Author Topic: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide  (Read 9713 times)

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Offline Lanx

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #50 on: Thu, 13 February 2014, 18:32:55 »
dug up an old thread, i'd still like for us to have a GH ergo consensus on GH ergo terms, this thread has infos (which is why i dug it up)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=14000.0

Offline Lanx

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #51 on: Thu, 13 February 2014, 18:41:11 »
i don't think a top 10 ish list for ergo keyboards is really feasible, more like a sliding scale, (off the top of my head, not difficult to obtain) or tiers

top tier (1) - kinesis/maltron/ergodox
middle tier (2) - truly ergonomic/microsoft ergo 4k/goldtouch/kinesis freedom
bottom tier (3) - basic split keyboard/basic mechnical TKL

That's the Kinesis Freestyle, by the way.

I would not put Microsoft Ergo in the same class as Goldtouch and Truly Ergonomic and Kinesis Freestyle.  It's a class below, in my view.

I suggest adding the microTron keyboard to the top tier.  It's split, Topre, has thumb keys, and the layout is innovative.  While not having straight columns, the staggering is symmetrical on both sides.  Also, the firmware has built-in support for DVORAK.  To lump that with a simple split keyboard like Goldtouch would be an insult to the microTron designers, in my view.

----------------------------------------------------

Also, I suggest a list for extinct models, like the IBM M15, Datahand, and Kinesis Evolution.  Finding out about all these models would be a bit of a challenge. 

yea extinct section sounds cool

Extinct: (rare, difficult to find/collectors items/possibly expensive)
IBM M15
Datahand
Kinesis Evolution

I will admit to having msergo 4k bias, but... i also believe it has a lot of "positive" ergo traits over just split down the middle board. It is in the same class as a goldtouch? probably not a tier below, but above just a basic split down the middle (which is cool cuz the pyramid can always expand for more tiers, it's not set in stone like Giza!) To make that easier, i would take away the words top/middle/bottom and just use tiered numbers then.

Offline hoggy

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #52 on: Sat, 22 February 2014, 01:15:21 »
Thanks for all the feedback.


Well, progress has been slow, but at least there's progress  (It's just that I've been slow).  I've tidied up the links a bit.  Added a DIY keyboard section - there's some really nice stuff in there, but I'm sure it's missing some good stuff - if you spot anything, please let me know!

GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline hoggy

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #53 on: Tue, 25 February 2014, 07:31:44 »
Can anyone can suggest DIY keyboard threads to link to? 
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline CPTBadAss

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Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline kaltar

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #55 on: Thu, 03 April 2014, 13:07:40 »
top tier (1) - kinesis/maltron/ergodox
middle tier (2) - truly ergonomic/microsoft ergo 4k/goldtouch/kinesis freedom
bottom tier (3) - basic split keyboard/basic mechnical TKL

Tiers should be done by measurable elements. Ergodox is not on the same tier as Kinesis Advantage. Maltron and Kinesis have contoured keyboards.

Tier 1: contoured keyboards.
Tier 2: Split keyboards non contoured. (TEK, Ergodox)

So then we need another classification for mechanical vs non mechanical.
And then, you have topre switches that are not mechanical, but not cheap rubber dome.

Now, MS4k has low quality, and terribly cheap rubber dome switches, but the layout, the shape and comfort it provides is really good. I would not put it in bottom tier, ever. Modifiers are big and symmetrical, and kicks the matias unreleased ergo layout ass easily.

The only thing we can agree to have fixed tiers are on prices. Or maybe bang for the buck (in that case MS4k beats kinesis and ergodox hands down)

So there are many categories, that it's impossible to make a certain tier. Plus some cons are pros.
For example:

Programability (tier 1: Ergodox, tier 2: Kinesis Adv)
Easy to program (Tier 1: Kinesis, Tier 2: ergodox)




I would not put Microsoft Ergo in the same class as Goldtouch and Truly Ergonomic and Kinesis Freestyle.  It's a class below, in my view.

