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The Key64 keyboard is a modern alternative to standard IBM PC Compatible keyboard.

This keyboard have been designed with ideas coming from forums and websites arround the Internet related to keyboards.

The key64 keyboard focus on this main ideas:

1. Open Design
2. Ergonomic
3. Compact
4. Fewer Keys ( 64 keys )
5. Software programmable

Key64 is free hardware design, that means a design that users are free to copy, modify, and convert into hardware, see the license for more information.

Key64 keyboard by nesiaxnesiax, 21 May 2011 21:53

If these things are true:
3. It's too easy to hit by accident
4. Ergonomically, there are better keys that can be put here.

Then won't you be accidentally hitting WHATEVER key gets puts here instead?
If you put a control key here, worse things can happen than a sentence in all caps.
If you fat-finger capslock all the time, then it would be easy to do a CNTRL-a to select all by mistake,
and the next key you type erases everything, and unless you watching the screen or feeling what you did
through your fingertips, you might have a hard time recovering what you typed.

Is this really a argument for differently shaped keyboards, and maybe fully reprogrammable keyboards? Maybe "chording" keyboards?

Capslock-seeking pinkies? by Ace FrahmAce Frahm, 28 Jan 2011 20:44
(account deleted) 12 Oct 2010 06:34
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Alternatives

1) Make Caps Lock only work in combination with Left Shift. This way the user always has to press 2 keys, and is less likely to enter Caps Lock mode.

2) Always put an LED on the Caps Lock key so the user can see he/she is in Caps Lock mode without having to look at the screen.
dolls for sale

by (account deleted), 12 Oct 2010 06:34

I've been using CapsLock as layout switch (I'm trilingual) on linux for years.
The standard XKB option to do this moves capital locking to Shift+CapsLock, as you propose.

Despite years of practice with it, I keep pressing Shift+CapsLock accidentally (never intending it) because the keys are adjacent.
So it might not be enough of a guard.

[Today I learned that xmodmap -e "remove lock = Caps_Lock" kills capital locking without killing the layout-switch meaning of CapsLock. I'm very happy now :-)]

Re: 2 more alternatives by cbencben, 11 Apr 2010 13:49

Tab, Alt+Tab, Ctrl+Tab are used a lot for GUI navigation.
There is no separate key for BackTab, so users are forced to use Shift+Tab, Alt+Shift+Tab, Ctrl+Shift+Tab.
I propose that BackTab deserves a separate key, and the place below Tab vacated by killing CapsLock is perfect for it!

Alt+Shift+Tab is bad not only because any 3-key combo is awkward.
And any pair of commands having opposite effect will be frequently used in back-and-forth alternation.

  • Think about arrows - are you careful to press Right just exact number of times, or do you frequently overshoot a little and then go back?
  • Think about undo/redo - you usually don't know where to stop, so you deliberately undo too much, then redo a little.

Have you used programs that use

  • Ctrl+Z/Ctrl+Y for redo vs. Ctrl+Z/Ctrl+Shift+Z?
  • Ctrl+F/Ctrl+G for next/previous search match vs. Ctrl+F/Ctrl+Shift+F?

If so you know what I'm talking about.
Even Z/Y, far as they are, allow resting to separate fingers on them for quick alternation!
Toggling Shift is much harder, especially in combos like Ctrl+Shift+Tab, where you much control a finger that is between 2 already pressed fingers.
Try it now, and you'll feel my pain. Literally. Ouch.

Historical evidence:

  • VI/Emacs (designed by keyboard effeciency freaks) spend a lot of double letters for paired commands and never took the Shift way.
  • Navigation keys are already doubled (arrows, Home/End, PgUp/PgDown). So are Delete/Backspace (though these don't undo each other).
BackTAB below TAB by cbencben, 11 Apr 2010 13:43

Regarding "What's so bad about Caps Lock?", I can think of a few things…

1. It's an anachronism. Much like the QWERTY layout and the staggered placement of keys, Caps Lock hearkens back to the days of manual typewriters, when the Shift key literally moved either the platen (floating shift) or the type elements (basket shift) to a higher position. The Shift Lock key (as it was then known) was designed to relieve stress on the fingers from holding down Shift keys. With the advent of electric typewriters, the need for this function became less primal, as Shift keys no longer required more force to hold down than any other key. But as with all things, the inertia of success pretty much dictated that the key would remain on the ISO-standard keyboard to this day, and would continue to be placed directly over the leftmost Shift key.

2. It's relatively useless in English. Maybe if it had remained a SHIFT lock, it might have still had a function of sorts (the symbols over the number keys would be easier to type rapidly, which can be more useful that all-caps text). As it is, the only function of Caps Lock is to ensure you type only capital letters. As noted in a comment above, this is useful in certain programming languages, albeit mostly of an older vintage (COBOL, Fortran, etc.), but for those who primarily use a keyboard to write in English it seems like a boondoggle.

