Tuesday, 15 March 2022
  13 Replies
  0.9K Visits
  Subscribe
TL;DR - after they've learned the key layout would most users say they'd be just as comfortable with blanks instead of labelled keycaps?

Full disclosure; I'm a several fingers typist that subconsciously looks at the keycaps more than I realise...

To use these KeyMice I'm planning to & presuming I will have to learn to touch type properly. The reduced number of keys and ergonomics of the setup mean you can't see the keycaps; certainly not the core at least as your fingers will be resting on the key caps; ready to touch type.

If you were to leave the core alphabet off the keycaps then there's very little difference between Colemak/Qwerty/various layouts. Especially the extreme keys left/right columns and the 4-sets under the thumbs.

Are all the keycaps in your keycap sets the same shape/size and therefore position-interchangeable?

If they are all the same size then leaving off the core alphabet and just printing the blue/yellow functions, with just a few additional "extras" you'd be able to offer internationalized keycaps; as a Brit I'm targeting a blue £ instead of #, and then I'm left wondering
1. Why there's no yellow layer on the left hand; presumably the position of the yellow shift precludes shifting the left hand keyset to yellow?
2. Presumably doubling up on Ctrl + Alt is the product of years of refinement... in preference to putting the yellow shift akin to the blue shift?

...or after they've learned the key layout would most users say they'd be just as comfortable with blanks instead of labelled keycaps everywhere?

Kind regards,

Justin
2 months ago
·
#3052
Hi Dustin. In our implementation of DVORAK and COLEMAK, our device assumes the OS is set to a standard ENG/US QWERTY keyboard. We just re-arranged the keys in our software for those since there were no special characters. For some layouts such as AZERTY and QWERTZ the user needs to switch the OS keyboard to match, since that is the only way for the keyboard to type the special characters in those layouts. Sorry for any confusion.
2 months ago
·
#3049
Thank you Dustin Henning for helping explain this. One thing though. With the KeyMouse, we don't emulate the standard layout, instead, we program each key to send the key code corresponding to whichever key you would like to program it to.
This may be a poh-tay-toh / poh-tah-toh situation, as I think we are saying the same thing from opposing perspectives. At the end of the day my point was that you leave the standard US 101/102 keyboard selected in the OS and the hardware does the rest ("emulating the standard layout" may not be the best way to describe the use of QWERTY keycodes, but you are using QWERTY keycodes in the same way a "hardwired" Dvorak keyboard that requires you to leave the US 101/102 layout selected does [wherein selecting the Dvorak layout in the OS will lead to garbage out]; this is a different behavior than a "standard keyboard with Dvorak keycaps," which would type in QWERTY if you selected US 101/102 at the OS level, but would also type in Dvorak when you select Dvorak at the OS level). To elaborate, the catch here is that if you select any non-qwerty layout (such as Dvorak) in the OS while the KeyMouse device is set up with the "Standard" keyset, you will not get the expected output unless you have the KeyMouse keys laid out in QWERTY positions. I'm not certain on whether the other keyset options require a different layout selection in the OS, but it seems logical that they would. It seems I'm not sure how best to describe the behavior that leads to these characteristics, but I made that separate post because I believe it's important to understand that remappable firmware allows you to have any key anywhere at the expense of getting garbage out if you deviate from certain layout selection(s) in the OS config.

Put another way, on a "standard layout" the key in the position just to the right of "TAB" is "Q" when you select US 101/102 at the OS level, but tha same key is an apostrophe symbol that can be SHIFTed to a quote symbol when you select Dvorak at the OS level. OTOH, when you put "Q" on the right-side KeyMouse device, you have to leave US101/102 selected at the OS level and the OS still thinks you're hitting the key just to the right of the "TAB" key. Yes, the OS technically only sees the electronic signal that is tied to that location by some standard, but that's the poh-tay-toh / po-tah-toh part of this. Sorry to ramble incessantly, but I'm actually looking for an answer to what I'm missing here. Specifically, I would love to know how I should describe this if "emulating the standard layout" isn't it.
2 months ago
·
#3048
Thank you Dustin Henning for helping explain this. One thing though. With the KeyMouse, we don't emulate the standard layout, instead, we program each key to send the key code corresponding to whichever key you would like to program it to.

