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Update Nov.12: PKL Demo now includes Inverted and Inverted+Angle Shifted Qwerty, Colemak, Dvorak, Workman and MTGAP (main 30 version).
Note: This post is a work in progress.
Now, I want to do a nice lead in, cover my bases and get everyone on the same page about design failures of the traditional keyboard (standardized roughly 1878) before unveiling the Mod. On the other hand, I figure most people visiting this page will know me, what I'm doing, and more importantly, why I'm doing it. So, the short and sweet version.
Presenting: The Inversion Mod +3
(turn on images, no text art this time)
Ok, admittedly I'm not entirely happy with the pic. Still it was the most compact way I could find to visualize the most data graphically, with the least eyestrain. Background colors indicate handwidths from home positions, and are hopefully subtle enough to not interfere with the first perusal, yet visible enough to be noticed by people giving it a more thoughtful inspection. The header and footer mark 5 inch increments outward from center. Original concept emphasized desk positioning by lining up keyboards by layout centerpoint... but it felt wasteful.
Input on how this could be improved is welcome. Donated images are even more welcome. (The whole project is still a work in progress, and I'd rather not do all the heavy lifting myself.)
Anyways, terrible image and all, there are still things you still be able to gather from the diagram above.
Thumbkeys create much more balanced workload and significantly reduce finger travel distance.
Greatly reduced R.Mouse distance. On a full keyboard, by about 5 3/4 inches / 15 cm.
Increased hand separation (roughly 2 1/4 inches), reduces inward typing angle.
Centered Modifier, Navigation and Editing Cluster within easy reach of either hand. Better R.Mouse+L.Keyboard... 'synergy'. L.Hand can now hit most browser shortcuts.
Reduced travel distance within the Navigation Cluster itself. Example: Arrows to Delete/Backspace.
Left Hand Numberpad allows for simultaneous R.Hand Mouse. Or R.Navigation. Generally speaking, much better spreadsheets.
Adjacent keys such as Ctrl+Shift and Ctrl+Alt can be pressed with a single thumb.
It uses a standard keyboard. And is layout independent, though Dvorak users will still get shortchanged for shortcuts.
Awkward at first. Takes some getting used to. … lots of getting used to.
Reduced redundancy. Can be either good or bad.
Numberpad+ standard L.Hand shortcuts are a bit... not good. Maybe just different. Difficult to tell how that will play out with changes to mouse and navigation.
Numberbar shifted one key to the right..
Ctrl+Backspace is kinda awkward on L.Thumb and L.Index. Better with L.Thumb and L.Middle. Ctrl+L.Arrow then Backspace/Del is easier.
Alt+Shift isn't that great one handed. Swap Ctrl+Alt+Tab when you think you might need Alt+Shift+Tab.
Due to movement of function keys, Windows requires some form of keyhook (PKL, occasional compatibility issues) or registry edit (KeyTweak, requires reboot). Not sure about the other OS's. By comparison, the Wide Mod can be implemented as a layout.
L.Hand Enter is a bit of a reach when R.Mousing.
Moving the keycaps to match this layout will be impossible.
Keyboards with low key rollover might have problems, as the function keys are not really intended to be used as modifiers.
Needs a separate keyboard, tenkeyless or bigger. Laptop keyboards won't work. (obviously)
Function row, while often as shown, is not standardized. Users will need to adjust mod for their own devices.
:Right of Spacebar also not standarized. Will require tweaking... and user adjustment.
The Advantage of Thumbkeys
I ran a test on PatorJK's Keyboard Layout Analyser using a rough Thumbrow, with Shift/Backspace on L.Thumb and Space/Enter on R.Thumb. The text used was a collection of short stories. All settings can reviewed by following the link. Warning: Due to size of text, it takes a while to process. http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-anal … d/pFj89jkQ
Note: Currently KLA's same finger calculation is not entirely accurate.
This is where the narrower widths (+0, +1 and +2) will go, when/if I find the motivation to finish them. They aren't bad, but by comparison the +3 just fell into place. Everything where it should be, requiring no sacrifices. Still, feel free to offer your own proposals.
PKL Inv. Mod 0.2 (zip)
Includes Qwerty, Colemak, Dvorak, Workman and MTGAP (main 30) layouts, and angle shifted versions. ANSI only ATM. Hit a snag, Numberpad not flipped.
cevgar's Space-Saving, Eye-Friendly, Quick-Adjust Sit/Stand/Squat Computer Desk. (For less than 100 USD)