A Programmer's Keyboard Design

User avatar
BillDee

10 Feb 2015, 01:10

If I could, I would have a custom-made keyboard in this design.
It is specifically designed for use by Computer Programmers of
various kinds and languages. (English-based) It is in "beta-design".
programmers-keyboard.png
Programmer's Keyboard Design
programmers-keyboard.png (103.11 KiB) Viewed 3452 times
First of all, at this late date, it is absolutely ridiculous to have to be pressing
Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V for Cut, Copy and Paste. WTF is THAT all about???

At the very least, EVERY keyboard should have an Edit Keypad
as shown at the bottom left. It boggles my mind that that has not become
a standard of all keyboards. Seriously just stupid. It's freaking 2015 for g-d-sakes.

Beyond that, we also, ideally, shouldn't have to be pressing the SHIFT key
to get all of the symbols that we need. So I have added additional keys
for all of the shifted symbol keys.

Since it is very common for most programming languages to use all of the
"bracket" key pairs (brackets, parentheses, angles brackets, and braces),
they have their own sub-"keypad" in grouped pairs.

There are also some special keys for two-character entries that some
programming languages use, like "not equal" (!=), unequal (<>), etc...

Oops, no unequal. It could be added, or the keypad ease could be enough
to just hit <>. It does also need >= and <= keys. Missed those.

The numeric keypad is not only set up as hexadecimal (it needs a special CAPS toggle
for A-F and a-f), but also as a calculator keypad with most common functions.
There is also a COMMA, which is also ridiculous to not have on a numeric
keypad, especially when you need to enter comma-separated values.

There should probably also be a semi-colon nearby, which I have not specified.
And there is a Double-Zero key, and duplicated SPACE and TAB keys, which are
also often needed for numeric entry and such.

There are still a lot of keys that are not specified, and some of those should be
programmable by the user.

Unfortunately, making a keyboard like this is probably beyond me, although
I could probably do it if I really set my mind to it. Plus it would cost some
money that may not be a small amount.

Feedback appreciated.
Last edited by BillDee on 10 Feb 2015, 01:47, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Feb 2015, 01:28

Control + Z, X, C and V were copied off the Mac's systemwide shortcuts Command + Z, X, C and V. That was 1984, and they were a substantial improvement on the random, arbitrary shortcuts that were common until then. You only had to memorise them once!

Sure, some people prefer a key for everything. Something tells me you'd like a Tipro, like Kbdfr does:

Image

But then other people don't even want arrow keys! I'm typing on one of these just now:

Image

Not everyone's The Tiproman. And not everyone cares about desk or lap space. Different layouts for different minds.

Anyway, a Tipro is the closest thing to what you propose. You can program those quite extensively, and they make for quite a wide blank canvass.

User avatar
Halvar

10 Feb 2015, 01:46

Welcome!

You look like a candidate for a Tipro keyboard like kbdfr's:

Image
(from: http://deskthority.net/w-a-n-t-t-o-b-u- ... t1497.html )

These are point of sale (POS) keyboards, available in different widths and either in a full matrix layout (like the ones to the left and to the right) or with a staggered standard layout in the upper or lower part and matrix keys above/beyond that. They are freely programmable, and you can join a few of them together horizontally like in the picture.

They use MX black switches.

You can quite often get used ones for good prices on ebay, especially the older ones with PS/2 connector. Beware though, to program these (the PS/2 connector ones) you need a 32 bit Windows machine. Once you programmed it, you can use the keyboard on any computer, but the programming software only works with 32 bit Windows.

Concerning your layout: there are different schools concerning this. Most people you'll meet here are fast touch typers, and they love to stay on the home row ASDF JKL; for as long as they can. They'd rather use modifiers than have lots of separate keys that they have to reach out to. And many people like a short way to the mouse, too.

EDIT: Mu, sorry for repeating much of what you wrote, it's not a good idea to wander off to doing other things while preparing a post ...

User avatar
BillDee

10 Feb 2015, 02:56

Thanks for the info.

Findecanor

10 Feb 2015, 08:23

I find that the more keys you have the more often you would have to hunt and peck for them. With a smaller keyboard it is easier to keep everything in muscle memory and never have to look at the keys.
I can actually be quite comfortable with a keyboard with no legends at all - it is only when I need to type with one hand (most often holding a cup of coffee in the other, no dirty jokes please!) that I find that I miss legends.

