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A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video)

Roblimo posted about 4 months ago | from the keyboard-as-cool-as-a-woodie-station-wagon dept.

Open Source 82

Plastic, plastic everywhere! Except on most surfaces of the Keyboardio ergonomic keyboard, which started as a 'scratch his itch' project by Jesse Vincent. According to his blurb on the Keyboardio site, Jesse 'has spent the last 20 years writing software like Request Tracker, K-9 Mail, and Perl. He types... a lot. He tried all the keyboards before finally making his own.'

His objective was to make a keyboard he really liked. And he apparently has. This video was shot in June, and Jesse already has a new model prototype under way that Tim Lord says is a notable improvement on the June version he already liked. || Note that the Keyboardio is hackable and open source, so if you think you can improve it, go right ahead. (Alternate Video Link)

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Scratch my gay itch project (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525545)

Please use your fingernAILZ in my rectum. Oh my!
 
h. sulu

good wood? (0)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 months ago | (#47525555)

is it made from quality rainforest hardwoods?, because the governments of those places just slash and burn those trees anyway

Re:good wood? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47525759)

Monty Python [youtube.com] gave the answer ages ago.

Re:good wood? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525839)

Wood? Ivory! Like on a REAL piano.

Re:good wood? (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 months ago | (#47525861)

nah, the plastics the leading piano companies use now have just as good a feel, that wasn't true three decades or more ago but there is no point to ivory keys now. yes am pianist

Re:good wood? (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 4 months ago | (#47526633)

nah, the plastics the leading piano companies use now have just as good a feel, that wasn't true three decades or more ago but there is no point to ivory keys now.

I would qualify this slightly and say that the plastics may be "just as good" in some ways, but they do feel different. And I know some people who have strong preferences. Ivory's porousness changes the way keys feel and how easy it is to grip them (or slip), particularly if your hands are sweating (as many people do when performing in front of crowds under hot lights). And on lesser quality pianos, ivory often had a distinctive texture that... well, just feels different. High-end older pianos had highly polished and very even keys (sometimes most "silky" feeling) that might feel similar to modern "perfect" plastic, but most pianos were not as consistent. Personally, it doesn't matter to me, but I can certainly understand those who might prefer one or the other.

Re:good wood? (5, Informative)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526093)

God no. Someone actually offered to sell us some endangered hardwood for the keyboards the other day. The plan is for something reasonably, pretty, reasonably hard, reasonably sustainable and reasonably inexpensive. N

Re:good wood? (2)

mikecase (1991782) | about 4 months ago | (#47526421)

Mod this guy up -^ He's the keyboard maker (and has an impressively low Slashdot user#)

Re:good wood? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 months ago | (#47527629)

Mod this guy up -^ He's the keyboard maker (and has an impressively low Slashdot user#)

Three digit ID or not, it's still yet another silly keyboard for niche users. And it's certainly a "Slashvert", cute, pretty, but revolutionary?

Re:good wood? (2)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47527855)

I probably wouldn't call it 'silly', though I have no problem with you doing so. I agree 100% that this is a niche product. I made one because I wanted one. We wouldn't be having a go of making a full production run if people didn't keep trying to buy our personal test units.

If you catch me calling it revolutionary, please make fun of me.

Re:good wood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47528033)

I would call it silly because "ergonomic" keyboards are anything but. When I hold my hands out relaxed in front of me, my fingertips form a perfectly straight line, therefore an ergonomic keyboard should have the keys also in a perfectly straight line, as surprise, my regular Sun Type 6 does.

"Ergonomic" mice are also bullshit, anything that is sculpted to my hand is going to cause cramp, because it doesn't allow my muscles to relax and twitch.

-puddinpgimp

Re:good wood? (1)

kcr (11086) | about 4 months ago | (#47528157)

You should post pictures, or we shall be forced to assume that Sun had a sideline in selling to aliens.

(the type 4s were much better keyboards anyway)

Re:good wood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47529193)

My fingers, like normal people, aren't the same length, and again like normal people they don't have the same relaxed curvature. The function of not same length and not same curvature results in a strike line that is straight.

