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Author Topic: How would you improve a standard PC keyboard?  (Read 16214 times)
Ehtyar
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« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2009, 11:43:26 PM »

Ahahaha, apparently neither of us read the entire thread :S

* Ehtyar sorry

Ehtyar.
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4wd
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« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2009, 03:26:25 AM »

Ahahaha, apparently neither of us read the entire thread :S

* Ehtyar sorry

Nah, 'sokay - mine will only work for US keyboards but for anyone who wants to do some other keyboard, I recommend KeyTweak.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2009, 05:36:57 AM »

Or the registry version is way back up here Wink

Yes, I missed that: perfect for anyone not running ahk stuff  Thmbsup
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2009, 05:55:33 AM »

Ever since the "10 GUI" thread I've been really interested in the idea of a keyboard with a large multi-touch surface next to or as part of it. If it was also a screen (OLED or LCD), it could dynamically display keys or other info depending on the mode it's in. I'd pay $200 for a keyboard like this that worked well...

Yes: me too. Though I'm a bit concerned about the lack of travel in the "keys".

Did you see http://www.artlebedev.com...verything/optimus-tactus/ ? Not a lot of information, but it'd be neat if it included pointing as well.
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tranglos
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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2009, 10:15:04 AM »

Quote
If you hold the mouse with your right hand, you have to drop the mouse before you can hit Enter.
Not if you have <Enter> assigned to <LeftButtonDown><WheelDown>

I've never had a wheel mouse where the wheel click was comfortable enough. Either they are too "tough" to press, or it's too easy to scroll the wheel while pressing it. I've only ever used Logitech mice, so perhaps other brands are better in this regard.

Granted, I could assign one of the extra buttons to act as Enter.
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tranglos
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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2009, 10:24:16 AM »

Better yet, completely do away with the number block like many laptops do

I actually like the numeric keypad and use it a lot, even though I don't do any spreadsheet calculations in Excel. It may be a fairly recent development, but a lot of the new-ish window management apps (from Actual Windows Manager to AHK scripts) quite rightly use the numeric keypad for window movement.

Most technical translators will be familiar with SDL Trados, pretty much the industry standard translation memory software, which has always used Alt+ Num Plus and Alt+Num Enter for its basic functionality, since mid-nineties at least. A bit odd initially, but very convenient when you get used to it, unlikely to conflict with anything else... and completely impossible to do on a laptop. (Which is a problem, as freelance translators are likely to work on mobile devices). What's bad is that these shortcuts cannot be remapped (maybe they can in the latest version, which is a rewrite with a completely new UI).

Also, as cyberdiva said, the numeric keypad is indispensable for entering Alt+xxxx characters.

I also tend to assign a lot of shortcuts to Alt- or Win plus (what used to be called) the "grey" keys. In general, I'm not into *removing* stuff; I'd rather see new stuff added where possible smiley

« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 10:27:33 AM by tranglos » Logged

tranglos
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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2009, 10:38:40 AM »

I'd get rid of the damn CapsLock key.  It might be worth little test to get a key mapping utility to make it behave instead like an Enter key and see how that would work out. I may just do that.
I was thinking electrify the CapsLock key.

Why is Caps Lock so universally hated? For one thing, it makes a great Reload key in FPS games, try it! Way, way better than the default 'R', since you can hit it instantly with the little finger regardless of whatever else you are pressing at the moment.

But more seriously, if you've ever seen an EULA that goes THIS SOFTWARE ("SOFTWARE") IS LICENSED TO YOU ("YOU") ON CONDITION IT WILL NOT BE RE-SOLD, LOANED, TRANSFERRED RE-EXPORTED OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH...

and so on for two or three pages. When I am translating a piece of crock like that, I thank my Caps Lock key.

And how about making Alt + Esc the left-handed Enter key.

Alt might not be the best choice, because just pressing left Alt (without releasing it) closes an open menu, so you could not use that combo to emulate Enter in some cases. Also, Windows already maps Alt+Esc to something like "send window to bottom in Z-order", though you can override that mapping with third-party tools.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2009, 10:46:00 AM »

You guys are going to love this:
http://geekhack.org

All about keyboard. Including crazy designs.