I suggest adding the microTron keyboard to the top tier.  It's split, Topre, has thumb keys, and the layout is innovative.  While not having straight columns, the staggering is symmetrical on both sides.  Also, the firmware has built-in support for DVORAK.  To lump that with a simple split keyboard like Goldtouch would be an insult to the microTron designers, in my view.


I beg to differ. the microTron has 3 bottom keys, that are supposedly touched with the thumbs. If you do that for the last 2 keys, you will generate a serious problem on your health. Curling your fingers inwards to type is an anti ergonomic design.


Offline davkol

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #56 on: Thu, 03 April 2014, 13:37:16 »
top tier (1) - kinesis/maltron/ergodox
middle tier (2) - truly ergonomic/microsoft ergo 4k/goldtouch/kinesis freedom
bottom tier (3) - basic split keyboard/basic mechnical TKL

Tiers should be done by measurable elements. Ergodox is not on the same tier as Kinesis Advantage. Maltron and Kinesis have contoured keyboards.

Maybe contoured, but fixed width&angle, not to start about firmware and licensing. Same level at best.

Offline kaltar

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #57 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 12:55:15 »
top tier (1) - kinesis/maltron/ergodox
middle tier (2) - truly ergonomic/microsoft ergo 4k/goldtouch/kinesis freedom
bottom tier (3) - basic split keyboard/basic mechnical TKL

Tiers should be done by measurable elements. Ergodox is not on the same tier as Kinesis Advantage. Maltron and Kinesis have contoured keyboards.

Maybe contoured, but fixed width&angle, not to start about firmware and licensing. Same level at best.

As I said, should be on measurable elements. Firmware wise, Ergodox rules. But to set an angle you need to hack your ergodox (set it on inclination via x or y) same happens to other keyboards... It needs to be simply and measurable. Contoured keyboards are ABOVE flat keyboards. Im typing this on an ergodox, and while I love it, the contoured keyboard of my Kinesis is more comfortable and ergonomic. That's why they cannot be in the same tier.

Try a Maltron for a month and then type on an Ergodox and feel the difference. Same as typing on an ergodox with the separation you like and go into a poker keyboard. It just feels awkward going back.

Anyway, this discussion is about what are the Tiers on ergonomic keyboards. 1st tier is contoured keyboards. Make a split contoured and you get the top level. However, not such a thing in the market yet.

Offline davkol

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #58 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 13:31:29 »
As I said, should be on measurable elements.

Too complicated. There are too few available ergonomic keyboards and each would require its own category in the end. Such ordering is completely useless.

But to set an angle you need to hack your ergodox (set it on inclination via x or y) same happens to other keyboards... It needs to be simply and measurable. Contoured keyboards are ABOVE flat keyboards. Im typing this on an ergodox, and while I love it, the contoured keyboard of my Kinesis is more comfortable and ergonomic. That's why they cannot be in the same tier.

But to set an angle you need to cut your kinesis same happens to other keyboards... It needs to be simply and measurable. Split keyboards are ABOVE fixed keyboards. Im typing this on a kinesis, and while I love it, the split keyboard of my ErgoDox is more comfortable and ergonomic. That's why they cannot be in the same tier.

Try a Maltron for a month and then type on an Ergodox and feel the difference. Same as typing on an ergodox with the separation you like and go into a poker keyboard. It just feels awkward going back.

FYI I'm just going back from a Kinesis Advantage *after three months*... to the ergodox I used beforehand.

Anyway, this discussion is about what are the Tiers on ergonomic keyboards. 1st tier is contoured keyboards. Make a split contoured and you get the top level. However, not such a thing in the market yet.

You're saying the IBM Model M is a 1st tier ergonomic keyboard? O_o

Offline jacobolus

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #59 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 19:51:09 »
Try a Maltron for a month and then type on an Ergodox and feel the difference. Same as typing on an ergodox with the separation you like and go into a poker keyboard. It just feels awkward going back.
FYI I'm just going back from a Kinesis Advantage *after three months*... to the ergodox I used beforehand.
I’ve only tried a Kinesis Advantage for less than an hour, and I’ve never seen a Maltron, but from examining the way my own hand moves, looking at pictures, and making various physical models, I think the Maltron has a better shape than the Kinesis Advantage.