@Dustin thanks for all the info. Sorry; missed that you'd updated again.

My concerns are rooted in what i've had to do to switch the mouse buttons as a lefty before. The way RDP works means software interventions like EitherMouse and even MS's own "swap mouse buttons" feature doesn't work right in both local sessions and across RDP. Hence I had to go down a hardware route to fix; so I guess my question came down to is the KeyMouse solution all firmware programmed or is there a translator that needs to be running all the time. I've gleaned I believe no; there is a firmware-programmer needed to set up the layers; thereafter no software is needed so i'm hoping there won't be issues across RDP; that's essential to my use case.


All the layouts are stored on the device itself with firmware and the KeyMouse Desktop software is mainly used to program/update the devices. The devices will function properly with your custom layouts even if the software is completely closed out or in this case, when using the device on a remote desktop.
3 months ago
·
#3047
@Dustin thanks for all the info. Sorry; missed that you'd updated again.

My concerns are rooted in what i've had to do to switch the mouse buttons as a lefty before. The way RDP works means software interventions like EitherMouse and even MS's own "swap mouse buttons" feature doesn't work right in both local sessions and across RDP. Hence I had to go down a hardware route to fix; so I guess my question came down to is the KeyMouse solution all firmware programmed or is there a translator that needs to be running all the time. I've gleaned I believe no; there is a firmware-programmer needed to set up the layers; thereafter no software is needed so i'm hoping there won't be issues across RDP; that's essential to my use case.
3 months ago
·
#3033
Separately, to clarify a potential misconception on OS keyboard layouts (since you said "my standard qwerty keyboard"), I believe a standard key layout is more about which keys send which signals than where any given characters are. While there may be different standards in different regions, the many mappings for a given region all assume the same signals will be sent (this is why you can just select DVORAK and use it on a "standard qwerty keyboard"). Put another way, the fact that you keyboard has the QWERTY layout printed on it doesn't really matter to the OS; it could just as easily have blank keys or the DVORAK layout printed on it with no electrical changes. In the case of keyboards with keys that are remappable in firmware, the aforementioned standard layout is emulated, so the mapping is sort of reverse-engineered (when you move Q in the firmware, you are technically moving the signal that happens to be Q in the mapping that the firmware assumes the OS will expect).
3 months ago
·
#3032
Regarding remapping, my KeyMouse emulates QWERTY, so no custom layout setup is necessary on the computer. When you create a custom layout, you are given the following "Key Set" options:

AZERTY
Canadian French (Legacy)
COLEMAK
DVORAK
QWERTZ
Standard

I *assume* that those change the emulated layout, but you can stick with "Standard" and keep your employer's infosec team happy regardless of what they actually do (or if they gave you a custom colemak layout already, you could try to use that so that other keyboards also behave as colemak if my assumption is correct).


Regarding RDP, since the layout is programmed at the hardware layer, there isn't really anything for RDP to have trouble passing through in terms of standard keys. However, there are a couple caveats.

1) Macros are not stored in the hardware yet, so if you use macros, I can't tell you whether or not the KeyMouse software has any trouble interacting with the RDP session in order to allow them to function.
2) Modifiers are very brief and may not always interact with RDP in an expected manner, so if you need a "SHIFTed" layer in order to achieve what you want, you may have trouble getting capital letters and shifted characters from that layer. This also applies to any individual key you want to set up for a character that normally requires shift where you won't be pressing a shift key. I have an ongoing thread about these issues, so hopefully they will be improved or resolved in future firmware updates.
3 months ago
·
#3031
HI Dustin & Lorin,

Thanks for the replies.

