I know what Jeff Atwood is complaining about here .It can be really hard to track down a decent programming keyboard these days.
*Update*: I actually found one: the Belkin Wireless Keyboard. Amazingly enough, I found it at Big W, for only AU$60. I’m a little dubious about the wireless factor (I just know the battery will die some day when it’s really inconvenient), but it’s a nice responsive keyboard, and the keys are where they should be. The bundled wireless mouse will be a good “pairing mouse” as well – the fact that it doesn’t have a cable is a real plus for a pairing mouse, and means I can keep using my trackball.
You can get el cheapo ones that use PS/2 fairly easily, but getting a USB keyboard? It ain’t that easy…
The sort of keyboard I want to use has a few features:
- All keys in the standard place. That means arrows in an inverted T, two rows of keys above them for the insert/delete/home/end/page up/down, enter key on one row only, above the enter key.
Just for reference, here’s what a “standard” keyboard should look like:
- It should be USB. PS/2 is on the way out, USB is the way of the future. Heck, PCs are coming out without PS/2 these days.
- The Function Keys should be Function Keys by default; any “enhanced” behaviour is an optional extra.
- The keys should be responsive, but not stiff… don’t need any more aggravation to my RSI, thank you very much.
- No keyboard rest (at least not one that can’t be removed easily); I use my own.
Is that too much a list to ask for? Well, if not, here’s the things I’d like it to have.
- NumLock on by default.
- USB ports on the keyboard
That’s all I want from a keyboard. Honest. I don’t need fancy “media keys”, or a volume control on the sidebar, or a thumbprint reader, or an “ergonomic” split layout, or any of that. All I want is a standard bloody keyboard. Oh, and I’d like it to be less than AU$100, so wireless is out (and not really wanted, anyway) You think you can find one?
Look at Harris Technologies for example. They have 31 full-size keyboards on their books. 4 of them are out as they are PS/2 only. Of the remaining 27, 22 have mangled keyboard layouts. Of the five remaining keyboards, all of them proudly boast their “enhanced” function keys (which means they are on by default!). What’s a programmer to do these days?