Yes, the Type 4 is a much better keyboard, but I have a Type 6, I don't have any Type 4s, and each time I look on ebay the vendors want $300 to ship a $20 Type 4 to me in New Zealand. If I was to spend $300 on a keyboard I would get a new Ducky with Cherry Brown MX switches.

-puddingpimp

Re:good wood? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 4 months ago | (#47528353)

I probably wouldn't call it 'silly', though I have no problem with you doing so. I agree 100% that this is a niche product. I made one because I wanted one. We wouldn't be having a go of making a full production run if people didn't keep trying to buy our personal test units.

A couple of questions if you don't mind please. First, when will they become available for purchase? Second, will they be available at all in a kit form?
Thanks.

Re:good wood? (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47528447)

We're planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign this fall. But we'd rather delay the campaign than launch something that we're not confident we can deliver and be proud of.

Initially, we intend to ship fully assembled & working keyboards. We believe pretty strongly that open hardware shouldn't require users to pick up a soldering iron. But we know that some folks _want_ a kit and we hope to get there eventually. If you're looking for something sort of like a Keyboardio keyboard in kit form, check out the ErgoDox on Massdrop: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ergodox [massdrop.com] . (They require login before you can see things. It's unfortunate.)

Re: good wood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47555553)

Ah yes, crowdfunding, because the idea is much too precious and you far too special to actually give up stake in a business venture.

Jarrah (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 4 months ago | (#47529841)

You could do a lot worse than using Australian Jarrah wood. It's lovely looking, hard, and can be brought to a smooth finish. My speaker cabinets use this wood for their veneer.

https://www.google.com.au/sear... [google.com.au]

Re:Jarrah (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47539719)

Ooh. We'll have a look. Thanks!

Re:good wood? (3, Informative)

B5_geek (638928) | about 4 months ago | (#47530403)

Bamboo.

Hard - check
Pretty - check (beauty..eye..beholder..blah)
sustainable - check
inexpensive - check

Re:good wood? (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47539695)

Bamboo is certainly on the list of wood-like things we're considering.

Not wooden (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525599)

One prototype, shown in the video, was made of wood. But from the website it is clear that the keyboard will be made primarily of aluminum. Once again, slashdot editors FTW!

Re:Not wooden (5, Informative)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526135)

Hi, jesse of keyboardio here.

As of this week, the editors actually have it more correct than our website. We'd been prototyping in wood. In between when the video was shot last month and when this got posted, we finally got our first "finalish" aluminum prototype made. The aluminum prototype was what we talked about publicly on Highway1 (highway1.io) demo day and what we hoped to launch publicly. Once we had it in hand, we discovered a bunch of reasons we're not going to go with aluminum for production. (Mostly, cost, Weight, looking too much like an Apple product, weight, and weight.) We went back to the drawing board and believe we've got techniques, technologies and costs for commercial manufacture of a milled wood enclosure. We've been at OSCON this week, but should get the website updated soonish.

Re:Not wooden (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#47527673)

I don't get the bit about weight. Aluminum has a very high strength-to-weight ratio; you're not going to get a product with the same weight and durability with wood (e.g. you could use balsa, which is extremely lightweight, but it also have low strength and absolutely terrible hardness).

In high quantities, aluminum should be pretty economical; you can just use a big press to stamp it. The big cost here is the tooling, but after that the per-unit cost is cheap. Milling is far, far more expensive than pressing/stamping, and only really makes sense if 1) the quantities are really low and/or 2) the product cost is really high and 3) it's really needed for some reason. For enclosures and the like, stamping is usually sufficient.

To keep it from looking like an Apple product, there's something really cool you can do with aluminum called anodizing. Anodize it black and give it some corners and sharp lines and it won't look anything like an Apple product. Anodizing is better than paint since it's more durable. For a high-end product as this is sure to be, it should be within budget.

Re:Not wooden (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47527931)

The durability we're looking for is somewhere between aluminum and balsa.

