The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, November 15, 2004

This is not a keyboard

Now, About that keyboard …

I'm picky about keyboards. The only keyboard I use are IBM keyboards. Specifically the IBM AT or PS/2 keyboards. Nothing matches the feel of the IBM AT keyboard; not even the PS/2 keyboard (although it comes very close). But those are quite rare, and the lack of a separate bunch of editing keys is a bit bothersome to me (as I'm used to the inverted-T layout of the arrow keys). PS/2 keyboards are easier to come by and with the exception of the CapsLock key being where the Control key should be (were God intended it on keyboards used by programmers) it's just as good as the IBM AT keyboard (oh, you can also rearrange the keycaps on the PS/2; good for practical jokes).

And both are, as far as I can tell, indestructable.

But I don't have one of those at work. I have … this.

This is not a keyboard. Oh sure, it may look like a keyboard, and it may even marginally function like a keyboard. But it is not a keyboard. This is a weak imitation of a keyboard. This wouldn't even survive my using it to hit a luser, much less survive me pounding the hell out of it in frustration of using Windows. This is a joke of a keyboard.

And that's my judgement on just the feel of the keyboard.

I also have problems with those … extra … buttons that adorn the top edge of the keyboard. The function keys? They don't work. Not unless you hit that small “F” key on the far left edge, which supposedly toggle between the use of the function keys as function keys, and the use of the function keys as some random controls for some bits of software somewhere. And that small ovoidal key above the small “F” key? That's the “User” key, which, curious about, I hit.

Immediately the screen shut off, shortly followed by my screaming out in alarm that this “User” key was in fact, a stealth Big Red Switch. Turns out it just locked (as in keyboard lock, not crash locked) my Windows session and blanked the screen. Intuitive use of the “User” key that. Now I'm paranoid about pressing any of the other “buttons” on that keyboard.

I'm seriously considering bringing in my own keyboard. I did that for my last two jobs; I don't see why this one should be any different.

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