Community Intros


(Antoine Goutenoir) #21

Hi there. Thanks for all the backgrounds, I really enjoyed the read.

My name is Antoine Goutenoir, I’m a self-taught french geek of all trades, which is actually my job title in the astrophysics lab where I work. I mostly evangelize there for libre software, good practices, and teach people how to write (good) code, and the methods of rationality whenever they let me. I’ve been a freelance most of my life, before that. I did some work for the devil before I realized who it was I was working for.

I was instantly seduced my the Model 01 (wood ? mechanical keyswitches ? open-source ? butterfly ? yay !) because I like to type fast and spend the rest of the time enjoying … well … life. Anyhow I want to use one of the two keyboards I ordered as a teaching prop because I often have young students in my care, and they get bored quite fast by theory. The other one will be the victim of my music-fuelled madness in those long hackathons or game jams. I hope they’re sturdy, 'cause I like to vent my inevitable occasional frustration in my keyboard. Maybe if I hit ENTER harder, the tests will pass this time ?

I intend to play games with it, especially games that are not meant for keyboards, as gamepads hurt my fingers. (such as Super Meat Boy, or Street Fighter)

I did not knew much about keyboards until two years ago, as I’ve had the same keyboard for 15 years now and it was a pretty average AZERTY modded with python scripts. Thanks to K+J, I’m now an irreducible keyboard enthusiast, and really really hyped for runic layouts.

I’m learning japanese too as my fourth language or so, thanks for the AJATT immersion tip ! Right now I’m using the “poster in the water closets” method, which does work well for morse code and other things.

A lot of people gave me sneers for buying two $300+ keyboards, to which I invariably respond : is that a $500+ phone in your hand ? (it also works with their expensive clothes) And if they answer “it’s not the same”, you can say “Yes, I can do so much more than slacking on facebook with my investment !”. I wonder if many of you had to defend themselves as I had to…


(ErikMH) #22

Hello, everyone!

This has been fascinating. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to write a bit about yourselves!

My name is Erik Mueller-Harder (@seltzer, you have my name beat by one!), and I live in Vermont (yes, Bernie Sanders is one of our senators).

I’m probably of about the same “vintage” as @pnunn. My first keyboard was my mother’s manual Royal typewriter — QWERTY, of course — on which I hunted-and-pecked for a few years before deciding in high school to take a typing class. If I’d delayed by a semester, I could have learned on a snazzy new electric typewriter, but we were the last class to use manuals. I think everyone else in the class was thinking of a secretarial career; I was the only “college prep” kid in the class — and I may have been the only male, too. I barely passed, but it did the trick: I was fifteen and I could touch-type.

I typed for myself, but I also did freelance typing for other students and for faculty, too, once I was in college. By this point, I was using a pre-DOS CP/M machine with a word processor, and it’s been one long series of software- and operating system-updates and migrations from that point to this.

But I caught the software development bug and (after trying to create a multi-lingual word processor for Steve Jobs’ NeXT in the late ’80s) became gainfully employed in IT for fifteen years.

When I started using mice in the ’90s, I immediately noticed stiffness and light pain in my mousing hand, and so taught myself to mouse ambidextrously, switching weekly. This helped, but by 2001 I could type for only about a half hour before both arms would go all numb and tingly.

I researched and bought a Kinesis Advantage with dual Dvorak/QEWERTY key labels, thinking to learn Dvorak. I should have gone cold turkey as some of you have done, but I thought it would be easier to get used to the weird new keyboard first. So I got myself back up to over 100 wpm on the QWERTY, and I then could not make myself stumble along at a much slower rate while struggling to remember the Dvorak layout. So I’m still using QWERTY. :-/

But the important thing was: the numbness disappeared immediately and has not returned in the last fifteen years of typing with the Advantage!

