Author Topic: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)  (Read 42999 times)

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Offline Oobly

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There's nothing wrong with moving your whole hand -- as long as the targets are big and in a natural position. 

In fact, I think you're increasing your risk of injury by *not* moving your hand periodically.  You're overloading a smaller group of muscles, whereas what you should be doing is spreading the work around as much as possible.
The problem is not moving your hand from time to time. The problem is moving your hand back and forth in an awkward and very specific way, over and over and over again in an identical pattern throughout the day, and trying to do it quickly. It ends up being both uncomfortable and very inefficient.

And space is THE most frequent character typed. It has to be in the most convenient spot. Moving your hand to press it is, IMO, not acceptable.
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Offline jacobolus

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There's nothing wrong with moving your whole hand -- as long as the targets are big and in a natural position. 

In fact, I think you're increasing your risk of injury by *not* moving your hand periodically.  You're overloading a smaller group of muscles, whereas what you should be doing is spreading the work around as much as possible.
The problem is not moving your hand from time to time. The problem is moving your hand back and forth in an awkward and very specific way, over and over and over again in an identical pattern throughout the day, and trying to do it quickly. It ends up being both uncomfortable and very inefficient.

And space is THE most frequent character typed. It has to be in the most convenient spot. Moving your hand to press it is, IMO, not acceptable.
Just to clarify: Iím not mainly talking about the spacebar here. Iím talking about moving the right hand over to the arrow keys and back, or reaching up to the delete key, or contorting the hand to type some 3-modifier shortcut, etc.

A standard keyboard has, in my opinion, an extremely inefficient and inconvenient layout, and I think it should be possible to make a keyboard which doesnít require these kinds of motions ever.

Offline Matias

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There's nothing wrong with moving your whole hand -- as long as the targets are big and in a natural position. 

In fact, I think you're increasing your risk of injury by *not* moving your hand periodically.  You're overloading a smaller group of muscles, whereas what you should be doing is spreading the work around as much as possible.
The problem is not moving your hand from time to time. The problem is moving your hand back and forth in an awkward and very specific way, over and over and over again in an identical pattern throughout the day, and trying to do it quickly. It ends up being both uncomfortable and very inefficient.


I'm not advocating that, but that was not the OP's problem.  His problem was that the spacebar was in the wrong spot (and/or too narrow).




And space is THE most frequent character typed. It has to be in the most convenient spot. Moving your hand to press it is, IMO, not acceptable.


IMO the most frequently typed key should be wider than 1u.  Big targests are easy to press.  The most frequent key should be easy to press.


Offline Matias

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Just to clarify: Iím not mainly talking about the spacebar here. Iím talking about moving the right hand over to the arrow keys and back, or reaching up to the delete key, or contorting the hand to type some 3-modifier shortcut, etc.

A standard keyboard has, in my opinion, an extremely inefficient and inconvenient layout, and I think it should be possible to make a keyboard which doesnít require these kinds of motions ever.



Totally agree with you there...  :)


Offline jacobolus

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IMO the most frequently typed key should be wider than 1u.  Big targests are easy to press.  The most frequent key should be easy to press.
If the target is already under your finger, the size doesnít matter too much. As has been mentioned upthread, the main reason to make a key expected to be used by the thumbs big is to accommodate a variety of hand sizes and positions, not to make it an easier target to find per se.

The critical design constraint is making sure that thereís *some* key directly under someoneís thumb; if there are 3-4 thumb keys next to each other, then that should be true for people with various hand sizes, even if itís not always the same key.

On a keyboard without programmable firmware, I agree the spacebar needs to be bigger.

Offline daerid

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If the target is already under your finger, the size doesnít matter too much. As has been mentioned upthread, the main reason to make a key expected to be used by the thumbs big is to accommodate a variety of hand sizes and positions, not to make it an easier target to find per se.

The critical design constraint is making sure that thereís *some* key directly under someoneís thumb; if there are 3-4 thumb keys next to each other, then that should be true for people with various hand sizes, even if itís not always the same key.

