Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboards Rock/Suck (the "no good Perl jobs"/"ergo keyboards" myth)

Andy Wardley abw at
Wed Aug 9 12:01:16 BST 2006

Nicholas Clark wrote:
> I don't buy it either. I don't understand why. But I can move my hands around
> on a piano without looking and still get the intended key. Computer keyboards
> just don't work like that.

I think the key [groan] thing is that an octave of the piano keyboard 
has a particular shape.  You can easily feel the clusters of 2 (c#/d#) 
and 3 (f#/g#/a#) black keys and know where your hand is and where all 
the notes are without thinking.

That's the principle behind the dots on the F/J home keys, although 
they're normally so small and insignificant as to be easily missed. 
They also assume touch-typist position where you don't moved your hands 
from the home position.  We all know that just isn't possible when 
you're programming.  You typically spend more time shifting for various 
parens and punctuation marks than typing letters. And it's usually 
impossible to do that without moving your hands around the board or 
contorting your fingers into impossibly long 14 semi-tone stretches.

This one looks nice.  It's got led displays on each key.

The keyboard layout is bog-standard but it would make it easy to create
a truly custom key layout designed especially for Perl programming, for 
example (and one that didn't require the use of stickers or good memory 
for where you mapped all the keys to).


More information about the mailing list