It’s got this problem, though, where it will suddenly decide that the control (or option or command or shift) key is being held down. I’ll go for weeks without it happening, and then it’ll happen once or even three times a day for a while. Replugging the USB cable always takes care of it. But it was getting annoying, and it had been going on for eight years or so — so I treated myself to another Kinesis Advantage (hi, @andrewg!). Same problem. It’s persisted with two keyboards, three or four Macintoshes, and every version of Mac OS X from 10.1 (in 2002) through 10.11 (today). But I’m so grateful to it for saving me from completely paralyzed arms, that I haven’t thought even once about replacing with something else.

Until I saw the Kickstarter for the Model 01. I ordered an 01 in the first three minutes of the campaign. :slight_smile:

So I type code, but also a lot of English, with occasional forays into various European languages, including Greek; I have (occasional) use for (real) runes, as well as a common need for English’s old ð and þ characters. My son has become a Colemak convert, and I’m promising myself to learn Colemac on the Model 01 without again making the mistake of going by way of QWERTY.


(Andrew Gallagher) #23

Well, hot damn. Hello! :slight_smile:


(Arlo James Barnes) #24

Hi, all. I have been posting here for a while but never got around to
introducing myself until now. I attended Jesse-and-Kaia’s
makerspace/hackerspace tour stop at the Albuquerque hackerspace Quelab
http://quelab.net which I had been considering joining and did that night
(since then I have let my membership lapse because I got involved with
starting the MAKE Santa Fe http://makesantafe.org makerspace in the
eponymous town, which is a lot closer to me; it recently celebrated the
anniversary of the opening…so we will gladly host J+K for the presumed
[far?] future Model 02 tour!:wink:). The interactions with these two friendly
and professional people convinced me I wanted to have an external keyboard
for my next laptop.
It will be part of my plan over the next year to make my 'computing’
experience healthier: physically, since besides hand ergonomics with the
keyboard I am working on figuring out monitor lighting situations
(including a self-imposed restriction on night use) for my eyes, a better
chair for my back (my current setup leads to me hunching over time), and so
on; but also mentally (reducing distraction) and ethically (going
full-libre, HW and SW, with the computer I am getting next month).
I am pretty enthusiastic about free software/hardware/culture and logical
extensions (software in the public interest, user-respecting applications),
so I am glad that the Model 01 literally and figuratively comes with a
screwdriver.

I guess that is all I can think of for now…
—Arlo


#25

Hello. I’m ToyKeeper. I like shiny things. :smiley:

I got into the keyboardio originally because it’s pretty and interesting and because I really like stuff which comes with source code and a screwdriver. I think that’s the right way to do things.

I had a Lexmark Select-Ease (IBM Adjustable Keyboard) for a while, then used a Happy Hacking keyboard (lite2 usb) for at least 15 years, and I’ve been literally wearing through its keycaps. Then I found the keyboardio project and knew I had to try one.

It took a long time though, so while I was waiting I got myself a cheap Ajazz AK33 RGB and some cheap typewriter keycaps. Neither one is great, but they’re still fairly nice and inexpensive. Then the Whitefox came out and is basically the same as the HHK I liked so much, only better. So I have one of those on the way too.

At one point, I also tried a Fingerworks Touchstream LP, which was very very interesting but also very very uncomfortable to type on. It relies on the muscles which hold the hand open, rather than the muscles used to close the hand, and they’re much weaker. So they get tired much much faster. And it has basically no tactile feedback at all, being that it’s just a flat surface, so touch typing without errors is virtually impossible.

But right this moment, I have a shiny new PVT model keyboardio, number 63. I’ve dipped into the firmware just enough to customize the layout a bit, and I’m getting used to typing on it. The hardest thing has been having the columns of the left hand mirrored from a \ shape to a / shape. It’s like having the top row shifted one column to the right while the bottom row is shifted one column to the left.

… and not being able to use a touchpad with my thumbs. I rely on that quite a bit. The virtual mouse keys help a lot, but they’re not as fast or as expressive as thumbing a touchpad.

