Date : 6/03/04
Computer Keyboards
they are crap

ne of the most aggravating things about computers is the incredibly bloated keyboard. There are buttons for everything that you can think of ... so many that they just get in the way. Here is my suggestion about what should be done to improve them.

keyboard.jpg - 17kb

Here's my HP keyboard (above) and surrounded by the stuff I want to move or get rid of (below).

keyboard2.JPG - 20kb

Let's cut to the chase ...

Number 1 - I've never once used these keys for anything. I don't want them on my keyboard. If you want 'em you can have 'em on your board. Kill it !

Number 2, 3, 4 - This is useless garbage ... haul it away. I don't need HP's help to navigate or with my cds or dvds. All this is provided by the relevant programs. It just confuses the array like a really bad webpage.

Number 5 - I just now found out what this is for. It shuts off the computer but leaves it in standby ... and ... it actually worked. Maybe I'll keep this for emergency "hide-a-porn" ;o)

Number D - This is the "Escape" button. As far as I know ... this no longer works in WinXP ... trash it.

Number 7 - Windows?! ... trash

Number 8, 9 - Control and Alt ... probably have to keep these here. Lots of games and programs make regular use of these. Too bad they are not in a more comfortable position. I guess we're QWERTY-d here.

Number 10 - The infamous Caps lock. Gotta' have it ... but ... gotta' move it up top. Too many accidental hits on this key.

Number A, B, A - Backspace, Insert, Delete. Need to be moved. I don't really want the Insert key but you need it when you accidentally get the keystrokes to delete the letters already set. Nobody uses this except in movies like the Matrix. In real life, one just highlights a passage and then inserts and the offending text is history anyway. Why delete it with replacement keystrokes one at a time? Senseless.

Number 6 - The arrow keys need to stay where they are because of the afforementioned games. Everybody is used to them here anyway.

Number E - The Function keys. I concede that these need to stay but I personally don't use them. Put them in the attic for somebody else's use.

Number F - The Tab key. This is often used and needs to be protected all by itself.

Number C - Print Screen. I need this to hold some pic now & then.

Number G - Redundant garbage I never use. Obsolete. home - end - page up - yada yada yada

Number Z - Enter key ... mui importante

What does that leave us with?

keyboard3.JPG - 17kb

Well, for one thing I've centered the letters. Now, my keyboard will be centered on my desk ... as is my chair ... I won't have to type off to the side anymore ... sheeesh!

The Enter key is at the left and is bigger as are the two Shift keys. The Backspace and Delete are in a more intuitive setting, e.g. right-left.

I made a special "@ key" (with no shift required) so that it can be found easier ... and ... lo! ... there is now a "cent key" in place of the old @ key.

The All Caps key (10) is way, way, way out of the way ... so it will never be hit accidentally again. The Tab key "F" is bigger and off to the left ... alone ... where I can hit it without looking.

Oh, yeah. There is a little key next to the right side Control key (9). I don't know what it does. Might as well trash it, eh?

You can see how much extra space this leaves and no doubt this design would be compacted somewhat to save plastic. But not too much. I don't want to be crowded. White space is also desirable. I wish my wife could see the wisdom of "open space" ... sigh.

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