Author Topic: PLUM matrix keyboard  (Read 9981 times)

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Offline jacobolus

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PLUM matrix keyboard
« on: Wed, 22 October 2014, 16:42:26 »
Has anyone used one? Any thoughts?


Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLUM_keyboard
PCMag review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1401569,00.asp
Computer Power User review: (at the internet archive)
Random forum review: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/community/threads/plum-keyboard-the-best-layout-ever.177078/
Defunct homepage: http://web.archive.org/web/20080313121843/http://www.plum.bz/products.html

(note to the mods: I pasted this as a topic a few months ago but it got stuck in some kind of moderation queue)

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 24 October 2014, 00:49:47 »
I reminds me of the TypeMatrix. That's interesting about the layout being easier for first-time typists. I wonder if all the new layouts should focus on something like that rather than optimizing movement, etc.

Offline yasuo

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 24 October 2014, 00:55:19 »
layout very good it seems
but matrix better on split
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 jacobolus

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 24 October 2014, 00:55:48 »
I think itís a bit of a waste to put the return key on a thumb, but the shift keys are in IMO a nice spot (better than the standard shift location if you ask me). The ctrl keys, backtick/tilde, escape, minus, equals, all the F keys, and some of the numbers are still in hard to reach places.

Iím not sold on the overall letter layout, but itís sorta interesting.

One feature is that this would be very easy for someone to build (and also play around with layouts), because except for the thumb keys itís all 1u keys with the same keycap shape.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 24 October 2014, 15:35:25 »
One of the Cherry Access-IS board might be a good starting point if you wanted to make your own PLUM.

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 01 November 2014, 10:20:37 »
Pros:

* Matrix layout is a big improvement, especially for typing on the bottom row under the left hand.

* The Shift keys are at excellent position for typing.

Cons:

* The entire punctuation column under F12 is hard to reach.

* Ctrl, Alt and Shift too far from arrows, Tab, Backspace, Enter, making it hard for editing (navigation, selection and correction) with one hand.

* Only half space bar, without the possibility to swap Space with Enter, making it hard for typists who use left thumb exclusively or both thumbs with the Space bar.

* The blank (unused) keys contribute nothing but confusion and disorientation.

* Asymmetrical alphanumeric array (i.e. there are more keys under the right hand than the left hand).

* The unusual (non-QWERTY) alphanumeric layout.

Overally, this keyboard has introduced few technical improvements but many changes against standard keyboard. A guaranteed commercial failure.
« Last Edit: Sat, 01 November 2014, 10:23:35 by dusan »
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Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 01:22:22 »
[ Specified attachment is not available ]
A constructive version of my answer.
« Last Edit: Sun, 09 November 2014, 07:13:52 by dusan »
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 01:58:12 »
A constructive version of my answer:
Show Image
Have you tried printing this out and fitting your hands on it? That spacebar looks like a really hard to reach spot, to me.

edit: nevermind I was looking at the little orange space indicator. Iíll have to think about this one a bit.

I donít really understand all the colored sub-legends.
« Last Edit: Sun, 09 November 2014, 02:00:25 by jacobolus »

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 09 November 2014, 02:37:23 »
A constructive version of my answer:
Show Image
Have you tried printing this out and fitting your hands on it? That spacebar looks like a really hard to reach spot, to me.
That's my dilemma.

Statically, on a physical matrix (the TypeMatrix 2030), my thumbs sit exactly there, i.e. left thumb under B and right thumb under N.

Dynamically however, the shiny trace of my thumbs on the space bar are about 1.5x wide, the trace of the left thumb is under VB, and trace of the right thumb under NM.

My guess:

a) 1x wide thumb key should suffice since lateral movements are reduced (due to relocation of the Shift keys).

b) Users still have to adapt a bit (0.5u) to the Space and white Backspace keys. Whether this adaptation is easy remains to be seen. Meantime I rely on the Planck keyboard layout where the designers reported successful adaptation.

edit: nevermind I was looking at the little orange space indicator. Iíll have to think about this one a bit.

I donít really understand all the colored sub-legends.

The bottom left 2x4 cluster contains Undo, Backspace, Insert, Delete, Redo, Cut, Copy and Paste respectively.

The bottom right 2x4 cluster contains Home, Up, End, PgUp, Left, Down, Right, PgDn respectively.

The two clusters, together with the respective parts of the blue and violet Fn layers, are mutually exchangeable under action of the L <-> R lock (blue Fn + F10).

Certain keys are transposed (i.e. they change position) under action of the left Ctrl (red) or the right Ctrl (orange) key.  This is to move modifier keys closer to the Ctrl key for better one-hand keyboarding. The transposition can be disabled by the Game lock (Fn + caps).

More specs will follow soon.
« Last Edit: Sun, 09 November 2014, 02:47:16 by dusan »
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Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 21 December 2014, 12:22:42 »
I've drafted the case that can be made from two metal sheets. It is shown together with a (symbolical) plate and PCB.

DIMENSION:

Inner (key space) dimension: 6u x 16u x 8.5 mm (1u = 3/4 " = 19.05 mm)

Outer dimension: 151.8 x 319.8 x 17.5 mm.

Metal sheet thickness: 0.5 mm

Bend radius: 0.5 mm for horizontal (X axis and Y axis) bends, 2.5 mm for vertical (Z axis) bends.

Screw hole diameter: 3 mm.

WEIGHT:

Plate: 230g stainless steel, or 80g aluminium, assuming 1.5 mm thickness.

Case (not including bolts and nuts): 340g stainless steel, or 120g aluminium.
« Last Edit: Sun, 21 December 2014, 12:39:12 by dusan »
TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.

Offline vivalarevoluciůn

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 21 December 2014, 12:38:50 »
Looks awful.
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline jacobolus

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 21 December 2014, 19:43:18 »
Looks awful.
Geez, so mean.

