Author Topic: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers  (Read 19844 times)

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Offline darkenergy572

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Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« on: Mon, 07 January 2013, 17:27:42 »
I've looked through the forum, and I'm now a bit stuck.  I've seen some of the differing opinions on the Maltron 3D vs Kinesis Advantage debate on here (e.g. http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=33539.0 ), and I'm also looking at the ErgoDox project.

This leaves me wondering how the ErgoDox will compare to Maltron and Kinesis.  Are there any opinions on this yet?  Does it make sense to wait for the PCB boards to become available for the ErgoDox and assemble everything on one's own (Is this practical for a hardware beginner?  The lack of tools leaves me also wondering how much the tools would cost)?

I've gathered that kinesis has a bit of a crowded feel with its keys compared to the maltron.  Is this something someone with fairly small hands would still notice, or is it really just an issue for folks with big hands? I also was thinking it shouldn't be too hard to just swap out the cherry blacks for reds on the maltron (is this a good idea, or is brown really that much of a better choice on the maltron keyboard? I have sample switches, and I like the reds quite a bit better).

I'm concerned about ergonomics 100% and everything else is just irrelevant.  I've got RSI in my wrists and fingers (also my right forearm), and I'm wanting the absolute best ergonomic option to alleviate the strain from typing.  I'm a programmer, so special keys are used a lot.  I'm willing to learn a new keyboard layout, and I'm considering Colemak.  However, if I decide to pick up a Maltron (that price burns... ugh), would it make sense to use the Maltron layout as a programmer?  I can't remember where, but someone said it was more geared towards secretaries...

On a side note, I've also ordered a RollerMouse Pro (the original one, not the Pro2).  The concept sounds really nice, and I'm finding my mx518 logitech is wearing on my right hand.

Am I right in assuming that DataHand is dead and not coming back?  Such an interesting keyboard; what a waste.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 January 2013, 17:41:11 by darkenergy572 »

Offline oneproduct

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 07 January 2013, 20:22:08 »
The ergodox allows you to completely adjust the spacing between the left and right sides, but it doesn't have a recessed keywell like the Maltron and Kinesis have, which I find to be a considerable benefit.

I can't say that I've tried a Maltron, but I have a Kinesis with reds. I'm a programmer as well and I type using Colemak. The special symbols aren't hard to hit on it, far better than on the Truly Ergonomic for example. Colemak is also convenient for programmers because ZXCV have not moved relative to their qwerty positions (compared to Dvorak for example).

I also own a Rollermouse Free2, but I would not recommend it personally in terms of ergonomics, though it may depend on what kind of hand positions give you pains. While I do not have RSI myself, I find it uncomfortable to hold my hand horizontally while sliding the rollermouse bar to the side opposite the hand that operates it (i.e. sliding the bar to the left with my right hand as this strains the wrist by forcing it inward, which is something split keyboards try to avoid). I would recommend a vertical mouse or trackball instead, again depending on what kind of hand motions cause you problems.

If you have any questions, I invite you to send me a PM or to reply in this thread. I may also be able to sell you some things at a discount. A long time ago I bought a variety of different trackballs, unusual mice (vertical/rollermouse) and ergonomic keyboards and I've figured out which ones that I like personally and have a bunch of extra stuff lying around now.
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 January 2013, 20:28:00 by oneproduct »
Layout: Colemak
Fastest typing speed: 131 WPM on typeracer, 136 WPM on 10fastfingers.
Daily driver: Filco Tenkeyless MX Brown with ergonomically weighted, lubed springs.
Ergo keyboards: Truly Ergonomic, Kinesis Advantage, Ergodox

Offline darkenergy572

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 07 January 2013, 21:57:46 »
Thanks for the reply!

While I await news on the ErgoDox, I'll give a Kinesis Advantage a shot.  I'll probably just wait and monitor ebay to try out the maltron though.  Dropping $600 on a maltron is a bit painful to think about.  I went ahead and ordered an Advantage LF to try out.  I may pick up some browns and try switching out at some point just to really see the difference in action.

I wonder if there'd be any way to achieve the keywell design on the ErgoDox.  Given that people find it more comfortable than keeping the keys flat, wouldn't the ErgoDox be a bit closer to perfection if it took on the keywell shape?  Thinking about this makes me a bit curious about splitting the Kinesis; would a split kinesis advantage leave us with little reason to try to go for the same effect with the contoured ErgoDox I'm imagining?

Quote
I also own a Rollermouse Free2, but I would not recommend it personally in terms of ergonomics, though it may depend on what kind of hand positions give you pains. While I do not have RSI myself, I find it uncomfortable to hold my hand horizontally while sliding the rollermouse bar to the side opposite the hand that operates it (i.e. sliding the bar to the left with my right hand as this strains the wrist by forcing it inward, which is something split keyboards try to avoid). I would recommend a vertical mouse or trackball instead, again depending on what kind of hand motions cause you problems.

Hopefully I can use the RollerMouse with a bit more comfort, but that position might be a uncomfortable like you say.  Trial and error is the only way to really tell.  I guess I could also try keeping the wrist/hand vertical when moving it; I'll know once it arrives.

Offline Lanx

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 08 January 2013, 00:13:55 »
the keywell is what makes the kinesis great i opted to go with the kinesis over my custom board because i really liked the keywells. go monitor ebay, i've gotten 3 (what to me looked like very lightly used or barely used) white kinesis for 50bucks each.

Offline darkenergy572

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 08 January 2013, 01:37:56 »
Kinesis Advantage for... $50?  1/6 of the price?  Or do you mean their models in general (e.g. Kinesis Classic)?
« Last Edit: Tue, 08 January 2013, 01:40:34 by darkenergy572 »

Offline Lanx

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 08 January 2013, 02:05:09 »
yea like a lightly used white one, in truth ALOT of kinesis keyboards that are ebayed are lightly if barely used. why? it's a weird keyboard lol, ppl pay 300bucks in 1999 (or whatever year) go omg! this keyboard is nuts, then put it in their closet for 10 years. Now they find it, go on ebay and just put it up for auction. (you actually see this story a lot, many ebayers will put in the description why they are selling and this is like one of the top reasons, "i bought it back in... and i used it for 10minutes... now i found it again and just getting rid of it). i finally made a guide for getting deals on ebay, i put it in my sig.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 08 January 2013, 10:03:41 »
I currently possess a Kinesis Advantage and a Maltron, and I will offer a comparison when I get home from work. I had many of the same questions that you have and reservations about price.

I also had a Kinesis Freestyle at the same as both of these, so with that I can offer a comparison of the Kinesis/Maltron design with a split keyboard.  I sold the Freestyle after I discovered the joys of mechanical keyboards.

The Ergodox is a great design and I can't wait to see that thing happen. However, I have grown accustomed to the bowl shape of the Kinesis/Maltron.

Finally I have found that most of my pain is related to the mouse and the position of my wrists with the typical keyboard.

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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 09 January 2013, 20:58:59 »
I've looked through the forum, and I'm now a bit stuck.  I've seen some of the differing opinions on the Maltron 3D vs Kinesis Advantage debate on here (e.g. http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=33539.0 ), and I'm also looking at the ErgoDox project.

This leaves me wondering how the ErgoDox will compare to Maltron and Kinesis.  Are there any opinions on this yet?  Does it make sense to wait for the PCB boards to become available for the ErgoDox and assemble everything on one's own (Is this practical for a hardware beginner?  The lack of tools leaves me also wondering how much the tools would cost)?