For the contours we're going for, the mechanical engineers and product folks we've been working with have assured us that we couldn't get away with stamping. It's pretty much die casting or milling. The numbers we've been getting for die-cast tooling just don't work out for the scale of production run we're expecting. I'd love to be wrong about all this.

The interior "key plate" and the bottom plate of the enclosure will, of course, be stamped aluminum.

Black anodized isn't the look we're going for but yes, there are a number of things we could to to differentiate it while sticking with the aluminum.

Re:Not wooden (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47531357)

>

To keep it from looking like an Apple product, there's something really cool you can do with aluminum called anodizing.

Also, hydrographics [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not wooden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47529597)

So, you're taking questions it seems.

First, is it possible to get a video of usage of the keyboard ? Hard to see from just an image how it is to use, and what makes it better. A few more comments on how your layout is actually faster would also be nice.

Second, I believe I have read many years ago (on Slashdot I believe) that it would be even more ergonomic to have palms facing each other and the keyboard in between the palms, not palms facing down. Some keyboards indeed have a "speed bump" in the center which does this to a small degree, but I believe the statement I heard implied that palms directly facing each other would be best. What's your thoughts on this ?

S'not Wooden (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47525615)

From TFA:

Heirloom-grade craftsmanship

From the best mechanical keyswitches to aircraft-grade aluminum construction, this is a keyboard that will last.

If that's "wooden," I must ask: What kind of tree do you get aircraft-grade aluminum and/or mechanical keyswitches from?

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | about 4 months ago | (#47525649)

His is wooden. The ones for sale are all-u-min-nium.

I just wonder if they come with a cord. I'm not a big 'wireless keyboard' fan.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47525799)

But Keyboardio, the product that is being Slashvertised, is not, save (maybe) those two little panels on the corner. Although were I a betting man, my money would be on veneer rather than actual wood panels.

I just wonder if they come with a cord.

TFA doesn't mention one (just Bluetooth), but in one of the pictures you can clearly see part of a cord poking out from between the two sections...

Re:S'not Wooden (3, Informative)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526229)

When the production keyboards ship, they'll ship with a cord. (The same MicroUSB port charges the battery for the bluetooth controller, programs the keyboard and lets the keyboard be a regular USB keyboard)

They'll also ship with firmware source code and a screwdriver ;)

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#47527691)

Is this the wisest choice? In my opinion, MicroUSB is actually a pretty crappy connector, and doesn't have very good retention. MiniUSB and regular USB-B ports are far better and sturdier choices for a corded item on my desk which gets bumped around a lot. The only really good thing about MicroUSB is the thinness, but that's only important on mobile phones, not large items like keyboards.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 4 months ago | (#47528377)

When the production keyboards ship, they'll ship with a cord. (The same MicroUSB port charges the battery for the bluetooth controller, programs the keyboard and lets the keyboard be a regular USB keyboard)

Take a look at the first generation Kindle Fire Tablets for an example of how badly a microUSB port can be for something. Now if the microUSB port on the keyboard were user swappable that would be very handy. Then again, there is a nice cottage industry out there replacing Kindle Fire microUSB ports.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47528425)

There are definitely many awful MicroUSB ports out there, but there are also high-quality MicroUSB ports out there. The price difference between a cheap MicroUSB port and a high-end one is several orders of magnitude. As _specced_ they're supposed to be rated for more insertion cycles than MiniUSB.

We haven't made final component choices yet and this is something we're keenly aware of (and have debated internally). I'd be pissed if my keyboard's USB port failed. I'd be even more pissed if my customers' USB ports failed.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 4 months ago | (#47528557)

There are definitely many awful MicroUSB ports out there, but there are also high-quality MicroUSB ports out there. The price difference between a cheap MicroUSB port and a high-end one is several orders of magnitude. As _specced_ they're supposed to be rated for more insertion cycles than MiniUSB.

