Next keyboard evolution – Kinesis Advantage 2?

Another year has passed since my last blog post, so I guess it’s about time for me to write another post. Talking about writing, I’ve been eyeing new keyboards recently, more specifically the Kinesis Advantage 2. That’s what this post is going to be about.

I started thinking about keyboards again after my friend bought a new mechanical keyboard. I’ve been extremely happy with my TypeMatrix 2030, which I’ve been using together with my custom Dvorak layout (Chvorak) for about eight years. I love the matrix layout of the TypeMatrix (i.e., the keys are laid out in straight columns instead of being staggered), and I find that the placement of the Shift keys, Enter, Backspace, etc. are much better thought out than on normal keyboards. The “double-scissor” keys on the TypeMatrix feel OK to me, but I’ve wanted to try a mechanical keyboard for a while.

typematrix

The TypeMatrix 2030 keyboard (image from http://typematrix.com/)

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Dvorak – Two years later, was it worth it?

It’s been almost two years since I picked up a new keyboard and started to learn Dvorak. Looking back, was it worth the time and effort? Did it mess up my QWERTY skills? And which layout do I use today? That’s some of the questions I’m going to answer in this post.

First of all, what is Dvorak? Since you read this post, I’m sure you already know a little bit about it – for example, that it’s a keyboard layout developed by August Dvorak and his brother-in-law William Dealey. An example of the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout (United States version) looks like this:

The standard layout nowadays is QWERTY (although some countries use other layouts, such as AZERTY), named after the first six characters on the top row. If you use QWERTY, look down at your keyboard. Have you ever wondered why the keys are arranged in the way they are? It’s not very easy to find a pattern.

Sometimes one can hear that Dvorak was designed to be efficient, while QWERTY on the other hand was created to slow typists down. You could argue about the former, but the latter is just a common misunderstanding. If you want to learn why (and how) the two keyboard layouts were invented, and find out more about Dvorak in general, I highly recommend The Dvorak Zine.

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The wonderful world of Go

No, not the World of Goo.

Go is a wonderful board game. The rules themselves are very simple, but the game itself is fascinating. It’s a bit like Conway’s Game of Life – with a few simple rules you can create something really interesting. However, the similarities pretty much stop there.

A game of Go

A game of Go

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Interests

Lately my blog posts have all been about KDE, a Free software project that I’m interested in. However, since this is also a personal blog, I’ve decided to write a bit more about myself. Therefore I’ve added a category called Interests, where I’ll write about my hobbies and interests.

I’ve always had a lot of hobbies. When I was a child, I usually had one or two activities every weekday (except on Sundays). Many were dropped due to lack of time, but I’ve also picked up a few new interests. I think I’m pretty open to new things, as long as they look fun or seem useful.

Regardless of how much I enjoy a hobby, it’ll only be just that – a hobby. I don’t plan to take either to a professional level.

Still, I want to work with something I’m interested in. The scientific world seems to be perfect – a place with constant new challenges, a place where you’re relatively independent and learn new things every day. Of course it won’t be perfect all the time. specially not in the beginning I would guess. But it’s hopefully interesting enough to give me something to blog about besides the usual KDE-related stuff. 😉