I've gathered that kinesis has a bit of a crowded feel with its keys compared to the maltron.  Is this something someone with fairly small hands would still notice, or is it really just an issue for folks with big hands? I also was thinking it shouldn't be too hard to just swap out the cherry blacks for reds on the maltron (is this a good idea, or is brown really that much of a better choice on the maltron keyboard? I have sample switches, and I like the reds quite a bit better).

I'm concerned about ergonomics 100% and everything else is just irrelevant.  I've got RSI in my wrists and fingers (also my right forearm), and I'm wanting the absolute best ergonomic option to alleviate the strain from typing.  I'm a programmer, so special keys are used a lot.  I'm willing to learn a new keyboard layout, and I'm considering Colemak.  However, if I decide to pick up a Maltron (that price burns... ugh), would it make sense to use the Maltron layout as a programmer?  I can't remember where, but someone said it was more geared towards secretaries...

On a side note, I've also ordered a RollerMouse Pro (the original one, not the Pro2).  The concept sounds really nice, and I'm finding my mx518 logitech is wearing on my right hand.

Am I right in assuming that DataHand is dead and not coming back?  Such an interesting keyboard; what a waste.

Ok now I can offer a decent comparison for you.

Both of the keyboards have their strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths of Kinesis
-Programmability. Can do any layout that you want. Make the keyboard all A's if you want.
-Lower price
-Option of tactile switches
-Option of foot switches
-Two USB ports in the back

Weaknesses of Kinesis
-Slightly more crowded keys, but I have gotten used to this and it has reduced my typographical errors. Also, I ordered some blank spherical keycaps from Signature Plastics, so we'll if that changes anything.
-No integrated mouse option (But I do have a trackpad taped to the blank space in the middle)
-those rubber F keys
-The smaller amount of keys than a Maltron make me feel like I have to make sacrifices.

Strengths of Maltron
-Depressed area for thumbs keys feels a lot better and has 8 keys in that thumb area
-I like the number pad in the middle for navigating around the page because I use arrow keys, Page Up/down a lot, and the Kinesis has the embedded number pad, which is not as convenient
-Integrated trackball
-Seems to have a slightly spacier layout
-More keys and a better overall layout in my opinion.
-Durability. People still use their Maltrons from the 1980s.
-Also, the Maltron minimizes the use of the pinky finger. I hate using my pinky finger.

Weaknesses of Maltron
-Not programmable (but they have custom built a couple programmable units, and might make a wider release)
-$$$ (but you can get them cheaper when they pop up on Ebay. One just sold for about $250 ebay.uk)
-They don't offer tactile switches (but you probably could request them if you wanted.

Both are good keyboards that could use a few improvements, but in my opinion, the Maltron has a better ergonomic design with the depressed thumb areas. I enjoy typing on the Maltron more than the Kinesis. I have a Maltron with a trackball, so I don't need a mouse and the position of the trackball certainly reduces strain on my hands. I love the layout of the Maltron as is, so the lack of programmability is not a problem for me. It would be nice if my Maltron worked on a Mac, however.

Both of these companies claim to be releasing new and improved models this years, so we'll see what that brings.

I am in the process of putting tactile switches into my Maltron, so we'll see how that goes once the switches arrive. Taking the switches apart without damaging the keyboard is time consuming, but it wasn't that difficult once I got rolling. I have chronicle that process here:
http://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/anybody-ever-change-the-switches-on-their-maltron-t4675.html

The Ergodox gets me rather excited as well. The Ergodox would be great for flexibility and travel. I love the addition of keys on the middle part of the keyboard. I did own the Kinesis Freestyle at the same time as the Advantage and Maltron, so I had a short time to compare the flat, split keyboard with the concave shape of the Advantage/Maltron.  I have grown to favor keyboards with the depressed bowls of the Kinesis/Maltron. The difference in the feel was glaring, enough for me to offload the Kinesis Freestyle as fast as possible. I love how the concave shape allows my fingers to hang in their natural position. Also, the thumb keys made a typical keyboard seem like an ancient idea.

If you want, you could fly to Indianapolis and try out both of my keyboards. Considering the cost of both these keyboards, it could be cheaper than buying both. And Indianapolis is gorgeous in the wintertime. Nothing like constant cloud cover, persistent wetness, and cold temperatures. I may or may not be serious about this offer.

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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 09 January 2013, 21:03:12 »
I also purchased the Rollermouse. It's great to use with a flat keyboard, but using it with a Kinesis Advantage has been a bit of a challenge. Definitely a great device to have.
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Offline darkenergy572

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 09 January 2013, 23:57:33 »
Quote
yea like a lightly used white one, in truth ALOT of kinesis keyboards that are ebayed are lightly if barely used. why? it's a weird keyboard lol, ppl pay 300bucks in 1999 (or whatever year) go omg! this keyboard is nuts, then put it in their closet for 10 years. Now they find it, go on ebay and just put it up for auction. (you actually see this story a lot, many ebayers will put in the description why they are selling and this is like one of the top reasons, "i bought it back in... and i used it for 10minutes... now i found it again and just getting rid of it). i finally made a guide for getting deals on ebay, i put it in my sig.

Nice guide!  I was kind of wondering how people went about effectively monitoring ebay for less common items. Consciously checking ebay daily seemed a bit much.

Quote
Ok now I can offer a decent comparison for you...

Thanks for the detailed comparison; it makes me definitely want to try to pick up a Maltron eventually as well.  Though, yeah, I'd definitely want to replace those black switches with reds or browns.

Quote
I also purchased the Rollermouse. It's great to use with a flat keyboard, but using it with a Kinesis Advantage has been a bit of a challenge. Definitely a great device to have.

Is it challenging because of the position of your hands when typing, or because the keys sit higher/farther away from the rollermouse than a typical keyboard? If it's a matter of the rollermouse sitting too low, couldn't one just find some way to raise it (with a book underneath or something)?

Offline sordna

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 10 January 2013, 11:55:39 »
Haha, exactly, I bought a PRISTINE Kinesis Classic for $75 on craigslist, brand new, still in the box. He used it for like an hour, years ago, just like you said, then one day he decided he doesn't need it and put it on craigslist  :-)

yea like a lightly used white one, in truth ALOT of kinesis keyboards that are ebayed are lightly if barely used. why? it's a weird keyboard lol, ppl pay 300bucks in 1999 (or whatever year) go omg! this keyboard is nuts, then put it in their closet for 10 years. Now they find it, go on ebay and just put it up for auction. (you actually see this story a lot, many ebayers will put in the description why they are selling and this is like one of the top reasons, "i bought it back in... and i used it for 10minutes... now i found it again and just getting rid of it). i finally made a guide for getting deals on ebay, i put it in my sig.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 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 Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 10 January 2013, 18:25:17 »

Quote
I also purchased the Rollermouse. It's great to use with a flat keyboard, but using it with a Kinesis Advantage has been a bit of a challenge. Definitely a great device to have.

Is it challenging because of the position of your hands when typing, or because the keys sit higher/farther away from the rollermouse than a typical keyboard? If it's a matter of the rollermouse sitting too low, couldn't one just find some way to raise it (with a book underneath or something)?

It's hard because the Rollermouse is so much lower than the keyboard and you have to keep the enough space between the Rollermouse and the keyboard so your fingers don't run into the keyboard when you use the rollerbar. You have to take up a lot of desk space to get the keyboard and the Rollermouse on there at the same time.  It's just not a convenient setup.

