Keebin' with Kristina Hack Chat

Life's too short to just QWERTY

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Our own Kristina Panos will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, September 27 at noon Pacific!

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When you think about it, wiggling your fingers over a bunch of magic chiclets is a pretty strange gateway to the written word. And yet, here we sit a hundred-odd years after someone first decided that the same basic interface used to run pianos and harpsichords for centuries would be a fantastic model for mechanizing the whole writing thing. Just because it makes perfect sense thanks to the outsized portion of our brains dedicated to the motor and sensory functions of our wonderfully complex and versatile hands doesn't mean it's not weird.

Still and all, it seems like there could be some room for improvement in the basic design of keyboards. We could probably do with something that makes typing easier, results in less repetitive strain, or is just more fun to do. Pushing back on the traditional and boring designs of the past is where we find the strange breed of keyboard builders and modders that our very own Kristina Panos counts herself part of. You know here from her popular "Keebin' with Kristina" series, and now we've coaxed her into checking into the Hack Chat to talk to all the rest of us keyboard-minded individuals. If you've ever thought that there has to be a better way to enter text, or even just something a little bit different, you'll want to come along and join the conversation.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Page 2

    Tom Nardi09/27/2023 at 21:37 0 comments

    deʃhipu  3:39 PM
    it would also rexognize your pcbs and project debugging information on them
    deʃhipu  3:40 PM
    Thomas Shaddack  3:40 PM
    Yup. Though for that, higher-resolution augmented reality glasses would be better.
    Thomas Shaddack  3:40 PM
    Circuitboards have lousy and uneven albedo.
    deʃhipu  3:40 PM!/SeeingSpaces
    Thomas Shaddack  3:43 PM
    Yup. With a projector, every surface can be an user interface. With a camera-OpenCV-projector, it can even be interactive/adaptive. I thought more about using the keys as a projection surface for adaptive macro keyboards. Or for changing the projected image based on what application is active, for the keyboard shortcuts. A variant on an OLED display in each key.
    Thomas Shaddack  3:43 PM
    Projected keyboards lack the haptic feedback I consider crucial. (Touchscreens for now as well.)
    kristina panos  3:44 PM
    Have you seen this?
    deʃhipu  3:44 PM
    I'm very skeptical about any kind of visual innovations for keyboards, because you are not supposed to be looking at it
    kristina panos  3:44 PM
    That's a good piont
    kristina panos  3:44 PM
    kelvinA  3:44 PM
    kristina panos  3:45 PM
    ^ changing the tile changes the macro
    Thomas Shaddack  3:46 PM
    You aren't supposed to look at it when you already memorized it all. Nobody remembers ALL the shortcuts/macros/whatever.
    Thomas Shaddack  3:46 PM
    Re macropads, something I wrote for using the USB numpads as control pendants for printers/CNC.
    Thomas Shaddack  3:47 PM
    kristina panos  3:48 PM
    @Thomas Shaddack Cool!
    Thomas Shaddack  3:49 PM
    Tile vs macro... thought. Those cheapo resistive touchscreen panels. Draw the user interface on paper. Put the panel over it. Write a definition table of the coordinates of the "buttons".
    deʃhipu  3:49 PM
    @Thomas Shaddack [citation needed]
    Thomas Shaddack  3:49 PM
    If we don't want to bother much with code and can take the cost overhead, python on pi zero in usb gadget mode as HID emulation will do.
    deʃhipu  3:49 PM
    I'm pretty sure I remember all the keycodes my keyboard can send
    Thomas Shaddack  3:50 PM
    I don't.
    deʃhipu  3:50 PM
    must be hard to use the computer that way
    Thomas Shaddack  3:50 PM
    I remember the ones I use often.
    deʃhipu  3:50 PM
    having to look up things constantly
    Thomas Shaddack  3:51 PM
    That's the cache memory. What's not in the brain/cache has to be looked up in slower storage.
    deʃhipu  3:51 PM
    it helps for me that I arranged everything according to a pattern, so I don't have to learn every key separately, there is a logic to where everything is
    kristina panos  3:51 PM
    Does anyone have an as-yet-unobtained holy grail keyboard?
    foamyguy  3:52 PM
    Touch panel overlayed on top of a static image on paper is a neat idea Thomas
    deʃhipu  3:52 PM
    I'm happy with mine, been using it for over a year now
    kelvinA  3:52 PM
    @kristina panos *cries in project delays*
    Thomas Shaddack  3:52 PM
    Holy grail... Would an unholy abomination work too?
    kristina panos  3:53 PM
    @kelvinA You'll get there!
    kristina panos  3:53 PM
    @Thomas Shaddack oh you bet
    deʃhipu  3:53 PM
    you get an unholy abomination for free added to pretty much any computer you buy these days
    Thomas Shaddack  3:53 PM
    That's worse. That's membrane.
    kristina panos  3:54 PM
    And when it breaks, get one for $3 at Microcenter.
    kristina panos  3:54 PM
    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Page 1

