When I started here, they gave me two PCs with a single monitor, keyboard and mouse, and a little ‘KVM’ switch. Wonders why the host coders of days gone by sometimes seemed a little oblivious to what happened in the game.
To switch systems you pressed scroll-lock + scroll-lock + cursor up. And I hate repetition. I believe I’ve said so before. I coulda gotten a second monitor, but the desks here don’t make it very practical so I bought myself an LCD. A new day was born for me. I hadn’t realized just how much of a burden working on the one pokey monitor had been. I had a sudden burst of Getting Stuff Done.
Time passes, things break, get moved around, I change offices. I wind up with one Microsoft Natural keyboard old school and one non-ergo/split Logitech keyboard I borrowed from Bloo’s office. To cap it off, at home I’m using one of those f**king annoying Microsoft keyboards where some f**king idiot clevery added a key you have to press to make the function keys act as function keys.
Whichever team of individuals designed this keyboard… I’m not comfortable using the neccessary words to describe these people. I mean, were they interns or something? They clearly have absolutely no right to be designing human interface devices.
Consider these elements. This is a wireless keyboard. The lights are therefore on the wireless receiver. Which you are presumably planning to spend time at a distance from. If you buy wireless keyboards for the aesthetics of no-wires, you aren’t going to want a big bulky wireless receiver sitting in plain view on your desk, are you?
This keyboard defaults, unconfigurably, to “media mode” every time the keyboard is powered on or reset. The primary effect of media mode is to change what the function keys and the ‘page’ block that sits above the cursor keys do.
Better still, they took the Natural Keyboard Elite’s middle-block rework
I guess this was designed for single-finger operators. Which makes sense. The normal cursor key layout is designed for three-fingered operation – one for left, one for up/down, one for right. Can’t do that with the Elite layout. But it makes some sense because of the reworked home/end stuff – the layout is well suited to single finger operators like secretarys.
But no. My keyboard takes some bizzare middle ground, and removes a few keys.
Top left you can see the ‘media key’ toggle key next to ‘f12’. Having gone with a three-wide cursor block, the insert-block would look really lame with three keys above it and three below it, so they dropped one of the system keys too which leaves a big space at the top of the keyboard that looks strange. Obviously, they felt that removing the delete key somehow justified the vertical orientation of the middle block.
I’m glad to see, however, that Microsoft fired every last one of those sum bitches. When I finally got pissed off at working with three radically different keyboards, two of them at work, CRS picked up two matching ones for me. And I have to say, I’ve found the first keyboard that makes me happy since the first Naturals. So much so I just ordered a wireless one for home to replace that hideous pile of shite that I was unlucky enough to get when I went wireless.
Enter the Comfort Curve 2000. It’s got a tactile feel reminiscent of a laptop without a great deal of travel so typing is a lot easier, more of a touch than a push.
And it has a button for calc right above the numeric keypad. The only “media” buttons I ever need (rewind for pron, forward for when the cindy lauper mp3 that my Media Player can find to play but I can’t find to delete comes on, mute button, web, search & mail). No button to turn my keyboard into a keyboard.
I should warn you that it has a Windows key either side of the space bar (since I know a number of my readers have removed windows keys from their favorite keyboards). If that was for left-handed users, Microsoft should just have made it possible to swap the “Context” and “Windows” keys rather than add another key.
But that really hasn’t bothered me yet. I’m very very happy with these keyboards. As good as it is, the previous keyboard was so terrible that it can’t hope to atone for it. Microsoft, if you’re listening, you can restore balance by spending some petty cash on having one or two big-league spammers assassinated.
Actually, if they do that, I’ll buy Vista. Even use it.
And that’s the only reason I would, too.