The Rollermouse works great with a flat keyboard, but not these oddly shaped ergonomic keyboards. With the Maltron, I used the integrated trackball, and with my Kinesis, I have an Apple touchpad in the middle of thing.

I know that some people on Geekhack have done something to attach the Rollermouse the keyboard and make it more convenient, so it can be done if you figure something out. So it's not a lost cause. I really enjoy using the Rollermouse compared to any other mouse device I have used.
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 10 January 2013, 23:55:35 »
Fun thread.

I cut a Kinesis in half.....made many mods, but only completed it about 90% and took it apart to complete....and it sits in a box. I won't be able to deal it till this summer :( My sig has a link to the article, but it got corrupted and all the pics need to be reloaded....maybe I can do in a couple more months.

Rollermouse Free 2 is awesome....I will attempt to cut it down to about 8-9" and integrate it into the right half of the Split Kinesis and compare it with the Trackpoint I installed in the Kinesis right key well (which is the best mod of all).

Kinesis is prototyping their next generation Contoured keyboard with many refinements to the firmware, which is already the best, and other goodies. Lots of anticipation.

Maltron is experimenting with a few changes and finally about to offer a programmable controller.

Ergodox is really something. No question about it. I'm certainly wishing it had curved key wells....that's a HUGE point for me with the Kinesis and Maltron... HUGE. But very exciting to see a project like this actually get off the ground.

I was contacted about 2 years ago about an ergonomic keyboard start up, they may have seen my info on Linkedin and thought I had something to offer. But bringing an ergo keyboard to market (for profit) is virtually impossible. It's more of a fun niche. That's what I told them and that's why we're all here. :)
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Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 11 January 2013, 05:44:32 »
While I do not have RSI myself, I find it uncomfortable to hold my hand horizontally while sliding the rollermouse bar to the side opposite the hand that operates it (i.e. sliding the bar to the left with my right hand as this strains the wrist by forcing it inward, which is something split keyboards try to avoid).
If you have pain from moving a mouse around then u already have RSI or something much worse.

You are in denial, my friend.

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Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 11 January 2013, 06:11:07 »
-Also, the Maltron minimizes the use of the pinky finger. I hate using my pinky finger.

I have the worst RSI that you can have and still live to tell about it.

All my fingers cause deadly pain.  But my pinkies are extra bad.  The trouble is that the pinky fingers are way overused on a standard QWERTY keyboard.  The pinky fingers must type the usual 3 letters + the shift keys, Control keys, OS Keys, Enter, []'\, backspace.  Its crazy how much work the pinky fingers must do.

I have always wanted some kind of keyboard that let me use my pinky fingers less and my thumbs more.

Quote
The Ergodox gets me rather excited as well.  I love the addition of keys on the middle part of the keyboard.
Me too.  I have been wanting that for years.



Quote
Also, the thumb keys made a typical keyboard seem like an ancient idea.
Yes!  I want thumb keys!

p.s. u r making me want to try out a Maltron.
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 11 January 2013, 17:01:23 »
-Also, the Maltron minimizes the use of the pinky finger. I hate using my pinky finger.

I have the worst RSI that you can have and still live to tell about it.

All my fingers cause deadly pain.  But my pinkies are extra bad.  The trouble is that the pinky fingers are way overused on a standard QWERTY keyboard.  The pinky fingers must type the usual 3 letters + the shift keys, Control keys, OS Keys, Enter, []'\, backspace.  Its crazy how much work the pinky fingers must do.

I have always wanted some kind of keyboard that let me use my pinky fingers less and my thumbs more.

I whole heartedly agree with you here.  And the pinky gets tired quick.  What probably puts the most strain on my hands with a regular keyboard is having to reach for that backspace all the time.  Currently, I am using a flat keyboard at work, and then go home and use the Advantage. Really highlights the differences.

Can't wait to put those tactile switches in the Maltron or get the Ergodox so I can have an ergo board at work as well.
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Offline sordna

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 11 January 2013, 20:23:28 »
For all of you with pinky issues: USE PALM KEYS
Well, you could use a footswitch, or any kind of programmable USB button (even with a regular keyboard) placed south of the keyboard so you can hit it with your lower palm, or even use the inner row of the ErgoDox to shift with your index fingers.

But I'm telling you palm keys are awesome and at least on a Kinesis Advantage it's a very easy mod! Not even soldering is required (read the bottom part of the linked post)!

« Last Edit: Fri, 11 January 2013, 20:27:24 by sordna »
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 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 Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 11 January 2013, 21:14:52 »
For all of you with pinky issues: USE PALM KEYS
Will Kinesis sell me a flat version of the Kinesis Advantage for the same price (or less) as that crazy shaped Advantage keyboard? :)

I have no desire for a keyboard shaped like that.

I just want a regular keyboard with some extra keys in the middle, and thumb keys down below the main keyboard.

Kinesis Advantage gives me almost everything I want.  But they force me to learn some crazy new shape.

I like the Cherry Red switches.
I like the thumb keys.
I like the redefinable keys.
I like the footpedal option.
I like the price.

I should already own 3 of them if only if only if only they would sell me a flat version.

Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline sordna

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 11 January 2013, 21:42:59 »
I second that suggestion. A flat, and truly split Kinesis Advantage would be awesome.

You can suggest it in this thread where Kinesis themselves are asking for suggestions!
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 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 Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Lanx

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 06:45:38 »
I second that suggestion. A flat, and truly split Kinesis Advantage would be awesome.

You can suggest it in this thread where Kinesis themselves are asking for suggestions!

LOL, the last post on that thread is the previous poster, ha.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 07:17:40 »
For all of you with pinky issues: USE PALM KEYS
Will Kinesis sell me a flat version of the Kinesis Advantage for the same price (or less) as that crazy shaped Advantage keyboard? :)

I have no desire for a keyboard shaped like that.

I just want a regular keyboard with some extra keys in the middle, and thumb keys down below the main keyboard.

Kinesis Advantage gives me almost everything I want.  But they force me to learn some crazy new shape.

I like the Cherry Red switches.
I like the thumb keys.
I like the redefinable keys.
I like the footpedal option.
I like the price.

I should already own 3 of them if only if only if only they would sell me a flat version.


Ergodox or Truly Ergonomic.   But they don't have the footswitch
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 07:21:57 »
Also, did I mention that I love talking about ergonomic keyboards? Like all day?
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Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 08:37:32 »
I will happily buy Ergodoxes when the controller is fixed to work on PS/2.
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 09:02:08 »
You say that you don't want to learn the weird shape of a Kinesis or Maltron, but the transition period is short. The hardest part for me was transition from tactile switches to linear switches (why I got linear in the first place is beyond me).  It's like meth; once you try it, you never want to get off it.
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline linkz

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 09:08:15 »
For all of you with pinky issues: USE PALM KEYS
Well, you could use a footswitch, or any kind of programmable USB button (even with a regular keyboard) placed south of the keyboard so you can hit it with your lower palm, or even use the inner row of the ErgoDox to shift with your index fingers.

But I'm telling you palm keys are awesome and at least on a Kinesis Advantage it's a very easy mod! Not even soldering is required (read the bottom part of the linked post)!

