ErgoDoxキーボードを買って、親指シフトに入門した話

もう半年くらい前のことになるが、nippondanjiさんymotongpooさんのブログ記事をきっかけにエンジニア界隈で話題になった「ErgoDox EZ」というキーボードを購入した。このErgoDoxというのは、写真のように本体を左右に分離できて、キー配列を自由にカスタマイズすることができるキーボードである。キー配列のカスタマイズが便利なのは分かるとして、左右に分離できるとなぜ嬉しいかというと、左右の位置を自分の肩幅に合わせることで自然な姿勢で作業することが出来るようになるのだ。このキーボードを使い始めてから、実際に肩こりが減ったし、考えてみると今まで使っていた普通のキーボードでは無理な姿勢になってしまっていたんだなと思う。

レイアウトのカスタマイズ

ErgoDoxを手にして最初に誰もが驚くと思うのだが、標準のキー配列はとても使いにくい。これに慣れようとするのは時間の無駄なので、ErgoDoxが届いたらすぐにカスタマイズすることをお薦めする。私もブラウザ上からGUIでカスタムファームウェアを生成できるツール「ErgoDox EZ Configurator」を使ってすぐに変更した。しかし、すぐにもっと細かいカスタマイズがしたくなり、GitHubで公開されているqmk_firmwareで自分専用のレイアウトを作成し、ビルドして使うようになった。いろいろと試行錯誤した結果、最終的に設定しているキー配列は以下のような感じになった。

MacBook Pro本体のキーボードを使うときに違和感がないように、基本的にUS配列のキーボードから大きく外れないようなレイアウトにしている。ErgoDoxの素晴らしいところは、キー配列を単純に入れ替えるだけでなく、1つのキーに複数のキーの組み合わせを登録したり、キー単押しと他のキーと同時に押す時でキーを変えたりできる点だ。例えば、左側下段の「F1 / Alt」キーは、単押しでF1(iTerm2のショートカットキーに割り当てている)になり、他のキーと同時に押すことでOptionキーになる。
また、マクロを定義することでさらに柔軟な設定が可能になる。左下に「Paste/Copy/Cut」というのがあるが、これは単押しでペースト、少し長押しでコピー、長押しでカットという意味である。このマクロを定義している部分のソースコードは以下で、キーを150ms以上押すとCmd+C、400ms以上でCmd+Xが実行されるようにしている。

const macro_t *action_get_macro(keyrecord_t *record, uint8_t id, uint8_t opt)
{
    switch(id) {
        case 1:
            if (record->event.pressed) {
                key_timer = timer_read();
            }
            else {
                if (timer_elapsed(key_timer) < 150) {
                    return MACRO( D(LGUI), T(V), U(LGUI), END  );
                }
                else if (timer_elapsed(key_timer) > 400) {
                    return MACRO( D(LGUI), T(X), U(LGUI), END  );
                }
                else {
                    return MACRO( D(LGUI), T(C), U(LGUI), END  );
                }
            }
            break;
    }
    return MACRO_NONE;
};

赤い色で示されているのは、Karabinerというソフトを使ってカスタマイズしているキーである。Karabinerを使って左Cmdを「英数」、右Cmdを「かな」キーにするのはMacBookで英語キーボードを使っている人なら定番のカスタマイズだと思う。キーボードをErgoDoxにしたのを機に親指シフトという日本語入力方式に入門したのだが、これもこのソフトで実現している(後で説明する)。

他にはCapsLockキーが押されたら赤いLEDが点灯するようにしている。標準だと選択されているレイヤーによって対応するLEDが点灯するのだが、私が使っているレイヤーは3つなのでLEDは2つで足りてしまう。なので一番左のLEDをCapsLock用にした。以下がそのソースコードなんだけど、こんなカスタマイズも簡単にできる。

void matrix_scan_user(void) {
    uint8_t layer = biton32(layer_state);

    ergodox_board_led_off();
    ergodox_right_led_1_off();
    ergodox_right_led_2_off();
    ergodox_right_led_3_off();

    switch (layer) {
        case 1:
            ergodox_right_led_2_on();
            break;
        case 2:
            ergodox_right_led_3_on();
            break;
        default:
            break;
    }

    // Turn the caps lock led on
    if (host_keyboard_leds() & (1<<USB_LED_CAPS_LOCK)) {
        ergodox_right_led_1_on();
    }
};

親指シフトに入門

実は思うところがあって、数ヶ月前から日本語入力をローマ字入力からかな入力に移行しようと練習していた。当然、ErgoDoxでもかな入力にしようとしたのだけれど、キーの数が少ないため、なかなか快適なレイアウトを見つけることができなかった。そこで、以前から気になっていた親指シフトを試してみたら、これがとても相性がよさそうではないか。いい機会なので親指シフトに入門してみることにした。

親指シフトを身につけるにあたって、私がした練習方法がこちら。

  1. WikipediaのNICOLA配列図を印刷してモニタの下など見やすい場所に貼る。
  2. NICOLA派宣言のSection 3を最初は配列図を見ながら、最終的に手元を見ないで打てるようになるまで練習する。
  3. 同様にSection 4から8までを順に練習する。入力スピードは問題ではないので、とにかく遅くても配列を覚えたら次に進む。
  4. 最後にSection 9をスムーズに打てるようになるまで、ひたすら練習する。
親指シフト - Wikipedia

このNICOLA派宣言の例文テキストがよくできていて、だいたい1週間くらいで遅いながらも配列は覚えることができた。40代のおじさんで1週間なので、若い人だったらもっと早く覚えられるんじゃないだろうか。最初は自分のできなさに発狂しそうになるが、Section 9の練習まで到達できれば、後はどんどん上達していくので楽しくなってくる。大切なのは30分でも15分でもいいから毎日練習することと、ある程度打てるようになった時点でなるべく早く実戦投入することだと思う。

結果的に、かな入力を捨てて親指シフトに挑戦してみてよかったと思う。かな入力と比べて、使用するキーが少なく、無理に上段を使う必要はないし、文字の配置もはるかに楽だ。また、親指シフトキーを最適な場所に設定できるErgoDoxとも非常に相性がいい。僕はPCでの日本語入力が日本人の生産性が低い理由の一つだと考えていて、親指シフトを標準の日本語入力方式にするべきだと思っている。

ErgoDoxの購入方法について

さて、親指シフト派や一日中PCで作業をして肩こりに困っている人に特にオススメのErgoDoxキーボードだが、日本国内のお店から直接購入できないため、入手する方法が少々面倒くさい。海外から完成品を個人輸入するか、部品だけ購入して自分で組み立てる必要がある。

しかし、先人が沢山いて、

に購入方法が纏まっているのでこれを参照すれば難しくはない。迷うのは、Cherry MX互換スイッチをどの軸にするかだと思う。こればかりは個人差があるので、他の人のレビューを参考にして自分で決めるしかない。私はErgoDox EZとFalbaTech製のErgoDoxを持っているが、ErgoDox EZがワンストップで購入できてクオリティ的にも間違いないのではないかと思う。

こんな感じで、出張にも持って出かけている。


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