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Out of the Blue

I just need to vent a little here. I ruined a keyboard with a coffee spill yesterday, and contrary to the logic that might suggest a cheap replacement was in order for an item that had suffered such a carelessness-related demise, I picked up a fancy Microsoft wireless desktop as a replacement. Now I am suffering with a couple of inconveniences using it, because they have decided that the small array of keys above the arrow keys (home, insert, etc.) needed rearranging. Specifically, the six keys are now five, and instead of being two rows and three columns, the keys are now in two columns, with the insert key removed from the mix and placed on the top row to share a key with PrtScrn and SysRq (talk about marginalized -- I guess some folks find accidentally hitting Insert as welcome as the Caps Lock). This all completely messes with my instinctive use of all these keys, and why? Because they decided the delete key needed to be twice as tall as it was for some reason. Also, the 12 function keys that are traditionally laid out in three groups of four are now four groups of three. WTF?

Nothing like a little change for change's sake. Too bad, because the keyboard has the nicest action I've ever used... but I still may have to return this. We shall see.

I guess today marks the true start of the holiday season, as the Festival of Lights begins tonight at sundown. Happy Chanukah!

Links of the Day: Seinfeld Dictionary. Yada yada yada.
Stories of the Day: Mother of the Matrix Victorious. Thanks Brandon.
Nativity Plays Boosting Tea Towel Sales.
Scientists Seek Limit on Shark Killings.
Science!: NASA Seeks Methods to Repair Shuttles in Flight. R2D2?
Science Is Eating His Dust.
Roads Gone Wild.
Media of the Day: Yiddish with Dick and Jane. Thanks RedAnt.
Gym Class. Thanks bowerbird.
Auction of the Day: 2nd-PC Natalie Realdoll type silicone doll. Thanks choke. Used?
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.

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102 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 3.
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62. Re: Keyboards Dec 7, 2004, 16:06 xXBatmanXx
 
While we're on the subject - does anyone know if there's a fix for this: (I'm curious if it's a problem that a new keyboard would fix, or if it's something deeper in the system.)
Sometimes, certain 3-key combinations won't work. Say, I'm holding down two keys and press a third, nothing happens except the system emits a beep.
(Specific example - I'm playing GTA, and I'm driving with W and looking to the left with the left arrow. If I try to turn right with D it beeps at me, but it can turn to the left with A just fine.)


This is what I was talking about with a keyboard that won't take multiple inputs. My old Packard Bell keyboard will take about 20 inputs at once.

Newwer keyboards only take 2-4 inputs at once.


BatmanX - fka Batman
(to match all of my online gaming activites)
 
Avatar 10714
 
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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61. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:01 MeatForce
 
kannibal -

I will vouch for the Apple/Matias KB. You will not be disappointed. I'm using one right now, and I would marry it, if the regulators would just get off the fence about that whole issue..

It is so finely made and just ludicrously overbuilt with no silly frills. The world needs more lunatics like the ones who engineered this thing. It ain't quiet, mind you, but these are the mechanical noises of pure blissful typing precision, and easily ignored.

Ever since USB came to Windows, I have always used Apple Pro KBs for my PCs, as they have always had all the things that make a keyboard great (plus an integral USB hub), and none of the fluff. Funny thing is, the Matias is built on the design of the best one Apple ever made (they're not lying in their ad -- the KB was almost perfect). Not only that, but it improves upon it in the only way I could have imagined: by making the keys white w. black letters vs. black w. grey letters like on the old ones (which just didn't provide quite enough contrast to read the letters easily in a dimly lit room).

caveats re -- Apple KBs on a Wintel box: You will be without 'prnt scrn', 'ins', and 'pause' (if memory serves) keys. The keys are there, and Windows sees them just fine, but they're labelled F13-F15. Now, the only time this has ever tripped me up was with Homeworld 2, which insisted on using the 'pause' key for that essential game function, didn't let you remap it, and wouldn't recognise the F-key (which all other games seem quite happy to do). Never could get past the first few missions in that game thanks to that little 'quirk', but I always blamed this on the coding rather than the KB. Also, in place of the Windows key, you have the Apple key. Sadly, this key still works just like the Windows key in games, and is therefore an abomination.

That's_it. Those are the only two caveats I can offer... unless you're a crazy HW2 nut, I don't think either one qualifies as a real 'problem', either.

Get the Matias KB. You will be much more fond of yourself after you do


-----
"I want my lamp back. I'm gonna need it to get out of this slimy mudhole."
This comment was edited on Dec 7, 16:17.
 
-----
I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
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60. Keyboards Dec 7, 2004, 16:00 ReverendTed
 
While we're on the subject - does anyone know if there's a fix for this: (I'm curious if it's a problem that a new keyboard would fix, or if it's something deeper in the system.)
Sometimes, certain 3-key combinations won't work. Say, I'm holding down two keys and press a third, nothing happens except the system emits a beep.
(Specific example - I'm playing GTA, and I'm driving with W and looking to the left with the left arrow. If I try to turn right with D it beeps at me, but it can turn to the left with A just fine.)