Show Image
Show Image

I imagine if you hunch while typing on this keyboard, you would look like a motorbike racer or something

Offline Gerk

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 10:34:03 »
Since nobody seems to have mentioned it so far I'll toss into the ring the Goldtouch V2 boards.  Quite inexpensive and they totally solved my issues.  The rubber domes feel great (I like them more than the 2 Topre based boards that I have owned in fact), they seem to hold up pretty well (I've put a lot of miles on my main one to date), and they are infinitely adjustable.  I think a very, very important thing for RSI sufferers is the ability to change up the board splay angle and tilt from time-to-time.  No matter what board I use after a while I seem to end up starting to feel pain, but at least with the goldtouch that just means it's time to tweak some angles and then within a day or two the pain is gone and it's back to business as usual -- or at least that makes a HUGE difference for me.  Lastly they are also worth 1/3 (or less) of what most of the other options are.

I searched for a long, long time to find my ideal keyboard and so far it seems like it is the Goldtouch V2.  They may not be mechanical switches, but my experience that I've had so far with these boards made me realize that mechanical switches are not the end-all and be-all of ergonomics and at the end of the day the actual design of the board casing and the placement of the keys was the winner for me.

Lastly, and no offense to the Kinesis fans, the inverse keywells just didn't work for me, my hands just don't work like that, and I absolutely HATE the fact that most "ergo" keyboard designs feel the need to re-invent the wheel in terms of key layouts.  I prefer the key layout that I've worked with my whole life, or at least close to it.
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline Gerk

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 10:40:35 »

I'm concerned about ergonomics 100% and everything else is just irrelevant.  I've got RSI in my wrists and fingers (also my right forearm), and I'm wanting the absolute best ergonomic option to alleviate the strain from typing.  I'm a programmer, so special keys are used a lot.  I'm willing to learn a new keyboard layout, and I'm considering Colemak.  However, if I decide to pick up a Maltron (that price burns... ugh), would it make sense to use the Maltron layout as a programmer?  I can't remember where, but someone said it was more geared towards secretaries...


Had to also add in that I am also a programmer (hence my hate of moving around all the special keys).  Again I have to say give the Goldtouch V2 a shot, it's very close to standard layout and they are cheap.  If you don't like it you're not in hundreds of dollars and the transition time for me was literally almost zero, the only thing that I had to even think about for the first couple of days was the esc key.  The goldtouch is not really very much modified in terms of key layouts, it's most like it's a "compressed" key layout.



Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline hoggy

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 14:17:05 »
Gerk, I agree with you on the goldtouch.  Great little 'board and well worth picking one up on ebay to try out. 

TotalChaos, you should be able to get hold of a kinesis advantage with the option to return it if you don't like it.  I've tried quite a lot of ergo boards and I find myself recommending it quite often.  Why not give it try?
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 14:50:14 »
Gerk,

I think we've had this same discussion somewhere else, but this thread is making for a good overall discussion of ergo boards.

Goldtouch is a good board with plenty of features, and I like how they make a more compact design and still include all the usual keys. Doesn't take up a lot of desk space. And the rubbers domes do have a better feel than most rubber dome keyboards.
 
My big complaint about the Goldtouch was the lack of palm rests. I didn't like my hands floating, and eventually sold it because of that issue. That small right shift also was not to my liking and I would hit the hit arrow a keys a lot.  But those only are my views, and do not apply to everyone.

You usually can get the Goldtouch on ebay for pretty cheap. I bought mine with shipping for under $50, but it might an older model that lacks features like media keys on the F keys.


Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline Gerk

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 14:54:41 »
Yep very true, if you're someone that relies on palm rests it's pretty difficult with a Goldtouch .. that said you shouldn't be using palm rests like that in terms of ergonomics ;)  But each to their own.  I don't miss palm rests at all ... because they are not there means I actually hold my hands and type in a more proper position in terms of ergonomics, maybe that's also something with this board that has helped me.  If you can find one for $50 on ebay I'd say jump on it ... that's half the price of even the cheapo mechanical boards and if you don't like it just put it back on ebay and get your $50 back minus maybe a bit of shipping.
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline davkol

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 15:11:36 »
I think Goldtouch made wrist rests for their adjustable keyboard just like Kinesis do with the Freestyle.

Offline sordna

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #31 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 15:11:41 »
I own a Goldtouch, and found the lack of palm rests to be an issue, not when you are typing, but when you pause between typing. You have to open up your arms to rest them outside of the keyboard area, or pull them back to rest them at the edge of the desk/tray, or whatever. And when you want to go back to the typing position, it takes a couple of seconds, so it's rather awkward.... I've used 2 Goldtouch keyboards for several months, BTW, in fully tented position... for people laying it flat, that's not much of a problem since they can use any regular wrist rest.
Based on this experience, I plan to get an ErgoDox with full hand case, and add palm keys too of course :-)

Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 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 Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Lanx

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 15:22:43 »
To all Programmers: (hackers... the traditional sense)

What "keys" are you super concerned with and are "set in stone" about the placement, physically? I personally can't program worth a damn, so while i can "read" html and code when i have to, i don't program anything...

Offline davkol

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 15:45:45 »
I'm not sure if understand your question. Parenthesis are everywhere in Lisp; for C-like languages, semicolon, and all kinds of parenthesis/brackets are extremely common; Ruby/Perl make use of most symbols available on standard keyboard... and nearly every language has arithmetic and logical operators (and of course quotes).

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 22:45:05 »
Does anyone have a force graph for the Goldtouch?

Or could u at least perform a Nickelometer test on your Goldtouch so I know how much force we are talking about to collapse the rubber dome?

Just stack nickels on a key until the rubberdome collapses.  Repeat the experiment to be sure u didn't drop the nickel on hard to get a false result.

You will need to make sure the top of the key is perfectly horizontal.  This may entail putting something under the keyboard to hold it at the correct angle.

Do it for Keyboard Science!  :cool:
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline wrtcedar

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 23:07:57 »
I was going to put in a plug for the Goldtouch V2 as a low cost/impact entry point, but I see in looking my old board that it's the original Goldtouch. Mine doesn't have a great feel anymore, but that took over a decade of use. I'm impressed that it held up as well as it did. The tenting and angle adjustment on the Goldtouch improved my RSI symptoms (mostly wrists and forearms) dramatically, but they never really went away.

I use a Kinesis Advantage LF now and find that it's better for my problems. Yes - I wish that it were adjustable like the Goldtouch, but for me the bowls and mechanical switches make more of a difference. I have very large hands and initially had some problems with the keys on the Advantage feeling a little crowded. That's still occasionally an issue (especially if my fingernails grow out), but that's rare now.

As far as the most annoying key remaps for programmers, I have to go with {, }, [,  and ] on the Kinesis. I really need to move those somewhere else.

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #36 on: Sat, 12 January 2013, 23:54:29 »

Based on this experience, I plan to get an ErgoDox with full hand case, and add palm keys too of course :-)

Show Image

Is it possible to add real function keys to the ergodox?
(12 extra keys along the top?)

What kind of kro does ergodox have?

Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline sordna

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 00:15:07 »
Does anyone have a force graph for the Goldtouch?

Or could u at least perform a Nickelometer test on your Goldtouch so I know how much force we are talking about to collapse the rubber dome?

I've done it already, back in 2011. I get activation at 40g, even on the spacebar, it's pretty sweet and lighter than even red cherry switches, at least on my specimen (a 5 year old GTU-0077):

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=24530.msg465304#msg465304
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=18070.msg391098#msg391098

Quote from: TotalChaos
Is it possible to add real function keys to the ergodox? (12 extra keys along the top?)

