Ergodox EZ Review

I started using an Ergodox EZ with QMK firmware 6 weeks ago. I’m now proficient with this keyboard and will continue to use it every day, and I’m impressed with the build quality. However, the Ergodox has some drawbacks, some of which are by design.

I’m coming from using both the built-in keyboards on MacBooks, and the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. In both cases, I perform software-remapping of the keyboard layouts in macOS, the Linux console and X:

  • US/QWERTY physical layouts are remapped to Dvorak
  • the physical caps lock key is remapped to control

Although I was happy with these keyboards and the Dvorak layout, I wanted to experience what all the fuss was about with mechanical keyboards. I like the Microsoft ergonomic keyboards, so I was looking for something similar with a split and tented/sculpted shape. I liked the idea of a columnar layout, too. And ideally I wanted a full-size keyboard.

Unfortunately no keyboards seem to fit these criteria simultaneously, so I gave up on finding a full-size keyboard. I liked the open source nature of Ergodox, but didn’t want to solder my own, so I got an Ergodox EZ with Cherry MX Blue switches and sculpted blank (Signature Plastics DCS, with O-rings) keycaps.

Continue reading “Ergodox EZ Review”

macOS Help menu keyboard shortcut

macOS has a handy Search field in the Help menu, which lets you search the help content and also other menu actions. This is great when you want to navigate the menus quickly with a keyboard.

macOS Help menu Search

So how do you focus that search box with the keyboard? Well, there’s a default keyboard shortcut for the help menu bound to โ‡งโŒ˜/ (Shift + Command + /):

default macOS keyboard shortcut for the help menu

However, most people will find this doesn’t open the help menu / action search; instead it opens the application’s documentation. That’s because apps already bind โŒ˜? to the documentation, and ? is equivalent to Shift + / on most keyboards.

So the fix is to bind another key combination from System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts > All Applications. I use ^F12 (Ctrl + F12).

ICC colour management profiles with xiccd

It’s possible to apply colour management profiles (.icc files) on Linux/X11 desktops even if you don’t use Gnome or KDE, by using xiccd. Unfortunately the official documentation for xiccd is very terse.

Start by installing xiccd and ColorManager.

apt-get install xiccd colord

Start xiccd from early in ~/.xsession:

nohup /usr/bin/xiccd &

Note that xiccd takes some time to register with D-BUS.

Continue reading “ICC colour management profiles with xiccd”