I find shortcuts based on mnemonics easier to remember than arbitrary. For instance Control-S to "Save".
I find the shortcuts with X, C and V to be ingenious. To think that it was only luck that made those keys together on the keyboard. X was already often used for crossing out something, V resembles the proof-reading mark for insertion and C, well, it is only a mnemonic.

User avatar
cookie

10 Feb 2015, 11:02

Well a tripo is not so appealing to the kind of typist like me, I try to avoid leaving the home row as much as I can. I mean it's called the home row for a good reason, you feel comfortable and safe there. It is were your shy fingertips belong, right there, resting on the F and J key just quickly visiting neighbored keys to get stuff done.

A Tripo (or a keyboard with a layout like you came up with) would be my personal nightmare. Beside the ugly appearance, exuse me but I am superficial and it has to look good :) the ergonomics are devestating. I don't know in which world this is a "Programmers" layout? It is overblown with dedicated keys which are so far away from the home row that I'd probabbly never use them. I am a programmer myself and never felt the lack of dedicated keys for programming on my 60% well I admin that you have to touchtype to get full control over such board. And that leads me to the assumption that you don't touch type with a 10 finger style? My theorie is, if someone touch types propperly, he would develop the desire to have all important keys close to his home row! This is something I've seen with a lot of people who did the transition from 100% keyboards to TKL to 60% and even to 40%.

I honestly hope you don't feel offended by my assumption/suggestion and I do not wan't to sound like an elitist typing douchelord neither do I want to denigrate the layout you've come up but I think you should concider learning how to propperly type befor thinking about a certain keyboard layout. I mean lets be honest, that layout explodes of redundancy and I cant see the benefits of having all that extra keys?

Cheers

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

10 Feb 2015, 11:08

BillDee wrote: If I could, I would have a custom-made keyboard in this design […].
Muirium and Halvar showed my keyboard at different times.
As a matter of fact, a lot of what you write had guided me in designing it - and I'm not a programmer,
but a professional keyboard user (mostly text writing and editing).
First of all, at this late date, it is absolutely ridiculous to have to be pressing
Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V for Cut, Copy and Paste. WTF is THAT all about???
I have dedicated keys for those three functions, but also for "Mark all" (Ctrl+A), "Find" (Ctrl+F), "Print" (Ctrl+P), "Bold" (Ctrl+B) and quite a lot of others.
Here I have to contradict Findecanor's claim about mnemonics. It might be true for English-speaking users, but not for others, particularly for the French, who very successfully resist the invasion of English terms in their language. For them Ctrl+F or Ctrl+P, for example, are absolutely arbitrary.
At the very least, EVERY keyboard should have an Edit Keypad
as shown at the bottom left. […]
I do have "Undo" and "Redo" keys, but I find them best placed above the alpha keys, i.e. in the row where today's keyboards have the function keys.
You seem not to complain about the F1-F12 keys - I have mine, like on vintage keyboards, arranged in two columns left of the alphas, allowing intuitive left-hand use, also in combination with Shift and/or Ctrl and/or Alt, instead of having to look and use both hands.
Beyond that, we also, ideally, shouldn't have to be pressing the SHIFT key
to get all of the symbols that we need. So I have added additional keys
for all of the shifted symbol keys.
The standard French keyboard has non-Shift symbols and Shift-numbers on the upper alpha row. This is due to the necessity of having direct access to e.g. é, è, à or ç, which are very common characters in French. Hence also the reluctance to not having a numpad (at least in professional use).
Since it is very common for most programming languages to use all of the
"bracket" key pairs (brackets, parentheses, angles brackets, and braces),
they have their own sub-"keypad" in grouped pairs. […]
I have (), [], <> and {} each on one key. Pressing the keys generate both signs and then places the cursor between them.
The numeric keypad […]
There is also a COMMA, which is also ridiculous to not have on a numeric
keypad, especially when you need to enter comma-separated values. […]
For continental keyboard users, the comma is the decimal separator sign.
I find it useful to have a dot and a comma on my numpad. And a %. And a #. And a Space.
There are still a lot of keys that are not specified, and some of those should be
programmable by the user.
That's exactly what I had in mind when I decided to try a Tipro. I haven't been disappointed,
even if the programming issue (PS/2 on 32-bit systems, USB on 64-bit systems) is annoying.
Unfortunately, making a keyboard like this is probably beyond me, although
I could probably do it if I really set my mind to it. Plus it would cost some
money that may not be a small amount.
Try a Tipro (the MID model though, as the KMX model uses a highly non-standard physical layout).
They are rather difficult to get (the more so because they're not produced any more), but not impossible (perhaps I can help there).
Every single key is freely programmable - you can even program the Space bar as Enter if you like :lol:
Feedback appreciated.
Any specific questions - just ask.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Feb 2015, 12:02

