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    thumbs dexterity, Ergodox

    • Started by Leo
    • 2 Replies:
    • Leo
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    • Registered: 15-Oct-2020
    • Posts: 2

    Hello,

    I use Ergodox for a long time. Recently I made some optimizations as I realized that the thumb cluster works nicely if we hack with the key-caps a bit.

    Screenshot_20201015_115905.jpg?raw=1

    I can easily do now all the combinations of modifiers! Like Alt+Ctrl, Cmd+Ctrl, .... For now I used the parquet anti-scratch pads for home furniture, but I'll look for something better ;-) The keys just have to be a bit taller, 1.5 mm and 3 mm respectively.

    Now my question goes towards the use of thumbs regarding the 2 big buttons. In my optimized layout I intend to use these buttons for shifts, space and enter. I'm a software developer and shifts are amongst the most frequently used keys.

    Using such layout I realized that my thumb is quite slow to change position, that is to jump from shift to space. I just wonder if the speed will eventually build up or maybe thumbs are slower to move in general?

    Do you know any other interesting forums about keyboard optimizations or ergodox?

    Cheers,

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,960

    I do believe thumbs are a bit slower overall, but I haven't seen any good research on this. I use my thumbs for MessagEase on touch screens, and that can be quite fast – people type 85 WPM that way after all, without any word prediction.

    One way around your observation might be to make a thumb key a layer switch so that you can use one thumb key as all the modifiers. It'd work like this: Press ThumbMod with thumb, now the home row keys become Tap-or-Mod keys so that you hold one and then type a letter with the other hand. People with compact boards use stuff like that. But it'd be a bit confusing to get used to I guess.

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    • Leo
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    • Registered: 15-Oct-2020
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    Well, I'm quite slow thumb-typing on smartphone, but I don't use it much and never got used to swype.

    I was considering a completely dedicated layout, which perhaps I would have to learn for weeks to gain the super speed of coding. Unfortunately, it's really hard to make one universal suitable for everything. Finally I decided to only focus on improving the low hanging fruit. I did some benchmarks and it's crystal clear that my coding speeds was 50% lower than text typing because of the shifts. I hate the outward wrist-bend movement I have to do to reach shifts with my pinkies on standard keyboards.

    I took the idea about the modifiers placement looking at the Kinesis Advantage. Well, indeed I really like it, just had to adjust the key caps ;-) Really thanks for sharing ideas, but I've already went through many versions of advanced configurations. Too many layers is tiring in the end.

    Well, perhaps I'll stay with current layout for a month or two to see if my speed improves, unless I find enough evidence that it's rather very unlikely.

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