Community Intros

(James Cash) #41

What kind of games do you play? I’m trying to theorycraft a good Dota 2 layout for the Model 01, myself.

(Jan) #42

I play competitive Overwatch mainly and a bunch of story driven games with the other half. Right now we’re playing through the Half Life series as she hasn’t played them before. We finished Stardew Valley and Borderlands 2 a little while ago and we checked out a bit of Cuphead aka old timey Dark Souls.

Mainly FPS and simulation games, no real time spent in MOBA’s other than farming Overwatch skins in Heroes of the Storm.

(Noseglasses) #43


I am Flo from Germany.

Although my degree mentions that I am a mechanical engineer, I spend most of my professional live writing software in all sorts of languages. Mostly C++, C, python, perl, java script and recently more and more CMake which, although not a programming language in a strict sense, eats up a lot of my time while working on the ever growing build system of a particle simulation software that I develop and distribute.

This I developed some sever pain in one of my pinkies which probably came from excessive use of Ctrl-based shortcuts, So I ended up with programmable keyboards. By switching to an ErgoDox EZ and a Planck I got rid of my typing pain. Apart from the ergonomic aspects of split keyboards and mechanical switches, I benefit from a keymap that utilizes only a small subset of keys centered around the home row, thereby avoiding excessive lateral finger motion.

Even though I already solved my medical problems, I am now stuck with optimizing keymaps and programming firmware extensions. Meanwhile I am trying to get some serious work done in order to earn money once in a while.

Currently I am waiting for my Model 01 and I am interested in porting the stuff that I implemented for the QMK firmware to Kaleidoscope.

(John Pallister) #44

John Pallister here, typing my first text on PVT0497. Which is interesting, since I’m a Dvorak-using guy and of course I don’t have the keycaps yet… so I’ll be keeping this brief. :slightly_smiling_face: At least macOS has chosen to see it as another Dvorak-layout keyboard without me having to configure anything (so far).

I’m a programmer, Emacs user, musician, parent. I don’t have any serious OOS issues ATM (touch wood) beyond having to use my non-dominant hand for my Magic Trackpad. So I’ve been touch-typing on a bog-standard Apple keyboard without problems. I did use a Microsoft Natural Keyboard years ago when I had to use Windows.

Anyway, big thanks to everyone in the community for all your great work thus far (hello @Simon-Claudius!) and I’ll be posting more myself once I’ve come up to speed (turns out my touch-typing isn’t that great after all).

(@TheBaronHimself) #45

Hey John, great to see you here :). Welcome!

(genehack) #46

Hi, I’m John. (I go by ‘genehack’ most places online, because I used to be a molecular biologist, once upon a time.)

I live in Salem, Oregon, and work remotely for a technology consultancy and bespoke software development firm. I’ve written code in a variety of languages, but most recently Perl, Node, Javascript, and Swift (as well as HTML, CSS, and Sass, as one does when doing front-end-ish web dev).

I’ve had bouts of RSI-ish symptoms on and off since graduate school, where I spent a long six months coding for about 10 hours a day at a workstation with very poor ergonomics. After some warning signs, I switched to a split keyboard, converted to Dvorak, and mostly haven’t looked back since. I’ve known Jesse for a while via the Perl community, and when I heard he and Kaia were making the Model01, I was sold (backer #104 and it would be lower but I waited for my wife to get home from work to find out if she wanted one too – she did).

Prior to the Model01, my daily driver was a Kinesis Advantage – I’ve been typing on that for over 5 years. When I’m not using that, it’s just the stock MacBook keyboard.

One of the most exciting things for me with the Model01 is the customizable firmware, and the ability to take various keyboard hacks I’ve been doing in OS-side software, and move them out into the keyboard layer. One example is Space Cadet-style modifiers, which I’ve placed on the thumb arcs. Another example is requiring the use of “proper” modifier keys, so that you need to use the right shift key with keys on the left side of the keyboard, and vice versa.

(Bruce Byfield) #47

Hi, Everyone:

I’m Bruce Byfield, and I write about free and open source software for a living. I’ve written about Keyboardio a couple of times in the last two years for Linux Pro Magazine, and I am eagerly awaiting my Model 01 so I can write about it again.