What kind of kro does ergodox have?

No, you cannot add extra function keys, you have to push a layer key to access the F keys.
KRO is 6 I believe, you can see that and much more info here:
https://github.com/benblazak/ergodox-firmware
« Last Edit: Sun, 13 January 2013, 00:35:59 by sordna »
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 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 Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #38 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 00:39:37 »
Does anyone have a force graph for the Goldtouch?

Or could u at least perform a Nickelometer test on your Goldtouch so I know how much force we are talking about to collapse the rubber dome?

I've done it already, back in 2011. I get activation at 40g, even on the spacebar, it's pretty sweet and lighter than even red cherry switches, at least on my specimen (a 5 year old GTU-0077):

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=24530.msg465304#msg465304
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=18070.msg391098#msg391098
Cool.  So its like a 40g Uniform Topre keyboard without the overinflated Topre Pricetag  :D
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline davkol

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #39 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 04:40:46 »
My previous-generation goldtouch bottoms out at 35 cN, but the feel is nowhere near Topre, it's almost linear.

Offline linkz

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #40 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 08:47:14 »
Not sure if this is good for RSI people, but it does look really cool.

Ergonomic Steampunk Keyboard

11698-0
11700-1

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #41 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 09:24:58 »
Not sure if this is good for RSI people, but it does look really cool.

Ergonomic Steampunk Keyboard

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

I would get that if the key columns weren't staggered. Regardless of price.
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #42 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 13:50:33 »
My previous-generation goldtouch bottoms out at 35 cN, but the feel is nowhere near Topre, it's almost linear.
How would you describe the impact of bottoming out on GoldTouch vs. Topre?

(The bottoming out feel is what I am really interested in.  I asked the activation force because it gives me a clue about the impact collision force.)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #43 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 13:55:04 »
Not sure if this is good for RSI people, but it does look really cool.

Ergonomic Steampunk Keyboard

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

That is one hell of a classy keyboard!

Is it real?  Or just a rendering?
What is the key spacing?
What kind of switches?

I saw an actual real one many years ago.  It looked different than that one.
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline hoggy

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #44 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 14:17:24 »
Unless I'm wrong, it's an m15 that has had the datamancer treatment.   Buckling spring.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline Gerk

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 14:46:05 »
I did the nickel test on the V2 earlier as well, don't have the thread handy, but it was pretty uniform 45g (or just a tad lighter) and I sampled a different few areas on the board.  Personally I prefer the actuation point feel on the goldtouch over topres, but might just be me.  With the Topres they felt like I had to "follow through" somewhat (but didn't really) ... the ctuation point didn't feel like a single "point" but more a small "area" and it only finished actuating after you passed that point in the key's travel.  The goldtouch rubber domes feel much more pinpoint on the actuation and I this is probably the best board for me so far for typing without bottoming out, it feels very natural to type like that on this board for me.  With Topres I could mostly do it, but it felt like work.  Cherries were hit and miss for me.  Buckling spring and alps based keys I could almost also always type without bottoming out as well.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that these rubber domes feel "snappy" to me but without feeling too heavy (I always loved 65g ALPS and the like but don't think I'm up to typing with that much force all day long any more).

It's so hard to describe that sort of feel type stuff in text (it's hard enough in spoken language).  If it makes any sense these keys feel like a "light" 45g in terms of energy you have to expend to depress them, but they feel quite snappy in how they return.  It could also be that I'm just a weirdo and like rubber domes more than mechanical switches.  For me I really don't care how they are made if they are getting the job done and getting rid of my pain ;)
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline Gerk

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 13 January 2013, 14:50:33 »
To all Programmers: (hackers... the traditional sense)

What "keys" are you super concerned with and are "set in stone" about the placement, physically? I personally can't program worth a damn, so while i can "read" html and code when i have to, i don't program anything...

I think you'll find it different for different people, but for me it's all the stuff to the right of the alpha-numerics on a standard layout ... I've got this learned behaviour of going into "programming mode" when I'm doing a lot of that, meaning my hand just slides over a few keys and I touch type all those keys, so it's great to have them all bundled together instead of having them spread who-knows where -- which is pretty much what most ergo layouts do.

The keys I'm referring to (and their shifted counterparts:
Code: [Select]
-_=+[{]}\|;:'",<.>/?
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline linkz

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #47 on: Mon, 14 January 2013, 00:45:26 »
Not sure if this is good for RSI people, but it does look really cool.

Ergonomic Steampunk Keyboard

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

That is one hell of a classy keyboard!

Is it real?  Or just a rendering?
What is the key spacing?
What kind of switches?

I saw an actual real one many years ago.  It looked different than that one.

Yes It's real. Not sure about the switches, it was made by Datamancer.
There are several version of steampunk mod keyboard with the same keycap.
Maybe that's why you saw a similar one

Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #48 on: Mon, 28 January 2013, 14:50:26 »
The problem with this thread is that RSI isn't a single problem - it's a vague group of symptoms with different causes.

Some cases of RSI are  carpal tunnel - where wrist position is everything and a tent and tilt board my help (but wrist position really is a matter of skill and attention first) but others are trapped/inflamed nerves in the spine (with referred pain elsewhere) due to a long reach for the mouse past a numeric pad - in which case a tenkeyless board and a trackball will help. (And you might as well get a kb with soft cherry brown or capacitative switches.)

I'd also suggest that a programmer should look at using vi (or emacs with vi compatibility mode) and, ideally, a tiling windows manager like xmonad - you can get them for Windows and they get rid of a lot of mousing.

Oh - and wrist rests VERY bad if you use them while typing, or even to rest on if you let the wrist position go out of neutral (and if you don't know what this means, you need to do more research rather than buying more stuff - pm me and I'll send you links.)

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 29 January 2013, 07:35:00 »
The problem with this thread is that RSI isn't a single problem - it's a vague group of symptoms with different causes.

Some cases of RSI are  carpal tunnel - where wrist position is everything and a tent and tilt board my help (but wrist position really is a matter of skill and attention first) but others are trapped/inflamed nerves in the spine (with referred pain elsewhere) due to a long reach for the mouse past a numeric pad ...
+1


Quote
Oh - and wrist rests VERY bad if you use them while typing,
+99
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline tufty

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #50 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 09:04:35 »
I'd also suggest that a programmer should look at using vi (or emacs with vi compatibility mode)
Not wanting to derail this into a vi/emacs flamefest, but why do you consider vi's commands more ergonomic than emacs' commands?

Offline davkol

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Offline dn

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #52 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 10:03:31 »
Not sure if this is good for RSI people, but it does look really cool.

Ergonomic Steampunk Keyboard

(Attachment Link)
(Attachment Link)

That is the most stunningly decadent and luxurious looking keyboard I have ever seen!
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #53 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 14:30:49 »
I'd also suggest that a programmer should look at using vi (or emacs with vi compatibility mode)
Not wanting to derail this into a vi/emacs flamefest, but why do you consider vi's commands more ergonomic than emacs' commands?

It's as davkol says. Emacs relies too much on ctrl-alt combinations. vi's cmds are more ergonomic - a lot of the time they're a single letter because you are in the dedicated cmd mode. But I prefer emacs because vi flaked when I tried combining the extensions I needed - I just just emacs (with the might Org Mode) and a vi compatibility mode - Evil, I think.

