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Making a Keyboard: The System76 Approach

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Development
Interviews

We like knocking down the garden wall wherever we can. Your technology is your technology after all; you should be able to change it in any way that suits your needs. That’s why we’re making a keyboard. Everyone uses their keyboard differently due to ergonomics, convenience, or to account for a dominant hand, and it’s time we created a keyboard to accommodate that.

CEO Carl Richell sat down for an interview with us at a CDC-approved distance to discuss plans for System76’s latest project: The keyboard.

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Linux PC Company System76 Is Pulling An Apple And Designing

  • Linux PC Company System76 Is Pulling An Apple And Designing Its Own Keyboard

    The keyboard: it’s a daily tool that’s become ingrained in our work, our gaming and our communication. But the basic fundamentals of a PC keyboard haven’t changed substantially. Ergonomics have improved, the locations of specialty keys have been slightly tweaked, but for the most part PC users have adapted to the traditional layout of a keyboard, rather than the keyboard adapting to our workflows and various needs. Fresh off the announcement that it will design its own laptops in-house, Pop!_OS developer System76 is take the same approach with keyboards.

System76 is Developing a New Keyboard

    System76 is Developing a New Keyboard

    The company behind the incredibly powerful Thelio desktop is developing a new keyboard.

    System76 is famous for designing and developing some of the most powerful Linux-based computers on the planet. Never one to rest on reputation, System76 is constantly innovating. This time around, they are focusing their efforts on improving a device we all take for granted – the keyboard.

    This new keyboard is being designed with Linux and Linux users in mind. In fact, according to Carl Richell, CEO of System76, “Auto tiling in our upcoming Pop!_OS 20.04 release is designed to work extremely well with this keyboard, and I think that people are going to really respond to it…” This new keyboard will make typing much more comfortable. For instance, the keypad has been completely removed, so the mouse can be moved closer to where your hands rest.

    Another change to the standard keyboard design is that the spacebar has been drastically reduced. Of this change, Richell says “we’ve found that spacebars typically, for example, are way too long, which means your strongest digit, your thumb, isn’t very useful.” To that end, the layout will drastically change.

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