Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Keyboard Saga, pt 3

Summary of the keyboard sitch:

US intl sucks. There is no keyboard layout that has both å and `. I’m gonna have to make my own. This isn’t the fault of the Atreus. Android is to blame for not having a nodeadkeys variant of US intl.

I spent the last day and then a few hours this morning setting everything up so I can use it w/o any issues as my only keyboard on the desktop.

I have five layers with two more as a work in progress for a nice-to-have but not urgent feature–to be able to lock in to a pair of layers that give basic support when plugged in to a typical Swedish computer. For travels purps. But I’m obv not looking to do that anytime soon.

I’ve made changes to .emacs and dwm/config.h and /etc/default/keyboard.

I can type. I can use it. I do use it. I’ve now unplugged my HHKB.

I created an Atreus layer that’s kind of like “hardcoded Emacs”: it turns Ctrl-n, f, b, p, a, e, v, h, d, and m i into their expected emacsy things, and other things it just passes through to Ctrl. Yes, this means that within Emacs I had to make new bindings for a few C-x things, like C-x C-f, C-x C-b, and C-x C-e.

It also means that I don’t need arrow keys, backspace, del etc because I can just C-n, C-h, C-d in other apps now. I also have a real Ctrl by holding compose, in case I needed (so far, my most common use of the real Ctrl is to send EOF to terminals with Ctrl-d, or when I wanna print something from Evince or Inkscape).

I put two these fake ctrls on the lower corners so I can hit them with the corner of my hand w/o thumb-rolling. The only keys I can’t access are the two on each side directly under the hand, I put wm stuff on there.

And after all this, I find that… it’s uncomfy.

I have to reach for the top-right key, which is L in my layout. I find myself tilting the keyboard to the left. When I place the kbd straight on the desk, I find myself after a while having shifted my entire chair and spine. Maybe I just have too narrow shoulders, too narrow elbows for an ergo keyboard. I find myself having to tilt the elbows way out to use ergo keyboards as intended.

Now, don’t bring me any ortholinear. Traditional staggered is where it’s at for me.

Basically what I want for my next keyboard is a HHKB except one that works and doesn’t glitch out all the time. And that doesn’t contain illegal amounts of lead.

It’s weird, what I was most hesitant about with this was giving up my beloved Topre switches, but I really love the Kaihl Speed Copper switches now. So that’s something I’d want on a next keyboard.

I’m gonna stick with this one for a while. Maybe I will get used to it. I already love it in some ways. Putting time into setting everything up tends to cause us to love hardware and apps, I’ve found. Kinda same thing as with dwm and emacs; they are so souped up that it’s hard to imagine switching away from them. Sunk cost love.♥︎

Continued in A paredit pro tip.