Author Topic: Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}  (Read 1648 times)

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Online Snarfangel

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« on: Mon, 27 February 2012, 12:47:27 »
I mentioned in the thread here (http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?27089-A-Kinesis-Advantage-fan-tries-the-TrulyErgonomic-keyboard/page2) that I liked the Maltron idea of pushing the hands farther apart by splitting the letter keys and putting the number pad between them, so I played around with Qliner Hotkeys keyboard designer and came up with something ergonomic enough to surf the internet, and big enough to surf Maui.

My influences include the Maltron, the ErgoEmacs design by Xah Lee (http://xahlee.org/comp/ultimate_keyboard_layout.html), and my TypeMatrix 2020. Plus, I added a touchpad, because I really like them, and you can ditch the mouse. (To make the keyboard more reasonable in size -- but still big -- you can remove everything from the touchpad on up, and simply use the secondary number pad home/end/ins/del/pgup/pgdn functions.)

I decided to show the CarpalX QGMLWB layout (http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?full_optimization) and the MTGAP non-Kinesis layout (http://mathematicalmulticore.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/introducing-the-first-fully-optimized-shifted-layout/#comments) with a four changes of varying significance. First, I moved one key (the backslash key in QWERTY) down next to the right shift. Second, I added a "Lock" key -- holding it down with caps makes capslock, with shift make shift lock, scroll makes scroll lock, and num makes numlock. You can even go into Alt and CTRL-lock (the former if you wanted a lot of alt-num codes, the latter for whatever). Third, I changed some of the keys on the number pad around -- added a delete, dropped the Enter since there was one an inch to the right, added a comma.

And finally, much more importantly, I flipped the numbers along the top row of the keyboard with the punctuation keys, since having numbers in the center makes it rather superfluous (you can still access the numbers like normal by hitting shift, while the punctuation is unshifted).

The top picture in the two following picture pairs shows the major unshifted keys, while the bottom shows the shifted version. And finally, the very bottom picture shows the punctuation I would prefer to keep together (MTGAP split apart some of them), but just to keep it confusing the bottom key is unshifted and the top key is shifted.

CarpalX QGMLWB:
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 41958[/ATTACH]

MTGAP
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 41986[/ATTACH]

Punctuation key pairs I like:
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 41960[/ATTACH]

(Editing this produced additional thumbnails. Not sure why. I hope MTGAP is fixed. The attached thumbnail has an incorrect picture, but I'm not sure how to get rid of it completely.)
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 February 2012, 14:29:28 by Snarfangel »

Offline sordna

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 27 February 2012, 12:57:26 »
Cool, but perhaps you should consider making the keyboard 2, 3 or more individually moving components so you can move them around.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Contoured Model 110, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, KBC Poker (Cherry MX Red), IBM Space Saving keyboard (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline boli

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 27 February 2012, 13:46:10 »
I like it because it's matrix layout. :)

There's a typo in the MTGAP layout on the right letter area in the home row, that should be a T rather than an X.

Speaking of MTGAP, he just posted Introducing the Thumb Keys - that is, his keyboard layout analyzer now includes thumb keys.

BTW does anyone know how his layout compares to the CarPalx layouts?
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Online Snarfangel

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 27 February 2012, 13:50:52 »
Quote from: boli;528265
I like it because it's matrix layout. :)

There's a typo in the MTGAP layout on the right letter area in the home row, that should be a T rather than an X.

Thanks. Let me see if it's a quick edit. :)

I deleted the old picture and threw in a quick edit, but the old picture is still showing up as a thumbnail. Not sure how to remove it completely.
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 February 2012, 14:28:33 by Snarfangel »

Online Snarfangel

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 28 February 2012, 09:24:03 »
Quote from: sordna;528197
Cool, but perhaps you should consider making the keyboard 2, 3 or more individually moving components so you can move them around.

That is a good idea. Here is the MTGAP keyboard in lower case, minus the touchpad area (You could stick the touchpad part on either side). I'm not sure about keeping the Print Screen/SysRq and Pause/Break keys in the upper right (it's rare that I hit them, except by accident), but I'm keeping it for backwards compatibility.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 42048[/ATTACH]
« Last Edit: Tue, 28 February 2012, 09:36:19 by Snarfangel »

Offline boli

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 28 February 2012, 15:23:17 »
Quote from: Snarfangel;529323
That is a good idea. Here is the MTGAP keyboard in lower case, minus the touchpad area (You could stick the touchpad part on either side). I'm not sure about keeping the Print Screen/SysRq and Pause/Break keys in the upper right (it's rare that I hit them, except by accident), but I'm keeping it for backwards compatibility.

Show Image


That looks pretty neat!

Staring at it for some reason I felt like comparing MTGAP to the Malt layout, and noticed a few similarities with the off-home columns (V, D and B).



Also Malt has the extra letter F in the home row, while E moved to the left thumb.

And now I'm wondering how a normal keyboard layout can be modified to make use of an extra letter on a thumb (whichever thumb isn't pressing space). :)

The idea of using the thumb sounds fascinating, however changing keyboard layouts again doesn't sound so appealing. If Colemak (or other layouts) could be modified to make good use of a thumb by swapping just a few keys, that'd be quite intriguing.

Update: Sorry for the slightly off topic post BTW. Found Optimizing the Maltron layout over at the Colemak forums, where he attempts some Colemak Malt-ification. ;)
« Last Edit: Tue, 28 February 2012, 16:21:23 by boli »
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline Input Nirvana

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Ergonomic keyboard the size of an aircraft carrier {First Draft}
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 05 March 2012, 20:05:17 »
I don't have specifics to add right now (time constraints) but I like the work, ideas, and links and see merit in the couple directions this thread is going. Progressive work on specific Kinesis layouts using a letter on the thumb keys is a big game changer. AND, if a couple keys are added in the thumb region, it becomes even more "do-able" :)
Kinesis Advantage | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | all on Mac
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell
Thanks much, Smallfry