Saturday, 22 April 2017
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Unlike normal keyboard, keys on KeyMouse are overloaded with symbols. There are already 4 symbols on many keys - and this does not include symbols for any non-Latin keyboard layout. This is a bit of a mess.

Would it be possible to have clear keys with small OLED display on each key? If not as standard set - but at least as an option?

Having display on each would allow you to show only single symbol per key - the one which is active. Switching Fn's or keyboard layout would switch displaying symbol.

Here is an example: https://www.reddit.com/r/gifs/comments/5i2i2o/my_keyboard_has_a_display_in_each_key/ (the keyboard was too pricey, but not because of displays)

If displays are not an option - how about something like LED diodes highlighting pre-cut symbol on the key?
5 years ago
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#198
As a touch typer for over 10 years, qwerty in the beginning, programmers dvorak for the last few months and now also a KeyMouse user I would like to share my experience on this. I learned touch typing on qwerty like most people - by looking at the keyboard and using a touch type teaching program from time to time, and when I decided to switch to programmers dvorak I thought I'd do the same. I ordered stickers for my keyboard but before they arrived I met the opinion that there is a much better approach and boy am I happy that I did. A properly designed cheat sheet stuck right below the monitor is the idea, by properly designed I mean it must be easy to read and show finger key associations, like this one:
http://programmer-dvorak.appspot.com/img/KB_Programmer_Dvorak.png
I used something similar to learn programmers dvorak and now I have one for the KeyMouse and it's layers, and I wouldn't switch for display keys if I had to choose one. I never looked at my keyboard and I don't look at the KeyMouse now and I'm able to find keys faster than by looking. It would be nice if the keymouse software allowed to print your layout from all layers but it's not hard to create one in photoshop or paint, I'm attaching mine in case someone's interested:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwqldIXaCTy1NHpOcF9TSWt1VEU/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwqldIXaCTy1WXMzRnFSUDg3RTQ/view?usp=sharing
5 years ago
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#199
@Radoslaw Thank you for sharing! Also, good idea. We will put on our roadmap the ability to print the key layout :)
5 years ago
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#231
@Alex I love the idea if the technology were viable, but I suspect that would bring the cost of the keymouse up well above a thousand dollars not to mention eliminate the possibility of using bluetooth (too much battery drain too quickly). You can buy a boring shaped OLED keboard called the Optimus for $1,000 and that doesn't even have to fit into the shape of a mouse or be particularly concerned with weight and/or battery drain. So I guess I'd say cool idea, but way too far ahead of it's time to be realistic. I'm absolutely with you that it would be cool thing to have, but unfortunately we'd probably have to wait about a decade for it to be viable unless of course you want to make your own amazingly expensive custom product.
5 years ago
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#232
Maximus costs $1000 because it was designed by Lebedev, not because it has displays.

Small LED displays cost about $1 from manufacturer. The problem is that you have to buy in large quantities ( >= 5'000) and I was not able to find these to be sold in small quantity.
5 years ago
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#235
Interesting observations, but I presume at $1 per pop you're not talking about color OLED displays, but some kind of single color LED display that can only display one fixed color, correct? Maybe it is more plausible than I thought, regardless. But I imagine there would be many other costs and challenges integrating the displays into the system far in excess of simply buying the displays themselves in bulk. So many little connections to tightly integrate and support. Whereas without displays the keys only need mechanical switches, once you add displays you have to find a way to carry transmit power and bandwidth along wires or some other conductor on a part that is moving along to make it's way thru to the displays mounted either on top of the keycaps or just under what I presume would be transparent keycaps. And you need the board to support all this too. I'm pretty sure it would add an enormous layer of complexity on a design that is already very complicated and ambitious before even getting to the final precise shape and production of version 1.0. Maybe after that's done...
5 years ago
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#237
@Everyone By the way we are planning to create key caps that allow you to print and insert your own custom graphics or buy sticker kits for specific applications. These are not going to be the "default" key caps for our current KeyMouse version. They will primarily be used for some future products we have planned (particularly application specific key pads, and gaming key pads). We anticipate some users will put them on our current KeyMouse, too. The CAD design work is 99% complete for our "relegendable" key cap. We will pursue it more after we address current issues.
5 years ago
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#239
Yeah, I do realize this is not a simple thing and definitely it should not be a default. It is a thing to discuss.