Aside from the learning curve though, this keyboard has been fantastic so far. I’m looking forward to putting some runic keycaps on it and giving it a new responsive lighting pattern, to complete the whole “code wizard” look. :smiley:

Or perhaps the translucent white keys, Those really show off the lighting, and they don’t require as much power to appear bright. They also should be pretty immune to wear over time since there’s no dye layer to wear through. It’s hard to decide.

Regardless… Source code and a screwdriver. #DoingThingsRight :+1:


(Benji Shine) #26

Hi, I’m Benji, and my hands hurt. Please excuse the typos… I’m using dictation. I’m a software developer and I recently had to put in a lot more hours than usual. Boom! RSI. I switched to a split keyboard which put my hands in a better position, but my thumbs had to do crazy contortions to get to the command control option keys. Bending my thumb at all really hurts. Bending my wrists hurt. But I need to do it for my job, over and over, all day.

I built an ErgoDox last year, but I have extra-small hands, and couldn’t reach most of the keys. Same with the Kinesis with bowl-shaped keys. I’m excited about the Model 01 because it’s designed for Kaia’s hands too – smaller hands than the ErgoDox, she says!

At this point I’m doing a bunch of things to fight the pain and let me continue working:

Programming my body to use the new tools is challenging… I’m hoping to get my new Model 01 soon so that I can start using command/control/option keys without pain.

Here’s the current setup – the cats are my favorite part!


(Jennifer Leigh) #27

Sorry about the hand thing. I understand so much.

Every brace and therapy recommended by ortho’s and physical therapists had made things worse, to the point that I had given up gardening, knitting, and piano, and was having to limit keyboarding. Gardening is one of my favorite forms of exercise. I’m a fiber artist, so knitting represents a significant income source for me and will (hopefully) become my downshift career in a few years. Keyboarding is what I currently do for my primary job, and piano is, well, important for my mental health. Losing my hands is not an option.

This summer when I was at my wit’s end with this, I lucked into a fantastic Feldenkrais practitioner, and she’s helped me re-pattern how I use my hands. I’ve been slowly but steadily regaining strength and managing less pain since I started working with her. I’m back to all my “normal” activities now, though I’m still carefully managing how much time I spend doing them.

I hope you find a path to comfort.


#28

Just a heads-up, since it doesn’t really come up often (I have a few colleagues/friends who benefited from this, but had never been informed about the importance of diet): since CTS and related issues are about inflammation wreaking havoc on your body, and eating animal products (and secondarily plant fat and salt) is, for various reasons*, pro-inflammatory, you might consider switching to an oil-free plant-based diet (see, e.g., http://www.executiveexpresschiro.com/b/2008/08/carpal-tunnel-s/ ). The McDougall diet talked about in the link is probably the easiest both to get into and to maintain long-term (I do so as well, though for different reasons).

** I can link stuff if you’re interested, but the why isn’t that important.


(Daniel Shields) #29

I’m Daniel Shields, a software developer based in London. I mainly work in C++ with a little python thrown in.

I currently use a Planck keyboard and have made some minor contributions to the QMK firmware. I was initially interested in the model 01 as I liked the ergodox but didn’t really get on with the layout of the thumb cluster.


(Mark Senn) #30

I’m Mark Senn from Lafayette, Indiana, United States. I’ve been programming professionally since 1978 and mainly use Emacs, LaTeX, Mathematica, Perl 6, and Perl 5 on Fedora and Red Hat Linux. I’ve been using the TypeMatrix 2020 (2030 is too small for me) keyboard in Dvorak mode for over ten years. Tried ErgoDox EZ but thumb cluster design wasn’t ergonomic enough. Bought Model 01 because I thought it would be an improvement in keyboard ergonomics and programmability.


(JP) #31

I hear ya Mark. I’ve got two 2020s. The 2030s are way too small. I would get more 2020s if they still sold them. Transitioning from 2020 to Kinesis Advantage took about 4 days. Not sure what the M01 will be like. We’ll have to see.