Offline TotalChaos

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #54 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 14:28:56 »
but others are trapped/inflamed nerves in the spine (with referred pain elsewhere)
Do u have any experience with this?  Do u know anyone where they actually found a trapped nerve in the spine/neck causing the referred pain?

I am asking because they tried to blame my pain on that and I surely wish that would have been the problem!  A trapped nerve sounds like it could be untrapped!  Then I would be cured!  But they did a zillion MRIs and never found anything.  Although a few of the MRIs were performed incorrectly and don't actually count.

Also, what would it take to cause pain everywhere?  Could 1 trapped nerve do that?  What would it take?


Quote
due to a long reach for the mouse past a numeric pad - in which case a tenkeyless board and a trackball will help.
I say put the detached keyboard in your lap where it belongs and then you can keep your numeric keypad and your mouse and your health all at the same time!  :D

Quote
(And you might as well get a kb with soft cherry brown or capacitative switches.)
Cherry Red is softer than Brown.  So if u r going Cherry then u may as well go all the way soft.


Quote
I'd also suggest that a programmer should look at using vi (or emacs with vi compatibility mode)
I use CygnusEd and GoldEd.  Their keyboard shortcuts are mostly OS Key + alpha  or OS + SHIFT + alpha.     I think they have multi-modifier shortcuts but they are only for exotic things that I don't use anyway.

Anywayz I always have mouse and menus for rare complicated things.
 

Quote
and, ideally, a tiling windows manager like xmonad - you can get them for Windows and they get rid of a lot of mousing.
I mainly use screens instead of windows so I think we are both accomplishing the same end result, more or less.
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #55 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 15:32:18 »
but others are trapped/inflamed nerves in the spine (with referred pain elsewhere)
Do u have any experience with this?  Do u know anyone where they actually found a trapped nerve in the spine/neck causing the referred pain?

God, yes - it's quite common. I had it, which is Alexander Technique fixed my RSI problem.

Quote
I am asking because they tried to blame my pain on that and I surely wish that would have been the problem!  A trapped nerve sounds like it could be untrapped!  Then I would be cured!  But they did a zillion MRIs and never found anything.  Although a few of the MRIs were performed incorrectly and don't actually count.

Ok:

1. Because a trapped nerve can cause RSI doesn't mean your diagnosis was correct

2. MRI apparantly *can" show a trapped nerve... but isn't guaranteed to, especially if the nerve isn't pinched between discs but in its normal position but trapped because it is inflamed and swollen:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080902194406AAgNJjj

Did anyone mention Alexander Technique too you? It's arguably the most successful  treatment in this are - music schools in the UK tend to have it taught as a precaution to students who play the instruments that put them most at risk. It's cheaper than surgery (which may explain why medical recommendations  are rarer in the US for-profit system than outside it) and very low risk - in fact it's probably a true zero risk treatment.

Quote
Also, what would it take to cause pain everywhere?  Could 1 trapped nerve do that?  What would it take?

My belief is that once a trapped nerve is involved, almost any damn feeling of pain is possible - but hey, so not a doctor!


Quote
Cherry Red is softer than Brown.  So if u r going Cherry then u may as well go all the way soft.

I went for the browns because the tactile feedback comes before I bottom them out,  encouraging me therefore NOT to bottom them  out.

Quote
Quote
I'd also suggest that a programmer should look at using vi (or emacs with vi compatibility mode)
I use CygnusEd and GoldEd.  Their keyboard shortcuts are mostly OS Key + alpha  or OS + SHIFT + alpha.

That's as bad as emacs; I'd change.

 

Quote
I mainly use screens instead of windows so I think we are both accomplishing the same end result, more or less.

Are you sure that your neck alignment is good with multiple screens? I use a wide screen (a 24?) and 4 virtual desktops - this way I have perfect neck alignment and when I need to have docs and an editor and a shell open one desktop it's no problem to me. If you have been told you may have a trapped nerve, getting neck alignment right is a big thing.

Offline darkenergy572

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 9
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #56 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 15:45:34 »
The datahand site seems to have finally been updated or at least I don't remember seeing the out of stock notice on the front-facing page (I remember having to check forums elsewhere to find out they were out of stock as the website didn't seem to indicate that they weren't in stock); I also received a brief reply to an email to them basically saying they're out of stock (no more information than that though).
 
http://www.datahand.com/

They've been saying this for a while now, but it makes me wonder if there's now a possibility that they'll be rolling out another limited time sale (like they one they had back in... 2010 was it?).  If such is the case, it makes considering ebay datahands seem like a bad idea.  Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions though.

I now have a rollermouse pro, a kinesis advantage LF (red cherries), and a maltron (off of ebay, but in good condition).  So I'm still trying them out, but I currently really like the kinesis.  The clicking noise it makes upon actuation is pretty nice too; it makes it easy to avoid bottoming out without help from a tactile switch like the browns.  I still need to give the maltron a proper go, but it only just arrived today.  Notably, that escape key on the Kinesis isn't friendly to my Vim usage and neither are those F keys (F1 - F12), but that's old news to anyone who's seen a picture of the keyboard, or this message board.

The rollermouse seems to relieve my hands a bit on the mouse usage, though it does feel a bit unwieldy to me still.  Not a bad product.

A month ago, I tried a realforce tenkeyless topre keyboard (all 45g keys), and then a safetype.  Both of them didn't really help.  Actually, the realforce was a bit hard on my hands despite being so soft.  Keys felt a bit heavy.  The safetype was a neat idea, but the keys were awful (having to bottom out to actuate is just... bad). My cheap 15$ keyboard was snappy and rough on my hands, but it actually felt easier on my fingers than the safetype's keys.
« Last Edit: Fri, 01 February 2013, 16:30:58 by darkenergy572 »

Offline TotalChaos

  • Posts: 733
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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #57 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 16:10:13 »
but others are trapped/inflamed nerves in the spine (with referred pain elsewhere)
Do u have any experience with this?  Do u know anyone where they actually found a trapped nerve in the spine/neck causing the referred pain?

God, yes - it's quite common. I had it, which is Alexander Technique fixed my RSI problem.

Quote
I am asking because they tried to blame my pain on that and I surely wish that would have been the problem!  A trapped nerve sounds like it could be untrapped!  Then I would be cured!  But they did a zillion MRIs and never found anything.  Although a few of the MRIs were performed incorrectly and don't actually count.

Ok:

1. Because a trapped nerve can cause RSI doesn't mean your diagnosis was correct
They never said I had a trapped nerve.  They simply said they were looking for a trapped nerve and did a bunch of MRIs over a period of years + various CT Scans.


Quote
2. MRI apparantly *can" show a trapped nerve... but isn't guaranteed to, especially if the nerve isn't pinched between discs but in its normal position but trapped because it is inflamed and swollen:
Doggone it.  Everything is so complicated.


Quote
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080902194406AAgNJjj

Did anyone mention Alexander Technique too you?
No.  You are the very first person who has ever said that to me.

But keep in mind I have only been to around 45-50 doctors, 3 Chiropractors, and 3 or 4 physical therapists.  + I have talked to who knows how many patients in waiting rooms.

I think I would need to see 100 doctors before I qualified for top secret medical advice like Alexander Technique.


Or maybe my symptoms were so severe that they decided it had to be something much worse and scarier so they didn't want to get my hopes up?

Quote
Quote
Also, what would it take to cause pain everywhere?  Could 1 trapped nerve do that?  What would it take?

My belief is that once a trapped nerve is involved, almost any damn feeling of pain is possible - but hey, so not a doctor!
Advice from patients is usually better than advice from a doctor.

