Author Topic: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters  (Read 2029 times)

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Offline instinctive

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Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« on: Wed, 24 September 2014, 16:41:12 »
I just got my Kinesis Advanced and I'd like to try a new layout. Thinking of Colemak, but I'm also interested in an adaptation of the Maltron layout, so I would like to hear any experiences peeps would like to share.

But my real question is whether anyone has tried thumb clusters like these:


    +---+---+   +---+---+       C = Ctrl, A = Alt
    | C | A |   | A | C |       W = Windows/Command
+---+---+---+   +---+---+---+   B = Backspace
| B | D | W |   | W | E | S |   D = Delete
|   |   +---+   +---+   |   |   E = Enter
|   |   | L |   | R |   |   |   S = Space
+---+---+---+   +---+---+---+   L/R = Left/Right Shift


The idea is to be symmetric with respect to meta-keys for editors, and to bring the shifts to the thumbs instead of the pinkies. Any thoughts?

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 24 September 2014, 17:47:32 »
I suspect those 1u keys are going to be a pain to reach to use for all your modifiers (especially multiple-modifier shortcuts), but try it out and let us know how it goes! If you have gigantic hands it might not be too bad.

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 25 September 2014, 04:50:54 »
Alts are the most hard to reach on Kinesis.
I use the default layout with these swaps:
CapsLock <-> Esc
LShft <-> Del
RShft <-> Enter

Two modifier shortcuts are easy since it is symmetric. You can use both thumbs. Three or more modifiers will probably just require to press it on one side with fingers and press the key with the other hand (xor do some complicated thumb gymnastics).

Works well for me but only because I mostly use Linux. If it would be Windows I would need to put Windows keys on thumb cluster too. I plan to replace Kinesis thumb clusters with the ones like on Katy. That will go with controller replacement.

Offline davkol

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Re: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 25 September 2014, 13:22:20 »
All but 2x keys were unreachable for me in the Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters. Perhaps if you have larger hands. It was my primary motivation to sell the keyboard, because I was stretching for AltGr, Ctrl or Win/Super all the time (there weren't enough keys for a custom keymap and even simple remapping Caps Lock to AltGr revealed some serious bugs in the firmware).

Offline erw

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Re: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 25 September 2014, 15:02:26 »
I just got my Kinesis Advanced and I'd like to try a new layout. Thinking of Colemak, but I'm also interested in an adaptation of the Maltron layout, so I would like to hear any experiences peeps would like to share.

I'm a happy user of Colemak on Kinesis. I personally prefer staying with a layout that doesn't require special hardware support (i.e. Maltron's 'e'), even though it could be fun to try. With Colemak I regularly switch between using it on my thinkpad keyboard, with Kinesis Advantage, and with Ergodox.


But my real question is whether anyone has tried thumb clusters like these:


    +---+---+   +---+---+       C = Ctrl, A = Alt
    | C | A |   | A | C |       W = Windows/Command
+---+---+---+   +---+---+---+   B = Backspace
| B | D | W |   | W | E | S |   D = Delete
|   |   +---+   +---+   |   |   E = Enter
|   |   | L |   | R |   |   |   S = Space
+---+---+---+   +---+---+---+   L/R = Left/Right Shift


The idea is to be symmetric with respect to meta-keys for editors, and to bring the shifts to the thumbs instead of the pinkies. Any thoughts?

As others have mentioned, the 1u keys are not extremely comfortable to reach. If you are an Alt-Tab addict, moving Alt somewhere closer would be good. I use my Caps Lock key as Control and I put Alt where Ctrl was (above Delete).
Kinesis Advantage LF (MX Red), Kinesis Advantage (MX Brown), Ergodox (MX Red), Colemak

Offline vvp

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Re: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 25 September 2014, 16:46:00 »
Yeah, Kinesis Advantage has some firmware bugs too. E.g. it annoys me that '=m' switches to mac mode (which screws my layout/remaps). I invoke that accidentally sometimes when assigning to a variable an expression starting with 'm'. There is a way to avoid it by putting a macro on '=' which just translates to '='. But doing that leads to rare random repetitions (now I'm not sure of what key, probably '=' too). Another reason I want to replace the controller (and the firmware with something open I can fix (if there would be bugs)).

Still, despite all that, Kinesis Advantage is one of the best keyboards out there for me.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kinesis Advantage thumb clusters
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 01 October 2014, 10:41:47 »
Bending this topic slightly...but only to throw in .02.......
On the Advantage I had considered using either the Maltron layout, or a few Maltron layout features, like the "E" in the thumb cluster. I currently use Colemak and really like it. I've read an interacted with Proword quite a bit, he's been a huge help. I have not had the time/dedication to experiment with the idea. The one issue I have with putting "E" in the thumb cluster is that the entire layout effectively changes, and I'm not sure I want to go through the entire time suck. I would probably just entirely remap to Maltron.

But I believe the thumb clusters of the Advantage/Ergodox are the features that make them mostly what they are and anything that can improve their use is time well spent.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak
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