I’ve bought a keyboard recently, HHKB. Here’s one from amazon

Actually, at the time when I bought it, I’m not exactly sure if I need it or not – the reasons that I bought it, to be honest, are:

  1. I need an external keyboard.
  2. It looks geeky, and cool
  3. The review says that it is good.

However, after two days of usage, I think I may not like it that much (although, I’ll be continuing using it). Here’s the pros & cons as below:

Update: after nearly 10 months using it, I found myself cannot leave it already.

Pros

  1. Good feeling of Key-Stroke. It has a longer key stroke distance.. which make it more confortable to press than the Laptop Keyboard.
  2. Can be placed directly on top of Mac’s own keyboard. It share the same size with the Mac Keyboard. Therefore, if I’m using my Mac only, I can simply place the keyboard on top of the keyboard. However, if that, please remember to disable the keyboard below.. otherwise, there would be some issues of mis-typing.

Cons

Different keyboard layout

It’s very compact. I think it is purposely designed to be small, so that it is easy to be take. I personally don’t mind a keyboard to be huge, as long as I got Most of the keys I need. However, this is observiously not the case.

Here is a simple layout of the keyboard:

HHKB Layout

Here’re several pain points I’m having:

  1. The direction key has disappeared. One would have to press: [,;,',/ plus fn if one has to press the direction key. However, direction key is often pressed while in the normal input mode – it is then very troublesole because I then would have to.. shift my right hand, so that my little finger can press the fn, while my index, middle, and ring finger can press the direction keys. So for my right hand, instead of having to leave the main editing area once (I’ve muscle-memorized the location of the direction key), I’ll then have to.. first position my little finger, and then find the direction keys using.. usually.. my middle finger. It consumes more of my attention like that.
  2. Tilta, together with the `, has been moved to the top right; while the ESC key is holding the original position. This is very inconvenient to me because that… I actually type ~ lots of times. In the beautiful old days, whenever I need to type the beautiful ‘~’ sign, I only need to shift my little finger to the left shift, as a holder, and then use my ring finger to type the key above tab. Actually, this is so easy that I’m very used to the style when I type ‘~’ in my daily chatting; also whenver I got lost in the terminal, the first I’d do, is to type ‘~’ so that I can happily go home. However, this is now impossible. Because the ‘~’ is now shiftted to be above the DEL key – now whenever I need to type the ‘~’, my right hand would have to shift a lot more, and it requires the cooperation from the two hand – because it is very hard to type the right shift key at the same time – therefore, my left little finger have to go & press the left shift.
  3. Moving down of the DEL key – now the DEL key has been moved down to right above the Return key. Yes, it is easier to press; but I don’t realy need to press the DEL that often. In the mean while, although difficult to press, I think