On a keyboard without programmable firmware, I agree the spacebar needs to be bigger.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with that. The 4 fingers on each hand are fairly similar in orientation and motion when it comes to striking the keys. The thumbs are kind of the odd-man out, and generally (from my experience) not very uniform in the motions made to hit the space bar. I know that when I type, especially when I'm really cranking, I don't always hit the space bar in the same spot, and my hand's not changing size. For me, and probably quite a few others, having a wider spacebar for both hands is beneficial in that you can hit it with your thumb no matter where your thumb happens to be while typing.

Offline nomaded

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I'm using a TECK right now and I find myself using my index finger for most of the middle keys. and thumb on the space bars.  I'm not sure how that will translate over to the ErgoDox.

For me, I use my index fingers on the vertical 1.5u keys on the inside edge of each half.

I use my thumbs on the 2 2u keys in the thumb clusters, and the inner bottom 1u key. The rest of the 1u keys in the thumb clusters I hit with my index fingers, but I don't use them that much.

My current layout in my sig.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (MX Clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || Infinity ErgoDox (Zealios 78g tactile) w/SA Retro || Atreus62 (MX Clears) w/Chocolatier || TECK 209 (MX Browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline jacobolus

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I'm not entirely sure I agree with that. The 4 fingers on each hand are fairly similar in orientation and motion when it comes to striking the keys. The thumbs are kind of the odd-man out, and generally (from my experience) not very uniform in the motions made to hit the space bar. I know that when I type, especially when I'm really cranking, I don't always hit the space bar in the same spot, and my hand's not changing size. For me, and probably quite a few others, having a wider spacebar for both hands is beneficial in that you can hit it with your thumb no matter where your thumb happens to be while typing.
Interesting. Do you always use the same thumb on the spacebar, or do you alternate? How wide do you think the spacebar would have to be to accommodate your typing, assuming a key to be hit by just one hand? Is 1.5 units wide enough? 2 units? What about a 1.5x1.5 square? If the Ergodox 1x2 thumb keys were moved toward the finger sections (to require less reaching for your thumbs) but kept in their current orientation, you still think youíd find them ineffective as spacebars?

Offline daerid

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Interesting. Do you always use the same thumb on the spacebar, or do you alternate? How wide do you think the spacebar would have to be to accommodate your typing, assuming a key to be hit by just one hand? Is 1.5 units wide enough? 2 units? What about a 1.5x1.5 square? If the Ergodox 1x2 thumb keys were moved toward the finger sections (to require less reaching for your thumbs) but kept in their current orientation, you still think youíd find them ineffective as spacebars?

Generally I use the right thumb for hitting the space. Unless I'm gaming (obv). I could probably lose about 1x worth of space on either side and not notice it.

Offline jacobolus

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Interesting. Do you always use the same thumb on the spacebar, or do you alternate? How wide do you think the spacebar would have to be to accommodate your typing, assuming a key to be hit by just one hand? Is 1.5 units wide enough? 2 units? What about a 1.5x1.5 square? If the Ergodox 1x2 thumb keys were moved toward the finger sections (to require less reaching for your thumbs) but kept in their current orientation, you still think youíd find them ineffective as spacebars?

Generally I use the right thumb for hitting the space. Unless I'm gaming (obv). I could probably lose about 1x worth of space on either side and not notice it.
So, something like a 2x1 spacebar (i.e. 2 units wide) would probably be sufficient, if it were put in the right spot?

Or since you otherwise like the Ergodox, would something like this do it?
« Last Edit: Tue, 03 June 2014, 17:02:25 by jacobolus »

Offline Matias

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Thought I'd post another data point in the on-going Spacebar debate...

I found this slide during my literature search, leading up to the 2nd redesign of the Ergo Pro.  While it states "wide spacebar", what they really mean "tall spacebar".



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Offline jacobolus

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Thought I'd post another data point in the on-going Spacebar debate...

