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Sivar

Recommend A Good Keyboard?

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Finally, one of the the flimsy plastic tabs that hold up the back of my Microsoft Multimedia keyboard, giving me an excuse to replace it with something that doesn't suck.

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. I prefer ergonomic keyboards, and liked the Microsoft Natural 3rd gen "Professional" keyboard, and the original (but really large) Microsoft Natural keyboard. These are rather hard to find anymore.

I greatly prefer having home/end/insert/delete/pageup/pagedown keys in the same place that they have been for 20 years. Many manufacturers have seen fit to move these around and rearrange them, the worst offender being Microsoft who seems to like changing their order every revision of their keyboard.

I would like one that has both USB and PS/2 connectivity, possibly with a built-in USB hub (like the 3rd generation MS Natural keyboard had). I am not a big fan of the "My Pictures" and other useless fluff keys, but they aren't much of a bother because they just take up a little space.

I'd prefer a keyboard whose plastic tabs mentioned earlier aren't intentionally designed to be flimsy (no mechanical engineer could possibly have thought they wouldn't break after a short time), and most importantly: Absolutely, positively, no function lock key. I really hate that key.

I imagine honold would recommend a Happy Hacking keyboard, which looks great, but it isn't ergonomic. I have become too accustomed to ergo keyboards, and tend to make typos even more often than normal when on a flat keyboard. (now if they only made ergonomic laptop keyboards)

I really do not want a wireless keyboard, as I do not like the idea of having to mess with batteries and IR interference from basic input devices. (that, and they are overpriced).

Any suggestions?

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I would recommend the HH (as would honold) or a surplus Model M. Unfortunately, I learned to type on an IBM electric typewriter in school, and am incapable of using the ergos, so I know nothing about them.

Try out a model M for a few days. You probably will not go back.

Thank you for yor time,

Frank Russo

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and for m fans, there's the omnikey (101 or ultra) or the avant stellar remake. actually, i have a couple omnikey 101s i'm not using if you're into clicky. they're better than ibm ms :)

ergo is :blink:

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Well I know you hate cordless and non-ergo.

But seriously, keep and open mind about cordless because oh my god, I will never ever go back to cords. My logitech cordless Duo MX is the best thing I have ever bought for my computer. They keyboard has never had its batteries changed in the 3 months since i got it. (Supplied batteries by the way). My mouse gets charged about every week where i use it for about 4 hours during the day and about 3 hours at night every day of the week. The rest of the time it just sits on my mousepad until i need to charge it. Once the low bat light comes on, I have used it for another 4 to 5 hours without any problems before i charged it. And it only takes about 3 hours to charge the mouse.

The set up for the keyboard and mouse is easier than connecting 4 speakers with those little clip thingies. Press the button on the base, press the button on the bottome of the keyboard, press the button again on the base, bress the button on the bottom of the mouse and voila, all set up. (apart from the usb connection)

It can be ps2 or usb, however id recommend running in usb as its cleaner.

The response of the mouse is better than anything I have ever used. I can thrash it from one side of the mouse pad to the other as fast as I can and the cursor on the screen follows, unlike my M$ mouse where the cursor just did random things on the screen.

And lastly, the keyboard has a wicked tactile feedback.

I would definately recommend the Cordless Duo MX to anyone as it is superb and very reasonably priced for what you get. It is an amazing sight to see no cord coming out of the keyboard when you glance over it.

my 2c

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I too like the "natural" keyboards, but I wanted to try the cordless, so I picked up a logitech cordless desktop pro.

The good:

- Nice keyboard, black, doesn't get dirty like the white ones

- mouse is sylish and fits well to the hand, good placement of buttons

The Bad

- Multimedia keys which I like to use (especially for volume) are badly placed and too small (microsoft's are better)

- Mouse consumes batteries very quickly (2xAA every 3-4 weeks), solution was to switch to alkaline rechargable.

- Mouse is pretty heavy, hard on the wrist after serveral hours of use - considering going back to the lighter although corded version.

Hope this helps

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I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. I prefer ergonomic keyboards, and liked the Microsoft Natural 3rd gen

Define ergonomic?

The ones that are split, and cause wrist pain after 5 minutes, unlike the regular keyboards that I can type on for 16 hours a day?

If not, the Keytronic keyboards are good, reliable keyboards.

they have a standard layout, no f'ing f-lock key, although it's PS/2 only.

