The Magic of Layers

It has been two weeks since my initial post about the Vortex Core, and I’m pleased to say that things have improved a lot for me. I’m hitting at least 70 wpm when I don’t have to type too many symbols. I decided that the default layout was not the best for me so I made some changes that have made life much easier for me.

First up, I noticed that I was only hitting the space bar with my right thumb. Since the right space bar was mostly untouched, it made sense to rebind it to something useful. The right space bar is now my Fn key. I moved the directional arrows to Fn + WASD, and I changed the default Fn key to ‘. I put volume up and down on Fn + Q or Z. Page Up and Page Down are now Fn + L or ;. Home and End are now Fn + O or P. My brackets are now on Fn + Del or Fn + Backspace. Fn + X or C is Ctrl + Left or Ctrl + Right.

I noticed the improvements immediately. Using the Core was so much more pleasant after the adjustments I made. I still can’t type numbers without looking at the keys, but I don’t hesitate so much anymore when hitting Fn + Tab to get 1. $, %, ^ and & still require me to look at the keyboard, but I can hit ? with muscle memory more than 50% of the time.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I can reprogram to be more efficient but this is working for me so far. I also read that there’s a Vortex Core layout editor available online that allows me to rebind every single key on the keyboard, so I’ll be looking in to that in the future.

I’m still in love with the form factor of the keyboard. It slips easily into this soft case I have, which takes like 2 seconds to pack, and it allows me to bring it with me everywhere I go. I’m waiting for my magnetic USB cables to arrive from China so the Core’s port won’t be damaged due to my frequent plugging and unplugging.

I’ve already replaced two keycaps (Esc and Enter) since I’ve already got those keys memorized (`~ and =+). I can’t wait to get everything in my head so I can go ahead with a full replacement of the keycaps.

Speaking of keycaps, there’s a set that I’ve been eyeing for some time now and I’m trying to decide if I should pull the trigger. They look so damn good. Just picture them on a HHKB layout 60% Kreygasm.

Anyway, I think this post concludes my successful transition to 40%. I’m really happy I stuck with the keyboard and managed to get over the initial hurdles of using something this tiny. In the future, I’d definitely be keen on picking up more 40% boards but for now I’m content (even though the MagicForce 48 running on massdrop now looks quite tempting haha). I haven’t used my Anne Pro or AK33 in a while, I wonder if I’ll have issues going back to them next time.

Also, MX Browns aren’t a bad switch. Sorry, just had to put it out there because I don’t think they deserve the hate they get.

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