Tuesday, 15 February 2022
  13 Replies
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I'm a programmer, so I'm constantly switching my right hand between keyboard and mouse. In theory, not having to switch would save me a good amount of time every day. Has anyone found that their work speed has increased or decreased with the keymouse?

1 year ago
I've been using the KeyMouse for four years now, starting with the previous iteration of the device, and as of a couple weeks back the KeyMouse 3. Honestly, I can no longer imagine my workflow without one. There is definitely an efficiency increase across the board.

I am a software engineer, professional writer, marketer, video editor, sound engineer, and general computer enthusiast. I use my device for multiple hours every single day on a variety of applications, both productive and fun. I am addicted. Damn near everything is faster and better, with way more options thanks to the multiple layers and support for macros. :-)

All that being said, your mileage may vary. My business partner tried both the regular KeyMouse and the Track versions, and after a time ended up going back to his Kinesis keyboard and a good ol' fashioned mouse. While we are at it, while I love the KeyMouse for most things, I still use a regular mouse for most (but not all) games. I don't find the feel of the device to be quite right for twitch games like shooters. For strategy games though, it's actually a huge win, and moreso now that the newer devices have a better performing pointer.

I'm a fanboy, so grain of salt here, but yes: absolutely an increase in work speed across the board.
1 year ago
Yes, from two main features. One is the additional layers. This is available on other keyboards as well. But I mention it because it’s really helpful. I use 5 layers and one of those is special for programming.

The other aspect is not having to move my hands away from the keys. Ever. I freely switch between pointing and typing and never have to look down at what I’m doing.

But it’s not immediate. It took at least 3 months of constant use just to be usable and probably another 3 months before I was proficient. I had the added difficulty of using a trackball for the first time as well (I have a KeyMouse track).

But persistence definitely pays off. I’m coming up on 3 years of use and I wouldn’t go back.
1 year ago
Awesome, thanks guys :) Just bought mine. My right shoulder actually hurts from the way I've been sitting and switching so far back and forth with my mouse. Any tips for development? Good things to bind? Macros?
1 year ago
I had right shoulder pain from using a regular mouse which is gone from using KeyMouse. That’s not why I got it, but it was a great benefit.

I don’t use macros, but for the layers my advice is to stick to one side and just use the other side for switching. All of my layer switch keys are on the left and they really only switch the right side (the left side is mostly blank on non-QWERTY layers). And they’re all momentary. Like using shift.

My main layer is mostly QWERTY.
Second layer is navigation (arrow keys, page keys, and stuff)
Third layer is 10-key pad (with easy left had shift for symbols).
Fourth layer is programming. Brackets and symbols mostly.
Fifth layer is common special characters (degree, squared, square root, etc).

One of the biggest things for the programming one (for me) is lining up all of my brackets and math symbols so they’re all easy to remember and enter.
1 year ago
I am having issues with Macros on the new devices in Windows 10, which I trust will be fixed soon. So I haven't been using them at all. But honestly, there is a ton of potential there. I started heavy on macros when I first started using the devices, in part because multiple keystrokes were tough in the early months. I have since fallen back to less and less, which is fine by me. But the potential is huge.

My layouts are super odd because I have a disability with my left hand that makes it so that my pinky is unusable, and my left ring-finger works but not all that independently. Which is to say, I wouldn't share with anyone because it's odd. :) Plus, after a few months on QWERTY I decided to get crazy and try out COLEMAK, since it was easy to switch back and forth. I now have a bastardization of COLEMAK-DH that I absolutely love, but again, it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.

I would say get the basics down in the first couple of months. Get comfortable with the straight columns, general typing, and controlling pointer on both hands. Once you feel you're back to your baseline with the old-fashioned mouse and keyboard then go crazy experimenting!

That's what worked for me, anyway. We're all different. The glory of these devices is the number of possibilities that can be unlocked based on your unique preferences.

Have fun!
1 year ago
Thanks for the tips :) Can't wait to try it out!
1 year ago
I've been using Keymouse Track for programming for years now and as others have said, I just can't imagine using anything else anymore. It's like the keyboard is now an extension of my mind and it's just no something I think about anymore. it's THAT GOOD
1 year ago
I'll just add some comments here. We created KeyMouse because we really bad wanted it for ourselves. In programming, 3D design, spreadsheets, etc. I switched between the keyboard and mouse a lot. Not having to switch devices is a pretty big speed improvement (and also staying more in a flow state) at least for what I do for daily work. Although, I admit, there is a pretty serious learning curve. It took a few weeks for me to be at a decent speed on KeyMouse (probably able to match my speed on regular keyboard + mouse at this point), and after that just steady gradual increase in speed over the coming months. I love using it, and there's no going back. I feel a bit crippled on a "regular" keyboard/mouse for work. I just feel "connected" when I'm using my KeyMouse.

