Forty Four Keys of Joy
A keyboard for software developers, system administrators, code junkies, writers, human being, and possibly cats is utmost important in this age. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a decent keyboard. Possibly if you read on, that may just be Keyboardio's Atreus.
Originally I thought the keyboard was a neat idea. I had a new need for a new keyboard and it's been a awful long while (read two years) since I had something decent. Not to mention, I suffer from what I am calling the Linux terminal syndrome. It is a deadly disease in which you tell everyone you use Linux and happen to also almost exclusively use a keyboard due to some bizarre hatred of mouses. Because of this lifetime choice, I am constantly typing and try as much as possible to take care of my hands. It is also to lessen the suffering from something very real like carpal tunnel or tendinitis. So I gave the team the good ol' funding on kickstarter.
It's been one month since my life has changed with Keyboardio's Atreus keyboard. The keyboard itself is forty four hardware keys in total. Take some time to leave that number to sink in... I'll wait....
Forty four keys.
FORTY FOUR KEYS.
OK. Why is the magic number such a big deal? So a normal keyboard has somewhere around 104 keys. What the team at Keyboardio did was look at a normal keyboard and say, “lol, NO.” These people went and cut down by more than half all the keys, yet figured a way to make you have more functionality on your existing keys than you can possibly ever need. Keyboardio went ahead like mad men, saw the potential of shifting to a different layer on a keyboard, and took it up a notch. You see, the keyboard has an ability to shift to different layers of which all the keys can be different to focus on what you need. So the 104 keys can be stuffed in just 3 layers on the keyboard, with spacing to spare.
Afterwards, Keyboardio went and then said, “You know what? Let's just add more layers, cause why not?” Thus, Atreus keyboard has the ability of holding nine layers of key definitions you can fully customize to whatever your needs or itch running at any time. The crazy people over at Keyboardio also made it so you can import and export the key definitions in structured JSON. Technically giving you endless formatting to your heart's content. So in case you somehow wanted to share your keys (I do and did, click here), you can with minimal effort.
Along with the customization, and there is definite more you can do with this, the Atreus design is what really makes sense for balanced sane typing. Since all the keys are layered on the forty four keys, your hand never reaches to press any key on the keyboard. This means none of that extended stretching to press the ESC key three meters away from the next key. It also features an ergonomic design that just makes sense. So much so that it feels very awkward touching another keyboard, which doesn't use the structure.
Lastly, and certainly not least, you can use BOX switches to make as much sound as mechanically possible. For me, this means using BOX red switches. Allowing me to keep my tradition of using my keyboard as if I'm playing a piano. Bundle all this in and you got yourself something almost healing to the touch. I dare say, you will probably be typing faster and smoother as time goes on.
The biggest piece to get and learn is the layout of the layering you set up. There was a lot of thought put into the original formatting. In other words, do fight the urge of customizing Keyboardio's choosing for Atreus layering layout. It will make the curve just that much easier to adapt towards. Then once you get a feel, start making it to your needs.
I'm still learning this little powerhouse, but I can safely say my typing has only gotten better without sacrificing my hands in the process.
Disclaimer: this whole article was written with the wondrous forty four keys of Atreus.