Author Topic: Typing on the ergonomic thing  (Read 8953 times)

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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« on: Thu, 21 October 2010, 20:55:43 »
The batch of three Fjuitsu Siemens butterfly keyboards, $7 each, arrived today by courier. How people can type "ergonomically" on these split things is beyond me. After a while, I can learn to use only one space bar at a time, although I have that old tendency to hit space with both thumbs.

For me, "y" is a left-hand key most of the time. So is "h" much of the time (not always) but "n" is not ever. "B" is sometimes a right-hand key.

The enter is so behind that if I put my pinky on it, the other fingers won't reach past "u". Plus, wrist support, ergo split and all the crap are supposedto reduce RSI. So why do I feel all the joints in my palms crying to get a plain old non-ergo keyboard with no silly supports or anyhing? How are people supposed to feel better and type faster with these things?

And I could almost swear the soft feel under the fingers is far from helping.

Grrr.

Offline rantenki

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 21 October 2010, 21:04:05 »
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237062
The batch of three Fjuitsu Siemens butterfly keyboards, $7 each, arrived today by courier.

...

And I could almost swear the soft feel under the fingers is far from helping.

Grrr.



WHAT KIND OF SWITCHES DOES IT HAVE?!?!?!?!! !!!!1 111!! !11 ... eleven ...

Y'know, that's all we really care about ;)

Offline hoggy

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« Reply #2 on: Thu, 21 October 2010, 21:34:55 »
I love the way these things are almost always accompanied with some text about them being the best ergonomic keyboards available - maybe Fujitsu wrote it on the back of the box.
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Offline didjamatic

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« Reply #3 on: Thu, 21 October 2010, 21:36:11 »
HHKB's and Realforce keyboards are also Fujitsu.  :)
IBM F :: IBM M :: Northgate :: Cherry G80 :: Realforce :: DAS 4

Offline Rajagra

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« Reply #4 on: Thu, 21 October 2010, 21:37:34 »
Quote from: didjamatic;237077
HHKB's and Realforce keyboards are also Fujitsu.  :)

No Siemens on mine, I'm glad to say.

Offline Infinite north

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 21 October 2010, 23:45:36 »
I started out with a microsoft ergo 4000 as my first split keyboard. the layout looks like this.



I had some trouble at first. it made me realize how much I typed with some sort of speed hunt and peck. I personally liked the wrist support on this guy.

I upgraded to a kinesis advantage ergo and I figured that I would pick up the layout fairly fast because of using the other split. I was wrong in assuming this, the layout still slips me up from time to time.



So I think there is a learning curve to using any new layout even if it doesn't seem that far off from what you already know. as far as discomfort is concerned I would think you have it set up in a bad position. otherwise split keyboards might just not be for you though.

Offline KillerBee

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 00:02:02 »
why subject yourself to that?

To each his own of-course!

Dad has a split thingy keyboard and I hate it, I do tap away hard to tell him see NO CLICK!
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Offline lowpoly

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 02:09:25 »
IIRC, for the G80-5000 Cherry recommended to make gradual changes. First open the keyboard a bit, get used to it, then open it more. Do not play with the roof angles until you're familar with open angle typing.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline Sam

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 02:45:00 »
Quote from: KillerBee;237114
why subject yourself to that?

To each his own of-course!

Dad has a split thingy keyboard and I hate it, I do tap away hard to tell him see NO CLICK!


Curious, did you hate it simply because of the non-clicky keys?  And/or another reason?  I haven't liked the ergonomic boards I've tried due mainly to awful keys, but also I'd like an ergonomic board that comes in two physically separate units that allow me to adjust them exactly how I want it.  I've not tried the Kinesis Advantage, but it seems to me to be one of the better ones, though still half-baked.  Needs to have the option for clicky keys, and needs to be split into two halves.  Without that, I'm not particularly interested in it, except perhaps as a test board for exploring ergonomic concepts.

As for the "ergonomic" keyboards such as MS, etc. that just take a standard keyboard and split it out, maybe putting a wave in there, they seem to me to be absolutely silly.  It's as if the designer didn't give a single second to the thought of actual ergonomics, but simply attempted to make it nothing more than a sales gimmicky board for people who never thought about ergonomic factors.  The worst feature about them is that they use the same or nearly the same layout with the ridiculous vertical staggering of the keys.

One of these days I imagine I'll change to an ergonomic board, but it'll have to be designed just the way I want it.  I haven't seen anything yet that's really close enough to my ideal to warrant me spending the time to break my decades-old typing habits.  I would though like to try a DataHand someday to see if it could possibly suit me.

