Have Keyboard, Will Program

I will never understand why a tab key is not over by the keypad. We develop account software and had to deviate from the windows standard of using the enter key, to close a form, to using the enter key to move between fields on the form. The data entry personnel want to be able to use one hand to enter numeric information along with navigating between fields.

I’m a huge fan of the Microsoft Natural keyboards. The angle and separation arc make typing much easier on my wrist. They’re quieter than most and I actually find some of the extra keys (mainly the calculator) useful!.

I still use a Memorex MX1998. I like that it has a smaller shift key on the right with the backspace key to the right of it. Then, the Enter Key looks like a backwards L.

Most keyboards have the backspace above the Enter key. Don’t care for that.


Hey - I’m with you. From memory the Enter/Return was used in old IBM system 36 too (before my time). The Tab key is an abreviation of Tabulate - so why the heck is a tabulation key so far away from numbers???

I never figured that one out.

Sheesh, what sillyness! Just switch to Scala and forget and the semi-colon.

The Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions…

Hhmmm, it’s interesting that in every keyboard pictured there’s something that annoys me a lot - the tiny Enter key. I prefer the bigger version:


And those with a tiny backspace key are also a pain.

My perfect keyboard would be an MS Ergo 4000 (which I’ve been using for the past year or so) with the classic IBM keyboard’s awesome tactile feedback, minus the number pad which I never use and puts my mouse a little too far to the right.

Lots of people talking about wanting Control where Caps Lock is. That’s actually part of the layout I grew up on in the 80s. I use Linux and always map Caps Lock to Control, but in the 90s I got out of the habit of looking for Control there, so I still never hit that key.

The Sun Type 5 keyboard (the one I hate) has the Backspace key where most of us expect the backslash to be. Drove me nuts. Meanwhile the Type 4 has Delete directly above Backspace, and which one you really want to hit to delete the last thing you typed depends on your terminal settings.

I used to like the big backward-L enter key, then I started using Unix and needing the backslash and vertical-bar characters to be easier to get to than they are on those keyboards.

Oh, and at those asking about the standard insert, delete, home, end layout and why it matters – several reasons. I use ctrl-home and ctrl-end all the time. I also still use the ctrl-insert to copy, shift-insert to delete, and shift-delete to cut in addition to the standard ctrl-x, v, and c. There are situations where those combinations are more effecient such as using ctrl-shift left and right arrow to hightlight. Since your left finger is already on shift and your right finger is coming of the arrow, it’s quicker to hit insert or delete to do a copy or cut.

I use an evoluent ergonomic keyboard, mainly because it puts the numpad on the left, which brings my mouse closer to my right hand, and has escape where I am used to it. (vi/vim user) Most of the layout is pretty regular, with the arrow keys in an inverted T pattern which I like.

Must say that the kinesis looks interesting though. I wonder if I can move the esc key into the thumb pad.

I also like having non-standard keyboards to keep others off my workstation. They get frustrated with the layout and let me do the driving! It’s like spitting on a piece of cake so that no-one else will eat it.

Oh and the captcha is always orange for me too.

You could try this one:


I have an IBM, a little newer than the one you pictured, that I’ve had since 1999 when I purchased a very solid IBM PC.

This keyboard has shown no signs of giving up!

Our CTO swears by Kinesis Contoured keyboards. They’re pricey, but apparently really awesome. His already insane typing speed increased to beyond insane speeds once he got accustomed to it.


Specifically this one:


I use MS Natural 1.0 keyboards exclusively. Of course since these haven’t been made in over 10 years, and they do sometimes break, I’ve amassed quite a collection of them. They’re rare to find even on eBay anymore, but it’s worth it.

Note to keyboard industry: build a copy of the Natural 1.0 with mechanical switches and I’ll buy a dozen!

I have to disagree with the first one, after purchasing a Logitech Wave keyboard (which I absolutely love). I actually like having the significantly bigger delete key, because I use that far more than insert or page up/down. and I use home/end a lot, and they’re easy to get to as the only 2 buttons on the top.

The Apple keyboard is the best keyboard I have ever owned! Just perfect for typing, feels great and looks stunning.

I had a kinesis for many years, and really liked it. It took only a day or two of retraining for me, and significantly improved my typing comfort. I’m an emacs user, and having the control key down at my thumbs instead of out beyond my pinkies was a huge improvement. I should probably get a new one…

My keyboard at home is a 17-year old Samsung with standard PC layout from before Windows special keys (pretty much like the IBM Model M). It weighs a ton so it doesn’t slide across the desk. No point in replacing something that works. :slight_smile:

No. No no no. The Mac keyboards are freaking horrible. My college has them (together with Macs, for some reason, running Debian or Gentoo or something… I think Debian).

The keys are spaced too far apart! I can’t touch type on it! I can’t even look-type at normal speed and it’s extremely frustrating to have to code on them. To the point where I actually was considering buyingmy own USB keyboard and bringing it in…

Stick to the bloody standard spacing between keys! I know Mac users are stereotypically clueless marketing execs who want to look cool/trendy… but… wait, that seems to be quite fitting.