Anyway, this discussion is about what are the Tiers on ergonomic keyboards. 1st tier is contoured keyboards. Make a split contoured and you get the top level. However, not such a thing in the market yet.
You're saying the IBM Model M is a 1st tier ergonomic keyboard? O_o
How does his statement have anything to do with the Model M?
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 April 2014, 19:52:45 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #60 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 19:55:49 »
I beg to differ. the microTron has 3 bottom keys, that are supposedly touched with the thumbs. If you do that for the last 2 keys, you will generate a serious problem on your health. Curling your fingers inwards to type is an anti ergonomic design.
Have you tried it? I find the μTRON thumb keys to be more accessible than those on the Ergodox. Only problem is that the rest of the keyboard is designed for Japanese hands, and so the whole thing feels a bit cramped for my hands.

Note that the μTRON requires noticeably less thumb curling to hit its thumb keys than a regular keyboard does, and I find its position for the shift keys quite a bit better than the right shift on a standard keyboard (which is too far out).

I wouldn’t use the key they pick for a spacebar, but would instead use the other large thumb key on the left for that. But it’s designed for typing Japanese, where space is a less common character.
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:00:29 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #61 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:03:53 »
Now, MS4k has low quality, and terribly cheap rubber dome switches, but the layout, the shape and comfort it provides is really good. I would not put it in bottom tier, ever. Modifiers are big and symmetrical, and kicks the matias unreleased ergo layout ass easily.
This is a pretty silly conclusion, I think. Matias’s keyboard has more accessible bottom row keys, a split spacebar, has two halves which can be positioned/oriented arbitrarily, and takes up less space meaning a pointing device can be closer. Not to mention, it uses much nicer keyswitches which will cause dramatically less finger joint strain.

If you’re so worried about thumb curling that you dislike the μTRON, note that the Microsoft curvy keyboard requires substantially more thumb curling than the μTRON does. to hit all the provided thumb keys.

Offline kaltar

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #62 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:08:00 »
As I said, should be on measurable elements.

Too complicated. There are too few available ergonomic keyboards and each would require its own category in the end. Such ordering is completely useless.

How many tiers will you make? 3? 6? Why not just 2? The Idea of a tier is that you know what level it fits. If a MS4k appears with an open firmware just like the ergodox, would it become tier 1? So you get your tiers in idea of what you need to measure.

But to set an angle you need to hack your ergodox (set it on inclination via x or y) same happens to other keyboards... It needs to be simply and measurable. Contoured keyboards are ABOVE flat keyboards. Im typing this on an ergodox, and while I love it, the contoured keyboard of my Kinesis is more comfortable and ergonomic. That's why they cannot be in the same tier.

But to set an angle you need to cut your kinesis same happens to other keyboards... It needs to be simply and measurable. Split keyboards are ABOVE fixed keyboards. Im typing this on a kinesis, and while I love it, the split keyboard of my ErgoDox is more comfortable and ergonomic. That's why they cannot be in the same tier.


Made your point. What do you suggest for measuring tiers?

Anyway, this discussion is about what are the Tiers on ergonomic keyboards. 1st tier is contoured keyboards. Make a split contoured and you get the top level. However, not such a thing in the market yet.

You're saying the IBM Model M is a 1st tier ergonomic keyboard? O_o

You wish your Model M was contoured.
So, back to topic. Without trolling, what would be used to measure the tiers? The one everyone would agree is price... No comparison an Ergodox Kit vs MS4k :)
And it should not fit prejudice, because someone using a stock dell keyboard can think is the best ergonomic on the planet.

