“What keyboard areas are “sacred” to you, as a developer?”
The Ins-Del-Home-End-PgUp-PgDown cluster. I need it on a 3x2 array, and it has to be absolutely alone, not side by side with anything or surrounded by any other keys. I had a keyboard at work who had a 3x3 array, being the Suspension, Power Down and another one the three extra buttons. The result: I ended up hitting Power down everytime I wanted to del anything! Solution: a little screwdriver and the surgical removal of the offender keys.
I also think the BackSpace key is quite crucial: I need it BIG. And allow me a little heresy: I’ve always thought a design error to have Ctrl + C + X + V for the copy, cut and paste operations. There are times, when being in a hurry, that I want to copy something and I cut it, or the other way around…
“How important are the extra multimedia functions such as sleep, calculator, scrollwheel, volume control, etc? Do you use this stuff frequently? Rarely? Never?”
I don’t mind those things. As long as they don’t interfere with the “normal” 102 keys, I’m fine. I recently bought a Genius keyboard with an integrated calcutator and it’s quite useful, though.
“Does it really matter if your keyboard is wireless?”
I don’t trust wireless devices.
“Does an ergonomic layout help?”
I don’t like them. I can’t get used to the split keyboard. What I do like and recommend is the extended wrist suppport at the base of the keyboard.
“What keyboard(s) do you recommend, and why?”
At home I use a fancy a href="http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/ES/EN,CRID=2166,CONTENTID=5011"Logitech/a, quite good. At work, since we have Dell computers, I have the simple black Dell keyboard; which I like a lot: simple, everything in place and of the appropiate size.