I guess the trick is finding a reliable source for high quality ports at a not unreasonable price. I am looking forward to seeing your crowdfunding campaign. How was the trip to Shenzen? I would think it would have been eye opening.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47528575)

Shenzhen was amazing. I need to spend more time there. But we need to get a little bit further with product design before I have a legitimate reason to go back.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 months ago | (#47529019)

Hi Jesse. I don't see mention of which switches are in the buttonplank. I'm rather partial to the Cherry Blues, will there be an option for them? I see mention of "switches quiet enough to use in a meeting" but an option for "switches which give terrific feedback" would be most welcome!

If you have no need for the uTron (can't type a mu in ASCII) in the pile then I would love to adopt it! Considering the price I think that the folks at Geekhack [1] would be most interested in comparing your keyboard to the uTron, the Kinesis, and the Truly Ergonomic. Let me know if you are interested in having me write a review. I can point you to my other Geekhack reviews if you would like.

By the way, I also mod my boards (reduced spring pressure, and even leather keycaps) so I know to appreciate a product made _just the way you like it_.

[1] Keyboard enthusiast website, I'm sure that you've familiar with it.

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47539713)

Hi @dotdancohen, We're using Matias Quiet Click switches. We're definitely aware that different folks have different preferences and assuming we can make the numbers and logistics go, we hope to offer several other Matias Alps options including their louder variant.

The ÂTron isn't for sale. (Nor is the Fingerworks or any of the other weirder stuff.)

I'd love to hear/read more about the leather keycaps.

And yep, I've actually been documenting my prototypes on GH :)

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 months ago | (#47573117)

Thanks, Jesse. I posted a review of the Leather Ducky on GH, but the images are gone due to their famous crash some time back:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?... [geekhack.org]

I'll fix those images sometime.

If you ever do want to sell or otherwise be rid of some of the hardware in those pictures, please do get in contact with me! My Gmail username is the same as my Slashdot username. Thanks!

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47533817)

They'll also ship with firmware source code and a screwdriver ;)

Lol, I saw that, clever hook! Just don't send one of those tiny, el-cheapo drivers that's more likely to strip a screw than unscrew it.

Re:S'not Wooden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47533845)

Will they be PS/2 compatible with a simple, mechanical adapter?

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47539681)

We're not planning to make them PS/2 compatible out of the box, but we'd love firmware patches. (and or design help) to make them so. If you can do it with an Arduino Leonardo, you'll be able to do it with one of our Keyboards

Re:S'not Wooden (3, Funny)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 months ago | (#47525901)

Aluminum Christmas trees. We grow them here in the Pacific Northwest. Why do you think we make so many airplanes?

Re:S'not Wooden (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526139)

See http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=5449405&cid=47526135, but, uh. I never even vaguely meant to imply we'd be crazy enough to build keyswitches out of wood.

dial IBM model M for MURDER (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 4 months ago | (#47525641)

Remember old black and white detective movies where a IBM model M was used as a murder weapon?

neither do I.
Must've been somebody else.

Re:dial IBM model M for MURDER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525775)

Print it again Sam

BZZZZZZZZZZZT zzt zzt zzt ztt
BZZZZZZZZZZZT zzt zzt shiff shiff shiff

Re:dial IBM model M for MURDER (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#47529295)

The best keyboard is sturdy enough to kill a man with. And then use to write his obituary afterwards.

Ratatta-ratatta (1)

VibratoryDavid (3419769) | about 4 months ago | (#47525659)

Good god, he needs to learn a bit about concise speaking. That being said, I'll probably still buy one when it comes out.

Re:Ratatta-ratatta (3, Informative)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526155)

I do a bit better when I've had a decent night's sleep and haven't spent the day on a trade-show floor. This was "Timothy finds Jesse standing around and asks him stuff" and not "interview with an agenda."

That being said, I totally need to learn a bit about concise speaking. Also, thanks :)

That... looks... horrible. (3, Insightful)

zephvark (1812804) | about 4 months ago | (#47525747)

I like the ergonomic style, pioneered by Apple (AFAIK), who abandoned it, then taken up by Microsoft, which has made ever cheaper and more bloated versions of an originally nice product.