Or... I think we should go further back: What defines an ergonomic keyboard? The manufacturer saying "ergonomic"? That it's split (even if badly designed?) that it has mechanical switches with o-rings? There are many topics here to clarify :(

If we go medical, then the principle of split keyboard should be the "starting" point. Thumb clusters are more ergonomically than saturating your pinkies (unless you suffer from something in your thumbs, of course). But ergonomics means more than just the keyboard. The height of the table , correct posture, etc. are as important, or more important, than the keyboard.

One question: Is there any ergonomic keyboard that has no split? (in other words: traditional layout of keys)

Offline jacobolus

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #63 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:10:57 »
Frankly, separating keyboards into “tiers” is inherently impossible and a matter of taste. Instead, it would be good to describe several features of keyboards which affect typing comfort, speed, accuracy, and then describe how various “ergonomic” keyboards try to solve these problems, and what side-effects those solutions have or what other disadvantages come with each keyboard along all the dimensions someone might care about, such as ease of learning, portability, programmability, price, etc., not to mention remaining ergonomic problems, e.g. for people with unusually large or small hands, or for those who have joint injuries.

Offline kaltar

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #64 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:17:58 »
Now, MS4k has low quality, and terribly cheap rubber dome switches, but the layout, the shape and comfort it provides is really good. I would not put it in bottom tier, ever. Modifiers are big and symmetrical, and kicks the matias unreleased ergo layout ass easily.
This is a pretty silly conclusion, I think. Matias’s keyboard has more accessible bottom row keys, a split spacebar, has two halves which can be positioned/oriented arbitrarily, and takes up less space meaning a pointing device can be closer. Not to mention, it uses much nicer keyswitches which will cause dramatically less finger joint strain.

If you’re so worried about thumb curling that you dislike the μTRON, note that the Microsoft curvy keyboard requires substantially more thumb curling than the μTRON does. to hit all the provided thumb keys.

There are just 3 keys on MS4k for usage with the thumbs: Spacebar and the ones next to it. The others are NOT for thumbs, and they did not advertise it like that. The μTRON does advertise them for thumbs.

There are many terrible things on the MS4k, like switches and quality overall. Even the split point (why not 6 on both sides, like some split keyboards?)
I hardly use the mouse and navigate mostly with keyboard, but if we are taking mouse into consideration, a rollermouse should fix the distance issue  ;)

I tried the Matias and the switches were louder than any other I've seen. However, I love the feeling of typing on it. The new one is unreleased, but just based on the layout, looks less ergonomic than the MS4k. That's all.

Anyway, What about making a matrix of the ergonomic keyboards? That way we do not handle tiers, but see what keyboard has more X on the table!
There are not 100 ergonomic keyboards available (as far as I know!) But we can add possibly 100 categories to see how they fit in. That's just to measure a "recommended" keyboard.

Offline kaltar

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #65 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:18:50 »
Frankly, separating keyboards into “tiers” is inherently impossible and a matter of taste. Instead, it would be good to describe several features of keyboards which affect typing comfort, speed, accuracy, and then describe how various “ergonomic” keyboards try to solve these problems, and what side-effects those solutions have or what other disadvantages come with each keyboard along all the dimensions someone might care about, such as ease of learning, portability, programmability, price, etc., not to mention remaining ergonomic problems, e.g. for people with unusually large or small hands, or for those who have joint injuries.

+1
This is pretty much the best solution so far.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #66 on: Sun, 06 April 2014, 20:25:25 »
There are just 3 keys on MS4k for usage with the thumbs: Spacebar and the ones next to it. The others are NOT for thumbs, and they did not advertise it like that. The μTRON does advertise them for thumbs.
The Alt key (the one right next to the spacebar) on the MS4K requires just as much thumb bending as any of the thumb keys on the μTRON. Seriously, look at it: it starts under the middle-finger key on each hand, just like the μTRON’s hardest-to-hit thumb key.

The Windows keys require still more thumb bending than that. Are you saying people don’t use their thumbs to press the Windows keys? That sounds odd to me, but whatever.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #67 on: Mon, 07 April 2014, 00:39:11 »
I like the idea of a feature matrix.