kbdfr wrote: I have (), [], <> and {} each on one key. Pressing the keys generate both signs and then places the cursor between them.
This is a huge win, I know because I do something similar… with a key combo. I script my text editor so that Command + [ = wrap the current selection [like so] with the cursor immediately at the right, or if there's no selection do the same as Kbdfr. You get more context to play with when doing this on the host computer, which I use a lot for my Markdown scripts and multi-level clipboard tricks. But programming it into the keyboard has another advantage: you can use them anywhere, full stop. Mine are confined to my editor and other scriptable apps where I do my writing.

I think Kbdfr's best reason for using a-key-for-everything Tipro is all the multi non-English language work he does. Hę ñēėdš åłl thøśë fûñńÿ âçčêńtš at his fingertips. I can type them too, but not at anything like the speed required by native text.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

10 Feb 2015, 12:06

cookie wrote: […] I try to avoid leaving the home row as much as I can. I mean it's called the home row for a good reason, you feel comfortable and safe there. […]
I would say the home row is just the basis from where your muscle memory works. Leaving it is no problem, you do it anyway (probably without even noticing) every time you use e.g. a function key.
A Tripo Tipro (or a keyboard with a layout like you came up with) […] the ergonomics are devestating. I don't know in which world this is a "Programmers" layout? It is overblown with dedicated keys which are so far away from the home row that I'd probabbly never use them. I am a programmer myself and never felt the lack of dedicated keys for programming on my 60% well I admin that you have to touchtype to get full control over such board. And that leads me to the assumption that you don't touch type with a 10 finger style? My theorie is, if someone touch types propperly, he would develop the desire to have all important keys close to his home row! This is something I've seen with a lot of people who did the transition from 100% keyboards to TKL to 60% and even to 40%.
Your theory sounds nice. It is just wrong :mrgreen:
I know you were adressing BillDee, but let me give an answer.
I learnt touch typing ages ago (probably even before you were born) on a mechanical typewriter, and then had them all: electric typebar typewriter, typeball typewriter, daisy typewriter, then a dedicated text system, and then PCs started to be intelligent enough to be used for professional text writing and editing. At that time keyboards still had their function keys in two vertical columns on the left, where they actually belong :lol:
Believe me, I am a real touch-type writer. I do not even need to look to properly hit my 1u-only "Backspace" key. :mrgreen:
And I do find it much easier to have, for example, to hit just one key for "Undo" instead of a shortcut. I do have several redundant keys: Delete, Esc, Space, even arrow pads, which I use depending on what I'm just doing and on the position of my hands.
In your post leaving the "home row" sounds like a catastrophe. It is not. Returning to the "home row" is no problem, it is just instinctive and mostly happens without error. The scoops or nubs on F an J help being sure you're there without having to look.
[…] and I do not wan't to sound like an elitist typing douchelord
As for me, I am an elitist typing douchelord and don't mind sounding so :lol:
neither do I want to denigrate the layout you've come up but I think you should concider learning how to propperly type befor thinking about a certain keyboard layout. I mean lets be honest, that layout explodes of redundancy and I cant see the benefits of having all that extra keys?
The major benefit obviously lies in being able to hit just one key instead of combos.
If you prefer combos and a keyboard looking like a brick instead of a worktool, just fine :lol:

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Feb 2015, 12:11

Bear in mind that 60%s like the HHKB don't even have a function row (it's Fn+1 for F1 etc.) and so leaving the home row is a bit catastrophic: you'll be typing on your desk!

I like a vertical function column too, by the way, especially on my mod-poor IBM XT and AT. I get to remap the bottom two function keys as the missing mods so I can work as usual!
Spoiler:
Image
Image

User avatar
cookie

10 Feb 2015, 12:21

I must say that I rarely miss the dedicated function keys, I can pretty much type them blind if I need them while debugging e.g but you are right, if that situation occures, I am forced to leave the home row. But it is not that far like on a tripo.
A split spacebar with several function layers is the answer. But I don't think we will see this in the near future. This is something we have to build ourselves

The layout you've got there is quite nice but the numblock cluster would annoy me I believe :)

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Feb 2015, 12:37

Something to bear in mind about the HHKB's navigation keys: they require your right hand to leave home row. You hold the Fn key with your right pinkie, and use your forefinger on the these far right-side keys:

Image

It's comfortable and just as quick as reaching further for a traditional arrow cluster, I find. (While saving all the space.) But the guys who insist on Vim style arrows on the home row have a point. (Besides, we can all enable that on our keyboards with some software.) The key is what mod are they holding to engage navigation over text entry?

