31 January 2005
Old keyboards, at least on the Wintel side of the aisle, still have a great deal to offer: they have solid feel, they don't have a bunch of Windows-specific keys to mess with, and they last forever.
Well, almost forever. My work box had a genuine Big Blue-branded keyboard that managed a good thirteen years before starting to develop signs of erratic behavior, and when it wouldn't respond to a cleaning regimen, it was sent to the parts bin. Its replacement, you'll be happy to hear, is nine years old; it's quieter, but I won't hold that against it. Posted at 10:52 AM to PEBKAC
There's actually a serious issue here. I have a client who's only able to use an IBM keyboard (or equivalent keyboard with a hardware keyclick). He's quadraplegic and needs the auditory feedback. This presents an upcoming problem: USB to PS/2 converters don't work (power draw problems) and fewer and fewer notebook computers have PS/2 ports.
I've found a solution for him. But the issue remains: technological change (particularly in the computer industry) is not an un-alloyed blessing.
One of our techs today railed against the very thought that someone might throw out a keyboard of this vintage: "If you have two bad ones, there's at least a chance you can get one good one out of them."
We'll see when the next one fails.
I use an ergonomic keyboard. It's an MS USB keyboard hooked up to my Powerbook G4. I have to hit the WINDOWS key because, surprisingly enough, the MS Keyboard doesn't feature an "Open Apple Command" key.
Worse, the WINDOWS (Apple) key location is opposite the Alt (Option) key on my laptop keyboard, so I'm always corn-fusing myself when I work away from my desk.
AND, have you ever tried to find a QUIET ergonomic keyboard? Impossible.