The bottom arced keys on this thing are a complete horror-show, though. And all of the keys are the same size?

I've seen a lot of alternative keyboard designs come and go. I'm not sure this one will come before it goes. /cue Blazing Saddles sketch

Re:That... looks... horrible. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47525863)

I tried ergonomic keyboards but found that because I never learned to type formally, using the right fingers for each key, I was constantly reaching over to the other side because that's just how I normally type.

It's the sort of thing where you really want to get a cheap one and try it before spending serious money on something like this. In the end I found that just getting a laptop style keyboard (and MS one as it happens, but Lenovo ones are good too) made far more difference. Clicky keys are really nice but they are not the best if you have arthritis or RSI or just want something low impact.

Re:That... looks... horrible. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47526101)

The point is, the better and more regular tactile and auditive feedback are supposed to help you not press the keys all the way, once you get used to them. You have to use switches which do not require too much force to activate though (e.g., MX Blue, not MX Black), otherwise not only will you have pressure/knocking problems when pushing the keys, but it will also be more difficult to stop before reaching the bottom, and either will you knock your fingers a second time, or contract your muscles more to refrain from reaching the bottom...

The best however would be to get used to mechanical switches which are not clicky (e.g., MX Red), and rely only on the regularity, but it takes some time (you probably will have painful fingers while typing for a few weeks), and you have to be careful not to contract your muscles more to refrain from reaching the bottom... If you get used to it though, you won't have to switch keyboard for gaming (you can play with MX Blue switches, but the differences are quite notable... they're more tiring, fast WASD movements are a little more difficult and you might occasionally mess a bit, same with repetitive crouch jumping like for bunny hopping, etc.).

Re:That... looks... horrible. (3, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 4 months ago | (#47526637)

pioneered by Apple (AFAIK)

I says to myself, "That doesn't sound right, Apple doesn't really pioneer anything..." After a little searching: looks like Maltron made the first one in 1978. [maltron.com] However, apparently a guy named K.H. Eberhard Kroemer published a paper describing a split keyboard in the journal Human Factors in 1972.

So there you are. History!

Re:That... looks... horrible. (3, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 4 months ago | (#47526889)

Maltron keyboards are kind of crazy - they're still made using very low volume manufacturing techniques. The keyboard shells, AFAIK are vacuum formed and (unless things have changed recently) I think they do manual point-to-point wiring on the switches. But if you look at the sculpted shape of a Maltron, they don't lend themselves to conventional PCBs.

I'm typing on one now - I think it's quite an old one but it looks as though the design changes are mostly smallish refinements and updates to the controller / electronics. I got mine from an office clearer on eBay, otherwise they've very expensive and I probably wouldn't have got it.

I've also got a Kinesis, an ergo board which came later (and with a strikingly similar design). It feels a bit more like a slick, mass-manufactured product but I've known people insist that the Maltron is ergonomically better overall. I'm not so fussy, I'm just glad I got two cool keyboards for prices I felt I could afford!

Re:That... looks... horrible. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#47527715)

>I think they do manual point-to-point wiring on the switches. But if you look at the sculpted shape of a Maltron, they don't lend themselves to conventional PCBs.

This sounds like an application for flexible circuits boards. Point-to-point wiring is far too labor- and time-consuming.

Re:That... looks... horrible. (2)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47527951)

That's correct. If you pop open a Maltron, there's a gorgeous web of fine copper wire. :)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/eichin/8413586842 [flickr.com] is a photo my friend Mark took of my Maltron and Kinesis with the bottoms off.

His problems would be solved with a typing class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525795)

He has problems in his hands and arms because he's trying to rest the lower (closer to his wrists) part of his palms on his desk or keyboard. A typing class early in his career would have taught him not to do that.
 

Love my Model M but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525921)

As someone who still uses a IBM Model M 1391401 everyday. The nicest keyboard I have used recently, other than my old faithful, was a Bloomberg Starboard. Anyone know if they use someone else's keys or are the Bloomberg custom hardware? I would love one.