User avatar
cookie

10 Feb 2015, 12:58

As you probably know, vim has a command and input mode so that you don't have to push any mod to access the navigation cluster. This is ofcourse something we can't use in different enviroments, therefore I think the best solution would be to split the spacebar in 2 or even 3 pieces. I don't know how you type the spacebar but I exclusively use my right thumb for this. My left thumb is pretty much useless. Imagine you are in a text file e.g and you have to press the left side of the spacebar to access the arrow cluster. So you can stick to the classy vim style:

Code: Select all

 k
h  l
 j
Or my prefered cluster:

Code: Select all

 i
j l
 k
With "u = pos" and "o = end"

This is basically something I have thought a lot lately but I see problems when working with the eclipse IDE where you need your left thumb to access quite helpfull key/combinations together with the arrow cluster. This Problem can be solved if I'd swap the mod key to the right thumb button but then I will screw up my typing untill I get used to it.

Anyway, we coul'd get so much more out of all the space on the spacebar!
Last edited by cookie on 10 Feb 2015, 13:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Muirium
µ

10 Feb 2015, 13:00

Indeed…

Image

I've yet to get my HyperMicro into active use (need to sort out the internal USB connection) but it's a promising layout on the bottom row. Don't think I could live with 40% for day to day use though! 60% is my basic fully functional minimum.

User avatar
cookie

10 Feb 2015, 13:13

That HyperMicro looks sick! 40% is a layout for itself, this is something I'd concider using as wireless device on a HTPC or smartphone/tablet. But as a daily driver maybe a bit too smal and complicated. Who knows, if someone comes up with a intelligent idea how to easily access several keys on a 40% this layout could become the new 60%!

Well if I think more accurately about it, the missing number keys would be a bummer for the gamers.
I remember where some folks complained about the missing F-keys on a 60% and how necessary it is for Battlefield (which I've personally never missed) but no dedicated numbers? Outrage!

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

10 Feb 2015, 13:39

May I recall what this thread is about?

Image

:lol:

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Mal-2

10 Feb 2015, 14:32

Muirium wrote: Sure, some people prefer a key for everything. Something tells me you'd like a Tipro, like Kbdfr does:
Might I toss out some less extreme options?
http://cherrycorp.com/product/8200-seri ... able-keys/
http://cherrycorp.com/product/8113-seri ... -touchpad/

And the one that I have chosen (for now) to serve in a similar role, that of having alternate language characters and mathematical symbols within easy reach, would be this:

http://cherrycorp.com/product/spos-smal ... -keyboard/

I chose the non-trackpad version.

You can play with the Cherry programming software to see the limitations of the hardware without actually buying anything, but I can tell you that doing things like typing {} followed by a left arrow would be quite trivial, as would double characters like == and !=. Emulating Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-V is also pretty trivial.

User avatar
cookie

10 Feb 2015, 14:42

kbdfr wrote: Your theory sounds nice. It is just wrong :mrgreen:
I know you were adressing BillDee, but let me give an answer.
I learnt touch typing ages ago (probably even before you were born) on a mechanical typewriter, and then had them all: electric typebar typewriter, typeball typewriter, daisy typewriter, then a dedicated text system, and then PCs started to be intelligent enough to be used for professional text writing and editing. At that time keyboards still had their function keys in two vertical columns on the left, where they actually belong :lol:
Believe me, I am a real touch-type writer. I do not even need to look to properly hit my 1u-only "Backspace" key. :mrgreen:
And I do find it much easier to have, for example, to hit just one key for "Undo" instead of a shortcut. I do have several redundant keys: Delete, Esc, Space, even arrow pads, which I use depending on what I'm just doing and on the position of my hands.
In your post leaving the "home row" sounds like a catastrophe. It is not. Returning to the "home row" is no problem, it is just instinctive and mostly happens without error. The scoops or nubs on F an J help being sure you're there without having to look.
Thank you for clarification,
I still think that my theories makes sense but as you've already said, it depends on what kind of typist you are. Combo guy or traveller :) Anyway my biggest concern would actually be the mouse position. If you are using something like the OP posted or a Tipro, your mouse would be so far away that I can already feel the strain in the shoulder. That is probably the reason why I often see a Rollermouse together with a tipro.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