I havenít ever seen anyone try to make a case out of bent sheet metal like that. Looks pretty interesting.

Offline vivalarevoluciůn

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 21 December 2014, 20:03:06 »
Looks awful.
Geez, so mean.

I havenít ever seen anyone try to make a case out of bent sheet metal like that. Looks pretty interesting.

Oops.  I meant the keyboard and its layout.

The case thing and dusan's ideas are certainly interesting.
« Last Edit: Sun, 21 December 2014, 20:05:02 by prdlm2009 »
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 08 February 2015, 10:35:35 »
I've changed the design a bit.

The reasons are threefold:

  • Aesthetic. We may now use countersunk (flat head) screws for the external connections.
  • Easier production. All three parts are now made from the same metal sheet (of 1.5 mm thickness).
  • Mechanical strength. Now it can withstand about 300 kg bending force and 75 kg twisting force,  theoretically, if made from a high-strength aluminium alloy.
DIMENSIONS (update):  Outer 324 x 144 x 18.5 mm. Inner 306 x 115.5 x 8.5 mm.

WEIGHT (update): 480 g (aluminium), including the key plate, not including screws and nuts.
« Last Edit: Sun, 08 February 2015, 10:52:36 by dusan »
TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 21 December 2016, 10:52:03 »
This is the revised layout. The order of Undo, Redo keys and the position of the tenkey pads have been changed.


TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 23 December 2016, 12:29:47 »
The layout has passed further development quickly. We can now drop modifier re-location (i.e. pressing a modifier key like Ctrl also moves another modifier key like Shift, Alt, Fn to other position). The only exception is the Shift key becoming Ctrl+Alt under action of the same-hand Fn key, which is to make sure that even three-modifier combinations (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+key) can be typed with only two modifier keys. Note that re-location can always be disabled by the Game lock.

The decision was based on thinking of how users type a complex combination (e.g. Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow or Ctrl+Alt+Delete) on the standard keyboard. Certainly they type either

a) with both hands; or

b) with the right hand only.

With two configuration locks Ctrl <-> Shift (swaps Ctrl and Shift) and Alt <-> Fn (swaps Alt and Fn) which are already available in the layout, users of either kind can make the modifier cluster that fits their needs, i.e. resembles [almost] exactly the part of the standard keyboard that they're used to. All their good skills and experiences with the standard keyboard are thus preserved. Modifier re-location, therefore, was found unnecessary.

Note that the Alt<->Fn lock also load the alternative function layers which can be defined to fit the new position of Fn keys.
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Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 19:48:32 »
This is the update version of the layout.
243970-0

Summary of changes:

1. In the center, the Num and Caps locks are positioned closer to the hands, to be hit easily. The F1 through F12 keys are re-arranged into a T-shaped cluster with F1, F4, F5, F8, F9, F12 being corners, to be hit easily if a different keycap profile is used.

2. In the bottom right corner, the Right arrow is now positioned in the same column as Left arrow and End in the same column as Home.

3. Similarly, in the bottom left corner, Cut and Paste are now in the same column, Backspace and Delete are now in the same column.

4. In the thumb area, the Shift key and the f key (Function) are swapped. The new position is better for the Shift key as it is accessible by thumb, with a proper keycap profile.
« Last Edit: Mon, 01 June 2020, 20:17:36 by dusan »
TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 06 June 2020, 01:44:49 »
So finally I reached this layout. With 5 thumb keys in a compact 2x3 array.

Note that swapping Alt <-> Fn (Fn is depicted as 'f') so that Alt in the same row as Ctrl is a 'standard' variation and not a new layout. I use Windows, where this variation feels more natural. The swapped order makes it easier to press by one hand, for example, Shift+Alt+arrow (combinations to select a rectangle region of text in editor Notepad++).

Edit: updated pictures with the correct version number.
« Last Edit: Thu, 11 June 2020, 08:51:01 by dusan »
TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 06 June 2020, 02:17:47 »
And this is the keyboard where I conducted experiments.

EDIT: added a variant, with each 2u vertical key replaced by 1u key + 1u empty space. My thumbs feel better on this variant.
« Last Edit: Wed, 01 July 2020, 10:15:18 by dusan »
TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.

Offline dusan

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Re: PLUM matrix keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 16 June 2020, 22:18:48 »
This update is specifically aimed at optimizing the the 2x4 block at the bottom left corner of the layout. It was re-designed to be intuitive. The most pleasuring consequence (and to me surprising) is that one can now remove 2x2 keys at the bottom left corner and symmetrically 2x2 keys at the bottom right corner (if he/she likes to) and still obtain a reasonable layout.

Any way, here are design criteria for the 2x4 block.

1. Insert key must be next to Backspace key.

2. Insert key must be in the same column as Delete key.

3. Backspace v Delete. The Backspace key must be closer to the home row and the index finger.

4. The block (Paste, Cut) must be translated image of the block (Insert, Delete).

5. The Copy key must be adjacent to the Cut key (rather than the Paste key).

6. Copy v Cut/Paste. The Copy key must be closer to the left edge of the layout.

7. Undo v Redo. The Undo key must be closer to the index finger. The Redo key must be closer to the left edge of the layout.

8. The triplet (Backspace, Insert, Delete), as opposed to the triplet (Cut, Copy, Paste), must be closer to the index finger.
« Last Edit: Tue, 16 June 2020, 22:36:28 by dusan »
TypeMatrix 2030 | Topre Type Heaven | Filco Majestouch w/Cherry MX blue | CM Storm QF w/Cherry MX green | Asus Echelon w/Cherry MX black | Filco Stingray w/Cherry MX LP red | Keyrchon K1 w/Gateron LP red.