Learning how to position for my hands

Hello all!

I am thrilled to receive my Keyboardio 01. I’ve had it a few days, and despite an atrocious error rate with it, I’m starting to get used to it, I think!

I’m having some difficulty figuring out how to position it and my hands for maximum comfort. I’m getting some wrist pain in both wrists, and some forearm pain on my right. Some of this I experienced with the Microsoft 4000 that I have been using for over a decade (hence the switch to Keyboardio) but some is new. I’m using only the default layout while learning. I use emacs and xmonad heavily, and vimperator in Firefox for reduced-mouse browsing.

One particular issue I’m having is with the thumbs. If I rest my hands on the keyboard in the recommended manner, it is an uncomfortable stretch to reach the shift keys. I can’t really see a way around that. The fn key position also requires me to rotate my hand to press it.

Any advice? I’m very much fond of this keyboard and want it to work out well for me!

I am using it at a traditional desk with a keyboard tray.


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Emacs will definitely cause a lot of pain with horrid keycombos like C-c C-x whatever that look like they will summon Cthulhu. Best to switch to vi!!!

If it helps here’s a pic of my hand on the thumb keys and fn key:

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Trying out evil-mode is indeed on the list… but not yet. TBH I haven’t used a lot of emacs chord keys on the Keyboardio; it’s more just regular typing. Point taken, though; I have long appreciated the Emacs platform and the vim keybindings.

I tried to mimic your position with the thumb sort of over both cmd and bksp, but it wanted then to pull my pinky off the A. Thanks!

Some help possibly here: One-handed use of the Model 01

I generally rock or shift my hand back and forth, so if I’m hitting a key in the upper left I’ll move my left hand away from the thumb keys to do that. You can’t cover the entire half-keyboard at once.

You can also try a few different combos, like with or without the stands, or tilting the keyboards in or out a little bit. They work best without the stands and tilted out a little for me.

Also try adjusting the keyboard’s position on the desk horizontally - too far to your left or right and your hand will make a funny angle. It sounds like you may have the two halves too far apart.

Thank you! I have been experimenting with the separation, and have tried various separations, though to be honest I don’t think I’ve found a magic one yet. I haven’t really tried it flat; one of the key draws for me was the octofeet. The Microsoft keyboard I had been using has a slight negative tilt, which I had generally appreciated. But I’ll give flat a go and see what happens.

Thanks for the link to the other thread. It is possible I am tensing my hand also. I wonder, what are people’s thoughts about typing trainers? I figured if I just used the keyboard for routine work, I’d learn it while (slowly!) accomplishing things. I normally type at over 100WPM and I’m certainly much slower than that still, at about 3 days in (with maybe 6 hours of practice so far) but I do notice I’m noticeably improving already.

Another thing that will help with chords is OneShots, which allow you to press stuff like C-x C-c as C x C c, which allows you to avoid a bunch of awkward finger gymnastics, since you do not need to hold modifiers anymore.

Definitely need to check that (and SpaceCadet) out. Looking forward to those features, but want to learn the physical keyboard first.

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Forget the default layout and figure out a setup that works for you. I personally can’t find any way to use the palm keys comfortably so I made the outer most thumb keys fn when they are held down via the Qukeys extension. Qukeys lets you do lots of amazing things. I changed all my thumb keys to be misc keys I would normally need to stretch for (esc, enter, del, tab and braces) and made qukeys for the home row to be modifiers when held. For instance if I hold down F or J it acts as shift, D/K are ctrl, S/L are alt. It took a little bit of firmware code but has eliminated nearly all reaching for keys and allows me to easily chord modifiers.

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I had the same problem with the default shift keys, so I swapped them to be less of a stretch and moved ctrl to their original position.

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