10 Feb 2015, 16:18

cookie wrote: […] my biggest concern would actually be the mouse position. If you are using something like the OP posted or a Tipro, your mouse would be so far away that I can already feel the strain in the shoulder. […]
Your previous post:
cookie wrote: […] I try to avoid leaving the home row as much as I can. […]
Here I obviously beat you in spite of my giant keyboard. My hands travel sideways only when I use those dedicated keys which are not situated above the alphas (hence also the numpad there), but stay in their middle position when "mousing".
That is probably the reason why I often see a Rollermouse together with a tipro.
I rather think the reason is there are several pics of just my keyboard at different stages :lol:
Most people will be satisfied with just the middle unit (which compared to a standard keyboard with a row for function keys offers ~30 extra keys), where the distance between the middle of the home position (i.e. a line between G and H) and the right edge of the keyboard is 18.5cm: just a bit more than a 60%, less than a TKL. Even with an additional 8x4 module on the right, the right edge of the keyboard would be only ~28cm from that reference point, which is less than a standard keyboard.

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Halvar

10 Feb 2015, 16:35

IIRC, 7bit is using a Tipro & Rollermouse combination, too.

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Mal-2

10 Feb 2015, 21:03

cookie wrote: If you are using something like the OP posted or a Tipro, your mouse would be so far away that I can already feel the strain in the shoulder. That is probably the reason why I often see a Rollermouse together with a tipro.
This is exactly why I proposed the Cherry options, which range from TKL width (360 mm on the datasheet) to 3.5U wider than a standard keyboard. You still get extra keys, but without a massive increase in width. I will inspect mine on arrival to see if it's suitable for hard hacking. I would not mind cutting it down from 18U to 15 or even 14, but that will depend heavily on how it is built.

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Halvar

10 Feb 2015, 21:09

Anyway, looks like we scared someone away who made quite some bold statements in his OP... :geek:

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Spikebolt
√(4) != -2

10 Feb 2015, 21:53

BillDee wrote: First of all, at this late date, it is absolutely ridiculous to have to be pressing
Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V for Cut, Copy and Paste. WTF is THAT all about???
I actually disagree on this. I prefer to have shortcuts instead of 3 dedicated keys. While it's something that I use everyday I don't think I use it enough to justify 3 new keys. They would have to be placed on the left side of the keyboard (so I can use my mouse while I copy stuff) and wouldn't be as ergonomic for me as the shortcuts.
BillDee wrote: Beyond that, we also, ideally, shouldn't have to be pressing the SHIFT key
to get all of the symbols that we need. So I have added additional keys
for all of the shifted symbol keys.
Why would I want more keys to do the same? I use these symbols so rarely that I don't think they'd justify their own key. Seriously, how many times a day do you use #£§€@$ ? Some of these I never use, the others I use no more than 3 times a day...
BillDee wrote: Since it is very common for most programming languages to use all of the
"bracket" key pairs (brackets, parentheses, angles brackets, and braces),
they have their own sub-"keypad" in grouped pairs.
They are super far away, though, I would have to raise my hand to press it. I think ANSI does this very well (too bad I use ISO q.q)

My opinion is biased, of course. I use a TKL board for programming on a daily basis and wouldn't want to go back to full keyboard, let alone an even bigger keyboard! Sometimes less is more, and while the idea of having more keys may seem appealing at first I don't think it would be comfortable to use most of them.

robo

11 Feb 2015, 18:34

I guess all side of this debate have been covered by now, but to put in my two cents, I think that for me the benefit of having dedicated keys is less than the benefit of being able to have a relatively small keyboard that requires minimal movement and no looking to reach every key. Basically I think meta keys even for common actions like Command-V, Command-C or frequently used programming characters like {}><:" are a good tradeoff.

But it's personal. I think that some of of the really pared down keyboards (like 40%) are a step too far, at least for me. I kind of like being able to slide my hand over to 'page up' and 'page down' when browsing documents, for example. So there is no right answer, but probably more keys than even a standard 'full size' layout isn't something that most people (programmers or not) will embrace.

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Muirium
µ

11 Feb 2015, 19:07

Halvar wrote: Anyway, looks like we scared someone away who made quite some bold statements in his OP... :geek:
I like it when people stroll into a subject they didn't realise anyone else had opinions about!

The truth is there's a whole lot of arbitrary nonsense baked into the popular keyboard layouts of the world. So it does seem, at first glance, that surely no one has even thought about improving them since all you see around you is the same typewriter-inspired clunk…

Fair enough. But Deskthority isn't exactly short of opinions and preferences when it comes to the surprisingly diverse realm of keyboard layouts for those in the know!