I found this slide during my literature search, leading up to the 2nd redesign of the Ergo Pro.  While it states "wide spacebar", what they really mean "tall spacebar".
Yeah, I think this is the theory behind the shape of the spacebars on Maltron/Kinesis/Ergodox. But it sounds like they might benefit from being both tall *and* wide.

As soon as I can get my hands on some of those sweet new Matias keycaps, I might try making a tiny minimal keyboard something like:
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 June 2014, 00:06:22 by jacobolus »

Offline Matias

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Thought I'd post another data point in the on-going Spacebar debate...

I found this slide during my literature search, leading up to the 2nd redesign of the Ergo Pro.  While it states "wide spacebar", what they really mean "tall spacebar".


Yeah, I think this is the theory behind the shape of the spacebars on Maltron/Kinesis/Ergodox. But it sounds like they benefit from being both tall *and* wide.


Tall and wide does seem to be the least risky approach.




As soon as I can get my hands on some of those sweet new Matias keycaps, I might try making a tiny minimal keyboard something like:

Show Image



I've always had a soft spot for small keyboards.  :-)

The big caps should be available in August.


Offline Zekromtor

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Interesting. Do you always use the same thumb on the spacebar, or do you alternate? How wide do you think the spacebar would have to be to accommodate your typing, assuming a key to be hit by just one hand? Is 1.5 units wide enough? 2 units? What about a 1.5x1.5 square? If the Ergodox 1x2 thumb keys were moved toward the finger sections (to require less reaching for your thumbs) but kept in their current orientation, you still think youíd find them ineffective as spacebars?

Generally I use the right thumb for hitting the space. Unless I'm gaming (obv). I could probably lose about 1x worth of space on either side and not notice it.
So, something like a 2x1 spacebar (i.e. 2 units wide) would probably be sufficient, if it were put in the right spot?

Or since you otherwise like the Ergodox, would something like this do it?
Show Image


that looks pretty awesome actually.

Offline daerid

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Yeah, usually not a fan of 40%-ish layouts, but that looks eminently usable.

Offline tp4tissue

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Guys this space bar thing isn't even an issue on the Egdx..

Move all alphabet keys One row up...     so the key N or M  and the left modifier would become space..  and your thumb will land there squarely..

Think outside the box dudez...

while a 1x1 spacebar wouldn't work on most other keyboard..

It does on the ergodox. because your hand doesn't have to move much to reach for other keys...

Offline jacobolus

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Guys this space bar thing isn't even an issue on the Egdx..

Move all alphabet keys One row up...     so the key N or M  and the left modifier would become space..  and your thumb will land there squarely..
So basically, give up the number row, and wind up with 2 rows of unusable keys on the bottom of the finger section? Sounds pretty silly to me. :-)

Also, the most natural spot for my thumb still lies in that awkward triangular gap area, if I do that.
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 June 2014, 17:05:41 by jacobolus »

Offline tp4tissue

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Guys this space bar thing isn't even an issue on the Egdx..

Move all alphabet keys One row up...     so the key N or M  and the left modifier would become space..  and your thumb will land there squarely..
So basically, give up the number row, and wind up with 2 rows of unusable keys on the bottom of the finger section? Sounds pretty silly to me. :-)

Also, the most natural spot for my thumb still lies in that awkward triangular gap area, if I do that.

what are you talking about?

Offline jacobolus

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what are you talking about?
If you ďMove all alphabet keys One row upĒ, then thereís suddenly no space for a number row. So I assume youíd recommend just put number keys somewhere else, in that example? Also, now there are 2 rows of hard to reach keys at the bottom of the finger section.

Offline Oobly

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Guys this space bar thing isn't even an issue on the Egdx..

Move all alphabet keys One row up...     so the key N or M  and the left modifier would become space..  and your thumb will land there squarely..
So basically, give up the number row, and wind up with 2 rows of unusable keys on the bottom of the finger section? Sounds pretty silly to me. :-)

Also, the most natural spot for my thumb still lies in that awkward triangular gap area, if I do that.

