Got my Atreus. A quick review

Just received the keyboard and after a bit of a struggle trying to figure out how to properly flash it with Chrysalis, I realised I was complicating matters a bit too much by assuming there was a timing to releasing the Esc button upon choosing to flash the firmware rather than just holding it down until it finished. Had a fun detour learning how unbrickable this thing actually is as I reflashed the firmware after definitely messing it up so badly, the keyboard was not even detected as a USB device!

Admittedly I had not followed the Chrysalis development closely and have been doing all my flashing with the Arduino IDE so colour me surprise that I don’t have to hold down the Prog key equivalent anymore to update the keyboard layout using Chrysalis. I was very impress that the app even detects my current Model01 layout after everything is properly set up. This will definitely make it easier to do further customisations on my full keyboard!

I am grabbing my trusty alcohol-cleanable pen while changing up the function key layout and experimenting with other settings. It certainly is an adventure trying to figure out the best place to put them as I have become extremely tied to my custom layout on the Model01. I actually reached my maximum typing level on https://zty.pe/ within 30 minutes of use with this keyboard which astounds me. The thing that is still tripping me up other than the function calls on my KDE Plasma desktop is simply the punctuation and numbers and how best to invoke them. Obviously, I will just need to devote more time to using this keyboard to write.

Overall I would like to thank everyone in Keyboardio for making this the most impressive keyboard I have ever used. I feel almost like I’m betraying my trusty Model01 by writing this. And yes this entire writeup was done entirely with my brand new Atreus! :laughing:

Since I’m working from home it will be some time before I shock everyone around me again with my custom keyboard out in the field. My Model01 still draws attention even though it is via video conferencing.

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I just got my Atreus a few hours ago and I have not had a very long time to use it but, I am thinking that with a few tweaks to the layout, I will feel much more at home with this. It’s surprising to me that it feels as natural as it does to me considering the learning curve that I went through trying to get used to the Model 01. I am already missing the arrow keys being under the home row with the press of my palm and I keep thumping my thumb on the desk when I reach for the shift key that’s not there. :smiley:

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I have completely redesigned layer 1 and layer 2 to my liking. With minor tweaks to the function keys in the first row (like you I am missed my thumb row too!). I got so used to typing and using the arrows keys on the home row, but shifted so the left arrow starts on the nubbed keycap, that I had to reprogram the entire layer. I never used the number pad option in the Model01 so it felt more natural to type with all the numbers in the top row.

To sort of emulate the ingenious palm buttons on the Model01, both layer switching buttons are now in the corners instead. So far I have reached my maximum of 38 wpm but the smaller form factor does lead to more stress after prolonged typing. Though I want to be thoroughly used to typing on this thing before switching back to the Model01. The experience has been inspiring enough that I am looking at maybe even redesigning some of my layouts on the full-sized keyboard.

Pretty amazing that by limiting the keys available this thing fires up your imagination for keyboard layout customizing.

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Thank you for this suggestion! It was just what I was looking for. I’d missed the palm keys and was having trouble figuring out where to put the layer switching buttons!

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I’ve had a couple of weeks with my Atreus now and absolutely love it. What surprised me is that the layout seems to work even better for me than the Model-01:

  • I love typing no-stretch numbers and number-row symbols. This is especially important as I had to learn home row touch typing for these columnar keyboards as my “roving arm 4-6 finger” style did not translate well. Stretching for the upper row frequently loses my row-centeredness which I’m slow to regain.
  • I love the tasteful duplication of keys that can be reached from multiple layers.
  • The cursor keys work better for me and I do much better with the various parentheses.
  • The other benefit is that my desk is tiny.

I’ll eventually go back to using the Model-01 at home (who would want to do without wood enclosure and palm keys?), but with the Atreus I can now have my happy keys everywhere. And there is very little as satisfying as thumping the enter key with the palm of your hand.
Many thanks to Jesse and Kaya and all those involved.

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I am defaulting more to the Atreus rather than the Model 01. The keyswitches just feel so much more satisfying, despite having to remember more combos. I am starting to wonder if I need to lubricate the Matias keyswitches to get the same snappiness.

I have been using my Atreus as the primary keyboard since I received it and today, I changed back to my Model 01. It just feels cheap compared to the Atreus now. I love the Atreus’ feel but I have found myself wishing that it had at least one additional row of keys on the top or two extra columns of keys on each side. I fell like if I had either of those options, I would be able to spend less time using key/layer combinations to get the characters I want. My typo rate went way down with the Atreus Vs the Model 01. the curved key shapes just screw me up so badly, I prefer the flat surface of the Atreus.

I’m excited to see what the next iteration of the Model 01 the Model 100 will look and feel like. I was just looking at an Ergodox EZ and contemplating the undertaking of building my own custom version of the Atreus to add the extra keys. Cost wise, either option will wind up costing me about the same amount of money I think.