(David Glasser) #32

Hi Keyboardios! I’m David Glasser, a software engineer at Meteor/Apollo, living in SF. I come here less from the keyboard enthusiast side of things than the J+K fan side: Kaia was one of my first friends in college and Jesse was the first person to hire me to write software. I’ve been a Kinesis user since January 2007 and while I love the hardware, I have been increasing frustrated by how it seems to have an unfixable bug where modifier keys get stuck down and I accidentally close all my browser tabs instead of just one. I figure that if my Model 01 has similar bugs I can just march over to Jesse’s and babysit until he fixes it for me. Or, um, use the power of open source to fix it myself. I thought the LEDs were just a silly gimmick but I’ve already realized how nice LED-ActiveModKey is. I didn’t expect to actually be hacking the firmware on week one but it’s so easy and fun! I just want to warp forward a few weeks to when my fingers are used to this layout. Oh and maybe buy a second one rather than commuting with it :slight_smile:


(Jennifer Leigh) #33

I’m on record as wanting a more portable Keyboardio, and have been noodling on how to make that happen with some alternate enclosure of the current “guts.”


(Bard Bloom) #34

Hi! I’m Bard. I frequently pretend to be a computer scientist and SF writer, and not a lizard. That means a lot of typing, mostly in emacs. When I got a job as a software engineer at Google three years ago, I decided to treat myself to a spiffy new keyboard. And it’s three years to the day when it actually showed up!


(Pedro Figueiredo) #35

Hey, I’m Pedro. Been living in London (UK ) for 10+ years, and have been raving about my imaginary keyboard for 3 years.

I’m a software engineer, and I like my hardware to just work.


(James Cash) #36

:laughing: I think my family is going to throw a party when I get mine, I’ve been yammering about it to everyone for ages too


(Gergely Nagy) #37

Speaking from personal experience, make sure they know they should throw the party a month or so after you receive your keyboard, when you finally emerge from your room. :wink:


(Jennifer Leigh) #38

My family got to tease me for a month about not using mine, because there were two family vacations (eclipse!) and too many pressing work projects for me to take a productivity hit. Once I got going with it, though, it ate my life.

Now that I’m likely to be bed bound for a couple months due to whiplash from a car crash a week ago, it’s even more a ubiquitous fixture. A split keyboard that can be positioned wherever I can most comfortably put my hands from moment to moment is my lifeline to the world.


(Jon Kiparsky) #39

My 01 arrived today - as promised, I think it’ll take a bit of ramp-up time, but it definitely feels like it’s going to be worth the effort. The main problem is that now I’m going to have to get one for work as well. Not a bad problem to have, I guess.

On another note, feeling a little sad that discourse is the forum software of choice, which means that I won’t be participating here a lot, but I wanted to say hi anyway.


(Jan) #40

Hi everyone!

My names Jan and I hail from Australia.

I’m a gamer who’s interested in optimizing my set up for comfort and ergonomics. I’m also planning to study Computer Science and programming.

I have a Mistel Barroco split keyboard and love the split nature. As keyboards will feature heavily in my working life, I want to make sure I don’t develop any bad habits that may lead to RSI’s. Those health concerns are what brought me to the Model 01.

I’m interested in developing a Gaming layer for the Model 01 to make sure that long gaming sessions benefit from the ergonomic nature of the keyboard. I’d love to help develop a low latency mode to be used for this purpose but worry I don’t know enough about programming to be useful just yet. I’m hoping this will be a good learning experience and a chance to pick up some useful skills.

I’ve completely overlooked this community for this past year and have posted a few questions and suggestions to the kickstarter comment page instead. I got directed to this forum via the twitter that I was obsessively checking so instead of bothering Jesse via kickstarter comments I figured I’d get involved here and see what I can do to help.

Cheers,
Jan.