KeyMouse is physically bigger than a mouse, so Mike is correct that if you are doing a lot of gaming, a "normal" mouse will be better and more precise in many cases, depending on the game type. I use a "normal" mouse whenever I do RTS games, but I use KeyMouse Alpha for pretty much all of my work. I'll add we are planning to build some "mouse" devices that use our PCB so they will have programmable layers, and will work together with KeyMouse devices :)

It seems we have 3 types of users that buy KeyMouse:
1. Hard core power users (spending most of their time at the computer) that are willing to spend the time (and $) investment at all cost to gain any additional speed possible. These guys are never going back.
2. Users buying for the ergonomics and comfort gains. Some users absolutely need a more ergonomic setup than a traditional keyboard/mouse and our devices have helped a lot of users.
3. Users exploring new gadgets, interested and fascinated by new tech. Some of these guys try it out, and return them because they don't see the value.

Our core target markets are #1 and #2. We will expand over time to a broader range of devices that are really good for specific applications (and we hope to partner with other companies to build devices using our platform since we can't build them all ourselves).
1 year ago
I have seen a huge speed improvement in navigating around on a computer because it allows you to seamlessly use both the keyboard shortcuts and the mouse (if I have to) to get to where you want to go.

Add in the programable keyboard shortcuts and layers, and yeah, it's a total game-changer.

That said, it'll be even more of a game-changer when these beta KeyMouses' (KeyMice?) have the software to match the hardware.

;) :D

I know you guys are busy but I can't help but want the full experience!! Love it so far and am pumped for the next software release! I've been recommending the Keymouse in all the Ergomech groups I follow!
1 year ago
@yupyup We just posted a KeyMouse Software update this morning as Beta :)
1 year ago
I'm a full stack MS SQL Server developer, SSRS, SSIS, lotsa code, lotsa mouse action, all day, e'ry day!

I've been using mine since v0, and had to recently start using a laptop due to a new second job.
I just bought a $200 HDMI KVM switch because I LOOOOVE my KeyMouse!!

My favorite button remaps: F5=ctrl-C, F6=ctrl-V, F11=home, F12=end, F3=_
I have a love/hate relationship with the underscore, lol.
1 year ago
I've been using mine since v0, and had to recently start using a laptop due to a new second job.
I just bought a $200 HDMI KVM switch because I LOOOOVE my KeyMouse!!

Hey Matt, would you mind sharing your experiences with your KVM once you have a chance to use it a bit in the wild? I am likely going to switch my primary box over to Linux soon with Windows 10/11 virtual machines utilizing VFIO. I am going to need a KVM to make it all work and am a little stuck on which to choose. There are a lot of them these days. :-)
1 year ago
I'm a programmer as well (currently working on Ecstasy), and I've been using the KeyMouses (a pair of both Alpha -- up in ski country -- and Track -- at my office) since they were first available.

I used to have RSI "really bad", so I'm very careful about how I type and mouse. The Track (moreso than the Alpha) is probably the greatest improvement in my overall workflow without causing RSI since getting a couple of the Kinesis Pro keyboards 20 years ago (still going strong, but mostly unused now because of the KeyMouses).

I still do get some RSI occasionally ... mostly from either gaming (a different PC with a mouse and without KeyMouse) or using a notebook away from my ergonomic desk setups.

I've posted some of my layouts before. The one I'm using now is almost perfect for coding. Each hand has a home row of ctrl/shift/alt/cmd (Mac), so I can put together almost any key combo without leaving home row. (No longer do I have to pinky stretch to either shift or ctrl.) Blue layer for navigation and all sorts of balanced parens/curlies/brackets. Yellow for numeric pad. Green for function keys (same positions as number pad). Red and Orange (if I remember correctly) are the left hand and right hand modifier layers, i.e. one half of the keyboard stays White layer, and the other half becomes just Ctrl/Shift/Alt/Cmd. Left thumb accesses 4 layers. Right thumb accesses 2 layers (but mainly the one that makes the right home row into the modifier layer). I don't use the top row or the outside columns on the Track, so the key mapping is the same on the Alpha. (And pinky stretches are the worst for RSI.)

So something like ctrl-shift-alt-f3 is easy (left thumb to activate green, roll down three fingers on home row, drop right ring finger down one row and you're done). And there are a billion such overly complicated modifier-driven keystroke combos in a modern IDE.
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