Down the mechanical keyboard rabbit gap

Down the mechanical keyboard rabbit gap

25 February 2022
11 minute study

I’m writing this to fragment my expertise adapting to peculiar keyboards and layouts.

A few years in the past a colleague of mine offered me to 60% keyboards. These days, I’m
typing this blog put up on a 42 key US Colemak-DH structure. With this blog put up I
will strive to fragment what my slouch used to be fancy.

Many of us are shrinking of keyboards fancy these and may per chance strive to discuss you out of
buying one. To them, I state this: Your keyboard is extra or much less fancy your instrument
to your profession. Skilled musicians don’t play on crappy instruments,
magnificent? πŸ˜‰

setup home office

Nonetheless let’s originate from the starting. I had an economical Logitech keyboard with
Norwegian ISO structure. Then I study someplace that writing code in actuality may per chance be
lots smoother the use of the US structure. This is the set up it started.

If you would even be already the use of a US keyboard structure, race ahead and skip this
paragraph. So that you’re smooth here, which can also neutral mean that you’re the use of some
European structure, am I magnificent? The Norwegian structure is horrifying for coding,
due to you’d use the magnificent-alt modifier to form many particular characters. I
didn’t possess a keyboard with a US structure, so I correct printed out a cheat sheet
and build it on my desk. So after a few days of getting dilapidated to the unique positions
of the actual characters, I indubitably enjoyed the feeling. Within the starting I used to be
switching between US and NO structure in the operative blueprint with a keybinding.
It labored comely, nonetheless masses of times I may form the substandard characters most efficient to
designate I used to be typing with the substandard structure.

EurKey to the rescue

I discovered a keyboard structure you would also install to your laptop which is made
by a German guy named Steffen Brüntjen and is in response to the US structure. It is
called EurKey, and the style you would form European particular letters is by
urgent the magnificent-alt adopted by yet any other key. As an instance, magnificent-alt + q
would print æ, magnificent-alt + l prints ø and magnificent-alt + w prints å.

A colleague of mine showed me his Jubilant Hacking Keyboard
which is a mechanical keyboard with out a arrows. When he later provided a original
WASD 61 key
keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches I used to be provided and determined to strive for myself.
I went for the Anne Pro 2 which
used to be associated, nonetheless more cost effective and indubitably programmable. It’s also wi-fi and the
battery lasts for every week or extra. I indubitably bask in this keyboard!

anne pro 2 keyboard

Being a vim user, I mapped the hjkl keys to behave fancy arrow keys. Also with
the Vimium extension for Firefox, I may use the vim-keybinding in every single voice!

Emacs customers regularly accept the credit rating for inventing this hack. And that hack is
about realizing how dumb they caps lock key indubitably is. Neatly, per chance not dumb,
nonetheless unless you write SQL all day long, you’re not the use of it sufficient for it to
deserve this form of honest voice magnificent there on the house row to your keyboard.
Replace it with ctrl! If your keyboard firmware has the ability to intention
utterly different keys ought to you choose or tap a key, you would also even intention it to Esc when
you tap it and ctrl when preserving it. You would maybe produce this with out anxiousness on the Anne Pro

If you would also possess some extra time you would also neutral smooth test out this amusing nonetheless relevant amusing
textual jabber
enhancing construct by eradicating ineffective stuff.

The Moonlander from ZSA is an ergonomic, reduce up, ortholinear mechanical and
programmable keyboard. By the style, ortholinear map that every the keys are
arranged as if in a grid quite than the abnormal staggered structure. You would maybe
program it to present on the total anything else you shield to possess with utterly different layers, macros and
also tap and opt can produce utterly different things. You may as well withhold a watch on the mouse, or
make a separate layer for stenography whereas you’re into that produce of element.


It’s also very expensive, from USD $365. Wished it for months and at closing
ordered it. Took fancy 3 days to ship it the total manner from Taiwan, very
impressive! This keyboard is a monster, and it be crucial to tame it sooner than you would also
use it. I printed out the total layers and hung them up on my desk. I rapidly
iterated utterly different layouts on the thumb clusters, then again it never moderately felt
natural. It’s a abnormal feeling to mess round with keys fancy ctrl,
backspace and enter. It hurts to regulate your mind to a keyboard fancy this.
After a few months I ended the use of it. It used to be correct too tall (coming from a 60%
structure), and I indubitably possess relative short pinkies so touch typing used to be not a honest

Why did I show cowl a keyboard I ended the use of anyways? Due to I discovered a mode to
manufacture it work fancy a appeal, nonetheless since I’m writing this in a chronological hiss,
we’re going down yet any other rabbit gap first. A rabbit gap in yet any other rabbit
gap. Yes. There’s in actuality a entire maze down here. We’re entering the keyboard
structure rabbit sub-gap.