Here is a mod that may suit you then: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=22780.msg1350750#msg1350750

You lose one bottom row key and 3 hard-to-reach 1x thumb keys, but you've got 3 usable thumb keys, with the innermost one in a good position.
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.

Offline jacobolus

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Here is a mod that may suit you then: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=22780.msg1350750#msg1350750

You lose one bottom row key and 3 hard-to-reach 1x thumb keys, but you've got 3 usable thumb keys, with the innermost one in a good position.
Yeah, I think thatís quite a bit better than the standard Ergodox design.


Daerid, what do you think?

Offline plainbriny

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How about something like this:


The thumb key as space would be more natural and accessible.
But special keycaps are required for this key.

Offline Matias

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How about something like this:
(Attachment Link)

The thumb key as space would be more natural and accessible.
But special keycaps are required for this key.



You could also sand off the sharp edges of the 2x1 keys, by rubbing them against a piece of fine sandpaper.  That would make them more like a 1x2 (which is what you actually want).


Offline daerid

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Here is a mod that may suit you then: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=22780.msg1350750#msg1350750

You lose one bottom row key and 3 hard-to-reach 1x thumb keys, but you've got 3 usable thumb keys, with the innermost one in a good position.
Yeah, I think that’s quite a bit better than the standard Ergodox design.
Show Image


Daerid, what do you think?

That is one schmexy schmergodox

I might at some point get another kit and try it out. It seems much more suited to where my thumbs naturally rest. Although, I just might do a 2x wide bar for space on both hands, rather than 3 vertical thumb buttons.

Offline daerid

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How about something like this:
(Attachment Link)

The thumb key as space would be more natural and accessible.
But special keycaps are required for this key.

Boom. This looks a lot closer, but I'd probably put the lateral space bar closer to the alphas instead.

Offline plainbriny

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How about this?

68449-0

Offline jacobolus

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How about this?
Show Image

Marginally better, but now you effectively lose one easily reachable thumb key. Better is to give up on the existing ergodox PCB and make a more substantial redesign. :-)

Also, I suspect that main thumb key is slightly too far down (i.e. in the direction of the body) for some folks.

Offline plainbriny

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 well, since I have got some spare PCBs, it won't hurt trying

Offline jacobolus

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #78 on: Tue, 16 September 2014, 23:14:22 »
I posted some other ideas over here:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=62848

« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 02:49:58 by jacobolus »

Offline caseyandgina

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #79 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 20:45:58 »
What's this have to do with QWERTY?

I think you mean standard traditional key pattern, not qwerty.

I used to use "ergonomic" keyboards too but nothing short of switching to Dvorak (on standard placement) solved my wrist pain issues.  I definitely don't like qwerty!

Offline davkol

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #80 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 03:03:00 »
Quite a lot actually, because the physical layout was present on the original Sholes' mechanical typewriters probably due to the physical constraints of such device at the time, and QWERTY was designed for that physical layout as a nearly optimal solution for avoiding jamming. The two layout "layers" are tied together as the Maltron 3D keyboard with DTHOR.

Offline jacobolus

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Offline caseyandgina

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #82 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 14:59:48 »
Interesting history.  I suppose that I would like to make a plain keyboard with non-staggered keys.  jacobolus's ideas look promising.


Offline caseyandgina

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #84 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 07:10:34 »
Anybody used one of these? Looks very nice:

https://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php


Offline qihqi

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #86 on: Tue, 23 September 2014, 18:29:32 »
Anybody used one of these? Looks very nice:

https://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php

I am using one since 2 years ego.
It is awesome.
Took me like 2 weeks to get used to the layout (the hardest part is what shift and ctrl are one row higher than standard keyboard).
I am actually planning to get an ErgoDox to try out, this thread is making my doubt.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #87 on: Wed, 24 September 2014, 09:22:12 »
Anybody used one of these? Looks very nice:

https://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/index.php

Without tenting... it doesn't solve the wrist angle problem.. ergodox can conform to your wrist's resting angle through tenting..   the truly ergonomic can not.. therefore it's a LIE, as it is not Truly Ergonomic.



