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Who needs 204 keys?
August 22, 2001 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Who needs 204 keys? I know I do. Damned shift keys. [via the big H.]
posted by jcterminal (19 comments total)

 
Someone should tell Compaq the real story of the qwerty keyboard.
posted by fabrizio at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2001


Although this link is satirical, I'd seriously like to see a keyboard with today's common shift-required characters (@, $, &, etc...oh heck, everything above the numbers 1-0) have their own keys. Let's get modernly efficient, people!
posted by msacheson at 4:20 PM on August 22, 2001


I'd like to see one you can make your own little macros on and store them in the macrobank© of keys. This could either be a string or just a character. I'm not sure if such a thing exists because the last time i shopped for a keyboard they still looked like the one i'm typing on. Minus the coffee stains.
posted by Kino at 4:43 PM on August 22, 2001


If Compaq is pinning their hopes on this stupid thing, perhaps we will soon read about them here.
posted by moses at 4:43 PM on August 22, 2001


Moses, Moses, Moses. Oh.... poor Moses. :(
posted by Kino at 4:55 PM on August 22, 2001


Um... is he kidding? Sometimes you just can't tell... :(
posted by hincandenza at 5:55 PM on August 22, 2001


i'm looking forward to the day when everything will be voice activated.
posted by bwg at 9:12 PM on August 22, 2001


scratch that - thought activated.
posted by bwg at 9:13 PM on August 22, 2001


I'm sure that Perl geeks would love a keyboard like that, if only to save them from carpal tunnel when chording all those @#$%^&*(){}[]!<>;:"s
posted by holgate at 2:31 AM on August 23, 2001


Kino, macro-enabled keyboards are easy to find. So are Windows utilities that let you assign macros to keystrokes. This only works, though, if you have a very specific set of tasks, and never change your equipment. I replace my computer every 18 months or so, and reprogramming all that stuff is a royal pain. So I don't do it until I need it. I find I rarely need such esoteric customizations.
posted by dhartung at 3:06 AM on August 23, 2001


How many characters are in the Chinese language?
posted by fpatrick at 4:38 AM on August 23, 2001


There are around 50,000, 5000 are in common use.
posted by Octaviuz at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2001


We've abandoned efficency, anyways. The QWERTY keyboard layout is not the most optimal, although it was originally designed to slow down users of manual typewriters (good joke, that "so the monitor could keep up" - did you know that early monitors were effectively typewriters attached to very long spools of paper, called "teletypes"?).

There are several more efficient keyboard layouts that put the most-ofen used characters directly under the typist's fingers. For example, the Dvorak keyboard.

But hey, with only 4% of the population actually able to touch-type, a keyboard with 398 keys would give more targets to the random peck-peck typist. ^_~
posted by atfrost at 8:18 AM on August 23, 2001


I'm more interested in the Xbox active death feature that will certainly discourage needless video game playing.
posted by srw12 at 8:20 AM on August 23, 2001


atfrost, it wasn't. It really, really wasn't. Also see the link in the first comment on this page. And Dvorak is not more efficient.
posted by argybarg at 9:01 AM on August 23, 2001


Don't be silly, of course Dvorak is more efficient than QWERTY. It's obvious if you look at the layout that your fingers need to move less. It doesn't necessarily let you type that much faster, but speed is not everything; Dvorak also improves comfort and accuracy.

Also, you can type "shithead" entirely on the Dvorak home row, which makes it optimal for Internet discussions.
posted by kindall at 9:10 AM on August 23, 2001


This may be a joke, but the real improvement would come from people thinking more, writing better, and typing slower.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:38 AM on August 23, 2001


Also, you can type "shithead" entirely on the Dvorak home row, which makes it optimal for Internet discussions.

Now that's sig-worthy.

Anybody use the polar opposite of this fake keyboard, the Twiddler?
posted by SiW at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2001


How about a keyboard with one key and 204 metakeys?
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:58 AM on August 24, 2001


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