Hi all, I really really wanted to like this keyboard so much, but I struggled for about a month and my fingers are in much greater pain than they used to be. I’m a programmer, I come from a Kinesis Advantage (best keyboard so far) and an ErgoDox, both of which I liked and disliked for different reasons, but I’m pretty comfortable typing on after having configured them with a layout I like. I really like how the Model01 thumb cluster is arranged in an arc, and the palm Fn key is great.
Unfortunately, the Model01 just doesn’t have any meaningful place where I can map the arrow keys in the main layer, and I use them extensively and very very frequently. I tried to get used to having them in the Fn layer, I thought, they’re right there in the home row, it must be comfortable once I get used to it, and pressing the Fn palm key shouldn’t be a big deal, but now after just a few minutes my fingers are so much in pain that I have to reach for another keyboard, any keyboard (heck, even a cheap membrane keyboard will do!), and I’ll immediately feel relief. I also tried to map them on the left hand instead of the right hand (or both), that didn’t help much.
The main issue is chording with arrow keys, and typing fast while using arrow keys in between typing like Shift+Arrows (select text) Ctrl+Arrow (e.g. move by word), Ctrl+Shift+Arrow (select words), etc. Having to add yet another modifier completely kills the ergonomics.
Even more, moving the cursor with arrow keys then typing something is problematic because if I try to type fast, the first key I try to type invariably gets pressed with the Fn layer still active, making me waste time. For more fun, try: select a few words (ctrl+shift+Fn+arrows), then type over with something that starts with a capital letter or symbol (Shift+key, no Fn). I usually end up pressing Fn+key instead of Shift+key if I try to do this quickly.
I also tried using OneShot for chording modifiers, but that slows me down even more, and I end up mistyping a lot of things as well. My fingers are not much happier either.
After struggling for weeks, I tried to map the arrow keys where the
,./- keys are in the default layout (becomes left, up, down, right, similar to what I have in my kinesis/ergodox layout), but it’s proving to be pretty difficult to get used to comma, period and slash (which I use a lot) in the Fn layer. There are simply not enough keys, it seems.
Everybody in mech keyboard forums seems to talk about improving ergonomics by reducing the number of keys and increasing the number of layers, but that seems to make it a lot worse for me. I’d rather have a lot of keys that I don’t have to chord instead.
So, am I the only one that has this problem? How did you solve that problem? If there are other programmers using this keyboard, what is your layout and “best practices” for coding using your Model01?
As I said, I really want to like this keyboard, but right now, I feel like it’s really letting me down (I’m typing from my Kinesis right now) and I might just have to get rid of it.
Thanks for any help!