Offline caseyandgina

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #88 on: Wed, 24 September 2014, 14:56:12 »
Without tenting... it doesn't solve the wrist angle problem.. ergodox can conform to your wrist's resting angle through tenting..   the truly ergonomic can not.. therefore it's a LIE, as it is not Truly Ergonomic.

I think ergonomics is a bit subjective.  Some things affect some more than others.  Personally I just find it silly that we still use keyboards which require moving each finger, regardless of which hand, to the upper left and lower right, rather than straight up and down.  I used an original Microsoft Natural keyboard and the Pro model that followed back in the day, and really didn't find them beneficial at all.  To me it seemed like it would be more beneficial to a stockier-build person whose elbows were farther out to the sides than mine, but for me it was basically causing more wrist bending.  It was using these keyboards that I developed persistent wrist pains, and it was by switching to Dvorak on a standard format keyboard that made it go away.  I tried using an ergonomic mouse that you help with your hand vertical rather than horizontal, and it was the worst pointing experience I have ever subjected myself to.  I really don't think that having my palms facing the desk is so bad, though in practice there is always somewhat of an angle as my pinky side rests closer to the desk than the index finger side.  When I look at any animal that walks on four legs, I see their claws pointing forward, not out to the sides, and likewise if I crawl, I do the same.  Perhaps some find comfort in having tenting and more angled wrists, but I don't think it's the most important thing.  I think that if my left hand didn't have to do all these crazy contortions to get to the upper and lower row keys that the right hand doesn't have to do on a typical keyboard, that would be a more tangible benefit.

I do really like that the Ergodox gives you flexibility though, to put each half of the keyboard however you like.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #89 on: Wed, 24 September 2014, 17:35:46 »
I think ergonomics is a bit subjective.
Itís not *subjective*; as in, there are features of hand anatomy and physics which we can measure (efficiency, wrist strain, error rate, joint impact, long-term injury rate etc.). What keyboard is comfortable does however vary from one person to another, based on different hand shapes, typing styles, etc.

The first thing to worry about, before the shape of the keyboard per se, is whether your chair (or standing position), desk (or keyboard tray, or lap), and computer display are all positioned and oriented in a comfortable way. You want to keep your back and neck straight, your head adequately supported (either by lying down or by sitting or standing straight with your eyes pointed straight ahead), your wrists in as neutral an orientation as possible, and your arms in a comfortable position. You want to make sure to switch positions from time to time, take breaks, get enough sleep and exercise, and in general avoid the pitfalls of sitting all the time to the extent possible.

Then once thatís sorted out, you can improve your wrist comfort and typing efficiency and accuracy by changing the layout of the keyboard. If you have a single solid one piece keyboard or a split keyboard with the halves close together, substantial tenting (something like 30Ė45į tilt or even more) is very helpful; as the arms spread apart, less tenting is required (though itís probably still fine). Also helpful is sticking a pointer device as close as possible to the home position, adding thumb keys, reducing the load on the pinkies, arranging the keys in columns instead of rows, and working to eliminate awkward or uncomfortable motions (for instance, by moving the delete, return, right shift, and both ctrl keys to more comfortable and convenient locations than on a standard keyboard).

Personally, I donít especially like the TECK, but itís a noticeable improvement compared to a standard keyboard.
« Last Edit: Wed, 24 September 2014, 17:39:04 by jacobolus »

Offline yasuo

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This makes me think this type of switch rather important than the layout although
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Offline iLLucionist

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The first thing to worry about, before the shape of the keyboard per se, is whether your chair (or standing position), desk (or keyboard tray, or lap), and computer display are all positioned and oriented in a comfortable way. You want to keep your back and neck straight, your head adequately supported (either by lying down or by sitting or standing straight with your eyes pointed straight ahead), your wrists in as neutral an orientation as possible, and your arms in a comfortable position. You want to make sure to switch positions from time to time, take breaks, get enough sleep and exercise, and in general avoid the pitfalls of sitting all the time to the extent possible.