3. It's too easy to hit by accident. Granted, this can be attributed more to its placement on the home row (or sloppy typing habits) than any inherent fault of the Caps Lock function itself. Still, it's just a bit too easy to hit Caps when you're trying to hold down the left Shift key or Tab, and making matters worse is that there usually isn't a visual or aural cue that you've hit the key; in most cases you only notice it when you reach for the sHIFT KEY AND YOUR TEXT STARTS COMING OUT LIKE THIS, BECAUSE YOU HIT cAPS lOCK INSTEAD. Quite annoying, as you can see.

4. Ergonomically, there are better keys that can be put here. The most common "replacement" for Caps Lock is to have a Control key there instead, as was the case on some early computers and UNIX workstations. I also like the idea of a secondary Backspace or Enter key in place of Caps, which would speed up typing and correcting spelling errors (the latter of which currently requires a somewhat awkward jump). Strictly speaking, there's little to no reason (other than typewriter tradition) for Caps to be where it is, and every reason for other, more generally useful keys to be in that position.

by TheKid965TheKid965, 13 Feb 2010 18:46

I do not like the idea of removing Caps Lock.

The key is used a lot in programming and there are many more common activities that requires it, such as typing all cap titles. I believe "accidentally" pressing the key is much more the result of poor typing skills rather than the presence of the key, and with any decent typing speed, the mistake can be corrected very fast.

If there was a key that does much more harm than good, it is the sleep key. And I have seen more than one keyboard with that key taken out. I have yet to see a keyboard with caps lock, or any other key taken out.

Almost every key is useful to the people concerned and/or in special circumstances. For example the menu key is normally never used but can be very helpful if the mouse is broken.

I do not like the idea of heavy customization by remapping of keys because it breaks the standards and prevents one from typing on any keyboard that comes about. Software designers also need to know how does the keyboards of their users look like to conveniently map the functions.

Keyboard layouts are suited to functions, not individuals. There can be a different keyboard for every position or language, but not for every person. If one is truly comfortable with one particular layout, then it does not matter what symbol the manufacturer decides to print on the keys. Some people actually find blank keyboards to be better.

by unicodeunicode, 23 Dec 2009 11:49

HAPPY CAPSLOCK DAY!!! 22 october…

HAPPY CAPSLOCK DAY!!!! by pussyboypussyboy, 22 Oct 2009 21:34
ohhhh yea!!! by pussyboypussyboy, 22 Oct 2009 21:33


d r simon xD by pussyboypussyboy, 22 Oct 2009 21:32

There's one language for which Caps Lock is needed - Hebrew. To type Hebrew vowel points (a.k.a. Niqqud) one has to press Caps Lock and then Shift-(Number) to type the vowel. It is quite ridiculous, but that's the de facto standard in Windows and Macs. Ubuntu has a different solution for that (AltGr; not perfect, but better than Caps Lock), but we all know that Windows is far more common.

In fact, it is so ridiculous that few people even bother to type the vowel points. They are not required in most texts, but are sometimes needed.

I already contacted the Standards Institute of Israel with a proposal to change it, but the current situation remains. So please be aware of this in your campaign.

Caps Lock and Hebrew by amire80amire80, 24 Mar 2009 15:34

Actually the original PC keyboards were the anomaly. Prior to the PC most printing and display terminals had the CapsLock in the position where it is commonly found today. This includes classics such as the DEC VT52 and VT100 terminals; IBM data display terminals such as the IBM2741 and IBM5253. Many of IBM's early small computers that predate the IBM PC had a mix of keyboard styles. Many non-PC personal computers of the time had the Caps Lock to the left of the A: TRS-80, BBC Micro, Osborne 1, Commodore Vic-20, and Commodore C=64. The Apple ][ series had the Ctrl key in the proper location to the left of the A key, but sadly, the original Macintosh did not — it was afflicted with the CapsLock (and this was before the IBM PC/AT went to the enhanced keyboard). The Atari computers had the proper Ctrl key, but their keyboards were horrible membrane things. The BeOS had CapsLock; Next had Ctrl.

Thanks for the FAQ, but it doesn't explain WHY the CAPSlock is bad, only how to get rid of it or
alternatives to it.

What's so bad about the CAPS lock? Why should it bother me? Do you know some idea about typing
better that you're not sharing with me?

I already type DVORAK. Are you telling me there's some even better way to type?

Missing A Reason by Ace FrahmAce Frahm, 12 Oct 2008 11:20

I just registered an account to comment on this keyboard layout. I don't like it at all, and that's because it has IMHO some serious shortcomings.

Basically it has only one big problem: you designed it only thinking of your own needs. You use Windows (XP?) and you play certain computer games. Therefore, you placed the keys that you use yourself the most together.

I'll comment on your "in-depth explaination", in the same order.