Quote
Quote
Cherry Red is softer than Brown.  So if u r going Cherry then u may as well go all the way soft.

I went for the browns because the tactile feedback comes before I bottom them out,  encouraging me therefore NOT to bottom them  out.
I would rather have a brown with a long travel to virtually guarantee not bottoming out.

Or I would like a Red with an electronic click.  I could not find any option for clicky keys in my Windoze xp box.  Do u know of one?

I have a W7 box from November that I never unpacked.  Does W7 have clicky keys option?

An electronic click could maybe help me not to crash the keys.
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Offline TotalChaos

  • Posts: 733
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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #58 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 16:23:57 »
2. MRI apparantly *can" show a trapped nerve... but isn't guaranteed to, especially if the nerve isn't pinched between discs but in its normal position but trapped because it is inflamed and swollen:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080902194406AAgNJjj
That guy on Yahoo.  His symptoms sound exactly like what a trapped nerve should do!  I do not have his symptoms at all.  I have never had any symptoms that felt like a trapped nerve (weakness, numbness, tingling).

So now I am figuring I definitely don't have this pinched nerve in spine concept.  But I keep an open mind.  :)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #1 (Broke on day 26, fixed with Scotch Tape on day 42, barely holding together)
Rosewill RK-9000RE #2 (Lubed, still in the box.  I am afraid to use it because it will break like the first one)

Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #59 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 17:07:30 »
But keep in mind I have only been to around 45-50 doctors, 3 Chiropractors, and 3 or 4 physical therapists.  + I have talked to who knows how many patients in waiting rooms.

I think I would need to see 100 doctors before I qualified for top secret medical advice like Alexander Technique.

It's the nature of for profit medicine - US treatment tends to be the most profitable possible rather than the most effective. For example, US hospitals use expensive heart drugs that test less well than prescription fish grade oils that European hospitals tend to prescribe, and so many unsuitable by-passes are performed that they are overall a wash on patient  outcome - because surgery itself is dangerous and performing it on lots of people who don't really need it will get some of them killed.

Re. AT: musicians really know their stuff and network compulsively, so try to find out which teacher near you the local music schools use.



Quote
Or I would like a Red with an electronic click.  I could not find any option for clicky keys in my Windoze xp box.  Do u know of one?

I rarely use windows these days, hence the xmonad reference. (It's the most advanced Linux tiling manager.)

Quote
An electronic click could maybe help me not to crash the keys.

Have you thought about o-rings???


Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #60 on: Fri, 01 February 2013, 17:08:55 »
2. MRI apparantly *can" show a trapped nerve... but isn't guaranteed to, especially if the nerve isn't pinched between discs but in its normal position but trapped because it is inflamed and swollen:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080902194406AAgNJjj
That guy on Yahoo.  His symptoms sound exactly like what a trapped nerve should do!  I do not have his symptoms at all.  I have never had any symptoms that felt like a trapped nerve (weakness, numbness, tingling).

So now I am figuring I definitely don't have this pinched nerve in spine concept.  But I keep an open mind.  :)

I don't know if EVERY case of a trapped nerve has the same symptoms, but yes, that's how I felt.

Offline hoggy

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #61 on: Sat, 16 February 2013, 06:39:51 »
The datahand site seems to have finally been updated or at least I don't remember seeing the out of stock notice on the front-facing page (I remember having to check forums elsewhere to find out they were out of stock as the website didn't seem to indicate that they weren't in stock); I also received a brief reply to an email to them basically saying they're out of stock (no more information than that though).
 
http://www.datahand.com/

They've been saying this for a while now, but it makes me wonder if there's now a possibility that they'll be rolling out another limited time sale (like they one they had back in... 2010 was it?).  If such is the case, it makes considering ebay datahands seem like a bad idea.  Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions though.

I now have a rollermouse pro, a kinesis advantage LF (red cherries), and a maltron (off of ebay, but in good condition).  So I'm still trying them out, but I currently really like the kinesis.  The clicking noise it makes upon actuation is pretty nice too; it makes it easy to avoid bottoming out without help from a tactile switch like the browns.  I still need to give the maltron a proper go, but it only just arrived today.  Notably, that escape key on the Kinesis isn't friendly to my Vim usage and neither are those F keys (F1 - F12), but that's old news to anyone who's seen a picture of the keyboard, or this message board.

The rollermouse seems to relieve my hands a bit on the mouse usage, though it does feel a bit unwieldy to me still.  Not a bad product.

A month ago, I tried a realforce tenkeyless topre keyboard (all 45g keys), and then a safetype.  Both of them didn't really help.  Actually, the realforce was a bit hard on my hands despite being so soft.  Keys felt a bit heavy.  The safetype was a neat idea, but the keys were awful (having to bottom out to actuate is just... bad). My cheap 15$ keyboard was snappy and rough on my hands, but it actually felt easier on my fingers than the safetype's keys.

Sounds like you're off to a flying start!  Datahands from ebay might be expensive, but tend to keep their value if you find it isn't for you.  You might as well wait until you've settled in with your existing boards though.  Once you've adapted to a board - think about getting another one!  Frequently changing boards can really help (I change mine each lunchtime).

I've got a safetype, but I can't bring myself to use it seriously.  There's a study that they link to on their website - they decided to build a vertical wrist rest before continuing the study...  Holding your hands in that position seems comfortable and the idea of the keyboard makes sense, but sadly it doesn't work in practice.

If you want to try something that's quite different - but still comfortable, easy to learn and relatively cheap - try the alphagrip.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline sordna

  • Posts: 2245
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #62 on: Sat, 16 February 2013, 10:24:51 »
Safetype is a FAIL because they keep the asymmetric staggered keys. It's bad enough in a flat split keyboard, but in a vertical one it's even more horrrible. BTW I have propped 2 Kinesis Advantage keyboards vertically to emulate a vertical keyboard, and could type very comfortably without errors on the first try. So I plan to mount the Ergodox in an almost vertical fashion.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 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 Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline wolfv

  • Posts: 250
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #63 on: Wed, 20 February 2013, 20:59:13 »
Sounds like you're off to a flying start!  Datahands from ebay might be expensive, but tend to keep their value if you find it isn't for you.  You might as well wait until you've settled in with your existing boards though.  Once you've adapted to a board - think about getting another one!  Frequently changing boards can really help (I change mine each lunchtime).

I've got a safetype, but I can't bring myself to use it seriously.  There's a study that they link to on their website - they decided to build a vertical wrist rest before continuing the study...  Holding your hands in that position seems comfortable and the idea of the keyboard makes sense, but sadly it doesn't work in practice.

If you want to try something that's quite different - but still comfortable, easy to learn and relatively cheap - try the alphagrip.

hoggy,

What kind of vertical wrist rest where you using?  Please provide a picture if you can.

This is what Frank at Safetype told me, referring to the picture on this page http://safetype.com/university-studies.htm > Chair 2: Ergomax Vertical Keyboard Arm Rests:
Quote
This chair/arm rest device was put together by Cornell University when they did testing and development work on the Safetype Keyboard.   The researchers at Cornell eventually concluded that arm rests/wrist rests are not generally recommended since they could tend to reduce the blood flow to the wrists and hands.
« Last Edit: Wed, 20 February 2013, 21:10:22 by wolfv »

Offline Lanx

  • Posts: 1914
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #64 on: Thu, 21 February 2013, 02:10:18 »
Safetype is a FAIL because they keep the asymmetric staggered keys. It's bad enough in a flat split keyboard, but in a vertical one it's even more horrrible. BTW I have propped 2 Kinesis Advantage keyboards vertically to emulate a vertical keyboard, and could type very comfortably without errors on the first try. So I plan to mount the Ergodox in an almost vertical fashion.
sordna you need to find something like these vice
http://tool.wttool.com/tools/Tilt%20Vise

only not as expensive and i guess not a vise lol, but it was about the only way i could see getting a full range of vertical motion, while being stable.

