Just a roundup to bring things up to date. At some point between my last post and now, I started helping Ian Prest with his Keyboard Layout Editor website. So this has resulted in a more rounded version of my design.
I won’t bore you with every little changes but the bigger steps were adding Tomatoro buttons for start/stop and end. The idea is that there is a built-in timer for the Pomodoro technique as an aid to productivity (or to limit goofing off, if you like).
This also has ‘clarity’ icons on the shift keys… showing that you need to press shift-shift to get CapsLock, and shift-shift to revert. Also swapped the Insert/Overwrite and DeleteRight buttons around, to make the DeleteRight button more thumb-friendly, following a suggestion on Deskthority website. Added multimedia control glyphs as the numpad, and marked the A key for ctrl-A == “select all” … best icon I could find. There doens’t seem to be a standard glyph for Select All.
Following discussions with IJP, we decided to try out “invisible keys” which would allow us to place graphics effectively anywhere. This next version uses this technique to place a logo and LEDs. IJP then did some major restructuring of his code, and I had trouble patching in what I had done into it, so he wrote his own version for invisible keys, which still work in the same way.
It also has the international ‘Exit’ symbol on the Escape key.
There were assorted minor tweaks, like moving the SysReg and Break glyphs to the “ctrl” spot on the keys, indicating you needed to press Control+key to access them. Dropped the navigation on the numpad, since everyone uses a mouse or trackball now and that legacy support is not really needed anymore. Which means I could drop the numlock LED, and replace it with a Tomatoro timer LED instead. Split the Play/Pause multimedia keys into two, although probably one would work just as well. Flipped the Tab key directions on the right hand side tab key to be the same as the Backspace/DeleteRight key above it. Made the Control key logo blue, as well as everything connected to it. This was only possible after IJP added unique colours per legend support in KLE. Also made the QWERTY legends red. The QWERTY layout is there for in case I find myself in a situation where the OS does not understand the key mapping, or whatever reason I need to toggle the keyboard back to QWERTY. Still need to figure all that software out. 🙂
So that’s where I am now … have made some enquiries regarding CNC routing the case. Have bought the wood for the case … got red Mahogany as in the picture. I envisage the front to be gently sloped down (as per original Microsoft Ergo keyboard), with the numpad area a plateau, and the sides sloping down gently away from it.
Continues in Part 9