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A One Handed Accessible Keyboard, Impressed by FrogPad

A One Handed Accessible Keyboard, Impressed by FrogPad

2024-02-18 07:17:29

A few years in the past, I used to be in an incident that decreased the energy in my left shoulder. I’ve been ready for an
operation to revive the operate to that shoulder, however we have been warned the post-operative restoration interval could be a number of months.
So I began searching for keyboard choices that will permit me to proceed to work one handed.

The Lily58 Frogger

Full measurement single handed keyboards, such because the the Maltron keyboard,
are fairly costly and occupy a big quantity of area. In addition they require studying a brand new format, not one thing I’m
averse to, but when I’m going to spend a while studying one thing new, it would as properly be one thing lighter and smaller.

SteveBaker at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Chorded keyboards are keyboards that may be operated with one or two fingers, permitting the consumer to create keystrokes by
urgent a number of keys concurrently. Most chorded keyboards goal minimalism with a excessive studying curve, specializing in
pace by minimising the variety of switches, however counting on a definite mixture of switches for every keystroke.

By Hustvedt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The FrogPad, launched in 2002, depends on key frequency organised in numerous layers. The Buxton collection is
an ideal useful resource on consumer interface gadgets, and incorporates a superb entry on the FrogPad, together with a hyperlink to the fast
begin information and the manuals.

The FrogPad organises essentially the most frequent alpha characters within the prime layer, with the remaining alpha characters in a secondary layer. Additional layers exist for numbers, symbols and management. To spell “HELLO, WORLD” you’ll carry out the
following keystrokes:


(HELLO apparently is all on the centre row)



FrogPad work on the premise that 83% of essentially the most frequent characters are within the prime layer. “HELLO, WORLD” locations us at 66%,
which for a really small pattern measurement just isn’t unreasonable.

This felt considerably simpler to be taught than a minimal chorded keyboard.


I ordered a Lily58 keyboard from Mechkeyboards,
a daily keycap set in DSA and relegendable DSA keycaps from Signature Plastics (sadly they don’t seem to
be out there any extra) however these lower profile keycaps from Mechboards are similar.

Lily58 Kit from Mech Keyboards

Half of a Lily58 keyboard provides me a bit of extra room than the FrogPad, it’s 24 + 4 keys per half, in a staggered format, versus the Frogpad’s 20 keys.
That enables for a devoted quantity row, and breakouts for escape, management, alt and performance keys, considerably important to my each day utilization coding.

The Lily58 makes use of QMK firmware, so I customising a brand new format that follows alongside the identical traces because the FrogPad – a major layer,
a secondary character layer (inexperienced), an emblem layer (pink), a operate layer (orange) and a “secondary” operate layer (inexperienced + pink).

I’ve named the format “Frogger”.

Lily59 with custom keycaps and "Frogger" layout

To make use of it, observe the directions for QMK, and replica the format recordsdata to ~/qmk_firmware/keyboards/lily58/keymaps/frogger.
Then construct and deploy:

make lily58:frogger:avrdude (If on Linux/Mac)
make lily58:frogger (If on Win, then deploy utilizing QMK Toolbox)

I’ve made the layout files available here, and the legends to download, print and cut.

Fast be aware – QMK leans closely in direction of US ANSI, so for UK, the present format recordsdata might not behave as anticipated
for “ and @ symbols. Change these round within the format recordsdata, and you ought to be good to go. Or change to US
keyboard format.

How is it to make use of? Effectively, full disclosure – I’ve ended up not needing immobilisation post-op, and I’m being actively
inspired to mobilise my arm. Nevertheless, I’m utilizing it to present my arm a relaxation. It /is/ sluggish, since I don’t have thirty-odd
years of muscle reminiscence behind utilizing it. But it surely’s not horrible.

To assist with fluency, I’ve enlisted the assistance of a few of the biggest typing tutors conceivable:

Mario Teaches Typing

Developed by Interaction in 1992, this edutainment DOS sport stars Mario instructing you concerning the American civil struggle whereas slowly
sinking into quicksand. No joke, see under.

Mario Teaches Typing - Mario is sinking in to quicksand while you type about the US Civil War

The early classes aren’t useful right here with a single handed keyboard, they’re all house row workouts. Soar in at lesson 3
although and put together to be “educated” concerning the causes for the American Civil Battle and deep breath the explanation why the
southern states seceded from the North. It’s potential this sport might not have aged properly.

Mario Teaches Typing - home row exercises

See Also

The sport repeats the identical content material, so when you replay train 3, you’ll be able to virtually shut your eyes and go once more. On one aspect,
repetition is nice, however it will get very boring, in a short time. Sorry Mario, down in to the quicksand you go.

Mario Teaches Typing - results screen

Typing of The Lifeless

Since Mario was such a disappointment, it’s time to interrupt out the large weapons. Launched in 2000 for Home windows (wait, there’s an Arcade version of this?),
Typing of the Lifeless is a modification to The House of the Dead 2.
Home of the Lifeless 2 is a light-gun arcade sport, the place AMS brokers examine a zombie outbreak in Italy over a number of phases,
confronting bosses on the finish of every stage.

The voice performing is horrible, it’s campy, gothic, spectacular, however the gameplay is implausible. “Typing of the Lifeless” takes the very same gameplay
and replaces the light-guns with keyboards. The on-screen AMS brokers are even carrying keyboards, with battery powered Sega Dreamcasts strapped to their backs.

Typing Of The Dead - Keyboards in the Front, Dreamcasts on the Back

As with Mario there are tutor sections that focussed on growing house row and finger abilities, however
we’re going to dive proper in to the unique sport.

In contrast to Mario, the place you’re required to enter in lengthy working sentences, “Typing” asks you to enter in single letters, phrases and
quick phrases, often non-sensical, typically barely impolite. The phrases are non-repeating, so reflexes play a part on this
sport. Typing to seek out “G” (second layer, backside row, below S) takes on an added one thing when there’s axes being thrown at your head.

Typing Of The Dead - original game mode, first boss fight

The place Mario was supposed as an academic bundle first, and leisure second (I can nonetheless see phrases of the US Civil Battle burned
on the within of my eyelids), “Typing of the Lifeless” is concentrated on offering entertaining gameplay. However with a mixture of non-repetition,
phrase size and gentle stress, it’s a way more environment friendly teaching system than Mario.

Typing Of The Dead - original game mode, results

Ultimate Ideas

I’m making the recordsdata out there for others, in case they’ve a necessity for this. This has been my first kit-built keyboard, my first
customisation of the QMK firmware and my first (private) accessibility gadget. Creating it and utilizing it has been an training, and I encourage
others to seize the format recordsdata give this a attempt, and arguably enhance on it. Additionally, give the typing video games a go – there are others on the market,
I intentionally prevented the likes of Mavis Beacon, however there are some truthfully entertaining choices.

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