of no fixed subtitle
May 26, 2008
The science of keyboard design.
Does anyone else find it interesting to try out new keyboards simply because the keys click differently?
via BoingBoing Gadgets
15 years ago
Just got one of
. Very hard to type on (although I'm getting used to it), very easy to clean up the vomit of an old red cat from.
I use an ancient, noisy IBM keyboard from the 80's with real switches under the keys. More key travel, very "clicky." Sensitive laptop keyboards drive me crazy.
Hi, 'nedra!!! *waves madly out Windows™ Me and steveno are a cliquey sort of bunch, I guess. I'm typing on an old Packard Bell keyboard, and it's the best. Sorry, I absolutely
HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE
with the passion of a thousand nova suns having to use someone else's keyboard and computer. All the different configurations of desktops; icons are the wrong size; everyone has different toolbars (usually the sucky originals they never customized; the mouse clicks are too slow, yadda yadda yadda. Plus, I have my mouse configured for my left hand, although I'm right handed. Lubs it that way. Old carpal tunnel surgery on right wrist, and it leaves my right hand free for jotting stuff down, etc. Can't figure why everyone doesn't do it.
'cept you lefties, you do right just to be nonconformist
Lara, I'd go nuts with that! Although the cat vomit issue is quite a plus. Might be ok with a laptop, also. (keyboard is the main reason I DON'T do laptops)
I used to use an emery board to get the cat vomit from between the piano keys.
Ah! The silicone roll-up keyboards. they're all over Ebay. I simply want a keyboard that is illuminated that doesn't cost like over a hundred bucks, and which has basic qwerty keys not all squashed together. I don't like the teeny tiny return key you get on some of these small keyboards, I keep hitting the \ or num keys over there when I bash the thing with my right pinky.
41.71 U.S. bucks
for this illuminated one. And it's got a proper return key. I'd like a roll-up keyboard for travelling. I don't like working on a laptop keyboard for more than a couple of hours.
For a great discussion of keyboard feel, try engaging a coupla old typographers... by my own experience and that of other old 'setters, without a doubt the BEST keyboards were on the Quadex typographic systems of the early 80s. Bouncy, springy, utterly comfy and with a really gratifying sound. Heaven. These days, I swear by a good classic IBM style with a nice long cord. I type over eight hours a day with the keyboard resting on my knees. The newer keyboards, especially the flat style in laptops, are wretchedly tough to deal with, as roryk has discovered. BlueHorse has an excellent suggestion about lefty mousing. But Steveno, I'm with you on the old IBMs. BTW BlueHorse, you might want to try putting the keyboard on your lap; it's how I've avoided carpal problems even though I've typed nonstop for over 30 years. I really loved Selectrics for sheer keyboard feel, and now and then like to run a few laps on my beloved 20s manual Royal. Ahh, keyboards. A topic dear to my heart. *mists over at memories of old CompuGraphic EditWriters and Singer perforators.*
I have probably one of the last mass manufactured clicky keyboards that Dell made, and it has been rarely used (it was never put out in the field) so I have that as part of my personal collection. Sooooo.... clicky. BlueHorse - I am right handed and left hand mouse, but I don't switch the keys. :) You'd hate mine more than even anyone else's. The hardest computers for me to use are left-handed
mice setups because I use my own left hand and leave the mouse in standard configuration. My job involves often sitting down to other people's computer's though, so I roll with the punches. This article does enlighten me on the reality of why people don't like certain keyboards as opposed to the psychological perceptions people have about why they don't like them. Keyboards are one of those things that people have zero vocabulary about (myself included) so when they complain they only can focus on what they see with their eyes that is obvious. Thus width of keys becomes the biggest issue that people complain about. The result is that people complain about laptop keyboards as being "too small" while in reality those keys are often a slightly big larger than regular keyboard keys. I was always bemused by everyone's reaction to the old iMac keyboards as well, due to this same reaction. "It's too small!" Of course, it turns out that the keyboard was identical in size to any standard keyboard when it came to the vast majority of the keys on the keyboard. Yes, the function keys were smaller and the arrow keys we smaller, but it was entirely a full size keyboard when it otherwise came to the keys. But psychologically, it didn't matter. People just have an idea in their head about "size" for keyboards that they really aren't cognizant about. I always liked my old Grape iMac's small keyboard. I appreciated it for exactly what it set out to do: give you more space on your desk. As it stands, right now I still use a G5 tower, so I still use the keyboard that came with it (and I have a backup).
You can pry my left-handed bluetooth
warm, happy fingers. Hey wait! Come back with that! I was using it!
Or when you want a normal layout, may I please introduce the aggressively clicky (but not assaultively so like the
buckling spring keyboards
, which are also lovely in their own way)
by Ione. It has Cherry "blue" switches under every key. It's pure joy!
s'funny, today I was rummaging in the shed today and found a giant ancient computer keyboard, must be from about '91. Thing is huuuuge. Big ol' serial plug. clacky. They'll be collector's items someday.
No love for ergo keyboards? Dayum. Once you go curved, you never go back.
Best keyboard ever was
. Control, meta, hyper, and super modifier keys. Delete located in the One True Location for a delete key.
hall effect sensors
This is the best keyboard I've ever used
. The keyboard has an ergonomic "break", and instead of having staggered keys, the keys radiate in straight lines that align with the fingers. This results in almost no wrist motion while typing. It's a VERY fast keyboard. Unfortunately they have a history of defective boards (letters dropping out, keys registering more than one strike) and extremely long wait times while keyboards are backordered. If not for that, I wouldn't use anything else.
So wait, like the R is directly above the F?
Is it just me, or is this thread a little...keyboard geeky?
hillbillyswamp - Yes.
Here's a pic of the keyboard.
I miss my computer with the quiet keyboard - I can't type in seminars anymore.
I found the ergonomic keyboards a little too big for me, and am probably one of the few people who find itty bitty laptop keyboards pretty ok.
For a workout while typing you could use a USB interfaced
giant keyboard rug