Re:Love my Model M but... (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526175)

...as it happens, I got to play around with a current model Bloomberg keyboard the other day. It's a scissor-switch keyboard assembled in Mexico.

Open source? (2)

glitch! (57276) | about 4 months ago | (#47525925)

It's nice that they are providing the source code for the keyboard. If I program the controller myself, I could be pretty sure that there is no keylogger there... Unless I put one in.

Re:Open source? (2)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47526169)

Yup. You'll also want to make sure to check the firmware for the bootloader on the microcontroller. But you'll be able to get to the ICSP header to do that.

Why not try Dvorak instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47525933)

He should just switch to Dvorak. It's easier. I typed these words on my Dvorak keyboard and you're reading them now.

Re: Why not try Dvorak instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47526405)

Ergonomics matters a lot more than layout.

Re:Why not try Dvorak instead? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#47527735)

Dvorak is good, but Colemak is also a very good alternative that's probably a lot easier for Qwerty typists to adapt to. Also, some guy did a bunch of research and made a website (wish I had a link, sorry) about different keyboard layouts and found that Dvorak was actually eclipsed in some metrics by both Colemak and another layout he created.

Re:Why not try Dvorak instead? (2)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47527959)

There are a few such sites, but http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/ [bcgsc.ca] is probably the most amazing of em.

Re:Why not try Dvorak instead? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#47530461)

That's it! Exactly the one I was thinking of. It looks like "QGMLWB" is actually the best layout overall, according to his statistical work.

Re:Why not try Dvorak instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47531077)

Very interesting. But I found it's very difficult for me to retrain myself on an alternate keyboard. In fact, I tried to learn QWERTY after having learned Dvorak and couldn't do it, but maybe that's just me.

Re:Why not try Dvorak instead? (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | about 4 months ago | (#47531323)

Dvorak is easily selected in Windows, OS X, and Linux, plus it's sufficiently different from QWERTY that you wouldn't get them confused. I'd say that's worth the one-time cost of an extra couple weeks of learning Dvorak.

Re:Why not try Dvorak instead? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#47532529)

Go read this website. [bcgsc.ca] Dvorak really isn't that great compared to other layouts. If you're going to learn a new layout, pick one that performs better. Dvorak was a good idea, but it was designed in the days before computers and modern statistical analysis.

Nice grey text... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47526127)

How original. But I almost read some of it, they need to up the brightness a bit, and make it completely invisible!
Love the huge amounts of wasted space on the website too, again, how original.

Most surfaces non-plastic? (1)

slinches (1540051) | about 4 months ago | (#47526137)

Plastic, plastic everywhere! Except on most surfaces of the Keyboardio ergonomic keyboard

The key caps are still plastic, so depending how you count the surfaces that's 94-99% plastic. Maybe if you calculate it by area but exclude the sides of the keys and ignore that you'll almost never need to touch the aluminum portions, it might drop below 50%.

Pussy Kryptonite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47526153)

The first 2 minutes of that video chased my woman directly out of the room.

neat looking keyboard though

I'm having trouble finding a good keyboard. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47526451)

As I have used the original XT keyboards (and some good ones from before the IBM PC existed), modern ones look "low quality" to me. I'm typing now on an excellent one, but in reality it doesn't even come close to what once existed. When typing was an important occupation, machines like the IBM Selectric had a very nice feeling.

These days, I'd like just to have a key click as an audio feedback. This could be done at the X Window System keyboard driver level, I think. One could adapt the already existing structure: "xset c on" (turn key click on) or "xset c 100" (key click volume as 100% of maximum). Currently, I believe one has to get one of those old 3270 terminals with real hardware audio feedback. Or get an Android phone, for instance, and activate keyboard tone. Too simple for a kernel developer, but in reality we would need a DE integration to be able to easily control such function.

Interestingly, I get a click from the mouse when I use Windows 7. I hope it's not patented...

Back on-topic, as others already said, the keys seem to be plastic. Don't know about everyone, but for me the only interesting part are the keys. It's not a wooden keyboard if the keys are not made of wood. I'd even say the body of the keyboard can be made of plastic, provided the keys are of wood. And, yes, what counts most, for ergonomic reasons, is the mechanism of the keys -- not the material of their caps.

