- WHY EZ?
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I am Ken Kassing, and I work as Software Architect at Carbon Black. Up until recently I have worked on code that collects data from deep in the Linux kernel and sends it up to the cloud for processing. Lately I have been more focused on refactoring our code to be more modular and “sharable” across products and platforms.
I love “screen real estate”. I have two 27” monitors vertically mounted and connected to my 2015 MacBook Pro. I have a second 2015 MacBook Pro that sometimes serves as an extra monitor, and a third 27” monitor connected to my Centos 7 Linux desktop. (That is what my software is targeted for. My preference is Ubuntu.)
I don’t use a traditional desk because it just gets cluttered up. Instead, my monitors float, and I have a keyboard tray mounted to my chair.
For my mouse I use a Mycestro Finger Mouse so my hands never have to leave the home row.
My Ergodox EZ goes with me everywhere. I fabricated a portable laptop stand for when I travel, and part of that doubles as a tray that sits on top of my laptop keyboard. My cables are short to not get in the way, and I soldered a Nano USB Hub and the Mycestro dongle inline with the USB cable to preserve USB ports.
I am currently using Atom as my primary editor, but I recently switched from BBEdit. Most of my builds run inside Docker containers on my Linux system, so I always have iTerm2 visable on some monitor (or multiple). I use Tmux both locally and on my Linux box to keep many long-lived sessions.
I have gone crazy creating shortcuts with Hammerspoon. Paired with my custom key layout, I can automatically rearrange windows on multiple monitors depending on what I am working on and jump focus between different open apps (Alt-tab is a thing of the past). (I used to use Seil and Karabiner to implement crazy keymaps in software, but now the EZ does it all.)
I have just the one Ergodox EZ with blank key caps and no LEDs (and an old TEK collecting dust). I only had the TEK because I wanted something that was programmable (sort-of) and had a matrix key layout. (The Ergodox EZ was not available yet, and I am not enough of a die-hard to build it myself. I could have done it, but it would have taken many hours and several burnt fingers.)
My basic layout is DVORAK, but good luck typing anything but the alphabet. I mostly only use two layers, but there are a ton of dual keys and tap-dance macros on the main layout. The very top row is mostly ‘F’ keys and macros. I have “Hyper” and “Super” keys easily accessible on the main layer. The second layer has all the symbol keys under my left hand and a number pad under my right hand. (I can either lock the layer or use a one-shot key.)
Here are some of the more interesting customizations.
Besides more and bigger monitors for my office setup I would love some improvements to my travel setup. At least a second monitor for traveling would be nice. (I have been scouting out a few on Amazon.) I would love a version of the Ergodox that’s a little more portable, or even a Bluetooth version. A thinner version that has the same physical layout and would accept the same firmware would be awesome. (This would not even need to be mechanical keys since I want convenience. I have pulled out my whole setup on a plane many times, and will keep doing it. At this point I am lost without all the macros, and forget about going back to QWERTY.)