I spend 8-12 hours most days at the keyboard, so the subject is of more than passing interest to me. I am typing now from a Datamancer keyboard with a copper frame, and a few months ago, I also did an article about Input Club, which is also making open source keyboards.

If anyone who has received their Model 01 would care to send comments to me, I’m collecting them for my still-to-come review. I can quote you by name or anonymously if you prefer. It’s my wait of trying to control my impatience for my own keyboard.!

I’ve attached a picture of my Datamancer keyboard:


(Piers Cawley) #48

Hi all, I’m Piers, I’m a former programmer from the UK.

RSI led me to switch to a Maltron in the late 90s, it eased and I went back to flat keyboards for a while because the Maltron (and the Kinesis later) was such a beast to lug around. The most recent bout of RSI coincided with Jesse’s (who I’ve known through the Perl community for, essentially, ever) early experiments with building his own keyboards and he inspired me to rewire and re-brain my Maltron as a 64 key matrix with a teensy. I bought my first Model 01 at OSCON in '14 and am the proud possessor of Invoice KBIO-0001 and a hand built prototype that Jesse wired up with his portable butane powered soldering iron at the conference in the hope that it would help mitigate the problems with my right hand that eventually pushed me out of programming and into artisan bread making. That keyboard was and is lovely, but the RSI (ulnar nerve damage apparently) didn’t go away.

These days, my typing is light but I’d still rather be typing on a Maltron layout capable board when I do, and the Model 01 is just lovely for that. The palm key is great – the prototype’s very basic (just a standard two unit key cap) implementation convinced me of that. Once you have the facility to dip down into another layer you start wondering if 64 keys isn’t rather more than you need. Until you fire up a game. What also excites me is that I’ve already tripped over an annoyingly hard to fix bug in the firmware – I might not be at the keyboard very much these days, but it’s nice to bend my brain to a nicely tricky programming problem now and again. Or I might just wuss out and implement the same Karabiner based workaround I used on the prototype, but that feels like such a cop out.

(ScottB) #49

Hi all,

I’m Scott, a 59-year-old software developer in Sunnyvale, CA. I’ve enjoyed exotic keyboards for many years. I had a summer job in high school (we’re talking 1974) working for a keyboard manufacturer, a small company owned by a friend of my parents. I remember they had a weird keyswitch that used a tiny rubber tube with liquid mercury inside, and contacts at either end of the tube. When the key plunger was up, the mechanism pinched off the tube so no contact was made; pressing the key would release the pinch, allowing the two parts of the mercury blob to join and current to flow. It was flawlessly reliable, but expensive, and of course somewhere along the way people realized that having all that mercury around was not a good idea; you couldn’t sell such a thing now.

I used Lisp Machines quite a lot in the 1980s, so I got plenty of experience with the fabled Space Cadet keyboards as well as the Symbolics 3600-style keyboards that followed them. Also in 1980 I built a Z-80 CP/M machine, and wanted a keyboard for it; the keyboard company I had worked for gave me a prototype of a design that never went to production. This was very different; it had a hole in the PCB under each key, and on the end of each key was a ferrite core that was inserted in the hole when the key was pressed. There was a loop trace on the top and bottom of the PCB, and the circuitry detected the inductive coupling between the two when the ferrite was in the hole. This design was also extremely reliable, but the ferrites were just too expensive, I guess. Anyway, I modified the firmware quite a bit on that keyboard. Anyone remember the 8748 microcontroller?

Through the 1990s I mostly used Sun Workstation keyboards, which I think were the mushy kind made by Keytronic — okay, I guess, but nothing special. Toward the end of that decade I switched to Linux, and around 2000 got myself a Kinesis Evolution chair-mount keyboard, which I still use. (I’ve never had RSI, but I love being able to lean back in my chair and type.) This is not the Advantage, the model with two dished keyblocks that they still make, but an older model that was discontinued years ago (it was $500 with the chair mount, as I recall, which probably scared people off, but I think it was worth it).

