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Ted Walther
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The layered acrylic look is HOT. I hope you do go with it. If I can take the botton plate off, maybe I can put some EL wire in for some Tron or CyberPunk effects of my own. I like the idea of having a keyboard I can safely screw down. No slippy-slidy issues.
Ok. Will there be clear spots in the acrylic where it is safe to drill screw holes so I can screw it down into my desktop surface? If talks go well with Unicomp, maybe they'd have ideas about a split keyboard. I'd pay double for a split keyboard; it would still be cheaper than the Kinesis, and vastly better.
Thanks for the reply Jesse. Yes, that was me that left a voice message for you earlier. My last post vanished; I posted twice, talking about the Workman layout, and how similar it is in principle to the way you designed your keyboard. By "new chair", I was also including "stand up desk" if that appeals to you. Sorry to hear about the risk of splitting the design now. I remember in an earlier version you did have it split completely. Making it modular, perhaps even putting the logic and controller into a third unit, would make it pluggable. For instance, the ErgoMagic has a number-pad you can plug in as well. I do appreciate the art you put into the design; I suppose the splitting of the top plate is minimal risk, the risk is in the electronics connections, especially over a 5 foot run?
Your project immediately reminded me of Eric Raymond's blog post from June 27, 2013: Keyboards are Not a Detail‎ Looks like you're solving a lot of ESR's complaints except one; it would be nice to use the buckling spring switch. But the patents have expired, so that is an option for the future once sales take off. In fact, for a small fee, Unicomp would be more than willing to manufacture this for you. Unicomp is very reasonable to work with. Talk to Jim. Looks like you've already done the hard parts that would be expensive to have Unicomp do; since those are done, the remaining work would be very cheap since you've done the heavy lifting. Jesse, will your keyboard have N-key rollover? Or, it being USB and all, at least 5-key rollover/chording? Any chance of having a split version, so I can place the two halves on my chair/desk and screw them down to the wood, but then screw it back to the one-piece base for use on the road? I miss my Kinesis; at this point I think your design beats the ErgoMagic by far, except for lack of a splitting feature. And even the ErgoMagic doesn't have the screw-holes so I can screw it down to my custom wood-work/metal-work. I'd like a keyboard that can blend seamlessly with my cyberpunk office furniture. Care to do a trade? You make me a keyboard, I make you a "captains chair" with electro-luminescent lighting AKA "Tron" style?
Your keyboard looks exactly like what I'm looking for, my Kinesis died. My IBM Model M from Unicomp is my favorite, but I need something more ergonomic. There is one ergonomics issue that I hope you'll address. I build furniture. I built a chair with armrests to hold my computer. If the keyboard was split in two again, I'd run the cable under the chair, so they appear independent. If you drill 4 holes in each half, I can screw it directly to the armrests. Or just split the keyboard in two, I'll drill the holes down at the local hacker lab. Your Mark 13 is a beautiful work of art. It is what I want in all ways except one; being split. How about this as an option: Have a bottom plate that is all one piece, and screw the two pieces to it. Then it is identical to your current model. Someone like me could unscrew the bottom plate, and screw the top plates down where-ever, in whichever angle or orientation is best. I would screw each plate to the appropriate armrest and run the connecting cable underneath the seat. Having my hands placed so close together isn't good for my neck or shoulders, which tend to get tightly compressed by regular typing. Opening up is good for the chest and physique. Having a split keyboard allows this. Yes, I could buy the ErgoMagic. But I like yours better. As for Kinesis, phooey! All that money, and it died so easily. Karma for what they did to Maltron? The two halves would need to accomodate at least a 4 foot cable between them, longer is ok. This idea also would be excellent for the standing desk I'm building, the "arm rests" will stick out from the wall.
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Dec 12, 2013