I have used these in an industrial environment, and aside from being really dirty, they seem to last. I've had Mitsumi and other type keyboards in there, and have had to replace them in 6 months because they are dead.

I'm replacing all those crap Microsoft keyboards with Keytronic ones as I come across them here at work.

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how is having a wire on a stationary device like a keyboard limiting?

Stationary? Really? :)

I always liked the long coiled cords on the old IBMs.

diNovo . . . diNovo . . .

The Happy Hacker really is a good keyboard,

Dogeared

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how is having a wire on a stationary device like a keyboard limiting?

Stationary? Really? :)

I always liked the long coiled cords on the old IBMs.

Most IBM model Ms have a spiral wound "stretchy" cord with a funky RJ style plug at the end that hooks into the keyboard. The connector does break if you do the "Baba-O'Riely" swing with them (I won't tell you how I know this).

The point of the connector is that you could use an AT or PS2 cable for the same keyboard. A Model M in as much of an investment as it is a keyboard.

Thank you for your time,

Frank Russo

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I had an IBM model M, or at least, it looked identical to the model M with the exception of the coiled wire. Not sure where it is now. I do like that keyboard layout though, however, I find noisy keyboard to be a bit irritating. You can buy almost exact clones of them now from these guys.

I took a closer look at the Happy Hacker keyboard. I don't know about it... It seems to be missing some keys that I do like to use. I actually do use the Windows key, even in Linux. After some time of being mystified as to why they added yet another key to the 104-key keyboard, it does actually save time in some ways. I do like that it is missing the horrible, evil caps lock key, but I am used to the CTRL key being to the left of the left ALT (or Windows key), and would have a hell of a time getting used to its position on the HH.

I also use the F-keys quite a lot, and having to hold down a function key clear on the other end of the keyboard would annoy me to death. It would make common key combinations that I use, like ALT-F1-F10, CTRL-F5, ALT-F4, etc. into a manual dexterity challenge.

It reminds me too much of my laptop keyboard, which I am not a huge fan of (because it is a laptop keyboard).

As far as cordless, I don't have even close to enough wires in the back of my computer

:blink:, so I wouldn't want to reduce the number by another two. Seriously though, I hate using and replacing batteries, and would surely end up with my mouse running out of power at an inopportune time. My mouse generally doesn't move more than about a foot or so anyway, and my desk is often in a state that would surely block all but the most persistant IR.

<looks for model M or whatever it was>

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omnikey > avant > model m for clicky.

as for the hh, it does have a windows key, and you'll probably get used to the ctrl WAY faster than you think. it's much more natural. x-fX sequences are not a problem for me on it.

the big sell for me was the absence of the numpad. as you may have inferred from the firefox thread, i hate keyboard/mouse switching. i particularly hated moving my arm several inches across something that i almost never used.

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I use the Logitech Elite keyboard (black, for some bizarre reason called the "special edition" version). Unfortunately, it is not split into that completely confusing "ergonomic" style the original poster likes, and it has a F-Lock key too.

Apart from that I have no complaints other than the driver configuration program sucks like with most things Logitech. Mechanically it is very sound, but driver is a pain to use and it does not integrate into the control panel's keyboard applet either. Each special button pops up a stupid, annoying window on the desktop first time it is pressed, this caused me to die in Diablo II when I used an F-key and had forgotten to press the F-lock key when I was tossed back to the desktop just as a horde of monsters were bearing down on me.

Thanks, Logitech...

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Sivar, those ergo keyboards suck. There only suitable for deaf, dumb and blind kids. Please, don't get fooled again. And although the happy hacker is good, I prefer the happy jack, as it offers way more features and is cheaper to boot too. I call that a bargin...the best I've ever had.

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Sivar, those ergo keyboards suck.  There only suitable for deaf, dumb and blind kids. Please, don't get fooled again.

To quote honold from the B&G, "Well that's, like, your opinion man."

I prefer ergonomic keyboards. I type better and faster on them (well, most of them). I don't see how I am being "fooled" because no one has asserted anything about them other than that they like or do not like them

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Sivar, those ergo keyboards suck.  There only suitable for deaf, dumb and blind kids. Please, don't get fooled again.  And although the happy hacker is good, I prefer the happy jack, as it offers way more features and is cheaper to boot too.  I call that a bargin...the best I've ever had.