Offline OldDataHands

  • Posts: 278
  • Location: Michigan
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #65 on: Tue, 19 March 2013, 21:43:23 »
Get a datahand off ebay. It sounds to me like you shouldn't screw around your livelyhood.
I've got one at home, and one at the office. Been using them for years.
I can type all day in comfort, and the electronics are simple enough to replace if need be,
as gator456 showed here: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=12212.0

Furthermore, the mechanical design of the buttons is brilliant.  Tiny magnets provide the
force which hold the keys in their non-pressed state. When you apply the small amount
of force needed to start the key moving, the force drops dramatically until it's just enough
to lift the key back to it's home position.

The datahand folks do still answer email, if a bit delayed and slowly, but I don't think that
they have any serious plans to re-start production. That is a real shame since it is such a
great design.

In any case, both of mine work well, requiring only the occasional (maybe 3 times in 14 years)
removal of some debris or residue from an LED or photodiode to keep working. Just be
sure to put them on little stands like are shown in gator456's pictures. I mocked up some
cardboard stands 14 years ago, and still use them.. I just have to replace the scotch tape
which holds them together every 3 or 4 years!


Offline Davaris

  • Posts: 9
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #66 on: Wed, 05 June 2013, 01:20:54 »
Datahand looks really interesting. Anyone know if they are still selling these things? They have an order page up, but their sales email address bounces.

If they are having money problems they should hold a Kickstarter. There must be plenty of people out there that would support them.
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 June 2013, 02:16:44 by Davaris »

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #67 on: Thu, 06 June 2013, 20:58:32 »
Datahand looks really interesting. Anyone know if they are still selling these things? They have an order page up, but their sales email address bounces.

If they are having money problems they should hold a Kickstarter. There must be plenty of people out there that would support them.

Datahand is effectively off-line. I think they have regular jobs now. Things could always change. Interestingly, in my talks with Lynn (at Datahand), she said selling Datahands was not the big problem....so there may have been other issues.

For the record, Datahands are not for everyone. Also, a lot of people think they are chorded, but they aren't.
Kinesis Advantage cut into 2 halves | RollerMouse Free 2 | Apple Magic Trackpad | Alphagrip | Colemak | on Mac+Hackintosh
Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkeys From Hell                     Proudly GeekWhacking since 2009
Staying in touch via Tapatalk VIP                                        Thanks much, Smallfry  
I AM THE REAPER . . . BECAUSE I KILL IT
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Offline jalitt

  • Posts: 5
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #68 on: Sun, 28 July 2013, 16:40:20 »
At work I use a Maltron keyboard with Maltron layout.  I like this keyboard quite a bit, but wish I had gotten cherry browns instead of blacks.  Otherwise I love this keyboard.

I also quite like my typematrix 2020(dvorak), the low force keys are a delight, but I prefer a split keyboard and also 3d bowl shape.

At home I have a yogitype(dvorak).  I am still trying to figure out how I feel about it.  I like the design, and the matrix layout for the left hand but the staggered keys on the right hand bum me out.  Also the keys feel much stiffer than the TM2020, though they are still fairly easy to press.  Also, its not really ideal for programmers because keys like home and end require holding down a function key.  I WANT to like this keyboard but I am going to end up replacing it with a Maltron with browns.  I think the yogitype could be ideal for many people.  It is well made, and really easy to learn to use because of the leds.  In addition, the wrist position is excellent.  However, my RSI is mostly in the fingers, and the stiff keys and lack of contour are ultimately deal breakers for me.

There is only one input device I would ever unequivocally recommend, and it is the datahand.  The datahand is the best input device ever made from an ergonomic standpoint.  The only problems with it were high cost and poor build quality, but form a usage standpoint it was ideal.  The datahand is the only input solution I have ever seen which actually eliminates repetitive motion.  Let me put it this way, if someone remade the datahand and backed it with lifetime warranty, I would be willing to pay a completely unreasonable amount for it(ie 20k+).  I paid 2k for one, and I would be using it to this day if it had not been so flaky.  I am a programmer so I rely on my hands too much to have an ergonomic solution I cannot rely on.

I have tried the kinesis advantage but prefer Maltron because the 3D contours felt deeper to me on the Maltron.  I did not actually measure this.

edit: one thing also I tried was two one handed Maltron keyboards with brown switches.  I did not really think this through as these keyboards were not designed to be used together.  They were simply too wide to too used effectively at once.  I will say these keyboards are excellent in their own right, and extremely comfortable to type on one handed.

I am going to order a custom bespoke keyboard from Maltron and I will make a new post when it arrives.

Also, in case you are wondering, I prefer Maltron to Dvorak layout.  Maltron is really nice, and well worth the effort of learning a new layout.  I have never tried Colemak.
« Last Edit: Sun, 28 July 2013, 20:46:43 by jalitt »

Offline yasuo

  • Posts: 976
  • Location: ID
  • spanengan puyeng newbie
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #69 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 05:39:47 »
What switches on maltron?
is it true black switch? :eek:
« Last Edit: Mon, 29 July 2013, 05:41:32 by yasuo »
Logitech MK220 Colemak DH
SplitSyml by Moz BlacksMx fuk blacks

2/3 8.5pm                                          in de la my september month ya da all get my fukka "fake message"

Offline jalitt

  • Posts: 5
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #70 on: Mon, 29 July 2013, 13:04:34 »
Yasuo,

Yes, black switches, and I have tremendous rsi in my fingers.  It is a true testament to the Maltron design that even with blacks, this keyboard is a true joy to type on.  The nice deep bowls, keys angled to my fingers, E key on the thumb, and matrix layout nearly eliminate all my finger pain, even with the blacks.  I can type all day, and my fingers feel fine.

I will definitely order another Maltron with browns in the next couple of weeks though, now that I am sure the yogitype is not for me.

Offline yasuo

  • Posts: 976
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  • spanengan puyeng newbie
Re: Current running top keyboard recommendations for RSI sufferers
« Reply #71 on: Tue, 30 July 2013, 20:21:14 »
Yasuo,

Yes, black switches, and I have tremendous rsi in my fingers.  It is a true testament to the Maltron design that even with blacks, this keyboard is a true joy to type on.  The nice deep bowls, keys angled to my fingers, E key on the thumb, and matrix layout nearly eliminate all my finger pain, even with the blacks.  I can type all day, and my fingers feel fine.

I will definitely order another Maltron with browns in the next couple of weeks though, now that I am sure the yogitype is not for me.
Thanks jalitt,
It seems vintange black not black current, if  your maltron made 1980s :rolleyes: I also interest type on 2 halves keyboard :p
after you type you like ambidextrous :)) you like have 2 hands a balanced now :D

Do you ever wear besides maltron?
Logitech MK220 Colemak DH
SplitSyml by Moz BlacksMx fuk blacks

2/3 8.5pm                                          in de la my september month ya da all get my fukka "fake message"