The Keyboard and the Blogosphere

I've been typing a lot and my left pinky has been getting cranky. An ironic case of "Emacs Pinky," (aka "Hitting Control so much your pinky hurts") since I am an avowed Vimmer.[1] As a person who lacks all constraint, I bought a new keyboard instead of adjusting my habits.

It's called the Keyboardio Atreus, which is an update to the Atreus by technomancy. It's a 40% keyboard so that means it's missing almost every one of your favourite keys and there's no key stagger so all the keys are arranged in columns that mirror your fingers. Supposedly, this is all for ergonomics, in truth it means my not-that-great touch typing speed is about collapse.

Looking online, there isn't much for information about the Keyboardio version, nor the previous one. The mechanical keyboard world isn't very wide but it is horrifically deep. I expected to find something to help get a sense for how it operates. Alas, beyond a few Reddit posts, the Kickstarter launch ad and a few super short videos, there's nothing out there to satisfy my burning questions.

I bought it anyway. I think it's a pretty handsome boi, but overall probably not the smartest decision I've made with my money.

All I wished I someone could have told me is:

  • How's the typing experience?
  • What was it like relearning to type on this doo-dad?
  • What are those middle buttons like? Are they reachable by your thumbs
    • Is it at all ergonomic?
    • Do you use it for work? Is this your only keyboard? (Less interested in people with 50 million keyboards who switch frequently, though that is pretty cool.)
  • How did you find customizing the layout and function layers?
    • Did you get into crazy modifiers?
    • How did you layout your keyboard? And Why?

Not anyone else's problem except mine, but things I learned which I could care less about:

  • This is what typing sounds like using my XYZ mechanical switch

The only thing I should actually want to know the answer to:

  • Will my partner (with whom I adore and share an office with) murder me for having ordered this?

I take for granted how awesome the hive-mind of the Internet is: I want to know something, I search, I find the information, I read it and move on. I've learned to simply forget that the Internet wasn't handed down to humanity, but was built by other meat-jackets like me. So I am going to turn my frustration above and try to do something productive with it: contribute back to the large, shared corpus of knowledge.

I imagine that's how most information ended up online, i.e., someone out there got so wound-up while doing a task, buying a thing, or whatever, that they vowed never to let it happen again and thus committed that knowledge to a Tumblr somewhere. A story as old as time. And a real shame that I haven't been doing more of it.

I pledge to solemnly blog about my goofy keyboard, to take a few pictures and who knows maybe make a video will be involved (or a stream? what do the cool kids do these days?), all for no other reason than I wish it had existed before I spent my time and money on this itty-bitty boi keyboard.

  1. Here's where I went wrong: I learned to type Ctrl + [ instead of escape when I tried programming on the iPad and the Smart Keyboard case didn't have an Esc key. Yes, I have tried swapping over my caps lock key to being an Esc key and at various times an additional Ctrl key, but no, I didn't have the discipline to make that habit stick, ergo, my hand hurts. ↩︎


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This is the weblog of the strangely disembodied TRST. Here it attempts to write somewhat intelligibly on, well, anything really. Overall, it may be less than enticing.