I’ve regularly loved straightforward solutions to advanced considerations (or even warding off the
scenario in the critical voice), and whereas the Qwerty structure isn’t so execrable, it’s
designed for the mechanical form writer in thoughts. When designing a keyboard
structure for a laptop, you would also originate from scratch. In my head, here is cause
sufficient to ditch Qwerty! So I then re-programmed my keyboard with a Colemak
structure, and rearranged the total key caps. This feels indubitably painful at the delivery,
nonetheless after a few weeks my typing drag slowly came to a diploma the set up I
may use it at work. Nonetheless I never loved loosing the vim-keys I used to be so dilapidated to,
fancy the hjkl, and I switched wait on to Qwerty for a indubitably very long time.

Inspired by ThePrimeagen,
I determined to study the Dvorak keyboard structure. I realized that the j and k
used to be next to every other, which works fantastic with the vim-keys. After switching my
typing drag dropped from ~80 wpm to 8 wpm! I got up to about 50 wpm with
Dvorak on my Anne Pro 2 keyboard. At this point I began to gaze how my
magnificent ring finger used to be stretching up to attain the L key the total time, and it
used to be starting to accept irritating. So I determined to ditch Dvorak, and went wait on to
Qwerty. Nonetheless as soon as in a rabbit gap, you would also’t accept wait on up.

I stumbled over the Workman structure, a recent
structure designed to resolve some considerations with the Colemak structure. I dilapidated it for a
couple of weeks, and I loved this structure from the critical observe I typed. It wasn’t
that great utterly different from Qwerty either, so the training curve used to be nicer than
with Dvorak. I study some criticism the set up typing the work fuel required lots
of vertical circulation with most efficient two fingers. The resolution for here is in actuality a
modified Colemak structure.

colemak-dh layout

The name says it all, due to it on the total takes the Colemak structure and strikes
the D and H keys away from the center columns (one row down and one step
outwards). I’m comely elated with this structure, and whereas not typing at 80 wpm
yet, I’m definite to race all in on this one.

Colemak Mod-DH critical keys for a matrix-fancy keyboard, acknowledged as Colemak-DH.
Keys are colored in accordance to the finger that ought to be dilapidated. The 10 most
customary English letters are assigned to the 10 best keys (highlighted in purple).

I stumbled on Ben Vallack’s channel on YouTube
the set up he talks about surviving with 42 keys. He in actuality dilapidated a Moonlander
keyboard and had bodily removed all unused keys. I loved the conception that of much less
keys, as my fingers would higher attain every nook of the keyboard with out me
having to race my fingers so great.

moonlander closeup

The major scenario may per chance be to make a structure that would fit the total
needed keys, and make meaningful layers that usually are not not easy to study or
use. I borrowed masses of strategies from Ben, nonetheless I indubitably possess also tried to manufacture it fit
for my possess wants as effectively. You would maybe test out my structure

Now I indubitably possess the structure I may like, I wish to put collectively myself to form snappy again. I will
point out testing There you would also
even use a customary Qwerty keyboard, press Esc or race to settings and shield
“Layout emulator”. One more tip is to enable pause on error, so as that it forces
you to hit the becoming key. To enable this, again race to settings and “Terminate on
error” adopted by either “letter” or “observe”.

I’m also looking for the becoming keyboard to match this setup, which I’m comely
tickled with as of now. On the opposite hand, this deep down in the rabbit gap, I’m not
going to safe the becoming keyboard at I wish to make one myself.
Happily many people in actuality produce this, and fragment their PCB construct at
as inaugurate offer! There’s a entire checklist of them here.
That’s it for now, I got to race study the style to make keyboard with an soldering
iron and, I wager, dive into the subsequent rabbit gap down here.

Read More



β€œSimplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching