The most important keys on any keyboard for an Emacs user are the Operation Keys (I made up that term). Without them Emacs would be useless. For Techne (the new name for my Emacs keyboard project) I decided to use symbols instead of letters for them.
The operations cluster is on both the left and right side of the keyboard. Yes, that is a full twenty keys just to make life happier in Emacs! I love keyboards so dedicating twenty keys to a critical task is perfect for me. These sections live on a eight row by sixteen column layout so there is plenty of room. It’s bottom left corner is position (1,1) (Row, Column) increasing as you go up and to the right (ala Cartesian coordinates). In the table I wrote the key name and then the symbol. The picture only includes the symbol.
Legend: C# (column number)
C-m-S-H. Emacs can handle that including the
Shift modifier along with it. In case you haven’t encountered it yet, here is how to get all of the Emacs modifiers on a modern USB keyboard.
My symbol choices started with Sun’s meta symbol. After playing around with that, reading Xah’s page on Unicode input symbols, searching for and comparing symbols with PopChar and playing around with a ton of combinations I ended up here. It is nice because it settles on the diamond theme.
They took a newbie like me through the process of designing the thing and it was fun. Then they fabricated the thing and it rocks.
Emacs friends: there is enough key-space (128 keys) to easily place
- Ultra (Control-Meta-Super-Hyper)
ON EACH SIDE OF THE KEYBOARD
Strong thumb proponents: I’m trying to make it happen here by placing everything on the bottom two rows (including space, Fn, and enter).
Every design and walkthrough teaches something new.
The following are some of them that were the most helpful to me.
Continue reading “A Collection of Thoughts on Custom Fabrication”
- Here is how I decided to go with the Cherry MX White Switch
Continue reading “Choosing a Switch: Why Cherry MX Whites”
- Small changes to a 104 key ANSI skyrocket the price
- Stay close to the standard to make it affordable
Continue reading “Emacs Keyboard Design 37: Possible”
- Start with layout 35
- There are only 10 layers total
- Use Fn as a one-shot
- Use Layer as a toggle
- Choose layer with number keys
- Double-tap to return to base layer
- Remove layer row
90 key layout
Continue reading “Emacs Keyboard Design 36: Mainstream 90 Key Emacs Keyboard Layout”
- Going too far from the mainstream pushes the cost up too high
- Let key do things that Emacs knows how to do well to leverage keyboard firmware
Continue reading “Emacs Keyboard Design 35: Mainstream 96 Key Emacs Keyboard Layout”
The latest iteration places space and return well and the modifiers are all present and easily reached. How would it look in a grid layout?
Continue reading “Emacs Keyboard Design 34: Grid Layout Revisited”