Shame they do not make these in UK layout, with tall Enter and \| next to Z
As for Topre switches, they are my favourite and I regret so few keyboards use them.
When you think about iconic mechanical keyboards, the Happy Hacking is among the first to spring to mind. Its compact design is unusual if you're used to full-sized boards with the numpad, function keys, and arrow keys excised. The result is a keyboard that is unfathomably small, occupying little desk real estate. El Reg got …
If you ask me, the UK's bastardised keyboard layout is completely fscked for programming, with too many symbols in places that feel "wrong". I always either set the keymap to US (plus compose key, of course) or choose a US keyboard if I get the choice (thanks, Apple).
(Awaits torrents of downvotes. You know, <compose> L + - for £ isn't such a hassle, really. Everything else just works, and you get an uncrippled left shift key, too!)
Fat enter is part of the ANSI keyboard layout. You also have one key less and no Alt-Gr key, just a copy of the Alt key from the other side.
The UK's keyboard layout is the ISO layout which is also used in many other countries. The thin enter allows one more key and the Alt-Gr key is useful as a selector for a third symbol on the key or as a compose key.
So you're really hating on most of the world's keyboards, except the Netherlands for some reason.
I generally prefer a US layout keyboard because when things go bang, you'll typically find yourself with a US layout keyboard no matter what the physical board looks like. Where's the pipe ("|") on a US layout keyboard (logically) but a UK layout keyboard (physically).
Of course I'm typing this on a ISO US keyboard which is like a US layout and a UK layout got together in the dark and spawned a new monstrosity :)
Nearly makes Apple's prices look reasonable ...
Apple ≈ reasonable?
No such thing ...
By the way ...
I recall up to a few years ago (maybe not so few, but I digress) at ElReg and some other web sites you would see usually very good analysis of exactly what went into some apparently overpriced kit (such as this keyboard) and how much it cost to manufacture, many times revealing the eye watering mark-up some kit had.
I think it would be really interesting to know how this Happy Hacking Professional Hybrid fares if put through such an analysis.
I suspect that, given the pompous hype-generating name, it has a good chance of not doing too well, even if you add the cost of adding the missing cursor keys and numpad.
"where it always should have been"
My mother's gripe, ever since desktops had computers, is the habit of sticking a modifier that does many weird and wonderful things where the Caps Lock should have been.
I didn't grow up with typewriters, so it wasn't really a problem for me, but I did note when using a typewriter that the editing facilities sucked.
"my keyboard layout isn't AZERTY eh?"
I live in France. First thing I do when I buy a new keyboard is send off for a set of replacement keyboard labels.
My muscle memory works with both QWERTY and AZERTY. But I've never encountered such a programmer unfriendly layout in my life. That "@" is a three finger salute is ridiculous. That an entire key appears to be ` is ridiculous.
Not to mention that you could not write French with an old model AZERTY keyboard (the new ones are a different story).
It was missing all the accented capitals plus Ç, no French quotes (« »), no (narrow) no-break space, required in front of / following a number of characters, etc., etc. But it did have a key dedicated to µ (Greek letter mu), in case you ever wanted to write about microseconds or something.
Yes, it's good we have choices. Just be sure to take yours to a soundproof room before pressing a key.
I have always hated the Model M. Not only was it too noisy, it was just - ugh, never felt right to me.
Back in those days, the Apple Extended/Extended II was about the best we had. At this point I'm absolutely addicted to Apple's thin USB keyboard, the one they discontinued recently. It's absolutely perfect, quiet with exactly the right amount of key travel and feedback. The new Bluetooth one is too shallow.
It's an interestingly individual thing. I work with a couple of folks with exactly the same reaction. On the other hand, my nascent carpel tunnel issues vanished within a couple of months of switching to a MS 4000 keyboard.
As you said, it's a good thing that there are choices.
I use one varietal or another of vi on the various un*xen that I admin because it's near universal and works nicely, even over dial-up. That would be elvis or vim specifically almost everywhere, with the odd stevie in strange places. All work well enough. On Apple kit I use vim. I almost never need to edit anything on Windows anymore, but when I do I use stevie. Basically, vi works on everything, what's not to like?