Also, please find a way to provide better sound. A big contributor to video quality, when you interview someone, are clarity of words and intonation. Save bandwidth on the image, not on audio. Or use Youtube. Or, if that's the case, get a good recording device which captures better higher frequencies.

I'm having trouble finding a good keyboard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47571657)

Replying to myself, just for the sake of completeness.

I'd like to add that KDE has a control for "Key Click Volume" (in System Settings / Hardware / Input Devices / Keyboard / Hardware tab, at the bottom).

I don't have great hopes that this will be done via software -- it would be at the keyboard driver level, and maybe it's there (didn't check the sources), but I can easily imagine a whole lot of reasons for it not to be patched, from simplicity to paranoia.

Also, if one has the skill, I suppose a little soldering and toy speaker would do the trick, maybe even without the need of a power source. But, alas, hardware is also not my forte.

No more Vashta Nerada at home. (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | about 4 months ago | (#47526477)

I'm against it. Sign the petition "No more Vashta Nerada at home."

Buy a Kinesis instead (1)

pz (113803) | about 4 months ago | (#47526983)

1. "All the Keyboards" didn't apparently include a Kinesis. At least there isn't one visible amongst the few photos linked.

2. The new keyboard looks an awful lot like a Kinesis.

3. I stopped watching the video after the first 10 seconds because it was too awful.

4. The web site shows a keyboard with what appears to be a metal case, and the text references aluminum, as does the blog. Wood isn't part of the equation here. Maybe in the early prototypes, but not in the production models, apparently.

5. Any decent keyboard driver (and there are lots of aftermarket add-ons) support macro definitions. Nice that this new keyboard supports it, but certainly not a defining characteristic.

6. Just go buy a Kinesis. It's been in production for a long time, and they work great.

Re: Buy a Kinesis instead (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 4 months ago | (#47528397)

Wow. My whole laptop cost less than a Kinesis keyboard.

Re:Buy a Kinesis instead (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 months ago | (#47529053)

There is a Kinesis, and a Maltron in this photo linked from the summary:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/... [flickr.com]

There is even a uTron and Datahand in there as well! Can you find the Truly Ergonomic hidden in there?

http://ciscoccna111.blogspot.in/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47529161)

http://ciscoccna111.blogspot.in/

Alternatives that are currently available (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47529163)

For anyone who wants a keyboard like this right now, there is the Kinesis Advantage. [kinesis-ergo.com]

If one is interested in the "Easy access to arrow keys without position change?! Mind blown." aspect mentioned on the page, this can be easily done on your current keyboard. You can use xmodmap on Linux or AutoHotKey on Windows to make Caps Lock a modifier key that you press down with your left pinky to make all navigational keys appear under your fingers. I couldn't live without it anymore. Here [sprunge.us] is a AutoHotKey (Windows) version for qwerty.

Split, though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47529555)

It looks like an amazing product, except... That "ergonomic" split thing. I tried those many times, and I just can never get the speed and accuracy. I realize some people swear by them, but I never felt any more comfortable either, so as far as I'm concerned it's *less* ergonomic being split like that. I sincerely hope they make a version that is more traditional in shape, but with the high quality craftsmanship and materials. I would definitely be interested, at almost any price :)

Re:Split, though... (1)

jesse (306) | about 4 months ago | (#47539707)

Yep. It's not for everybody. This is the first thing we're making. If it goes well enough, we'll definitely be looking at a 'traditional' layout option.

Ergodox (1)

komodo685 (2920329) | about 4 months ago | (#47530257)

Massdrop [massdrop.com] just started another run on the ergodox that will be ending in about a week, anyone interested in this keyboard would probably want to check that out.
I've never used anything but standard cheap keyboards but I'll be trying the ergodox on this latest run. At a glance they appear very similar. I like this guy's thumb layout better, though I'd prefer the board was split into two pieces one for each hand.
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