‘The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.’

Twiddler config for Emacs

Benjamin Slade

The Twiddler [here’s archive.org’s link, as the site seems to be down as I write this], a one-handed chording keyboard, has a longish history of being associated with Emacs. Here’s 1990s Alan Alda interviewing Thad Starner, who’s using a wearable-computing device foreshadowing Google Glass, using a Twiddler mk 1 to interact with Emacs (using the Remembrance Agent):

I’ve long been intrigued by this one-hand, non-tethered input method and finally got a Twiddler 3. I was unfortunately stymied on progress early on due to a loose battery (requiring cracking the entire device open), but have got it back working and am slowly trying to integrate it into my workflow.

One place where it would be particularly useful is with a mobile device (e.g. smart phone), especially as one can run full Emacs in Termux on Android.

The Twiddler is a configurable device, and obviously using it with Emacs calls for some Emacs-specific configuration. Here is my current working configuration:

M-x tab-space: Emacs-centric layout for the Twiddler 3

With important Emacs combinations like C-x, M-x, C-g mapped to chords (along with a chord prefix, s-F for my personal StumpWM config), and some chords set up for comfortable navigating with God Mode and avy. And lots of space for expansion.