@Dustin; yeah that's what I've been coming around to thinking - no caps is maybe the way to go. I continue learning to touch type on a bog standard keyboard; persevering with Colemak on which I'm up to 24/26 letters, no shift yet... and it's going "ok".
@Lorin; excellent; that helps a lot. I'll be in touch for the Keytrack STLs soon... and an extended set of self-assemble parts to match :) I believe there's overlap on the circuit boards needed?

Outstanding Qs:
#1 RDP capability unconfirmed; does the programmed layout pass through without issue to underlying RDP sessions?
#2 will I need to load a custom layout for Windows to understand my Keymouse layout? At work Infosec's already pushed back installing a custom layout remapping my standard Qwerty keyboard as Colemak (as it's not there in a default install) so I can practice; but many Touch-Type-Lesson sites had a keyboard map mode that sufficed for now...
3 months ago
·
#3030
Hi JB. Sorry for the late reply, I must have missed your post. As Dustin said, it is possible to have one hand as a KeyMouse Track and one hand as a KeyMouse Alpha. If you were to do this, you would have to select the dropdown "Devices" and then "Change KeyMouse Product." It should pop up a window telling you to choose which products you are using. The FN blue and FN Yellow keys should function properly between the 2 devices if they are connected to each other using the serial port (right port when looking from the top.)
3 months ago
·
#3028
I forgot about that keys-with-displays thread (read it back in 2017 I suspect), but I also went with blank keys a cheat sheet hanging on the bottom of my monitor. I knew I would be customizing heavily between layers, so I figured I didn't want the keys mislabeled, and I couldn't swap them around either. I found this solution for labeling that may be a bit pricey, but could work for up to 5 layers:
https://keyshorts.com/products/custom-keyboard-stickers-builder

I doubt I'll ever get labels ordered because I suspect I'll continue to customize as the software improves, and I like having the cheat sheet vs looking at the keyboard anyway.

Regarding your question about having differing left and right devices, I'm pretty sure it was possible to order the old revisions that way, and I see no reason why it wouldn't work with the new revisions as well regardless of whether or not they currently sell separates or mixed pairs. The software can program one or both sides from either side depending on how you have things connected, so the only potential issue I can come up with off the top of my head would be if you want to affect one "side" using a key on the other and the firmware isn't supporting that (which is a scenario that could be a "yet" if the problem even currently exists). Ultimately, you should probably root out an official answer if you see that scenario affecting you.
4 months ago
·
#2981
I found a very old thread covering a similar topic: https://www.keymouse.com/forum/keys-with-displays
...with the particularly insightful post:

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
4 months ago
·
#2966
I also think it works best to have the layer shift keys on the left and just use the right side for the different keys the layer switches to.


Afterthought any lefties here with a view on this? Fair shift on one; keys on other - but i'm furthermore curious now if lefties have switched hands completely; shift on right, keys on left? It's reassuring the KeyMouse firmware programming software's purportedly this flexible but circles me back to a previous question; do custom mappings; however flexible; pass through to RDP sessions without issue? Leftie or not.

Another afterthought: is it possible to mix one hand KeyMouse; other hand KeyTrack?
4 months ago
·
#2965
Thanks Jeremy. Hopefully my question read as asking for confirmation of lots of research and thought done before asking. I really appreciate the confirmation.

In the meantime i've made a start on trying to learn Colemak; old dog new tricks difficult ;)

Wondering how hard it will be to relearn after “adjusting layers" :o
4 months ago
·
#2964
I have blanks. My opinion is the labels don’t help much with many layers. You just have learn where the keys are. I adjusted my layers many times before settling on what worked well for myself.

I also think it works best to have the layer shift keys on the left and just use the right side for the different keys the layer switches to.
  • Page :
  • 1
There are no replies made for this post yet.
Be one of the first to reply to this post!
Submit Your Response
Upload files or images for this discussion by clicking on the upload button below.
Supported: gif,jpg,png,jpeg,zip,rar,pdf
· Insert · Remove
  Upload Files (Maximum 2MB)
Captcha
To protect the site from bots and unauthorized scripts, we require that you enter the captcha codes below before posting your question.