This. There is this nerve running from your ring finger and pinky up through your wrist up to your shoulder. When your neck is cramped or your shoulder is in a fixed position, you will get numb sensations in your ring finger and pinky. So literally body posture is as important as is the keyboard itself.

However, I completely disagree with the fact that there are "universal" rules for the "ideal" body position (neck, shoulder, monitor height, desk, height, chair height etc.). Every body is literally physically different (longer/shorter arms, longer/shorter neck, longer/shorter legs, etc) and ergonomics departments at organizations for as far as I have seen usually do not take into account that body's differ.

For me, if I strictly adhere to the general advice, I will feel strain on my body. I always like to sit a bit higher than I'm advised to and keep my keyboard a bit closer than I'm advised to. That works for me best.
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Offline Phenix

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@jacobolus

1) please number each of your ideas ^-^ That's more easy to talk about

2) I really like your idea of the second from behind because of many modifers in bottom row..
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The Kinesis Advantage also overloads the thumb keys in the same way as the ErgoDox.  Anyone have a similar or different experience with it?
I donít have any extensive experience typing on a Maltron or a Kinesis Advantage (about 10 minutes with the Maltron, about a day with the Kinesis, vs. a couple weeks full time with the Ergodox), but just from a bit of playing with one, I think the Maltron does rather better than either the Ergodox or the Kinesis Advantage.

My (perhaps unfair) summary goes like this:

(1) Maltron made a keyboard shape optimized for their production process: a hand-wired keyboard in a vacuum-formed plastic case. They have great flexibility when it comes to both 3-dimensional placement and orientation of every key. As a result, they can (at least for a range of average-ish hand sizes) design their keyboard so that as many keys as possible are within very easy reach, and each key is at the best height and angle that their process could manage.

(2) The Kinesis people thought that seemed like a great design, but thought they could produce a copycat for cheaper, by using a curved PCB instead of hand wiring. Because the curved PCB is much more constrained than the vacuum forming process w/r/t position and orientation of switches, they tried to compromise by using keycaps of varying profiles. This is only marginally successful, and overall the keys are not as reachable or easy to press as Maltron keys. Additionally, for my hands at least, the Kinesis seems to have much worse positioning and angling for the thumb keys than the Maltron does. Iím not sure if this is because they screwed up, or because my hands are atypical, or because their position nominally works for a broader range of hand shapes, or what. But anyway, to me it seems like a serious design flaw.

(3) The Ergodox people (Dox & friends) thought the Kinesis seemed like a great design, but thought they could produce a sort-of-copycat for even cheaper, by just using two flat PCBs/plates/cases. The downside of this is that the shape doesnít fit a hand nearly as well. But potentially mitigating this, the two halves are separate, so they can be independently moved and reoriented to suit someoneís personal preference. Also, programmable firmware is great!

My (perhaps unfair) speculation is that at each copying step, the designers didnít stop to think about what the optimal shape was given the constraints of human hands and their chosen production technology; instead, they just tried to copy the previous design as closely as possible and adapting it minimally to fit the new constraints. As a result, neither design comes from the same kind of understanding that the Maltronís original creators had of the design space. [However, in getting a bunch of people who need something better away from standard keyboards, the Kinesis is still a great success. And as an inspirational collaborative hobby-project which gets people building their own keyboards and taking ownership of the whole process, the Ergodox is amazing and wonderful. I love it for that!]

Iím really sad that the DataStealth/Flinder keyboard never made it to production, because it seems like a very solid design from first principles, by about the most serious anatomy/ergonomics expert who has ever tried to design a keyboard from scratch. http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55099.msg1236269#msg1236269

Among keyboards before 2014, I think the DataStealth, the Maltron, the μTRON, and the Cherry G80-5000 are the best four examples of ergonomic keyboards (at least, best when it comes to the keyboard shape/layout) that were designed. They have 4 somewhat different philosophies about what makes a good ergonomic keyboard, and end up in 4 substantially different areas of the possible design space, but each is a real masterpiece.

