the A, resulting in inconsistent fingering, and a hand movement away from the home position. The same happens when ASAP is typed with the right shift, since the P is usually pressed by the right pinky finger. The other option - switching shift keys mid acronym - seems inconvenient. This kind of problem, caused by a finger that normally covers character keys being occupied by a modifier, can be overcome by dedicating one finger to only modifiers - in my layout the left thumb. It makes for much more consistent typing, and less hand movement.

I see the elimination of the seventh column as a big advantage of my layout. I wanted to avoid those positions that require a hand movement away from the home position, and those seventh column keys definitely do that, especially the + key, which in a standard layout is absurdly far from the home position, though maybe not as absurdly far away as the backspace (8th column?).

So, it's not that your layout is bad. It's just that I have mostly the same complaints about your layout that I have with the standard layout.
« Last Edit: Fri, 13 January 2012, 16:13:53 by eyesnine »

Offline Architect

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 16:41:05 »
Quote from: eyesnine;489779
With 4 space bar positions you've taken the number of keys down to 102, which isn't so bad, but could cause compatibility problems. I settled on 103 keys because I have never seen a shortcut key that requires the use of the right windows key (that cannot be done by the left windows key). So, the traditional 104 keys minus right windows key seems about right to me. Also, I didn't want to have the space bar occupied by both thumbs - I think that one thumb is enough. The left thumb, in my opinion, can be put to better use.

Yeah, I'm all mac with Windows and Linux in VMWare. For this configuration I need Command-Option-Control-Shift on both hands (Control-Alt-Windows-Shift in Win), and I'll agree that one windows key is fine as it just has a single purpose really.

Quote
I think that placing the space bar anywhere but on the bottom row is a mistake. It will be difficult for the thumb to reach over the bottom row, unless you are leaving those keys unassigned, in which case you're down to 100 keys.

My TE boards have the space directly under the bottom letter row as shown and it works great. The thumb just bends up at the final knuckle and reaches it no problem.



Quote
Also, maybe I'm not reading your layout correctly, but I don't see a shift key anywhere... Maybe it's in its traditional location? That's obviously a safe choice, but I wanted to experiment with a more creative solution in my layout. I wanted to put the shift key on the left thumb to avoid finger conflicts.

Omission, I just hacked out that matrix this morning to have a discussion. Put it at the end of the control on second to bottom row, or above the command key which pushes tab up one key.



Quote
I see the elimination of the seventh column as a big advantage of my layout. I wanted to avoid those positions that require a hand movement away from the home position, and those seventh column keys definitely do that, especially the + key, which in a standard layout is absurdly far from the home position, though maybe not as absurdly far away as the backspace (8th column?).



Quote
So, it's not that your layout is bad. It's just that I have mostly the same complaints about your layout that I have with the standard layout.

All keyboards are compromises, depends on what you want. Some people insist on split layout, which isn't so important to me, maybe because I'm tall and thin. I have to have a full set of modifier keys on both hands, and most people are happy having control on one hand and alt on another.

I'm having the devil of a time adjusting to the TE Shift key being one row up (there I go again, meant to hit shift and hit command instead) however. More logical, better, but I'm having a hard time getting used to it still. I'll get there though. So I'm finding that straying too far from traditional may not be worth it for my tastes.

Ultimately I'm thinking I'll stick with the TE as my main keyboard and keep these as specialty application focused ones (Photopshop, Xcode, Visual Studio etc ...)
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Offline eyesnine

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 16:51:49 »
The TE has a 2.5 length space bar spanning from the bottom row under the index finger, to 2.5 columns inside of that - it doesn't require the thumb to bend in order to hit space.

Also, there are no keys under the space bar on the TE as there are in the layout you posted, so the thumb doesn't have to reach over anything. Sure, there are keys lower than the space bar on the TE, but they're not underneath the space bar - in the layout you posted there's an entire row of keys under the space bar.

You're right that it is personal preference at some point. I wish I had hands that felt comfortable with a single key space bar under the index finger, but that's just not in the cards for me. I think, though, that the double key space bar in my layout will be comfortable for the large majority of adult typists.

Offline tjweir

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 24 January 2012, 12:50:46 »
@eyesnine - I bought the exact same board (as well as the tipro) so I'll be replicating your layout as a starting point.

Thanks for sharing.

Offline eyesnine

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 29 January 2012, 07:22:26 »
Quote from: tjweir;497689
@eyesnine - I bought the exact same board (as well as the tipro) so I'll be replicating your layout as a starting point.

Thanks for sharing.

I have a version 2.0 of my layout that has the square brackets next to each other. I also rearranged the number pad slightly. I think that this is a better layout, overall, and for programming it is excellent.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 38935[/ATTACH]

Offline funkymeeba

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 31 January 2012, 17:03:28 »
This is a pretty sweet layout. I may have to pick up one of these, tweak around with it, and see what fits me.

Maybe eventually I'll even look at new switches for it.
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Offline tjweir

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 04 March 2012, 11:06:28 »
Here is what I have so far.  I have not labeled everything yet, and I can't seem to find a bag of relegendable caps right now.
I have a couple of keys for Scala specific coding like "<-" "=>" and "->"

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 42683[/ATTACH]

Offline Parak

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 04 March 2012, 23:37:21 »
What are you all using for reprogramming? Still the same ancient version of cherry software on windows xp or somesuch?
« Last Edit: Mon, 05 March 2012, 01:03:31 by Parak »

fossala

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 05 March 2012, 01:07:26 »
The one above is a tipro board and they provide good software to do it with.

Offline tjweir

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Humble Hackeresque Split Matrix using G80-1950
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 05 March 2012, 06:33:43 »
Yes, my Tipro is programmed with their software, ChangeMe.