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What's your favorite keyboard?

 
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I grow weary of my Microsoft 5000's tiny function keys (see below) and there are a million other keyboards on the market. I used to have a Microsoft 3000 that had a decent shape and normal-sized keys, but apparently the current version of that keyboard has the same tiny keys. What's your favorite?
And just for the heck of it, here is an article on how the IBM Model M is the Best Keyboard Ever.
08-04WCD5000_lg1.jpg
[Thumbnail for 08-04WCD5000_lg1.jpg]
Tiny keys
 
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The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is probably my most favourite keyboard.



It looks bonkers, but is incredibly comfortable to use.
 
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I have found the ergo keyboards very frustrating to use, because I am not a trained touch-typist. I've sort of developed my own typing style over the years. I like the Logitech keyboards, with the K350 my current keyboard of choice. For ~$30 it can't be beat. Pair it up with the M510 wireless mouse.

 
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Joe Ess wrote:And just for the heck of it, here is an article on how the IBM Model M is the Best Keyboard Ever.



I had forgotten about those old IBM keyboards. I don't specifically remember the model M, but I do the model F. At the time I loved it and wouldn't have used any other keyboard. It was made out of sheet steel and weighed as much as a half gallon of milk. In that era weight equaled quality. If something had some heft it was good and considered well-made. The model F sounded like an electric typewriter. Things resemble the things they replace. This particular keyboard at least sounded like an electric typewriter, just as early autos resembled carriages.

I had the great pleasure to work with some of the guys who designed these keyboards, for about nine years. All of them were good and some of them were brilliant. My favorite was a guy with degrees in multiple engineering fields who spent most of his time improving a machine shop and tinkering there. He would come up with something and would whip up a human factors model and he'd come in and talk about it and we'd whip up some code to test it. Super fast, like nothing, we'd work out some problem.

One of them told me the keyboards were developed about a mile from the main IBM campus underneath a Big Lots that is built on a slope. Don't know if the Big Lots was there at the time. The main emphasis at that plant was IBM Selectric typewriters and the computer keyboards were a minor thing and got put over at Big Lots
 
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I am not inclined to any specific brand or design, but I prefer keyboards where keys can be pressed with smallest effort.

There were times when I had to search for keys on keyboard to type anything, so nothing did matter that time.
When typing speed increased with time I had to search for butter smooth keys.
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Guillermo Ishi wrote:

Joe Ess wrote:And just for the heck of it, here is an article on how the IBM Model M is the Best Keyboard Ever.



I had forgotten about those old IBM keyboards. I don't specifically remember the model M, but I do the model F. At the time I loved it and wouldn't have used any other keyboard. It was made out of sheet steel and weighed as much as a half gallon of milk. In that era weight equaled quality. If something had some heft it was good and considered well-made. The model F sounded like an electric typewriter. Things resemble the things they replace. This particular keyboard at least sounded like an electric typewriter, just as early autos resembled carriages.

I had the great pleasure to work with some of the guys who designed these keyboards, for about nine years. All of them were good and some of them were brilliant. My favorite was a guy with degrees in multiple engineering fields who spent most of his time improving a machine shop and tinkering there. He would come up with something and would whip up a human factors model and he'd come in and talk about it and we'd whip up some code to test it. Super fast, like nothing, we'd work out some problem.

One of them told me the keyboards were developed about a mile from the main IBM campus underneath a Big Lots that is built on a slope. Don't know if the Big Lots was there at the time. The main emphasis at that plant was IBM Selectric typewriters and the computer keyboards were a minor thing and got put over at Big Lots



P.S. In the era of the Model F, it felt like butter, and everything else was almost unusable. Either too much spring pressure or wrong concavity of key tops, or strange feeling plastic, or whatever. But it didn't take long before keyboards were figured out, and now they all feel pretty much the same. I haven't been able to adjust to the strangely shaped ones like in the pictures above. I always use laptop, but when I have to use a separate modern keyboard I have to use a wrist rest or else I quickly get problems in my wrists...
 
Tapas Chand
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May be little off-topic, I have seen few Lenovo and Sony Vaio laptops of my friends where FN key is at the bottom left and CTRL key is to its right.
I really had a hard time with them.
Because this is my second Dell and in both of them CTRL key takes the bottom left position.
 
J. Kevin Robbins
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Joe Ess wrote:
And just for the heck of it, here is an article on how the IBM Model M is the Best Keyboard Ever.


I still have one of those. It was my favorite keyboard of all time. I only switched out because the loud clicking annoyed everyone else in the house.

My toughest keyboard switch was moving from away from the XT keyboard with the F keys down the left side and the ctrl key next to the "A" where God intended it to be. I thought I would never get used to the F keys on the top. And I still wish I could swap the ctrl and caps lock keys.
 
Joe Ess
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Tapas Chand wrote:...Lenovo and Sony Vaio laptops...



Speaking of laptops, I love my Macbook Pro's keyboard. I never thought about the desktop keyboard. Anyone try that?
 
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I have two of the Apple wireless keyboards: one in my office and one in my kitchen. I'd not trade them for an other keyboard. I use them in conjunction with magic trackpads.

If you like the MacBook Pro keyboards, you likely like them. Similar feel. And small footprint; I like that.
 