I admit that I still use EMACS occasionally, usually when I need psychotherapy or to play tetris or anything else that obviously belongs in a text editor that is lacking in vi.
I admit that I still use EMACS occasionally, usually when I need psychotherapy or to play tetris or anything else that obviously belongs in a text editor that is lacking in vi.
As they used to say, EMACS would be a great operating system, if only it had a decent text editor...
You might like the Drevo Blademaster Pro - I've been running with one for over a year and it's a top keyboard - wireless or connected.
See https://www.amazon.co.uk/DREVO-BladeMaster-Mechanical-Keyboard-Bluetooth/dp/B07MKF5V3Y/ref=sr_1_1?&keyword=TKL+mechanical+keyboard+UK+Layout - and much cheaper to boot.
You might like the Drevo Blademaster Pro
Another vote for Drevo - cheap but good. I bought a Drevo Tyrfing to replace my Das Keyboard when it broke - good service so far.
PS: You can do a magic key press to control what sort of key backlighting you want, mine is just solid white, "off" is also an option.
You said "KNOB! On behalf of everybody who might possibly be offended (even if they are not, given the context), I'm most egregiously offended! I demand this post be removed immediately, if not sooner! If this doesn't happen, I'm going to hold my breath until I turn blue and puke!
Other keys are relocated to make the board more appealing to devs – for example, the control key is remapped to where the caps lock key usually sits
Thus breaking muscle memory and slowing developers down.
Even those of us that learned to touch type on a Sun keyboard with CTRL in that position have adjusted by now.
Of course, being an American layout short on keys, it's entirely useless for real work anyway. While it does rarely have a \ key it's put that in place of the backspace key, which is entirely missing. Nice key switches or not, this is a gimmick.
"Even those of us that learned to touch type on a Sun keyboard with CTRL in that position have adjusted by now."
Yes. Real developers have adjusted ... adjusted their keyboard mapping to put the <ctrl> key (amongst others) back where it belongs.
Seriously, isn't that the first thing everyone does at some new workplace? Even before working out how to build/install/run emacs? I was pleased to discover that some recent iOS has let you remap bluetooth keyboards for the iPad properly, so now I can actually use them. All Next-derived Macoid machines (including iOS) also have at least basic emacs controls which helps.
I have CapsLock as Compose. The only sensible use. Double Shift is Caps Lock for silly forms wanting all caps. A hang over from typewriters.
I don't want a keyboard without the |\ key beside Z, or at least near it.
The one key less US keyboards are nearly as bad as the US Date formats.
It seems about x10 over priced. I got a nice Microsoft keyboard and mouse (wireless sharing a USB dongle) for a 1/10th of that that uses Alkaline cells. I also have a small USB Keysonic with the ¬ key beside the 1 moved beside Alt (which is also AltGr using the Func key) and the |\ key from beside Z between that and the space bar. About 10.5 x 22 cm and has the four cursor keys as PgUp, PgDn, Home and End via the Func key, which also maps F9 and F10 to the seldom used F11 and F12. It's excellent and was under €20.
It depends. If the article's statement is the way I read it, these switches only allow you to switch between preset modes, not arbitrary ones. I have a keyboard here which allowed programming the keys through a program that is almost exactly how you described them. Proprietary, opaque, weird layout, translation to English from Martian, Windows only. I haven't had to deal with that program for quite a while though because I set up all the modes I wanted, mapped them to start up with a certain keypress, and moved the keyboard back to my main machine. Now I can activate any layout, and they're the ones I specified rather than whatever the manufacturer came up with.
Are you trying to induce a dribbling nervous breakdown?
P.S. Better tell the kids that DIP switches were adjusted according to diagrams on that tiny piece of paper which was the first thing you threw away together with the warranty card. And no, you could not check on the Internet. There wasn't one.
