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I made a few comments here recently so I thought I'd write my own little thing on computer keyboards.

In my day I've gone through my fair share of computer keyboards. I think the highest price I ever paid for one was $35 - and that was a really long time ago at a computer shop (a real computer shop back when such things existed).

At present I'm using laptop keyboards almost exclusively. They keys are short (as in not tall) and I really don't miss the number pad at all. They keep their spring by method of "scissor" style. You can type lightning fast on them and it saves wear on your hands and fingers.

If I'm to use a traditional keyboard I am very picky about it.

The Ins/Home/PgUp keys must be in a row side by side and the Del/End/PgDn keys must also be side by side directly under it, 3x3 style. The backspace key must be wide and rectangular. The pipe/backslash key must be directly under that. The Enter key must be directly under that, wide and be rectangular (not "reverse L" shaped) also. Arrow keys must be in tradition "inverted T" style. Bottom left-to-right goes something like Ctrl, Win-key, Alt, Spacebar, Alt, Ctrl. Shift keys are above that line, not on it.

Most stock-issue Dell keyboards are of this type, as are HP's, IBM's and so on, but when your keyboard breaks, most of us go to the store to buy another 'board.

You have to watch yourself else you'll end up with something completely foreign to you that'll take weeks to get used to - and you're more or less stuck with it.

In the past I didn't have to worry about this. When I went to buy a keyboard they all had the same key configuration. Now I literally have to look at the keys on the box before I buy it just to make sure everything is in the right spot. It's annoying.

The cream o' the crop concerning computer keyboards is IBM without a doubt. Their older keyboards command high price tags, and for good reason - they were built right the first time. Large, heavy, LOUD (very clicky) and rock-solid reliable. I mean heck, IBM boards in good condition over twenty years old still sell(!) They're that good.


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