User avatar
BillDee

12 Feb 2015, 01:58

cookie wrote: {snip}
To each their own.

I am a very fast touch typist.

You may think that using Shift and Control keys is "fast",
but they actually slow you down quite a bit.

The "extra keys" are not that far away from the "standard keyboard"
that a "touch typist" can't take easy advantage of them.
Not any different from the "cursor keypad" or "move-edit keypad".
(does the latter have an 'official' name?)

And anyone who wants to enter numeric values quickly pretty much
has to use the numeric keypad. In fact, I will probably move the
"standard" numeric keys above the shifted values. That will probably
work better.

In fact, after getting used to a keyboard layout like this, I could
probably out-type "anyone" who is also writing program code.

Someone mentioned in another post something like, "How often do you
use the shifted numeric key characters?"

As a programmer, I use !, $, &, *, (, ), _, +, :, ", <, > MANY, many
times every hour, if not minute.
Using the SHIFT+ key modifier for these is time-consuming and slowing.
Just like CTRL+ X, C and V, which are also used almost as often.
Last edited by BillDee on 12 Feb 2015, 02:16, edited 2 times in total.

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BillDee

12 Feb 2015, 02:11

Mal-2 wrote: {snip}
Thanks. There are so many keyboards around that it's almost impossible to find one that you are looking for.
I hadn't even seen the Cherry 8200 before.
It would be a decent choice over a custom-made keyboard.
There are a few others, too.
I like the look of the Logitech G510s, but it gets some pretty bad reviews.
And if the SPACE bar is as bad as some say it is, that's a no-go.

I REALLY want some keys on the left side so I can do the "Edit Keypad", though.
Last edited by BillDee on 12 Feb 2015, 02:20, edited 1 time in total.

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BillDee

12 Feb 2015, 02:19

Thanks to everyone for the comments and such.
Stuff to think about.

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Mal-2

12 Feb 2015, 07:29

BillDee wrote:
Mal-2 wrote: {snip}
Thanks. There are so many keyboards around that it's almost impossible to find one that you are looking for.
I hadn't even seen the Cherry 8200 before.
It would be a decent choice over a custom-made keyboard.
There are a few others, too.
I like the look of the Logitech G510s, but it gets some pretty bad reviews.
And if the SPACE bar is as bad as some say it is, that's a no-go.

I REALLY want some keys on the left side so I can do the "Edit Keypad", though.
Perhaps something like this is to your liking.

http://www.amazon.com/XK-24-USB-Program ... y_pc_img_y

I can tell you that although it's expensive, it's built like a tank. The software, while not terribly friendly, does the job quite well once you get used to it. The memory is retained on the device itself (in one mode, there is also a software-only mode) and it can retain two different code sets selectable by a (very tiny) DIP switch.

User avatar
BillDee

12 Feb 2015, 08:13

Mal-2 wrote: {snip}
Thanks.

I guess some of those are so expensive in part because they don't sell very many.
I didn't understand how those would work, or to what extent they would work.

But I communicated with someone recently who said you can have several keyboards
hooked up to your Windows PC at one time, although they had only done 3 or 4.

I don't know if you need special software, or if that's included with the devices to
make them work the way they do, or what. I imagined that they would have to be
daisy-chained together or something? But maybe not. (supposedly not)

Somehow they all link in with the "keyboard buffer" for your computer?

Anyway, I could use something like that device, or one of the many others,
if you can hook them all up and they all just work together.
A programmable "keypad". (of however many keys -- several companies make those)

Then I can just use my current keyboard (Logitech K310) with them.
Although I don't really care for this keyboard.
The only good thing about it is that it's "spill-proof".
(never had a problem with spills for literally decades and then lost two keyboards
to spills in one year, and a couple more to a leaky roof -- 'bad luck' I suppose)

Not ideal to use multiple keyboards, because they are all separate devices, but it would work.
I'm not that concerned with "width" or "depth" or desk space usage.
I'm most interested in being able to do what I want to do to be "more productive"
and also overall easy-of-use.

But I'm (also) going to go ahead and look into making my "Super Programmer's Keyboard".
It's not easy, but it's not all THAT difficult, either.
There is a lot of information on the Web on how to do that.
My electronics skills are a bit lacking, but I have the programmer's skills to do that part.
And if I "do it right", others can use what I do to make their own. (more easily)

If/when I do it, I'll post back here with info and photos.

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