Offline zefrer

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 11:52:52 »
You tried an ergo board for the first time and found it hard to use..

I am shocked, nay, absolutely stunned! >.>"

Offline Lanx

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 12:02:10 »
ergonomic boards are silly, my fiance will never go on my computer cuz i have a split ergo board, she has no idea how to function, mind you she's very computer literate but she just goes blank trying to use my ergo board.

now i've had this board for years i tried it out and it was weird, then i started liking it, obviously the main reason i "tried it out" was cause i notice rsi/cts was starting to set in and literally burn my wrists to death.

then i tried out mech boards was like wow, no squish.
tl;dr had to make my own ergo split board cuz over all those years of muscle memory it just feels better than having wrists that need an icepack.

Offline zefrer

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 12:17:42 »
I can't use regular boards anymore, 10 years typing on ergo boards does that. The reverse also applies obviously.

Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 12:32:06 »
Quote from: rantenki;237067
WHAT KIND OF SWITCHES DOES IT HAVE?!?!?!?!! !!!!1 111!! !11 ... eleven ...

Y'know, that's all we really care about ;)


Rubbah!

Very soft for one, though. Pleasantly so. Nice for lazy tapping. But I'm not sure the softness doesn't actually contribute to greater wrist/finger pain as that's the hint I'm getting from the way my fingers respond.

Quote from: hoggy;237076
I love the way these things are almost always accompanied with some text about them being the best ergonomic keyboards available - maybe Fujitsu wrote it on the back of the box.


I do think they're not so ergonomic after all due to the amount of movement the right hand has to do. A decent L-shaped enter key would do wonders. At least backspace is long enough. At least the keys are somewhat more touch-typing friendly than I had thought, but I still have to look. I suppose this is solved a bit better on the MS Natural.

I tend to see my own self-taught typing style as more ergonomic now. The stretch to reach the "y" key in this config seems absurd to me (http://www.ergonomics.co.uk/fujitsu_siemens_butterfly_keyboard.html). It's a leap like thrusting with a dagger. By contrast, the left hand feels somewhat underemployed (and it constantly tries to reach for the "h" key. In my typing style, the left hand handles up to "yh", while the right hand deals with punctuation, Enter and the like... or handles "tgb" intermittently with the left one, depending on what's more natural at the time.

I really hate having to twist my wrist to go from "y" to Enter. Not to mention there are no easy Shift-Control-Homes on this one. And spacebar is too long. I prefer my AltGr as close as possible to the centre of the keyboard.

Perhaps I could remap a couple of things. I have no idea how to remap one of the spacebars to Backspace but as the windows keys are grouped in a vertical row on the left, I could perhaps remap them to Enter or something, to have a left-hand Enter key. Or Backspace.

Quote from: Infinite north;237110
So I think there is a learning curve to using any new layout even if it doesn't seem that far off from what you already know. as far as discomfort is concerned I would think you have it set up in a bad position. otherwise split keyboards might just not be for you though.


Yeah. I have some trouble choosing the right position. Right now the feet are folded and no roof and this seems a bit better. Speaking of:

Quote from: lowpoly;237137
IIRC, for the G80-5000 Cherry recommended to make gradual changes. First open the keyboard a bit, get used to it, then open it more. Do not play with the roof angles until you're familar with open angle typing.


Will try.

Offline zefrer

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 12:39:13 »
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237376

I do think they're not so ergonomic after all due to the amount of movement the right hand has to do. A decent L-shaped enter key would do wonders. At least backspace is long enough. At least the keys are somewhat more touch-typing friendly than I had thought, but I still have to look. I suppose this is solved a bit better on the MS Natural.

I tend to see my own self-taught typing style as more ergonomic now. The stretch to reach the "y" key in this config seems absurd to me (http://www.ergonomics.co.uk/fujitsu_siemens_butterfly_keyboard.html). It's a leap like thrusting with a dagger. By contrast, the left hand feels somewhat underemployed (and it constantly tries to reach for the "h" key. In my typing style, the left hand handles up to "yh", while the right hand deals with punctuation, Enter and the like... or handles "tgb" intermittently with the left one, depending on what's more natural at the time.

I really hate having to twist my wrist to go from "y" to Enter. Not to mention there are no easy Shift-Control-Homes on this one. And spacebar is too long. I prefer my AltGr as close as possible to the centre of the keyboard.


It's a stretch because you're not supposed to use your left hand for the Y and H keys when you're touch typing. Hence why it's on the right..

Your own way may work fine for you on regular boards but if you want to use an ergo board you're going to have to get used to touch typing with both hands completely separated or mod your own board and have more keys on the left.

Personally I think you're better off learning to touch type properly on a good ergo board. Once you get used to it I am willing to bet you won't go back.

That said the enter key placement on that board looks odd, too far off to the right maybe?

Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 12:49:57 »
Quote from: zefrer;237381
It's a stretch because you're not supposed to use your left hand for the Y and H keys when you're touch typing. Hence why it's on the right..


I meant stretch for the right hand, actually. And I have the longest fingers I've seen.

Quote
Your own way may work fine for you on regular boards but if you want to use an ergo board you're going to have to get used to touch typing with both hands completely separated or mod your own board and have more keys on the left.


Guess so. Though I suppose learning to use only one hand per key could be helpful, even for typing on regular keyboards.

Quote
That said the enter key placement on that board looks odd, too far off to the right maybe?


Yeah, I think so.

Quote
now i've had this board for years i tried it out and it was weird, then i started liking it, obviously the main reason i "tried it out" was cause i notice rsi/cts was starting to set in and literally burn my wrists to death.


This night I got such idiotic pains trying to use the ergo board that I thought I'd vomit. For some reason, however, something compels me to use this board even though I have two others plugged in all the time, i.e. that Hama scissor and the Model M.

Quote
then i tried out mech boards was like wow, no squish.
tl;dr had to make my own ergo split board cuz over all those years of muscle memory it just feels better than having wrists that need an icepack.


I wonder if MS Natural wouldn't be better muscle-memory-wise than a split board with normal shape and size keys. I'm tempted to buy the thing, but I have two Cherry boards (black and brown) heading my way already and a shipment of 10 Dells with Alps, $10.5 each, $8.5 shipment total.

Edit: Just found two not so squishy gel wrist rests. Placing them in front of this keyboard and resting the base of the palm on the attached plastic support feels quite good. Surprisingly good. As does using a different angle for the left side and the right one.
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 October 2010, 12:52:32 by NewbieOneKenobi »

Offline keyb_gr

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 13:41:44 »
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237376
Rubbah!

Very soft for one, though. Pleasantly so. Nice for lazy tapping. But I'm not sure the softness doesn't actually contribute to greater wrist/finger pain as that's the hint I'm getting from the way my fingers respond.

FSC 'domes are some of the lightest and most pleasant around IME, so I'd think this has more to do with typing technique / hand position.

The motto for split ergo boards could be: Use a standard touch-typing technique or die. (Even then there still are disputes over whether B should be on the left or right.)

That's why they have zero appeal to me - and why they never replaced normal boards. Conventional ones work reasonably well for just about anyone, while split ergos work better for some but are totally off for many others.
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237376
And spacebar is too long. I prefer my AltGr as close as possible to the centre of the keyboard.

Well, it already is a little more so than on a standard MFII layout (Model M)! Seems like you should place the right half like on a conventional board.

Have you ever tried left-hand Ctrl+Alt for AltGr? Might work better for some characters.
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237385
I wonder if MS Natural wouldn't be better muscle-memory-wise than a split board with normal shape and size keys. I'm tempted to buy the thing, but I have two Cherry boards (black and brown) heading my way already and a shipment of 10 Dells with Alps, $10.5 each, $8.5 shipment total.

10 Dells with (black) Alps? Uh-oh. I never even use one.

As for the MS Natural 4000 thingy, remember it has a sucktastic spacebar AND likes to break relatively quickly.
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237385
Edit: Just found two not so squishy gel wrist rests. Placing them in front of this keyboard and resting the base of the palm on the attached plastic support feels quite good. Surprisingly good. As does using a different angle for the left side and the right one.

Not surprised about the angles part.
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Offline Lanx

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 14:17:02 »
Quote from: keyb_gr;237415

As for the MS Natural 4000 thingy, remember it has a sucktastic spacebar AND likes to break relatively quickly.

Not surprised about the angles part.


I never understood this, sure the spacebar takes a bit of "breaking in" i know, i've had at least 5 ergo4k's and every new one required a "breaking in" period for the spacebar, i have never broken one tho, i don't even know how it's possible to break it unless ppl are hammering the spacebar to death and super bottoming out, then that is an issue all in itself.

Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 14:29:30 »
Quote from: keyb_gr;237415
FSC 'domes are some of the lightest and most pleasant around IME, so I'd think this has more to do with typing technique / hand position.


Yeah, squishy it is and it has some kind of university library feel, I mean, as a loose association, I would link it to the building where they taught administrative law. It has a bit of an administrative law vibe to it, in a sense. The structure has a couple of toggled modes but is overall boring, the theory is in German and the way non-central aspects of it are handled ranges from genial to screwed.

Quote
The motto for split ergo boards could be: Use a standard touch-typing technique or die. (Even then there still are disputes over whether B should be on the left or right.)


Mine has some drawbacks, such as both hands sometimes reaching for a key at the same time, or some moments of hesitation, but overall there's a reason it's mine: I kinda invented it gradually, basing on what was good for me, which is not good for someone else. It's kinda hard to expect people to follow all one technique if they have varying finger lengths (very long here), hand strengths or precision of the motorics in a given hand. For whatever reason, my typing technique generally seems to respond well to scissors boards, almost like they made that switch specially for me, but I still prefer the non-mushy feel of a mechanical keyboard.

Quote
That's why they have zero appeal to me - and why they never replaced normal boards. Conventional ones work reasonably well for just about anyone, while split ergos work better for some but are totally off for many others.


This one is adjustable, much like the German system of administrative law...

Quote
Well, it already is a little more so than on a standard MFII layout (Model M)! Seems like you should place the right half like on a conventional board.


I can get used to the one on the M, but I'd have trouble with a really ancient XT or terminal keyboard that has the bar even longer. I actually seem to like the very short spacebars. I just hate right Windows keys and menu keys. But they can be disabled or mapped to AltGr just to have it good even if you miss. :)

Quote
Have you ever tried left-hand Ctrl+Alt for AltGr? Might work better for some characters.


Not in my recent memory. But I've been thinking about remapping left Alt to AltGr and putting the left Alt somewhere else. This little butterfly has two Windows keys and a menu key on the left (curiously, the blinds actually cover fully functional rubber domes!). I could use one of them for AltGr.

And thanks for the tip! Much appreciated.

I would also love to do something with the Fn key but it doesn't seem Key Mapper can do it--it doesn't list it, basically. I'd probably have to do it in Regedit, which might be worth it because the location makes it a natural candidate for AltGr or even left Alt, where the actual left Alt would serve as a second AltGr.

Oh, and it's really annoying how they made the +*~ key wider instead of making a proper inverted L-shaped Enter key we ALL love.

Quote
10 Dells with (black) Alps? Uh-oh. I never even use one.


Hehe. I do wonder how the switch feels. Well, it makes no sense not to order a spare or two and I have some friends for whom I'd otherwise be importing a blue Cherry or white Alps, so why not see if they'd like this one. Plus, I could pick one apart just to learn stuff slowly the way I catch the best.

Quote
As for the MS Natural 4000 thingy, remember it has a sucktastic spacebar AND likes to break relatively quickly.


Yeah but I could deduct one from tax basis every year, no problem. I don't expect rubber domes to live long. I'd actually prefer it to die in some visible fashion than to mislead me about keypress force required. Like the time when the comma key went off on one of my keyboards...

Quote
Not surprised about the angles part.


Small angle with my left hand operating on its own and my right one having a jelly friend seems to work. The jelly makes the humongous travel to the "y" key far less annoying for my hand. In fact, I can do it without moving the hand much, it's about the nerve or muscle that feels better when it has support during this move.



Speaking of support, no amount and no kind of wrist support beats a 9 mm scissors board you can place flat on the desk and forget. (Until you decide the feet were provided for a reason).

Offline Rajagra

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 14:56:18 »
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237376
In my typing style, the left hand handles up to "yh", while the right hand deals with punctuation, Enter and the like...

Sounds to me like you started out having the keyboard centred in front of you, causing the alpha section to be offset to the left (because of the numpad and navigation block on the right.) This has lead to you developing some unconventional habits.

In the photo you are using your middle finger to hit Y. No wonder you find it tough. If you started with your index finger on the J key, the standard home position, the reach to Y isn't too hard.

You mentioned something about liking a good L-shaped Enter key. I think you are using backwards logic. You want an oversized Enter key to fix the problems caused by using the Enter key as your home position. If instead you had the horizontal Enter key of the U.S. style, that would reduce the range of movement of your right hand, and make everything easier to reach. EDIT> Ah hang on. I see what you mean about the vertical Enter key on that board.

I'm not criticizing, there is no right or wrong way to type, just making some observations.

Quote from: keyb_gr;237415
there still are disputes over whether B should be on the left or right.

It should be on both sides, the 6 should be too.
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 October 2010, 15:01:03 by Rajagra »

Offline keyb_gr

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 17:10:46 »
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237449
Yeah, squishy it is and it has some kind of university library feel, I mean, as a loose association, I would link it to the building where they taught administrative law. It has a bit of an administrative law vibe to it, in a sense. The structure has a couple of toggled modes but is overall boring, the theory is in German and the way non-central aspects of it are handled ranges from genial to screwed.

