I got my Twiddler yesterday. I started with Backspice2 because at least a few people had used it and written good things about it. It started out pretty good, and I liked how easily accessible some of the keys were, but as I learned more chords I noticed some things were in seemingly random places. For example, when I got to learning the number layout, it didn't feel intuitive at all.
I looked around at the posted configurations to see what else was available. I liked the idea of MirrorWalk because it claimed to enable a natural "walking" feel across the keyboard. I type very fast on a QWERTY (90 wpm) and love the feeling of my fingers getting into a groove along the keys. I was hesitant about MirrorWalk because there were no single-key chords, and I saw on a couple posts about the TypeMax config that single-key chords could lead to high typing speeds.
Then I saw the post about CoolHand which supposedly combined ideas from Backspice 2, MirrorWalk, and others. The replies on that post said it was fast and intuitive to learn, and people generally seemed to like it. This seemed like a great place to start, but your GeekHand config seemed to improvement on it in a few ways.
Firstly, the number layout. I love the binary layout. It's simple and elegant and fits the numbers into a tighter space. I feel like I don't even have to "remember" where they are - they're all straight down the center and I can do math to make any number I need. I'd even venture to say that the "10" and "11" chords are unnecessary, but I'll leave them in my config for now as I learn.
So far I really really like it. A lot of that credit goes to the CoolHand creator for coming up with the layout for the letters and many of the symbols. It often feels very natural as I'm typing, almost like my fingers are indeed "walking" along the keyboard. A lot of words have my fingers using only the R and M keys, which I feel quite comfortable. There is also good natural symmetry, such as for J/K/L, for P/Q, and for a lot of the symbols
I've only been using GeekHand for one full day so far, but I think I'll stick with it. There's a few tweaks I think could be made to improve it:
- The LMM0 input for "Return" is a bit hard to press. I think this would be better as RMM0.
- I don't like the NumLock at 000M. @dansteen mentioned something similar on the CoolHand post. I think I'll move it to 000L and put SPACE at 000M.
- I use Alt+Tab very frequently throughout the day, and I feel like having it as MMMM is a very aggressive button press. It also didn't feel good to Alt+Tab through all my open programs when I had to press all 4 keys. I might actually remove the NumLock key entirely and put Tab at 000L for more gentle Alt+Tabbing.
- I think the arrow key layout is decent (from top to bottom it's: up, down, right, left), but I might prefer having it be: left, right, up, down. I use left and right arrow keys all the time, so having my more dominant fingers on those might be easier to press.
- The Chord Chart you have up was mirrored of what I was expecting. The Backspice 2 chord chart (and others) are written such that the chords are laid out as you would see them "through the Twiddler," whereas your chord chart is laid out "looking at the keys" of the Twiddler. This was a bit jarring at first, but maybe that's because I was used to seeing it the other way from the day before.
Final note: I use Premiere Pro to do video editing for work and I find this config matches up pretty well with the standard hotkeys I use on a daily basis. W (L00L) and K (L0L0) are a bit difficult because my pointer finger doesn't like to reach over to L when my ring and pinky finger are involved, and V (0LLL) sometimes comes out as U (0LL0), but for the most part they all work and so far it's great and functional and I like it.
Thanks for putting together this config!