I am up past my bedtime typing on hacker news just to mega-disagree about the goldtouch keyboard, of which I own multiple and have used exclusively for over 10 years to manage serious RSI which has left me debilitated at times and will probably never resolve fully. The goldtouch is a fantastic ergonomic keyboard. I’m sure others are just as good or better and didn’t object to the authors criticisms until s/he suggested a better alternative to the goldtouch is the Kenesis freestyle which does not tent, the main reason I use the goldtouch.
This makes me wonder if the author is concerned about ergonomics and functionality or just quirkiness. The fact that he dumps all “mass market” keyboards (ie the majority of those people actually use) into one bucket in order to highlight a half dozen impractical lookalikes where someone basically just took a keyboard and cut it in half was the first thing that had me scratching my head.
An interesting collection of oddities but not a sound product guide IMO.
I’ve used this for almost 8 years now, and it’s both easy to bring with on a trip, and comfortable at home. Is this the Goldtouch you’re talking about?
Goldtouch GTP-0044 Go!2 Mobile Keyboard, Portable Foldable Travel Keyboard with USB https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DT73FVM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_...
I had the same feeling; I've been using the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboards for what feels like the past 10-15 years now:
Every time I change job I bring my own with me, or persuade the company to buy me one. I did experiment with an actually-split keyboard back in the late 90s; two pieces joined by a short cable, but it was really difficult to use and so I gave up on it almost immediately. My memory was that there was only a short/stubby space-bar on the left-half of the keyboard too.
(I'm a touch typist, and I definitely use both thumbs for pressing the space bar. Albeit I use my dominant hand most of the time.)
I wish DataHand was still made. The 3d printed keyboard based on DataHand looks very interesting but right now I don't have time to invest into making custom hardware.
I wish I could just buy something similar!
Cool site. I didn't notice this much selection last year. I just ended buying a Kinesis Advantage 2.
I'm very happy with the advantage 2. I'm curious about boards with smaller keys, more compact layout, or extra keys in the same space.
The advantage 2 gives you easy access to the arrow keys with no loss of access to other keys. Eliminates the whole efficient arrow usage problem, or gives you more keys for commands if you use hjkl.
The advantage 2 is not a be all end all fix for hand / wrist pain. Consider starting a hand/wrist exercise regime if you have pain first. It could help enough to not need to buy a board.
I'm currently migrating from the Kinesis Advantage to the Advantage 2.
The old Advantage has served me well, but it's USB implementation seems to interact really badly with some modern laptops.
I like the idea of a split keyboard, but I've never been able to go down that road because I sometimes hit keys with the "wrong" finger - most notably, I need to be able to hit B with my right hand because it's down-left in roguelikes (i.e. Nethack).
What I'd love to see is a "106% keyboard", where a couple columns are duplicated on both the left/right side. Does anybody make such a keyboard?
The idea isn't entirely new. The TGR Alice is a popular board that has two b keys .
The more straightforward approach to get a full extra column would be to just grab a keyboard that already has 7+ columns per side (ie the chimera) and repurpose those to be duplicate keys.
I have made for myself something alike:
Is made on wood, to being on the style of MS Ergo but not curved (yet I think it feel nice as is).
I used to hit some keys with the 'wrong finger' before. But it hasn't prevented me from adopting to the Kinesis Advantage.
For Nethack and games in general, I have a cheap 'normal' keyboard.
> What I'd love to see is a "106% keyboard", where a couple columns are duplicated on both the left/right side. Does anybody make such a keyboard?
I've seen some where the '6' is present on both the left and right-hand side of a split keyboard but '6' is really the one and only key on which there can be a disagreement as to where is the correct placement.
On non-staggered keyboard the '6' is, of course, on the right hand side of the keyboard but on staggered split keyboard it is, very often, on the left hand side.
Most split keyboards in that gallery that do have a numbers row (ie 60% of more, not 40%) do have the '6' correctly located on the right hand side.
Yet most (not all) split-staggered keyboard have the '6' located on the left hand side of the keyboard.
People who learned to touch-type using the "6 with left hand" school have a very hard time adapting to an ortholinear split keyboard. While those who learned to touch-type using the "6 with the right hand" have a much easier time adapting to an ortholinear split keyboard.
I wonder why people obsess so much with colorful keycaps and RGB lights. I suspect it's for aesthetic pleasure, not for enhanced ergonomics.
I got me a split keyboard so that I would never have to look at it. For me this is achieved by not moving the wrist, only moving the fingers. Then my hands do not slip and do not need vision-guided repositioning.
(My current keyboard is an Ergodox EZ, all black, no lights. It's fine enough, and thr ortholinear layout is very helpful, but the thumb cluster is clumsy, and the pinky columns are not staggered enough, so typing P or Q needs a wrist shift. I have 60g switches in the home row, so that fingers can rest on them without clicking, and 30g switches everywhere else. My plan is to build a Kyria which has a better geometry / ergonomics, so I made a Kyria-compatible layout to get used to it.)
