My    Keyboard

The weakest link

Currently, the most problematical area of the man-machine interface is computer input devices.

The available bandwidth is low - and the risk of overuse injuries is substantial.

This site docments some of my efforts to construct a safe, efficient computer input device.


Currently I use a home-built microswitch keyboard as my main keyboard.

I also use two X-Keys keypads, a Cherry keypad, several mice, a trackpad, some foot switches, and speech recognition software.

Devices that have previously been featured here include:


The Kinesis keyboard, the X-Keys devices and the Cherry keypad are all programmable.

You can use the keys to trigger arbitrary actions - including executing keystroke macros.

Using programmable keyboards is the most obvious way to obtain large numbers of distinct keys which can perform different functions.

A larger number of keys means that the total number of keypresses is reduced - since often one key can be made to do the work of many.

This increases productivity - and reduces keyboard-related stress issues.

Kinesis keyboard

Another page with more details about the Kinesis keyboard is available.

X-Keys devices

Another page with more details about my X-Keys devices is available.

Cherry keyboards

A Cherry MX 8100 keyboard was my previous keyboard.

Before that I used a Cherry G80 2334 keyboard.

I also use a Cherry G84 4700 programmable keypad.

Keyswitch issues

The keyswitches are really the most important part of a keyboard.

By far the best keyswitches I have found are snap-action low force microswitches. I have a page about these microswitches.

I discuss more general keyswitch issues in more detail on the keyswitches page.

Spring surgery

Before discovering the possibilities offered by dedicated microswitches, I dismantled some of my keyboards and tried my hand at some spring surgery - in an attempt to decrease the keyswitch activation forces manually.

The surgery was successful. More details are on the keyboard surgery page.

Keyboard macros

Keyboard macros are a totally fundamental tool for users of keyboards.

I tend to use the [AutoHotKey] product when running under Windows.

This has a basic scripting language built in - and is open source software.

Tim Tyler | Contact |