ErgoDox EZ Users

Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"
Christopher Courtney

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Christopher Courtney, but you may see me under the name “drashna” online. I provide Technical Support and Customer Service for a small software company called Covecube Inc, which makes storage-related software for Windows. I enjoy building things, and helping people out. Which both my job and my hobbies reflect. Additionally, I spend a lot of my free time active in the QMK community, helping others and contributing code.

What hardware do you use?

My desktop system is a ASUS Strix Z270i Gaming system, running an Intel Core i7-7700K (liquid cooled), with a GeForce 1050 Ti, which powers four screens (two of which are in portrait mode). This is both the machine that I work from, and that I game on. The screens are an ASUS 27” ROG monitor (1440p, 144Hz), two HP 1080p monitors, and a 720p TV. Additionally, I have a storage server (both a work-related and personal system), a hyperV server (VM labs for my day job) and an Emby server running in another room, in a nice server rack. For my input devices, my daily driver is the Ergodox EZ. And sitting between those, is a half of a Viterbi keyboard that I use for a number pad and a macro pad. I use an ELECOM M-XT3DRBK wireless trackball. Additionally, I have an Iris keyboard that I use heavily as well, and an Orthodox keyboard that I use for on the go.

Setup

And what software?

I use Windows 10 on most of my systems. For my day job, I use Remote Desktop heavily, since I have a Hyper-V VM set up with everything I need for work in it, and so that I have a clean environment that doesn’t need any setup to get started, if I need to work away from home. I use Chrome, and Microsoft Outlook heavily for both for work and outside of it. And I use Emby for media consumption, which I prefer over alternatives like Plex.

Though, at any given time, I probably have VS Code open, with the QMK Firmware open in it, and an embedded MSYS2 terminal window open, as I’m pretty much always tinkering with something!

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

My Ergodox EZ is using Cherry MX Green switches, modded to use 100g springs, using the GMK Nautilus keycap set on the board.

Both my Iris and Orthodox keyboards use Kailh Box Navy switches. The Iris uses the DSA Legacy keycap set, while the Orthodox is using the original DSA keycaps from the Ergodox. Though I did join the SA Pulse drop, and am very much looking forward to receiving those keycaps! All of my keyboards use the Colemak layout, which I personally find much more comfortable to type on than QWERTY. And while I do love Colemak, it’s not quite perfect. Some of the chords/keystrokes aren’t entirely smooth or pleasant. But worse is that it makes using any other keyboard much more difficult (but that’s fine, I love the Ergodox EZ, and I won’t give up my thumb clusters for anything!).

I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking the layouts and configuration for the board, and I’ve pretty much settled on a layout that works for me. It will still change in the future, though. That layout can be found in the QMK Firmware repo on GitHub, where you can find a number of neat things I’ve done with my firmware: Using the RGB LEDs as a layer indication, or a “twinkling” effect on the base layer when I’m typing.

What would be your dream setup?

For my computer, I’d love to replace my video card. It does its job, but it’s not quite up to the task. Aside from that, my systems work well, and do their jobs.

Though, a nice gaming laptop is something I’ve been considering for a while, both for the gaming capability, but also for the higher resolution screen. As for my keyboards, there are a couple things that I’d love to change about my Ergodox EZ. Namely, I’d love to see both audio support as well as per key RGB support in a future version. And as I very much enjoy Kailh Box Navy switches, I’d like to have those in the board. Though, I’ve been eyeing the Dactyl Manuform keyboard for a while now, and may eventually build one for myself.