Keyboards

Peter Alcibiades palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Oct 22 13:23:49 CDT 2010


I have to say, reluctantly, not being an admirer of Apple or its works, that
the latest keyboards, if that's the sort of thing you want, basically do not
have any competition.  I was using the aluminum usb full one, really came to
like it, apart from the irritating keycaps.  It is virtually silent, and my
initial worries about the angle and RSI turned out to be groundless.  

Then my partner's keyboard blew up (it was an old Apple one also), so I gave
her mine to try, and I could not get it back.  I then bought the compact
version for her for another office she works in, which is very nice too, it
has full sized keys and takes up minimal desk space.  I then bought a Cherry
Strait for myself, which is really terrible by comparison, much noisier, and
as I say the keycaps lose their legends after a very short time.  Most
disappointing.

The real irritation about the Apple keyboards is the keys.  Where, you ask
yourself is the # key?  The layout seems to be neither us nor uk but
something horrible in between, so if you are not using an Apple computer you
end up writing xmodmap files to get " and @ in the right places, and then
they do not correspond to what is on the keys.  Its the usual story,
difference and irritation for its own sake, in a nutshell, everything one
detests about Apple.  Which is why, despite its being a superior keyboard in
itself, I won't be buying another one to replace the Cherry.

But like I say, my partner is delighted with them.  Of course, she cannot
see the xmodmap files....

I have bought the Logitech OEMs for people who do a lot of typing.
professional writers, who did not want to spend much money, and they seem to
work very well for them.  Solid, not too much effort, not too noisy, last
for ever.  They are probably the best value of the membrane type.  I think
if you are not going to spend the money and get a real specialist keyboard,
this is the one to go for.

I have bought the PCKeyboards one, basically an old IBM buckling spring
recreation, for one guy who is an ex typesetter and so as nostalgic for that
very positive action.  He loves it, but you can hear it in the next room. 
Professional typists of a certain age really like these.  They are not too
expensive either, but they are not for everyone.

But were I a Mac user (or a lady wanting minimal space on the desktop, a
nice keyboard feel, and an elegant look) I would definitely get the corded
aluminum one, either the extended or the basic.  I know I will never get
mine back.
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