PS: I'm quite happy with my kinesis contour.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2009, 12:36:59 PM »

Ever since the "10 GUI" thread I've been really interested in the idea of a keyboard with a large multi-touch surface next to or as part of it. If it was also a screen (OLED or LCD), it could dynamically display keys or other info depending on the mode it's in. I'd pay $200 for a keyboard like this that worked well...

Yes: me too. Though I'm a bit concerned about the lack of travel in the "keys".

Did you see http://www.artlebedev.com...verything/optimus-tactus/ ? Not a lot of information, but it'd be neat if it included pointing as well.

Oh wow, hadn't seen that. Awesome. cheesy But as you said I'm not sure I'd want it without any travel in the keys for the *entire* keyboard. I was more thinking of a part on the side(s) of the keyboard where the numpad would usually be that did double duty as tracking surface (multitouch), numpad, and fully customizable command area. Maybe one on either side...
Still the Tactus looks interesting.

- Oshyan
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housetier
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« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2009, 05:14:14 PM »

I'd pick a das keyboard without the numpad.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2009, 06:52:51 PM »

PS: I'm quite happy with my kinesis contour.

I'm very attached to my Kinesis FreeStyle and Contour "mouse": it's made a big difference to my back  thumbs up
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Ath
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2009, 05:08:45 AM »

Well, I've been using the Logitech Cordless MX Duo for years, and the best feature, next to standard Insert/Delete/etc keys, is the scrollwheel on the left side. It scrolls exactly like when pressing cursor up and down keys, so is the perfect alternative when scrolling long lists, web pages and comboboxes.
I've been a professional programmer for decades now, and the only thing I didn't like about this keyboard, was that the keys actually wear from the heavy use I've subjected it to. It's not that the impressed characters on top wear off, but the key mechanics have degraded to a point that they sometimes are not properly pressable because of 'tilting', as you don't always put your finger in the middle to hit a key. I've retired it to my home-office, as the 'heavy duty' use is at work (yes, I took my own keyboard there, because the standard 13 in a dozen keyboards cause me RSI ohmy).
It took me just about 4 years to wear it to a point it got really annoying, and now I can't buy a new one, but I'm still searching for a decent alternative...

<rant>
Another feature I'd like to have back, is the correct layout of the Insert/Home/PgUp/Delete/End/PgDn keys. They tend to be regrouped in all modern keyboards, but the reason is totally unclear to me. The Insert key (I regularly use Shift-Ins) in the new layout is way out of reach, next to F12, and I keep hitting PgDn or Delete when I actually wanted End, etc.
Whoever designed that should be fired (at).
</rant>
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mouser
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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2009, 05:12:18 AM »

Quote
Another feature I'd like to have back, is the correct layout of the Insert/Home/PgUp/Delete/End/PgDn keys.

AMEN!!
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AndyM
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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2009, 01:17:03 PM »

Quote
Another feature I'd like to have back, is the correct layout of the Insert/Home/PgUp/Delete/End/PgDn keys.

AMEN!!
Second that!
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AndyM
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2009, 01:23:12 PM »

I've never had a wheel mouse where the wheel click was comfortable enough. Either they are too "tough" to press, or it's too easy to scroll the wheel while pressing it. I've only ever used Logitech mice, so perhaps other brands are better in this regard.

WheelUp and WheelDown are commands to rotate the wheel.  I do assign something to MButton (wheel click), but Enter is assigned to <LeftButtonDown><WheelDown>.

This is my second Logitech mouse.  The first one had a much crisper and better middle button click via the scroll wheel.  I can live with this one but I understand your complaint.
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AndyM
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« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2009, 01:25:12 PM »

Put the App/Context/RightClick (whatever you call it) back next to the Right-Control key.

Nobody else misses the APP key?
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Ath
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« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2009, 01:59:15 PM »

Nobody else misses the APP key?
++1;

Yes, should have mentioned that in my rant, earlier, on the bad new layout issue. Now I have to hunt for the Shift-F10 combination.
Also have to add the crap descision to regroup the functionkeys by 3 instead of the once common 4 key layout. It gets worst, I guess Angry, can't believe I paid all that money for such a crappy designed keyboard thumb down
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tomos
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« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2009, 02:21:36 PM »

Put the App/Context/RightClick (whatever you call it) back next to the Right-Control key.