Keys with custom graphics is a good thing, but I don't think it is a solution. Because the problem is not that you don't support additional layouts. The problem is that there is simply not enough space to place all glyphs.

Here is an example. A typical non-English keyboard have 2 symbols on most of the keys: 1 for English layout, 1 for non-English layout (such as Cyrillic, etc.). Few buttons have 3 glyphs: 2 for letters, 1 for punctuation, or 1 for letter, 2 for punctuation. Here is how it looks:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/419ibk14EGL.jpg

Now, since KeyMouse adds blue and yellow FNs - this means + 2 glyphs on a key. In the end, some keys simply have no space to add more glyphs. For example, where do you propose to add a non-English letter on keys with "2", "3", ":", "?" on the right keyboard? Squeeze 5 glyphs in a star formation?

If I would use KeyMouse, I would probably just get rid of FN yellow block.
5 years ago
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#241
Another option would be to place FNs' glyphs on a bottom side of the key, not on top.
5 years ago
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#242
Here are some prices for you on this type of key switch it is not a 1 dollar switch the cheapest I have seen them is $35 in volume. it was a while ago but the switch was about twice the size of a keyboard key. the ones in the links are the right size but even more cost.

I know I would not pay extra for displays under my fingers they cannot read;)
I agree with John Topping
5 years ago
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#247
@Radoslaw Thanks for Sharing the Template for the "Programmers Dvorak" I have been writing software for 20+ years and have wanted to try to switch but didn't want the learning curve and associated slow down while I come up to speed. So I just never got around to it. But reading your post I agree I don't look at my Qwerty Keyboard and that is the fastest way to type. I have a Beta KeyMouse coming and thought well I am going to be learning this thing from scratch I might as well just learn this keymouse from Day one using "Programmers Dvorak" this may also make it easier to revert to Qwerty when I am on a traditional keyboard.(hope that doesn't happen often)

I appreciate your help :)
5 years ago
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#248
@Herb
I'm happy to hear that you find it useful.
While I stand by my layout, the KeyMouse layout I posted, use and find most useful is actually closer to standard Dvorak. It keeps the ; and ' location from Programmers Dvorak, but has the special characters on the blue layer mostly in qwerty/standard Dvorak order. The biggest difference between standard and programmers Dvorak is the numbers row, which on the KeyMouse does not exist but is replaced by an even better implementation on separate layers, but that also means that the design principles of the Programmers Dvorak's numbers row do not apply to the KeyMouse - that's why I kept the default qwerty order.
I'm mentioning this because If I was in your position of learning dvorak on the KeyMouse and not on a standard keyboard I would use standard dvorak as the base, that way you can switch to any other computer and use the preinstalled dvorak while programmers dvorak needs to be installed separately. In practice this only means switching two keys ; and ' so not a big deal, but I would still do it. IMO Programmers Dvorak it the best way to go for programming on a standard 4 row keyboard, but with layers like on the keymouse standard Dvorak is better because of the ability to switch to other computers easily.