I have my Ergodox EZ configured so that each layer has a different backlight color, helping me notice if I've inadvertently switched layers.
I agree on the pinky column not being staggered enough.
I wonder if anyone shares my setup. I lie horizontally with a monitor suspended 3ft directly above. I use a logitech trackball on my right hand at my side. I find this position comfortable for long hours and don't experience the backpain that I did for years.
One wrinkle is the keyboard - it rests on my upper thighs, and I find I'm rolling my shoulders forward to type which is less than ideal. I experimented with split keyboards but haven't found an ideal solution yet. A major problem is switching from the trackball back to the keyboard. Also needing to keep the trackball out wide to allow space for the split keyboard on my right side.
A friend of mine cut up her Kinesis Advantage to put a big trackball right in the middle. (There's enough space in the housing, especially if you are not afraid to cut and move the circuit board.)
A similar position might work for you?
I use a standing desk to be in a similar (but upright) position, because sitting is also bad for me.
I have a trackpad in the middle of mine, it works great. Here's a photo from a few years back: https://twitter.com/max_sixty/status/1144236070369988609/pho...
Hers was a rather more professional looking job. The trackball was about 8 cm in diameter and sunk right in.
(She also hacked up the kernel driver to make horizontal rotation be interpreted as the scroll wheel.)
Anybody have the moonlander and enjoy it? I currently have an ergodox infinity, and want something I can swap to Kailh Choc White switches. The layout and programming seems perfect for me, though I'm disappointing that it's still wired.
I've also been enjoying the Moonlander. I was hesitant about the layout, but spilling liquid on my Kinesis Edge and damaging one of the switches forced my hand. The first few weeks were slow going (I dropped from 140wpm to 50-60), but I adapted fast enough. I haven't measured in a while, but I feel like I'm fully back to speed.
I love the customizability - I started with a layout that was influenced by 3 or 4 other programming layouts I found but have made a dozen or so minor tweaks to it over the last few months into something I (mostly) love.
For coding, it's fantastic and I have no complaints (once I found a system for getting to the bracket keys that work for me, at least). For gaming, however, the tap/hold pairing just doesn't work for me. I had Alt and Esc bound to the same key and could not reliably Alt+Tab or hit Esc in a game for the life of me. I split those out earlier this week and now Esc is better, but Alt is still combined with PgDn which is problematic.....I'm probably going to give up and make it a dedicated Alt key and move PgUp/PgDn to another layer.
I have larger hands, so I wonder if I should have just got the Ergodox and had more thumb keys, but now that I'm used to the Moonlander I have no intention of switching.
I switched to a Moonlander from an Ergodox and am liking it. I ended up not liking their built-in tenting mechanism, so 3D printed my own shims that screw to the back, allowing me to tent the keyboard but also tilt the "wings" upwards. Very comfortable!
One thing I thought I hated about the Ergodox was how inaccessible the small keys on the thumb cluster were, and I thought I would like 3 big keys better. It turns out not to be the case... those keys are useless, but there are a lot of useless keys that are nice to have around (arrows, delete/insert, home/end, pgup/pgdn). I mostly do everything in Emacs and so don't use those keys, but when I'm using non-Emacs software, I do miss them.
(I ultimately decided on Backspace, Alt, Up; Space, Enter, Down as what I use the big thumb keys for. Not sure I love this. This transitioned my backspace key from my right pointer finger to my left thumb, and it broke my muscle memory. I still forget that you can control backspace words to kill them outside of Emacs (where I use C-w for that, which closes your window in every other program).)
TL;DR: it's fine! But still not perfect.
I’ve been looking at the Moonlander and the tenting is what’s holding me up. Do you have a file for those shims you made that I could use?
And how did you bolt those things on? Are there screw holes on the back?
I forgot that I use Twitter sometimes and have pictures of another Moonlander experiment: mounting it to my chair! https://twitter.com/petersergeant/status/1356057651931537408
I did eventually get parts for both sides. One of the flexible arm clamp tripod mount thingies was not stiff enough to hold the keyboard up, but the other one was great. Since they were both the same part from the same order... it's kind of a crapshoot as to whether or not it will work. But I will continue to experiment.
That’s fantastic. Is your 3D model on Thingiverse or anywhere else? I’ve been thinking about making exactly the same thing to use tripod mounts on the Moonlander.
I'm new to mechanical and split keyboards, but so far the moonlander has been great. Well, in the beginning it was a bit of a learning curve, but coming from the ergodox that shouldn't be an issue for you. Not being wireless is the only complaint that I have.
Costco was selling selling a cheaper version of logitech ergo keyboard. The ergo line of logitech keyboards feel great to type on.
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