I thought I would start giving you all little tidbit tours of various parts of my working day. Primarily focused around how and where I work. First up is a fairly recent addition, a new mechanical keyboard.
I don’t want to get too technical, but let me tell you a little about mechanical keyboards. They come in a whole range of different sizes, but their primary difference from a normal keyboard is that each key has a little switch underneath. In my case Cherry MX Blues (No, they don’t make a MX Pink).
The next difference is that a lot of these boards are somewhat niche, while there are mainstream options from brands like Razer and Corsair, a lot of these keyboards are small runs and group buys. In my case the Vortex Poker I have is designed/made by a forum of keyboard enthusiasts. However there are no end of smaller group buys and one off builds. All of this is to get a layout that suits each individual. In my case its a super compact layout a ‘60%’ keyboard
You may think its missing some important keys like for example the arrow keys (which are a staple for any designer when it comes to nudging and moving around objects. However all these keys are actually hidden on a function layer. It basically means I press and hold a key (In my case the caps lock) then I have a whole keyboard of extra keys to play with.
While this way of operating may seem a little odd, my left hand is always hovering over the keyboard to hit modifiers and short cuts. The overall advantage is that my hands are always in the same position over the keyboard, rather than shifting my right hand between 3 or 4 positions, I just have two, on my mouse or on my keyboard.
Another difference is a lot of these keyboards are programmable, which means you can reassign keys to do different things. Including swapping around modifiers between OSs. Different keyboards have different levels of programmability, some via software, some you can just program by mashing keys
The final difference is that you can customise different parts of the keyboard. You have a range of different switches, then you can change the key caps to something custom, with a whole world of different colours and fonts to choose from. The 60% size has a somewhat common spec, which means you have a choice of cases, wooden, plastic, or in my case aluminium