 
Avatar 13818
 
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59. Time is running out.... Dec 7, 2004, 15:33 xXBatmanXx
 
/forward apology for stepping on toes and egos.

As many of you konw, the guys over at Penny Arcade do a great thing around the x-mas time.

With gaming deep in all of our hearts, I think this is the best thing one can give during the holidays.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplaycharity/about.php



BatmanX - fka Batman
(to match all of my online gaming activites)
 
Avatar 10714
 
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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58. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 15:11 Tango
 
Cheers lochwinnoch, you just made me not hate my keyboard. I like the Wireless stuff. Except the range is about half what they claim.

______________________
We don't go to Ravenholm.
 
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57. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 14:55 xXBatmanXx
 
Everyone seems to think 'their' keyboard is the best.
I would HIGHLY recommend the new Saitek Gamer Keyboard myself. No more F-Lock key to mess with either!!

http://www.techbits.ca/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=34

http://www.cluboverclocker.com/reviews/keyboards/saitek/

Amazon's price $47 : http://tinyurl.com/5nrvo


Someone posted on Amazon no XP SP2 support. Is this fixed?



BatmanX - fka Batman
(to match all of my online gaming activites)
This comment was edited on Dec 7, 14:57.
 
Avatar 10714
 
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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56. OT: WoW Dec 7, 2004, 14:50 JM
 
Knowing that there are at least a few diehard World of Warcraft players here I thought I'd ask... is WoW the game that will win over those of us who aren't fans of the MMORPG genre? The reviews I've seen so far have been fairly stellar and my curiosity is piqued but I've yet to warm up to MMORPGs and their accompanying monthy fees. Any opinions? Thanks.

 
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55. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 14:44 Fang
 
Sixis, if you like the Lifetime, you'll love the ErgoForce from Keytronics.

 
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54. No subject Dec 7, 2004, 14:41 Pluvious
 
Everyone seems to think 'their' keyboard is the best.
I would HIGHLY recommend the new Saitek Gamer Keyboard myself. No more F-Lock key to mess with either!!

http://www.techbits.ca/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=34

http://www.cluboverclocker.com/reviews/keyboards/saitek/

Amazon's price $47 : http://tinyurl.com/5nrvo


 
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53. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 14:23 kanniballl
 
The finest keyboard you can buy. It's designed for the Mac but is USB.

http://matias.ca/tactilepro/index.php

It uses the old-style mechanical keyswitches, which were standard until the mushy membrane tech came along. That tech is why keyboards are $30 now, but it's also why they suck rocks. Anyone who ever used, say, an IBM PC XT keyboard will remember the mechanical kinds and how good they were to type on.

I might have to try that.

I have a mechanical Mac one, the Kensington StudioBoard Mechanical Keyboard for Macintosh.

It's great to type with the old mechincal "clicks" again, but mine sucks; the workmanship was quite poor. Example: some keys are shifted over like a 0.5 millimeters, so they rub against the pastic and thus don't always go down or back up, and the plastic on the side seems don't meet so it's rather shart.

And no, I haven't spilled anything or... done any thing near it. You can both see and feel the keys rubbing against the plastic before they get past a certain point and then work right.

How's the workmanship on the Matias version? Do the keys work properly?



"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurmama
This comment was edited on Dec 7, 14:26.
 
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
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52. Re: Keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 14:21 Zathrus
 
THe key above the enter key is supposed to be the backslash, not the top-half of the enter key.

Er, while I agree, the key above the enter key has been up for grabs for a long, long time... probably close to as long as the QWERTY key layout has been around.

I avoid keyboards that have the \ key under the Enter key like the plague though. As a programmer and Unix guy, having the | symbol in a weird place screws me.

IBM used to make some of the best keyboards on the market, but they don't make 'em anymore.

Unicomp bought the rights to make them, as well as all of their old stock. You can get one still for about $50, brand new. No Windows key, no other stuff. It appears to still be PS/2 mini-din though, which surprises me. Contrary to your experience, I can't remember the last time I encountered a PS/2 only keyboard. Most of them, even the cheapo ones, are USB w/ PS/2 converters.

A keyboard should NOT require drivers to operate.

They don't. Even the super fancy ones. But if you want to use some of the additional features, particularly volume controls, application keys, and the like, you may need to load the drivers (I don't on mine; shrug).

 
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51. RealDoll-type Dec 7, 2004, 14:18 Hump
 
What does it feel like to look in the mirror knowing you just dropped a few grand on a used RealDoll knock-off?

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Sometimes I dream about....cheese. Here, have a medkit"
- Half Life 2 NPC
 
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----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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50. Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 13:58 Rev
 
The finest keyboard you can buy. It's designed for the Mac but is USB.

http://matias.ca/tactilepro/index.php

It uses the old-style mechanical keyswitches, which were standard until the mushy membrane tech came along. That tech is why keyboards are $30 now, but it's also why they suck rocks. Anyone who ever used, say, an IBM PC XT keyboard will remember the mechanical kinds and how good they were to type on.