Those Siemens / FSC boards are commonly found in banks and public offices, so not too far off.

Speaking of laws, wait until you get to German tax legislation. ;) I think it's the most complex in the world...
Quote from: NewbieOneKenobi;237449
Oh, and it's really annoying how they made the +*~ key wider instead of making a proper inverted L-shaped Enter key we ALL love.

Typical for these boards. Saves on stabilizers. Another like that is the Tandberg:
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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 17:10:49 »
Quote from: Rajagra;237462
Sounds to me like you started out having the keyboard centred in front of you, causing the alpha section to be offset to the left (because of the numpad and navigation block on the right.) This has lead to you developing some unconventional habits.


That's true. Nobody told me to centre in on "b" etc. ;)

Quote
In the photo you are using your middle finger to hit Y. No wonder you find it tough. If you started with your index finger on the J key, the standard home position, the reach to Y isn't too hard.


That's not my starting position. ;) I don't have one, actually. Not sure which finger I launch on the "y" key the most often. Possibly index. It will probably change due to the nature of this keyobard. I'm already learning not to jump with my left hand to the right section. Still awfully slow but getting better.

Quote
You mentioned something about liking a good L-shaped Enter key. I think you are using backwards logic. You want an oversized Enter key to fix the problems caused by using the Enter key as your home position.


I kinda grew up in the UK layout thanks to my step-father's 1391406. I was joking because most people here seem to hate the inverted L-shaped enter. ;)

Quote
If instead you had the horizontal Enter key of the U.S. style, that would reduce the range of movement of your right hand, and make everything easier to reach. EDIT> Ah hang on. I see what you mean about the vertical Enter key on that board.


Yeah, it totally makes no sense to widen that punctuation key instead of allotting that space to Enter to produce a familiar UK-style variant. A US style Enter wouldn't hurt either. But I have 3 of them 'boards and each of them cost 7 bucks, I can apply some knife without regret.

Quote
I'm not criticizing, there is no right or wrong way to type, just making some observations.


Yeah, thanks.

Offline zefrer

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« Reply #21 on: Fri, 22 October 2010, 19:52:46 »
Hey I grew up on UK layout too, I'm more used to reverse L enter also.

Btw, how are your hands angled when you type? You shouldn't feel any discomfort when using a split board unless your wrists are not straight or angled awkwardly.

Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Typing on the ergonomic thing
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 23 October 2010, 22:12:37 »
Depends. When angled, I get better key coverage than when straight. Generally left straight, right angled. Right side of tke keyboard also angled a little more. Sometimes using the yellow jello under the right hand but none under the left one, which also works.

Getting better with my typing but still thinking about cutting some keys with a knife on the right to make a proper Enter but probably won't bother in the end.

Getting pretty convinced my touch-typing technique is better than the standard one. :P

Edit: I might consider gutting a Cherry if I get to like this layout... Or at least fixing it with springs.
« Last Edit: Sat, 23 October 2010, 22:29:51 by NewbieOneKenobi »

Offline KillerBee

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« Reply #23 on: Sat, 23 October 2010, 22:36:12 »
Quote from: Sam;237140
Curious, did you hate it simply because of the non-clicky keys?  And/or another reason?  I haven't liked the ergonomic boards I've tried due mainly to awful keys

The no-click part was a joke, but mainly it was the feel I was taught to touch type on APPLE IIe's and my right hand dominates more of the board than my left to it just felt akward.

But like anything in this world use it enough and you will adapt
« Last Edit: Sat, 23 October 2010, 22:43:35 by KillerBee »
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Offline zefrer

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« Reply #24 on: Sun, 24 October 2010, 12:02:24 »
Try and angle each side so that your wrists are straight when you have your hands on the home row. Then go from there. You kinda need to start from scratch if you have a non standard way of typing if you are to get the most out of that keyboard. My 2 pence.

Offline Lanx

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« Reply #25 on: Sun, 24 October 2010, 12:25:31 »
is there a difference in touch typing between OS's?

I actually learned touch typing in middle school on apple mac's there was no diff between that and PC or anything,

use standard home row and center on F/J.

Offline keyb_gr

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« Reply #26 on: Sun, 24 October 2010, 14:33:58 »
Quote from: Lanx;238034
is there a difference in touch typing between OS's?

It predates 'em all, so of course not...

That being said, as far as I remember the last discussion on touch typing techniques, at least Raj seemed to conclude that the classic textbook version may have been optimized more for easy teaching than the absolutely best typing experience. Might be worth looking up.
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