Iím really excited to see projects like ErgoPro and keyboard.io and Axios coming up in 2014; weíre seeing some real innovation again for the first time in >10 years... not just hobby projects, but real products (fingers crossed). Hopefully there is continued experimentation and invention in the next few years!

Edit: I also hope someone starts trying layouts more like this:
Show Image

Split spacebar + extra thumb keys are great, even on a standard-ish keyboard!


Nice design. Interestingly, it calls the as* keyboard. LOL.

Offline daerid

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Holy necro thread, Batman.

FWIW I've been 100% ortho these days. I use a Preonic on my gaming PC, and for work I swap between a Lily58 Pro and Iris Rev 4. I also have a Sofle kit that should be arriving soon. This new wave of split ergonomic boards has been amazing, and pretty much fixes all my gripes with the ErgoDox.

Offline jamster

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I've got to plug the DK6 because I have been so impressed with it.

You sidestep loads of the expensive trial and error steps that seem part and parcel of diving into the ergo world. The totally flexible layout lets you experiment with just about everything:

-Split
-Total number of keys, anything from 40% up to (probably) full size. I am running 80 something.
-Ortho/staggered
-Thumb cluster arrangements- whether traditional vertical press or
-Tenting (someone has posted .stm files for and adjustable stand up to Thingverse, I just used a box to get tenting)
-Switch choices- each module is hotswap


Maybe if you already know your perfect ergo layout, you could handcraft your perfect board, but if you've not totally nailed it down, this thing will let you experiment and tweak to your hearts content.

This is a photo of my right hand board. I make no claims as to it being pretty It's ugly AF, but the aesthetics of carefully selected key cap colours don't really matter to me. It's also still a work in progress. I went back to a a dedicated numpad (been missing one for 5-6 years now) and this board has let me do it without going full-size. I'm still trying to decide whether I prefer full ortho or staggered columns, and I am probably going to ditch the inward-activated thumb keys. Left hand board has a a curved thumb cluster with more keys because there's no numpad there, and the rest of the nav cluster (up/down/home/end). No layers for me!

https://imgur.com/a/DZG88tj

There are definitely some limitations:

-If you rely on layers, you need to run the keyboard software which is Windows-only. Fortunately, I don't run layers, I prefer dedicated keys and I can easily attach enough for my purposes
-No ability for concavity or a full Manuform approach to thumb clusters. Fortunately, contrary to my initial expectations, I don't really likehorizontally actuated thumb keys.
- Not at all portable- you cannot travel with this. Because the keys attach via strong magnets, if you threw this into a bag, you'd end up sliding the keys around on the board.

Overall, for someone who's just started trying the ergo approach, I am very glad to have started with this one- it's stopped me going through a series of "hey that's a great idea... bummer IRL I really don't like it after all" boards.

[Edits because I can't figure out how to use the list function]
« Last Edit: Sun, 30 August 2020, 04:00:14 by jamster »

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #96 on: Thu, 03 September 2020, 16:02:53 »
We need EGDX with 1 to 2 extra top rows. .  Other than that, EGDX already perfect.

Offline vvp

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #97 on: Fri, 04 September 2020, 15:28:25 »
You have layers and thumb clusters for that. Put a layer shift on a thumb key and put f-keys into the layer.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #98 on: Mon, 07 September 2020, 16:11:04 »
You have layers and thumb clusters for that. Put a layer shift on a thumb key and put f-keys into the layer.

ain't no body got time for that..  aware it can be worked around, but why, just gibs Tp m0ar keys.  Shift+F# is also not as reliable as dedicated keys.  So if Tp4's got dudes in bases killing other dudes,  F-keys really help.

Offline vvp

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Re: My year with the ErgoDox (or how I learned to stop worrying and love QWERTY)
« Reply #99 on: Tue, 08 September 2020, 02:57:56 »
Dedicated keys are more reliable only when user trains enough to precisely hit far away keys requiring bigger hand movement without looking. Big keyboards with more keys require bigger arm dexterity and precision (not only finger precision).

I can imagine piano players would prefer bigger keyboards with dedicated keys.