 
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49. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 13:48 Zathrus
 
I would KILL for a keyboard like the one I had on my old 8086

Said it before, I'll say it again:
http://www.pckeyboard.com/

They'll even sell you an original 84 key keyboard if that's what you really want. I doubt it is though. And they'll sell you keyboards with either the ancient 5 pin IBM PC keyboard connector, or the merely outdated 6 pin PS/2 keyboard connector, or the current USB connector. For most of their keyboards you can choose whether or not you want a Windows key, if it really irks you that much (I've never had a problem with it myself... shrug).

even after hard nights of beating the shit out of it when I die due to incompetent spellcasters grouping with me in WoW.

Step away from the game dude... it's not worth it.

 
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48. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 13:19 Chris Robbers
 
Logitech Elite all the way baby. Black so it doesn't show as much dirt (although dust is more visible on the top portion that doesn't get touched much), and I like the action. Additionally, they didn't screw with the Insert/Delete/Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys, nor the Function key layout. The only bad thing is, of course, the F-Lock status, which is set to "noob" by default, and there is no way to change it (that registry hack posted only seems to work for MS keyboards). Other than that though, it is a great keyboard and I bought one just to use at work.

This comment was edited on Dec 7, 13:21.
 
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47. Keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 13:18 Jim
 
Blue, it sounds like you accidentally got a keyboard that was destined for the next shipment of keyboards to be sent out to the Martians.

When it comes to keyboards, these are some of the things I look for:

1. Good action. It has to have a good, solid, well-built feel to it. I don't like "mushy" keys.
2. Just a straight keyboard with no extras. This means a standard-layout 104 key keyboard, no "AOL keys", no volume controls or any other crap. I simply do not understand how people fit those monstrous things on their desks.
3. USB!!! Would keyboard manufacturers PLEASE get on the USB bus already? I konw there are some USB models available, but the simple, no frills ones I go for are always PS2, which sucks ass.
4. Standard size and position keys. Why do some manufacturers insist on changing the layout that everyone knows? THe key above the enter key is supposed to be the backslash, not the top-half of the enter key.
5. I konw this is a lost hope, but I wish keyboards didn't come with those shitty windows keys wedged between the ALT and CTRL keys. I was constantly bumping the damn things while gaming and would be greeted with an annoying graphics refresh and a windows menu. Then have to alt tab back to my game and HOPE I get it back. I ended up popping them out of my keyboard at home to avoid this.

Edit: had to add a couple more after reading the posts:

6. No "F-Lock" function! What a dumn idea. I had a friend tell me about his woes with this and I had no idea what he was talking about. I think Logitech uses them too.
7. A keyboard should NOT require drivers to operate.


IBM used to make some of the best keyboards on the market, but they don't make 'em anymore.

This comment was edited on Dec 7, 13:41.
 
Jim
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46. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 13:14 Hammer
 
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro, here.

That's the name I was looking - love that keyboard. Dunno why they don't sell them anymore - everybody I know who has one love them.

 
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45. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 13:13 Warhawk
 
like the standard keyboard layout myself. I'm still using a keyboard that has no windows key! Got it off a Compaq five years ago.

AMEN! I still have my Packard Bell keyboard from 1994.

My favorite was the AnyKey keyboard by Gateway back in about '93 ???. Had 8 arrow keys (including diagonals) and 2 sets of function keys (one along the top, one along the left side, and programmable macro keys. These things were awesome.

Found a site regarding the macros/remapping capabilities:

http://emerson13.home.att.net/AnyKey_Instructions.htm

Hey, here's a couple photos:

http://search.ebay.com/Anykey-Keyboard_W0QQsokeywordredirectZ1QQsonewuserZ1QQxpufuZx

Sadly, it's too big for my uses now (it was an oversized keyboard) and got really grungy over the years. Just using a cheapie $7 keyboard now, wanting one of those new Saitek ones.

http://www.saitekusa.com/usa/prod/gamerskey.htm


*************
* Warhawk *
*************

You know what I'm going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.
 

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
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44. Re: No subject Dec 7, 2004, 13:09 Sixis
 
I would KILL for a keyboard like the one I had on my old 8086 (it had the strangest plug too, like some eastern european power cord). That thing was all metal, weighed about 10 lbs, and rocked. I want to hear when I type, I want zero special keys I never use, and I want it too look like something from a early 80's mainframe. Anyone have ideas where such a thing could be found today? BTW, currently using a Keytronic Lifetime, it has the damn Windows button but everything else is normal, and the buttons are clicky and solid. And it is supposed to never break, even after hard nights of beating the shit out of it when I die due to incompetent spellcasters grouping with me in WoW.

One cast Fear when we specifically did not want anything else pulled. FEAR?!?! WTH??!!
 
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43. MS Keyboards Dec 7, 2004, 13:04 Jethro
 
Apparently it's been a while since Blue had a new MS Keyboard. That key layout you describe has been in use for a long time now, at least three years anyway. I've been using an MS Office Keyboard at home for three years now, and it's keys are laid out just as you describe (plus I have a scroll wheel on the left side of the keyboard). You get used to it real quick. In fact, going back to the older style causes me confusion now. I also use an Office Keyboard at work, so I don't have to deal with switching back and forth.

 
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102 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 3.
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