The layout I use is one I invented back in 1992, which I called YAKL (“Yet Another Keyboard Layout”). It’s similar in rationale and design to the Asset Layout — it puts many common keys on the home row while otherwise being no more different from QWERTY than necessary. Like the Asset creator, I had tried to learn Dvorak, but thought it was pointless to have so many of the low-frequency keys in different places from where QWERTY put them. Here’s YAKL (in Model 01-style columnar form):

Q W D F J   Y U K L P
A S E T G   H N I O R
Z X C V ;   B M , . /

It has one bug which I should have fixed long ago: D and E are on the same finger. Probably I should swap D and G, which would then make my home row identical to Asset’s. But I don’t really recommend this for people looking to make a switch from QWERTY anyway; you’re probably better off with Colemak.

I’ll post my impressions of the Model 01 separately.

(JP) #50

Mercury switches. How cool is that? Do you happen to have any pictures? Or should I just google?

(ScottB) #51

I don’t have any pictures and I doubt you’d find them on Google. But mercury was more common in those days; it was used in thermometers, of course, and other things as well. I found a blob of it in an old thermostat once.


A little poking around turns up the Mechanical Enterprises patent Switch with liquid containing tube for keyboard use.

(Jennifer Leigh) #53

What material could they have made that tube out of that wouldn’t degrade rapidly? I don’t know of a modern material that would function that way indefinitely, let alone a material available in the 70’s.

(Noseglasses) #54

I’m sure it’s not transparent aluminum, as that was not discovered before 1986.

(JP) #55

Humbacks. People sir? Whales, Scotty, Whales.

(ScottB) #56

Good find! Yes, that’s it exactly: invented by Bob Twyford at Mechanical Enterprises.

I don’t recall the tube material. My guess would be some kind of silicone rubber. I don’t recall it being mentioned as a problem area, but I wasn’t around during the R&D.

(kajsa.anderson) #57

Hi folks. I thought I had posted one of these long ago, but apparently not.

I’m Kajsa - kajsa on github, kajsa_a on twitter and a few other places, and Kyrstellaine anywhere related to gaming. I’m in Minnesota, and no, we don’t have snow on the ground yet. :wink:

I’m a software engineer and gamer (EQ, then WoW), and I’ve been hooked on wacky keyboards since an Ask /. thread led me to the Fingerworks Touchstream LP back in '99. I’m just learning to hack firmware - I built an Atreus about a month before I got my Model 01, and really enjoyed both building it and tweaking the layout. I’ve been using a TEK at work for the last several years, and have been really frustrated by the limits to its programability.

I don’t precisely have RSI, but I do a narrow keyboard that lets me keep my mouse in close - if it’s displaced too much, I get nerve impingement which is really odd and really, really annoying (usually I’m able to catch it before it gets to actively painful). I also use Evoluent’s Vertical Mouse 4 to reduce pronation when mousing, and have the secondary function button set up to allow me to cut, copy, and paste directly from the mouse.

My Model 01 is the first ergo keyboard since a first or second generation MS natural that I’ve been able to game with. [gah, that reminds me, I need to enable the mod-color thing so I can tell when I’ve accidentally gotten a mod stuck] It’s also the first one since the Touchstream where I’ve been able to get my Programmer’s Punctuation Pad back.

Fingerworks Touchstream
(Jennifer Leigh) #58

A post was merged into an existing topic: Fingerworks Touchstream

(Tyler Smith) #59

Hi folks!

I’m Tyler, a research scientist working in plant science. I got into Linux during grad school, and as my work incorporates an increasing amount of bioinformatics all the time I thought I’d burned up learning to install and administer Debian is suddenly becoming professionally relevant.

This requires a fair bit of coding in my day to day. This aggravates RSI issues that I developed in my 20s through a combination of music (3+ hours a day) and sport (wrestling and rock climbing). I started using a MS Natural keyboard to help with this back in the late 90s, and have been using a Kinesis split for the past four or five years.

I’ve been using the Atreus as a portable keyboard for the past few months, and it’s pretty great. However, for me pronation is quite aggravating, so I’m planning to build something that combines the Atreus’ size and the Model 01 split design and key layout. I’ve done some modest projects with Arduino and Atmel microcontrollers, and building a keyboard sounds like a fun way to build on this.

(JP) #60

So you’re a botanist stranded on Mars and you don’t need NASA or JPL to teach you how to hack the rover to talk to them? Awesome.