I'm a fat boy and Ergo keyboards are a miracle for fat people, anyway, anyhow, anywhere -- there is no substitute. If you're not fat, I can't explain, but with a non-ergo keyboard I feel like I'm in a squeeze box with my elbows pressed into my sides. Can't we all join together on this?

-- Rick

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To quote honold from the B&G, "Well that's, like, your opinion man."

I prefer ergonomic keyboards. I type better and faster on them (well, most of them). I don't see how I am being "fooled" because no one has asserted anything about them other than that they like or do not like them

Clue sheet for Sivar: :-)

  • the "Baba-O'Riely" swing
  • WE'RE ALL WASTED
  • deaf, dumb and blind kids
  • don't get fooled again
  • a bargin...the best I've ever had
  • I'm a [fat] boy
  • anyway, anyhow, anywhere
  • substitute
  • I can't explain
  • squeeze box
  • Can't we all join together

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After seeing the recommendations from Honold, et al, for the Happy Hacker keyboards I hunted up a review.

The first thing to note is that it has no function keys or numeric keypad. Ok, I hardly ever use them anyway, and my application for this keyboard is for a second computer on the same desk, so I could sure use the extra space.

There is no Caps Lock key, but that's ok for me, too, because I know I could quickly return to my former (omnikey) habit of using the ctrl key in that position.

I couldn't tell from the review if the Meta-keys could be remapped to send the Windows-key code. I've gotten pretty used to using Windows-E to get an explorer, for instance.

Unfortunately, there are no pageUp, pageDn, home, or end keys, either, and I can't do without them. <sigh> Your mileage may vary -- read the review.

SIVAR: Are you determined to get a mainstream keyboard? If you google for "ergonomic keyboard" you'll find many entries for keyboards that are completely split in half, or have a much larger angle in the split, or have each half down in a bowl-shaped depression, etc.

-- Rick

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your review sucks :) the current model is the lite2

The first thing to note is that it has no function keys

yes it does. it has a function key. fn-1 is f1. fn-8 is f8. etc.

There is no Caps Lock key

fn-tab

I couldn't tell from the review if the Meta-keys could be remapped to send the Windows-key code.

it has a windows key (diamond)

pageUp, pageDn, home, or end

fn-up, fn-down, fn-left, fn-right

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I was very skeptical of a cordless keyboard OR mouse, but decided to try the Logitech MX Duo.

I am completely astounded. What a great set of components for a guy that uses his computers up to fourteen hours per day seven days a week.

I will never own another keyboard/mouse combo, except for this set, until Logitech makes any possible improvement. That, alone, would astound me. I would, slightly, prefer a "natural keyboard" shape, but do not miss the massiveness of that design.

I am astounded at how pleased this geek is with this product and would make very few improvements and intend to upgrade to any possible disign by these guys, Logitech.

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But seriously, keep and open mind about cordless because oh my god, I will never ever go back to cords.

What's the range on these things? Do they transmit key presses in the clear? Are they infrared or radio? Personally, I'm way too paranoid (security conscious) to go wireless. Imagine the things you could do with a remote keyboard logger. :blink:

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Ooops, I forgot to add, it's like 5:15 here. You know, it's hard switching keyboards. My generation likes the old, straight, clickity types. I can't explain it. I'm free to type as I please. Who are you to say otherwise? The real me likes straight keyboards. You better bet I do, it's pure & easy.

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i have a logitech cordless duo + a new optical trackman that is cordless.

When i first got the wireless duo I checked the range.. I got about 30+ feet through 3 closed doors and could still control the computer.

That's with alkalyne... i normally use NiMH rechargables because they last longer and are cheaper. The rechargable dont seem to have as much range, but I don't have any problems under normal use.

The technology is RF and I think broadcasts at 27MHz for their keyboards and mice... they do have bluetooth devices now that operate at 2.4GHz. Logitech's software does allow encryption, althrough I don't know how secure it is. Each device has a couple of channels it can broadcast on in the case of interfearence.

I have heard of people using many of these keyboards/mice in a single office space without problems. I personally use the optical trackman plus the cordless keyboard and mouse on 2 different computer systems and dont have a problem... I'm about to get another cordless duo and I dont expect to have any problems adding that.

It doesn't interfear one bit with my 802.11b network.

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