Written by: layoutinstructor
My name is Channing Williams, I go to James Madison University, and am currently a freshman there. Since the summer before 11th grade, I was always interested in custom keyboards, how they work, and even how to build my own. I started out small, just slightly modifying my different keyboards, giving them different casings or keycaps, nothing too technical. As time moved on and I learned more and more, I started to desolder and resolder new switches, and even started doing small repairs on friends’ broken boards. Eventually, I built my first keyboard from scratch using acrylic, some wire, and a microcontroller. By doing this, I learned the ins and outs of programming a custom keyboard matrix using the C language, and after many grueling hours, was finally able to flash the layout to the microcontroller and get it working. Since then, I’ve built many, many keyboards, and furthered my knowledge even more. Over the past summer, I also made my own custom layout [see below] and went as far as to have it manufactured and sold to people worldwide
What I’m planning to do with this knowledge is to create a new kind of typing instructor that can adapt to the layout you are using. For example, the first keyboard below would have a completely different curriculum than the second, as they are drastically different layouts and therefore require a much different learning curve.
On top of that, people in different professions may require much different keyboard shortcuts based on their use case. The typing instructor will not only incorporate the normal words and phrases, but also include these keyboard shortcuts based on your profession. This will help to give the end user a much better understanding of what their keyboard can do, and will help them adapt to new layouts much better over time.