On top of the desk

I am surprised by how long I have already been using my Kyria. And also by how much I have kept tinkering with my desk setup at the same time.

Much of the tinkering has a single cause: that sweet, sweet Mac mini which caused me to reconsider the whole cable situation. Before the Mini arrived, the whole desk was cleanly focused on switching between my home and work computers, both of which were USB-C Mac laptops. Sure, it was a horrific jumble of cables and adapters, but all I needed to do when switching was unplug one cable from one computer, place the other one in the same spot, and connect the same cable again. (More on cables and the uses of the machines drifting.)

The other cause of change was more directly caused by using the Kyria: I was mainly using a mouse before, and a split keyboard at appropriate shoulder-width placement pushed it way too far to the side for comfort. I put the mouse inbetween keyboard halves for a while, but it was clear my elbows and wrists did not like that any better.

So, out came the old trackpad. Along with it came the old frustrations: installing drivers, a click working best on the lower half of the trackpad, and of course the inconvenient switching of standard Bluetooth between machines. The last part was actually my main frustration. Often, I could find a routine which let me switch with reasonable reliability, but sometimes it just failed, leaving me using some other input for one machine for the rest of the day. I found myself giving up on input switching, instead using the work laptop sitting in front of the screen, tapping on builtin keyboard, mousing around on builtin trackpad. Very convenient and quite reliable. But hey, I want to use my Kyria, right?

This, plus an eagerness to also use a trackpad with my Ipad, made me buy a somewhat discounted Magic trackpad. I imagined device switching would be much easier with Apple's own devices, but this might have been misguided. The excellent utility Airbuddy has support for "handing over" a mouse or trackpad between computers, which I have not yet played with, but going between computer and Ipad might still require the classic pairing waltz. In any case, the trackpad is nice and large and goes well with a split keyboard. (Otherwise I so far find myself liking the trackpad less than I expected, but that is probably a text of its own.)

What I want out of my desktop setup is to be able to switch between Mac min and work Macbook with a minimum of reconnections, yet preferably while using the same input devices for both.

I fear this will, somehow, end up with me purchasing more adapters, docks, or dongles.

I could make connections easy by turning the Mini to expose the back. But come on, expose cables like that? One has to have limits.

Oh, and I would love the desk to be as clean as possible, too.

Kyria feelings

How do I feel about the Kyria this far along?

To start: I think the split has done me quite a bit of good. I feel like my neck, arms and wrists have much fewer days of aches or other complaints. Straight win there.

I also feel encouraged to try and keep my hands on the keyboard even more, and to try and improve my finger placement. I still do not feel fast or natural typing on this keyboard. I know where everything I need is, but many things feel much more like requiring active thought than being in muscle memory. My feeling is that I would still be faster on my Let's split if I brought it home now.

But, I have to note that this keyboard has changed both physical and programmed keyboard layout much more than any previous board. The thumb clusters makes everything different, and trying to find ways to capitalize on that has meant further changes to the layout. I am hopeful that I can find even more improvements going forward, because I am not making full use of all the buttons yet.

Somewhat to my horror, I have also started wondering if perhaps I would prefer slightly lighter switches … The scary part is of course that this would require me to disassemble, de-solder all the current switches, then put new ones in place. That is major enough to not appeal to me at all. Yet.