To be honest, 500 spondoolicks for any keyboard is way too much for me. After I spilled coffee/tea/soda/wine all over it even the best ones struggle. Yes, I know they can, in theory, be cleaned (or the best ones can) but who can be bothered when I have projects to be finished and aliens to be zapped, and arguments to be won on IRC and Usenet. My trusty (cheap) Logitech for me!
Aye, my sentiment exactly.
I have typed a lot of crap here this year, mostly through the mouse Microsoft Accessibility On Screen Keyboard. That is real dedication! Not a keyboard that costs more than my awful laptop did.
I admit a decade ago I bought a £10 keyboard whose keys changed colours, and I loved it, before it broke the very next month. I still got a fun LED strip from it.
I used the original wired model of the HHKB (the real one with Topres, not the "Lite") for several years on a Mac, for programming and general use, and my experience might be useful to those wondering how practical the layout actually is.
The first thing to say is that having the correct OPTION and COMMAND keys in the correct places on both sides of the spacebar is important on a Mac if you touch type. In macOS OPTION is a secondary shift to get at extra characters like the curly quotes and en dash. So many keyboards are designed mainly for Windows and provide only CTRL on both sides. This is the only 60% keyboard I know of that actually gets this right for macOS users.
I had no problem adapting to the position of CTRL, having used the DEC VT220, but as a heavy emacs user in this period I found it a bit of a finger twister, as the Space Cadet had CTRL where it is on a normal keyboard and is what emacs was designed for (as far as emacs can be said to have been designed). macOS also uses the emacs shortcuts for line editing on the command line and in GUI text boxes (go on, try it out!) so that's handy: CTRL-a to go to the start of the line, CTRL-k to kill the rest of the line etc.
The arrow keys, PAGE UP, and PAGE DOWN are there but on a separate layer which you have to chord with FN. This gets tiring. Forward delete (DEL) is similarly available as FN-BACKSPACE but as mentioned for anything line-oriented the emacs CTRL-D works on macOS. HOME and END are little-used on macOS because they only scroll. What you want is COMMAND-UP and COMMAND-DOWN, which are dire on this keyboard.
I eventually reached the point where I was worried about injuries from all the emacs chording and the chording otherwise needed for working in the GUI, prompting a rethink of how I should be using a keyboard. My decision was to abandon emacs, use the mouse more, learn to touch type, and use CAPS LOCK properly instead of stretching to hold SHIFT down the way a lot of programmers do. As I now needed CAPS LOCK where finger L5 could reach it easily this meant the HHKB had to go. I use a US layout tenkeyless with Cherry browns now and edit mostly in Xcode with occasional detours into vi.
I think I used the keyboard for about 3 years, so this wasn't a quick tryout.
I do think had I been a vi user things might have been different as the arrow keys aren't used as much as emacs (where I found CTRL-p etc. just too unergonomic on any keyboard.) If you sit in vi in Terminals all day, this keyboard is definitely worth looking at due to the Topre switches and compactness.
CTRL-D to delete you say?
Maybe in full blown EMACS or GUI mode but whilst some of the shortcuts work for bash command line editing CTRL+D is EOF and will terminate what you're editing and/or logout/exit your active terminal.
I use it all the time for this purpose.
I never did learn the full set of EMACS shortcuts but the basics like CTRL+A or +E are very useful... However with the compact Keyboard I've been using I have gone back to very old-school vi editing mode like I used to use in ksh on Solaris... Yes folks: 'set -o vi' is still a thing in bash meaning you can use the full power of vi to edit your command line or even use ESC+v to open the current command in vim.
A curious little difference is that 'vi' on Solaris would return a non zero exit status (thus not executing your command line) if it had ever registered an error during editing, whereas modern. 'vim' will return zero unless there's actually an error at the point of exciting - personally I think this is much better.
Nope, CTRL-d is forward delete on macOS – at the zsh prompt in a Terminal, in text boxes and in this very text box in which I'm typing. Most Unix shells have a setting to control whether EOF exits, and since the 1980s I've turned it off. I just checked my dotfiles, and Apple's fallbacks in /etc, and none of them have that set away from the default, which means the compiled-in zsh default is for EOF not to exit the shell.