    Tom Nardi09/27/2023 at 21:36 0 comments

    kristina panos  2:52 PM
    Dan Maloney  2:52 PM
    kristina panos  2:53 PM
    How's everything going in here?
    Dan Maloney  2:53 PM
    Looking good, we'll get started officially in a few
    kristina panos  2:53 PM
    Okay! I'll be here
    Dan Maloney  2:54 PM
    And apologies in advance for my typing -- ironically, I'm still having trouble getting used to my not-so-new keyboard
    kristina panos  2:55 PM
    Oh dear. Remind me what you ended up getting?
    Nicolas Tremblay  2:56 PM
    Good, Kiristina is here, won't be like last week
    kristina panos  2:56 PM
    Dan Maloney  2:57 PM
    I was afraid you'd ask -- flips keyboard over -- Logitech K845CH. Off the shelf, boring, but at least it has really Cherry switches
    kristina panos  2:58 PM
    That looks like it clacks nicely
    Nicolas Tremblay  2:58 PM
    Better than the Dell I'm using
    kristina panos  2:58 PM
    What flavor of Cherry?
    kristina panos  2:58 PM
    @Nicolas Tremblay I used a Dell QuietKey many years ago that was non-terrible
    kristina panos  2:59 PM
    I might think it more terrible now, though
    Dan Maloney  2:59 PM
    I had one of the super cheap ones that was so light I chased it around my desk from just using it. This one at least has some heft to it -- aluminum chassis
    kristina panos  2:59 PM
    @Dan Maloney that is the worst, and my biggest fear with a true split keyboard -- that they would be all over the place
    Dan Maloney  3:00 PM
    Cherry MX Red
    kristina panos  3:01 PM
    Not my taste, but the people who like them love them, it seems
    Dan Maloney  3:01 PM
    Whoop -- here we go. Welcome aboard everyone, I'm Dan and I'll be modding today along with Dusan as we welcome our own Kristina Panos to the chat!
    kristina panos  3:01 PM
    Howdy, everyone!
    Dan Maloney  3:01 PM
    Hello Kristina, thanks for agreeing to come out and play with us! What are you typing on today?
    Dusan Petrovic  3:02 PM
    Hello and welcome everyone!
    kristina panos  3:02 PM
    You're quite welcome. And ha! My trusty Kinesis Advantage.
    foamyguy  3:04 PM
    +1 in the Kinesis Krew. I was converted by our host.
    kristina panos  3:04 PM
    I truly would not be here today without it (or something like it).
    kristina panos  3:04 PM
    I bring up my surgery pretty often, and that's because RSIs are no joke. I know this now.
    Dan Maloney  3:05 PM
    As a non-touch typist, is there any point in a split keyboard like that?
    kristina panos  3:05 PM
    For those that don't know, I had cubital tunnel surgery in 2017. That's basically carpal tunnel in the elbow.
    kristina panos  3:05 PM
    @Dan I say everyone can benefit from a split keyboard
    kristina panos  3:06 PM
    Woops, I atted the wrong Dan.
    kristina panos  3:06 PM
    Sorry, other Dan!
    Dan Maloney  3:06 PM
    He won't mind...
    kristina panos  3:06 PM
    Splits are great because they separate everything into a more natural position.
    Nicolas Tremblay  3:07 PM
    Staggered or ortho?
    kristina panos  3:08 PM
    I love ortho now, though I do switch back and forth a lot because I use typewriters frequently
    kristina panos  3:08 PM
    And that's a little weird. Mostly I just end up typing 'c' with my index finger on the ortho, and of course it comes out 'v'.
    Dan Maloney  3:09 PM
    I just don't know if I can train my brain to keep the two hands on their own side of the keyboard. I tend to cross over -- in fact, I just typed "V" and "F" with my right, and used both right and left to type successive "T"s
    kristina panos  3:09 PM
    Depending on the keyboard, it can be *really* hard to type 'c' with your middle finger,...
    Read more »

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