The first week or two of dvoraking was hard - at least for me, after that it gets better and you start to feel the benefits, fingers move much more naturally when writing in english. The same goes for the KeyMouse, so you are heading for a rough start :-), but after getting used to there is no going back, every computer that I will be using frequently to work will have a KeyMouse, a standard keyboard feels a bit like a non touchscreen smartphone, you can do the same, but it doesn't feel as natural and is never as fast and easy.
5 years ago
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#250
I never used programmers Dvorak but used to use dvorak for about 18 years. It had a lot of advantages over qwerty but of course being nonstandard has its drawbacks. A few years back I studied the merits of Colemak which manages to keep a good number of keys in the same position as qwerty while still achieving comparable ergonomic benefit compared with dvorak. The fact that most keyboard combinations using the q w a z x c v b h and m keys work the same regardless of whether I'm on someone else's qwerty computer or my own Colemak makes me make a lot less mistakes when switching between systems and also made it easier to pull of most of those commands with a mouse in my right hand. I think Dvorak is a beautifully designed system, but if you're starting from scratch from qwerty I'd recommend looking into alternatives such as Colemak before committing to the relearning effort. Mac OS and windows both have Colemak layouts built into the software options even though Dvorak seems to have a wider past base. By the way I'm typing from my ipad built in software qwerty keyboard lest anyone judge my poor typing as reflecting poorly on the layout of keyboards I'm discussing.
5 years ago
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#258
By the way shortly after I first learned dvorak many years back a year later I got a kinesis countoured keyboard which is of course radically different from other keyboards. Because that keyboard was so different and I ONLY ever typed on it in dvorak.. I simply could NOT type on it in qwerty. I could type fine on another keyboard in qwerty, but I simply could NOT type on the kinesis in qwerty other than at a snails pace as if I were a beginning typist. And I sort of got in the habit of using qwerty on every other keyboard until I got a laptop almost ten years later which was actually my own personal computer. But it made it very easy mentally to keep two entirely separate mental maps.. one for my out of the ordinary keyboard in dvorak and another for other keyboards in qwerty. But again, before you invest your energy in learning dvorak I'd highly recommend you also evaluate some alternatives such as colemak and even something simpler that gives ergonomic benefits. While there are reasons to argue about relative benefits of colemak or dvorak I think ergonomically there more or less equivalent, BUT colemak is much easier when it comes to using the same keyboard combinations.. and that was the thing that I always found especially tricky with dvorak.. at least on a conventional keyboard. After having already transitioned to dvorak, even though I was older I think it was easier for me to relearn again to colemak.. but I had to say bye bye to dvorak because keeping track of qwerty plus dvorak plus colemak simply would have been too much. I can't really do dvorak anymore. I'm sure I COULD with practice, but it's pretty much gone now and purposely forgotten so as to minimize confusion. The upside to dvorak or colemak is that in isolation they are in my opinion certainly more ergonomic, but there's obviously a cost that comes from fighting the norm.
5 years ago
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#260
Thanks @John Great information. it is helpful I agree and will review Colmak Here are my initial thoughts.
I work long days 14 -15 hours/day so Ergonomics But really my main interest is the simplest Gestures for each letter so that I can type as fast as possible while still being accurate. when writing Firmware this is most important because I can usually think up the code much faster than I can enter it. so Data entry speed is directly related to my productivity. Of course not all applications have this problem but this is something than I noticed Programmers Dvorak has a lot to offer because It Brings a lot of the programming chars to single key entry. Unfortunately because I have not actually used it find it hard to Judge the fact that is is a different key sequence as compared to qwerty but it seems to me that I will only use this on the Key mouse so it really comes down to which would be faster.

do you have any thoughts on speed comparison?
I'll go and do some research in the mean time on colemak.

Thanks again for sharing your experience here.
5 years ago
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#261
I don't know for sure that there isn't a programmers Colemak but regular Colemak generally seems to try to minimize the changes while achieving max benefit for regular Typing of letters. By default all the symbols stay in the same place with the exception that the semi colon key moves up to the location occupied by p and the location formerly occupied by semi colon becomes the letter o. It is also optionally done that caps lock is modified to become the backspace key since caps lock is easier to reach than backspace, but I never used that particular option esp as I happen to have a special keyboard with an even better location for backspace and delete. So unless there's a programmers version of Colemak I don't know about perhaps programmers Dvorak has more to offer in regard to doing funky things with characters. But I'd also point out there's a lot you could do with simply using function yellow or function blue granted that is not a single key entry. I would observe that if you're looking for a speed bump you might be disappointed . I would recommend alt layouts for long term comfort to those willing to take on the transition challenge, but the limitation on typing speed generally tends to be mental more so than the physical . You may ultimately get a slight speed boost if you stick to it but I doubt it would be drastic. Some of the fastest typists use qwerty and you will always need to know both qwerty and your preferred alternative which means the best youll probably ever do in terms of speed is maybe just a little bit better than qwerty Because your mind will probably always be slowed down a bit by the overhead of needing to know multiple typing layouts. The improved comfort however is quite noticeable in my subjective observation
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