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A like A4 Tech
 
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For a few years I am using Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000 v2.0. I am not a fan of Micro$oft, but this keyboard they made really well. It even works allright on Linux!





After my last keyboard broke I needed a new quality and reliable one, that allows fast typing (I am really fast typer) without effort. After spending like one hour in computer store trying out different keyboards this one won the contest. It has a regular, full-size layout, just like the classical keyboards. No weird layouts like on the "ergonomic" or gamer keyboards. There are a bunch of function keys that do not interfere with the other keys. The keystroke depth is a little too deep for me, but it turned out to not be a big issue. The keys are a minimally curved for improved ergonomics which turned out to be doing its job pretty well. The difference can be felt. There is a nice rubber for hands to lie on, making them less tired.

The keyboard is great. They sell it with a mouse, but it's really terrible, IMO. Completely zero ergonomics.

The cat wasn't included in the package.
 
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My favorite one is Microsoft kit with both keyboard and mouse.
 
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Hope it is not too late to welcome you to the Ranch

You shou‍ld have got Andrew Polansky's combination, only the cat appears to have eaten the mouse.
 
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I like a plain, cheap and simple Logitech keyboard the best, for example the Logitech K270.

I've also tried an ergonomic keyboard in the past, but found it annoying to use. I've never learned how to type the "official" way, I have my own system which does not work well with this split in the middle on an ergonomic keyboard - I find my left hand trying to reach keys on the right side of the keyboard and vice versa.

There are also expensive keyboards with mechanical switches, such as the Das Keyboard, but in my opinion they are not a lot more comfortable to use than a simple Logitech keyboard, at least not so much more that they justify 4x or 5x the price of a cheap keyboard.

I don't like all Logitech models. The cheap and simple ones are the best, the more expensive ones with flatter keys don't type as well.
 
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Is here someone who using programming keyboard?
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

How does a programming keyboard differ from another sort of keyboard?
 
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Here's a keyboard that is for programmers that code in binary  

 
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And then there was the legendary LISP keyboard with its raft of modifier keys:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-cadet_keyboard

These days an "enhanced" keyboard has Windows* and Menu keys, but my right-alt serves as a dead key for international character input.

---
* Or a Penguin key if you have a Linux keyboard!
 
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Would a LISP keyboard need more than two keys, one for ( and one for ) ?
 
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I like keyboards having a numpad. The keys on top of the pad are: [Numslock]  [ / ]  [ * ]  [ - ]

I don't know if the language creators actually intended this ...
The keys: [ / ] as well as [ * ] are quick ways of typing comments in Java or any other languages that support // and /* ... */ comments. Pair that with [ - ] key and you have good decoration banners in your code comments !! Sql Statements have the [ -- ] comment. Too bad keyboard manufacturers skip this section altogether.

 
Tim Holloway
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Would a LISP keyboard need more than two keys, one for ( and one for ) ?

Har Har. No, to program in LISP, once should use EMACS. Which happily consumes all those modifier keys.

Reminds me of the original MacIntosh. Steve Jobs didn't want people to be confused by the mouse, so he only gave it one button. Developers then co-opted the control, shift, command (clover) etc. as modifiers until the net effect was a 7-button mouse.
 
Tim Holloway
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salvin francis wrote:I like keyboards having a numpad. The keys on top of the pad are: [Numslock]  [ / ]  [ * ]  [ - ]

I don't know if the language creators actually intended this ...
The keys: [ / ] as well as [ * ] are quick ways of typing comments in Java or any other languages that support // and /* ... */ comments. Pair that with [ - ] key and you have good decoration banners in your code comments !! Sql Statements have the [ -- ] comment. Too bad keyboard manufacturers skip this section altogether.


Actually, the idea was that you could use the numeric pad as a calculator. Which is why on mine, the Plus and Enter keys are oversized and vertically-oriented just like the old mechaniscal ones were.
 
salvin francis
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Tim Holloway wrote:...Actually, the idea was that you could use the numeric pad as a calculator.

Yes, that makes sense.
But I am curious about the language creators.. did they choose these symbols because of keyboard designs at that time ?
 
Tim Holloway
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Offhand, I cannot recall any pre-PC keyboards with numeric keypads - although there were a few nuimeric-only keyboards. Back then, keyboards were hevily mechanical and expensive,

Definitely I don't think C got influence from there. Minicomputers often used Teletype™ units as terminals, and they were mechanical beasts. Surplus teletypes also were common on pre-IBM PCs. Neither IBM nor Teletype keyboards had numeric keypads back then and the slash and asterisk keys (used also for mainframe Job Control Language) were not located in especially convenient positions.

The oldest character+number keyboard I know of (quick historitcal search) is the DEC VT-50 (circa 1974). A PC owner with a DecTerminal was a happy person. But none of the VT-series keyboards I know of had those keys on the numeric pad. Instead they had arrow keys, function keys, and/or comma and minus keys.

Use of slashes for comments was inherited by C from B and thence from BCPL, which means that probably more than a decade elapsed between the time that slash and asterisk were in common program-language use and the time when keyboards had numeric keypads with them.

Truthfully, I never got in the habit. About the only time I use the numeric pad is when I've either re-mapped it to custom functions or am entering in credit card numbers. For programming, I use the main keyboard.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

Please show us a picture of your keyboard.
 
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