I can't say what the default is on modern bash, but the ancient one shipped with macOS 10.14 doesn't exit on CTRL-d but does forward delete, and again I haven't set anything in my dotfiles. I used to use the same dotfile on Linux too. Generally, if a shell is exiting on you it's something like "set nologout" or "unset logout" to make it not do that.
(The upper case D in CTRL-D was a typo. I probably should have used the older ^d notation to make clear this is ASCII 4 and not a combination of keys. So there is no upper or lower case.)
Curious. It's interesting that Apple has decided to set this behaviour as the default. On every Linux distro I've used (and from my distant memories, on Solaris as well) CTRL-d is EOF and will terminate commands/shells.
I never got on with macOS and this would be another thing that would bug me (although what about Command-d on a Mac?)... If I got used to using this keystroke for forward delete on a Mac then every time I logged into a Linux box I'd would end up doing: some command with a typo... Ctrl-d,d,d... "F**k! I've just lost my session again!"
Yes, I hear you that it's configurable on Linux and that's great, but I have to log into machines as root without my .dot files or into appliances with can't mount my home directory. I need to stick with the defaults else it will break every time I'm not in my own custom environment. I use CTRL-d very deliberately to exit stuff (or to finish steaming into a file via 'cat > somefile') anything else will fry my brain.
I've used this KB for several years. Low profile mech KB with short key travel. 87 key TKL. all the keys in the right place and much cheaper tthan the current mechancial switches KBs. It lacks the number pad so it's a bit shorter. https://www.prohavit.com/products/hv-kb390l-low-profile-mechanical-keyboard/
.... in the office. The one whose keyboard goes CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK all day long and drives everybody around to to the very borders of insanity.
Also no numeric kerypad? No home/end/page up/page down? No cursor keys? What sort of self-respecting hacker would use one of these? A poseur, that's who.
Over the years I have migrated from a Model-M (part of an IBM PS/2 system) to a generic full-sized keyboard, to the whole range of Microsoft's 'Comfort Curve' series while seeking more ergonomics. Ultimately I ended up with the Microsoft Natural 4000. Costs 25-50 Euro new, has been manufactured since 2005, is the most comfortable keyboard to type articles and novels on, while being large and clunky enough that it'll never, ever shift a millimeter on your keyboard without you explicitly dragging out the forklift to do so.
Having the keys angled so that you have to twist your wrists awkwardly in front of your torso so that you cramp up your shoulders now feels incredibly unnatural and even painful to me. With the Natural 4000 split keyboard I can type comfortably with my shoulders relaxed, my elbows supported by the armrests of my (ergonomic) chair and zero pressure on my wrists.
Since I do a lot of typing every day, preventing RSI isn't just a nice thought, but highly essential. While I accept a non-ergonomic straight keyboard like the one in the article on a laptop (for obvious space reasons), I'd never want one again for a daily driver, let alone spend 500 clams on it. I'd rather buy another dozen Natural 4000s for that money, just in case they ever stop being manufactured.
I was recently looking at a number of keyboard reviews including of the HHKB Pro.
Aside from the mammoth price tag and outright weird layout that I don't think I'd personally ever manage to adapt to, the reviews pointed out that the space bar is made of cheap plastic, the cover for the dip switches doesn't fit well and that the keyboard is really light weight (being all plastic) and doesn't have any rubber feet meaning that it slides around too easily.
This seems to be a contradiction to the Reg's findings ┐( ∵ )┌
As much as I'm curious about trying Topre switches I cannot justify this kind of money on a keyboard and reports of poor build quality were a big turn off for me. For nearly £300 I'd want it to be perfect and probably made of titanium as well.
I've gone and broken my own rules (e.g. What? More than £20 on a keyboard!) and spaffed £120 on a Durgod keyboard with Cherry Silent Red switches which I absolutely love - the Durgod is really solid and has a full "proper" (subject to personal opinions) UK layout.
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