  1. Actually, that's one of the few good points
  2. The possiblity of accidentially striking the delete key increases with this, don't you think?
  3. Indeed Alt won't do much, but…
    1. See above
    2. Well, this assumes of course that you use a Windows-based operating system. Other operating systems, including Mac OS X (Apple) and Linux use entirely different keyboard gestures. For example, Win (Command actually)+Q is similar to Alt+F4, while Command+Option(=alt)+Esc is similar to Ctrl+Alt+Del on Mac OS. Linux uses the same shortcuts as Windows, but it adds Ctrl+Alt+Backspace (quick reboot, all applications killed) Ctrl+Alt+Esc (click on a window to terminate it's application) and Ctrl+Alt+Fx, where x is a number (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+F1), which will switch between different user sessions.
    3. Likewise, the usage of the Control key on other operating systems is very different than in Windows. For example, on a Mac you have three modifier keys: Control, Option (=Alt/Alt Gr) and Command(=Win key). While in windows you would use ctrl+c and ctrl+v to copy and paste, in Mac OS this would become Cmd+C and Cmd+V. The Control key is almost unused in Mac OS. The only usage I know includes many "old" Unix programs (Unix is to Mac OS like DOS is to Windows).
  4. That spacebar is just plain ugly, but ok, its only my opinion. Also note that people that often have to use the tab key (for example: programmers) use their pinky finger to press the tab key.
  5. Wow, are you terrific or what? </sarcasm>
  6. Please see my comment on 3.2. Also please note it's actually very easy to disable the this in Windows. And second, when using Compiz Fusion (a prog for Linux, something like Vista's Aero, but 10x as good and it works on 10x older hardware) the Super key (a neutral/cross-platform name for the dubbed "Windows" key) is used a lot in keyboard gestures.
  7. A lot of games actually use those keys. For naming a reasonable popular example, Second Life uses the pgup/pgdn keys to fly.
  8. And how are you going to do this on a notebook? There is a cd drive/usb-ports where you want to put a switch. Plus, there are also a lot of people that use those "ultra-thin" keyboards (for example the Apple Keyboard)

Thanks for your attention.

To all who missed it, this keyboard does not ADD keys. Each key simply serves a dual purpose, press the bottom for lower case and press the top for upper case.

1) Make Caps Lock only work in combination with Left Shift. This way the user always has to press 2 keys, and is less likely to enter Caps Lock mode.

2) Always put an LED on the Caps Lock key so the user can see he/she is in Caps Lock mode without having to look at the screen.

2 more alternatives by JvHJvH, 03 Mar 2008 10:12

As is already mentioned in the list above: a programmable key.
The thing I would like to explicitly add is that it should also be possible to program it to function as the Caps Lock key.

And yet another alternative by JvHJvH, 03 Mar 2008 09:55

A switch on the keyboard to physically disable the Caps Lock key. This way users who don't use the key can't accidentally press it.

If you look at the typewriter, from early mechanical models to the later electronic models, you will find a Caps Lock key. However, the typewriter was not abusive to users in the way that the keyboard is. It seems that the designers of the keyboard took a superficial look at the typewriter and mimicked its layout. They did not take into consideration the design principles that went into the typewriter.

On the typewriter, the Caps Lock key is not a toggle key. Pressing the key does not switch between states. No matter how many times you pressed the key, the end result is the same; caps-locked.

When you pressed the Caps Lock key, it remained physically depressed. You could see and feel that the typewriter was in caps-locked mode. The best the keyboard provides is indirect indication with a LED lit in the corner of the keyboard, amidst an array of other LEDs.

On the typewriter, the caps lock mode was very transient. Pressing either Shift key would release the caps lock. A typist that did not notice a caps-lock state would automatically be released from this mode as the shift key is pressed to begin the next sentence. As such, tHE eRROR oF tYPING lIKE tHIS never occurred on the typewriter.

The design of the typewriter Caps Lock key seems to consider human behavioral norms. The keyboard abuses these behaviors. There are no logical reasons for the keyboard not to follow the design patterns set forth by the typewriter. On the contrary, the keyboard brought an opportunity to improve upon the design. It is a shame we are still stuck with the results of this wrong turn.

The Typewriter Legacy by VarsoilVarsoil, 26 Nov 2007 14:42

There is one more item needed.

Please make keyboards with the "stroke directions" lined up for the directions the fingers actually move. On a standard keyboard, the right fingers will stroke up and to the left, or down and to the right, which is the direction that the keys run. However, the fingers on the left hand want to stroke up and to the right, but the keys for the left hand stroke up and to the left.

This may have made sense 100 years ago, when typewriters were first created. Given the new improvements in manufacturing over the last century, this no longer makes manufacturing sense, and never made body-mechanic sense.

Additionally, this will force the keyboard to be wider — in particular, it will force the "rest" or "home" position of the hands to be slightly farther apart, further helping body mechanics.

Finally, although "seperated" left and right half keyboards make a lot of sense — especially with "wave", curved/raised layouts, please please please duplicate the "b", "y", and "6" keys — currently "assigned" to finger strokes that are often easier to make from the other hand — on both sides of the keyboard. Thank you.

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