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    Learning Colemak-DH on Atreus

    • Started by lernisto
    • 4 Replies:
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 28-Mar-2022
    • Posts: 4

    History

    Many years ago, i.e. when Apple //c was new, I played with Dvorak.

    About 5 or 10 years ago I got a Microsoft 4000 split ergo keyboard. I liked it enough that I have replaced it 3 times. (Reliability is definitely an issue for me with this keyboard.) I again played with Dvorak, but didn't get far. This was when I discovered Colemak.

    A few years ago, I started learning Colemak, but never got very far.

    Last year, I ordered some keyswitches and keycaps intending to build my own keyboard, but they are still sitting in the box ... :-(
    A couple of months ago I bit the bullet and just ordered an Atreus from Keyboard.io. It arrived a couple of weeks ago.

    Current Status

    I can touch type QWERTY at about 40 WPM, which is adequate since I mostly do coding, which involves much more thinking than typing.

    I love my new keyboard (picture of Atreus)
    This thing is tiny. It is pretty hefty and seems solidly built. The keycaps pop off more easily than I expected, but not unreasonably so.

    I definitely prefer a programmable hardware keyboard over mucking around with software on three different platforms (I have used Windows and Linux for decades, and just recently got a Mac Mini).

    I have spent a few (4?) days with Colemak Club. I can do level 3 with 97% accuracy at about 10 WPM.


    Goals

    I do mostly programming with Python and Rust, so I need a good symbol/number layout.

    I speak Portuguese and am learning French. I will eventually learn German too. Therefore I need to be able to type in these languages.

    I use Blender 3D a lot, so I would like to set up a layer for common blender actions, and probably for Gimp too.

    I want to get to at least 80 WPM within a year.

    Issues/Questions

    I like the simplicity of Colemak Club, but I would like to choose my own word lists and track my progress over time. I'm currently working to get Amphetype running.

    I am looking for a well-designed symbol/number layer optimized for Python and Rust coding.

    I've seen a couple of different layouts for the bottom row of keys. I don't know if I'll keep the default layout.

    * Enter: is this better as a pinky key or as a thumb?
    * Backspace: I kind of like it directly below "V", but I probably should not use it enough to justify that prime location
    * Escape: I use VIM, so I do like it under my left pinky.
    * Tab: Important for Python. I'll probably move it to a left thumb key.
    * AltGr: useful for German, French, and Portuguese, but I don't know if I want it taking up space all of the time.
    * Super: I use it a lot under Windows and Linux. I don't know yet how much MacOS uses it. Another layer may be a better approach.

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    The Atreus is nice isn't it? I used to be a bit unsure about not having a number row or the extra column to the sides, but since I got mine, I find I don't miss them. I have another larger ergo keyboard (Redox) too, but I only use 36 keys on both keyboards.

    There are quite a few layer systems around designed for small keyboards, check out mine for inspiration, including my Atreus keymap. It's not designed for multiple languages though, so you'd need to modify it.

    Even on the Atreus, the two keys in the far bottom-left and bottom-right corners are not in good enough positions to be useful IMO. For enter, backspace, tab and esc, I have them on my nav layer (Extend style). They are very fast and easy to hit, moreso than even the single key on a normal keyboard.

    Last edited by stevep99 (28-Mar-2022 16:25:56)

    Using Colemak-DH with Seniply.

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    • Registered: 28-Mar-2022
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    uyy

    stevep99 said:

    There are quite a few layer systems around designed for small keyboards, check out mine for inspiration, including my Atreus keymap.

    Thank you. I downloaded it, then uploaded it, then installed it. It took me a minute to figure out this process -- I couldn't figure out why the old layout was still active.

    stevep99 said:

    It's not designed for multiple languages though, so you'd need to modify it.

    AltGr works for some stuff. I'll figure the rest out later, after I get the programming stuff working.

    stevep99 said:

    Even on the Atreus, the two keys in the far bottom-left and bottom-right corners are not in good enough positions to be useful IMO. For enter, backspace, tab and esc, I have them on my nav layer (Extend style). They are very fast and easy to hit, moreso than even the single key on a normal keyboard.

    It took me a minute to figure out tab. While it is slick, I think I can do better. I use ctrl-tab, and ctrl-shift-tab all of the time to indent and unindent code. in contrast, I can't think of a single time in the last decade when I had a compelling need for the Menu key. So I moved menu to ESC,esc to tab, and tab to menu.

    At first I wondered about the second mapping of Enter, but I can see how it would often be easier to type than the right pinky.

    I am finding the key to the left of K is really annoying to hit: the key below it makes it bad for the thumb, and the right index finger has to move over two and down one. This is exactly what I want for the backspace key. ;-). Layer#2+H is actually easier to hit.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,226

    Welcome! I suggest you also poke around the BigBag for inspiration. As you say, being multi-platform you probably want most of your tools to be in firmware, but the ideas may still be nice to view. As for myself, I don't ever want to use Windows again without the EPKL program.  /(⁎≧∇≦)\

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    • Registered: 06-Jun-2013
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    atreus is great, as is seniply

    agree those inner keys are pretty much unusable

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