Offline davkol

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #68 on: Mon, 07 April 2014, 06:04:36 »
As I said, should be on measurable elements.

Too complicated. There are too few available ergonomic keyboards and each would require its own category in the end. Such ordering is completely useless.

How many tiers will you make? 3? 6? Why not just 2? The Idea of a tier is that you know what level it fits. If a MS4k appears with an open firmware just like the ergodox, would it become tier 1? So you get your tiers in idea of what you need to measure.

(...)

What do you suggest for measuring tiers?

As long as it's around five or less, it should be fine, because psychology.

My experience is that people consider in the first place, how much the keyboard resembles the standard (i.e. full-size QWERTY-based w/ horizontal staggering or theoretically a grid layout). That is
  • fixed-split *standard* keyboard (e.g. MS Natural and its clones)
  • split/compact/grid keyboard
  • any keyboard w/ awkward key placement and/or shape (symmetrical staggering, columnar layout, contoured matrix; thumb/palm clusters)
  • doesn't resemble a keyboard at all (e.g. DataHand)
It's fairly simple (only four categories) and gives a reader some idea, how difficult it might be to adjust to the new layout.

Anyway, this discussion is about what are the Tiers on ergonomic keyboards. 1st tier is contoured keyboards. Make a split contoured and you get the top level. However, not such a thing in the market yet.

You're saying the IBM Model M is a 1st tier ergonomic keyboard? O_o

You wish your Model M was contoured.

How would they achieve non-flat profile with uniform-profile keycaps otherwise?
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 April 2014, 06:06:25 by davkol »

Offline kaltar

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #69 on: Mon, 07 April 2014, 23:16:23 »

As long as it's around five or less, it should be fine, because psychology.

My experience is that people consider in the first place, how much the keyboard resembles the standard (i.e. full-size QWERTY-based w/ horizontal staggering or theoretically a grid layout). That is
  • fixed-split *standard* keyboard (e.g. MS Natural and its clones)
  • split/compact/grid keyboard
  • any keyboard w/ awkward key placement and/or shape (symmetrical staggering, columnar layout, contoured matrix; thumb/palm clusters)
  • doesn't resemble a keyboard at all (e.g. DataHand)
It's fairly simple (only four categories) and gives a reader some idea, how difficult it might be to adjust to the new layout.

You wish your Model M was contoured.

How would they achieve non-flat profile with uniform-profile keycaps otherwise?

There you go. Tiers based on something measurable: Amount of changes from a traditional layout.
The orbitouch is for sure in that last tier. And it has nothing to do with how "ergonomic" it is (since there is no way to put a number on this, plus it's in a big part just perception).

And your Model M is not contoured (bowl shaped) like the Maltron.

Offline hoggy

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #70 on: Tue, 08 April 2014, 01:39:19 »
A feature matrix sounds like a good idea... How about we set up a Google docs spreadsheet - leave it open to all for a little while and then lock it down to the main contributors once it settles?
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #71 on: Tue, 08 April 2014, 22:49:42 »
A feature matrix sounds like a good idea... How about we set up a Google docs spreadsheet - leave it open to all for a little while and then lock it down to the main contributors once it settles?

I think a matrix is one of the more unbiased methods to look at this subject.

Off the top of my head for features: split halves, tented sides, columnar layout, extra thumb keys, type of key switches, connectivity to PC (usb, ps2, etc), adjustability of split/tenting.

That's just a start, I know there are other important things to consider.

Offline Lanx

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Re: GH Ergo Community + Suggested Ergonomic Practices + GH Ergonomics Guide
« Reply #72 on: Wed, 09 April 2014, 03:43:42 »
maybe we should just assign a point system.

your basic dell 101 keyboard has zero points (this is the base)

if you add mech keys to it, it has +1

if you split it, +1

if you matrix it +1

etc,

we just have to define what features we would deem as ergonomic, which could be pretty debatable but most are no brainers (i.e. cherry brown vs. $20 rubber domes are vastly more ergonomic)