Mmm, keyboard…

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 keyboardI’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

msnke.png

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.

keyboard-by-genius.png

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.

extraindows.png

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.

16 Comments

“If youre lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you Ill be waiting

Time after time” –Bill Gates

Easting…weird and funny…this is *exactly* EXACTLY what I was here to type.

Please marry me.

What hath KFSONE wrought?

I still use a ’89 Philips keyboard. The one that came with my very first 286@12.5Mhz, in fact.

I have some IBM keybs from the era, but I just like this one better… and a couple of Olivettis that are smaller, for when I go computer partying :)

Olivettis? Xen? Those had nice keyboards too.

What level are you now Wingmann? When are you going to send Shoo a tell? If you can’t remember my toons name, finding Killer’s character shouldn’t be a problem at all… Oh. It should be very, very obvious :)

Can’t beat keyboards that don’t recognise 3 key presses all the time!
And try finding any info on keyboard telling you it will take 3 key presses!

All keyboards let you do Ctrl-Alt-Del, but many won’t let you do things like A-W-shift (run diagonaly in most FPS type games!)

Still, I love my Saitek Eclipse keyboard. The backlit keys work realy well.

This is the one that I am waiting on.

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=081

For some reason I have it in my head that numerical keypads are the spawn of the debil. Why do they make me reach that much farther for my mouse. I’m a coder damn it! I don’t enter reams of numbers in Excel :-)

Everyone one who lost their virginity in the 80s has to appreciate the power of Cyndi Lauper. And Prince.

Couldn’t they have picked a less faustian picture of the devil, uhm, I mean Mr Gates. http://www.microsoft.com/library/media/1033/windows/images/products/windowsvista/billg.jpg

(Note that Mr G’s image is apparently filed under “products”)

This is the one I use and quite like it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823109148 Has the dedicated calc button as well, just a little to the left.

Right now I’m just waiting for that new keyboard with a built-in track pad for the home theater. Much better than the current setup down there.

In that phot he is saying “Don’t worry, we’re here to help!”

*shudders*

Scuse me I got go stock up on my OEM XP supply….

/me looks up

Oh, did I mention my MS ergonomic keyboard is statrting to not recognize keystrokes? :roll:

quote=bloo Says:
January 31st, 2007 at 1:41 am
Everyone one who lost their virginity in the 80s has to appreciate the power of Cyndi Lauper. And Prince.”

Two Words BLOO: Kenny Loggins. Went to 3 concerts on 3 different first dates. FTWx3. I was worried I’d have to name children after songs… ahh 80’s.

My contribution to your eyes:

I haven’t had much time to lvl my Befallen toon, but when I do I use to rack up three levels per session :)
Still in the teens though. I think I added Shoo to my friendlist…

AAAaaarrrggghhh!

It seems the non-flock keyboard is being phased out, and still there is no option to control whether the keyboard starts in flock mode or not. There is a Wireless version of the keyboard with no flock, but Microsoft don’t actually sell it, and the only versions available seem to be non-US/UK keyboards, e.g. Polish versions. There were some stores in New Zealand and Australia listing the 2000 model, but none of them actually had them available.

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