Nobody else misses the APP key?

it's still here lol -
Logitech media keyboard - german layout though

Advantage of the Shift+F10 is it toggles the context menu. dont know why the apps key doesnt do that Sad
But true it is a lot more awkward
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Tom
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« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2009, 06:33:07 AM »

I actually wrote up a large article on how to improve input handling on PC's, I believe this would apply.

I don't remember exactly how it went (and no clue where the article went or if it even still exists), but basically it would serialize input devices so that they could be distinguished between programmatically. Of course, they would still have a legacy behavior, but for a program which was aware of the specifications, they could do some neat things.

For example, one could have 2 mice on a computer, working independently. One could hold many keys down on the keyboard at once and it would not error out, etc. Some of these features (especially holding many keys at once without erroring) would require the use of drivers.

Also, each key could be assigned to any other key function or scancode. This would allow one to easily map any key to what they want to do, rather than being limited by the configuration options of the program itself.

Again, I had a large write-up on how it would actually work, but i forgot it. People will argue it's not possible, but i actually had shown it was possible in the writeup. It did have some caveats though, like the requirements of a driver, more hardware within the input device itself [thus, more $$$] but I would be willing to pay more for such a setup.
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Hermit2003
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« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2009, 09:19:11 PM »

Not so much improve as go back to something that got changed for no good reason.

1) Reduce the size of the right SHIFT key and go back to giving us a correctly sized (as in vertically bigger) ENTER key.

2) Reduce the size of the BACKSPACE key and put the ESC key back in the 'numbers row' (top-left) where it belongs.

I'd be happy with both these ideas. I disagree with those who want to get rid of CAPS LOCK, however. It has many good uses, especially for writers and teachers. For those who accidentally hit it and find out halfway through  ;Dthat their whole email seems to be a flame, learn to program the Caps Lock key to give a warning sound when pressed. Porblem solved!


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OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2009, 09:36:03 PM »


Well, you could save up your pennies and get the Optimus MaximusHas it seen the light of day yet?  Apparently shipping....crap, now I want one.


Agggh! I forgot all about these Optimus boards! Curse you, Red Baron! 177,777 pennies....oh well.
 Wink
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« Reply #46 on: December 10, 2009, 02:29:30 AM »

I never quite understood why the function keys were moved from the left hand end of the keyboard and put along the top. If you are not a typist it makes little difference, but if you are then you have replaced having to move one hand horizontally from the 'home' typing position to having to move two - and given that the position of the function keys in relation to the home positions is not standardised either vertically or horizontally between keyboards (unlike the letter/number keys) it means that a touch typist has their rhythm broken every time they have to use a function key.
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app103
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« Reply #47 on: December 10, 2009, 07:29:32 AM »

I'd like to have back the functionality provided by turbo + F11. (it locks your keyboard till you hit that combo again. great for cleaning or preventing cats from buying nuclear weapons online)

You know what else would be nice? A mini trackball and joystick on the keyboard, that could be used in place of a mouse or switched to "old timers mode" for gaming, instead of using the arrow keys.

And in the far upper right of the keyboard, right in the corner, a mute button that lights up (optionally blinking) when the pc is muted.

And buttons on a multi-media keyboard that work with your default player, instead of whatever player they feel like associating it with. I can't stand those buttons being set for stuff I don't use and no way to change it. On every keyboard I have ever owned, that email key always opened Outlook Express instead of whatever I used for email, IE instead of my default browser, WMP instead of whatever player I used.

Eject button that actually opens an optical drive....and closes it, too.

And how about some adjustable height feet on the bottom, so you can either raise your keyboard higher or change the angle.

A dedicated pen/pencil holder groove at the top!

And all desktop keyboards should be sealed inside, to protect against damage from spills.
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AzureToad
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« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2009, 10:40:31 AM »

app103 Thmbsup  FTW!!

You know what else would be nice? A mini trackball and joystick on the keyboard, that could be used in place of a mouse or switched to "old timers mode" for gaming, instead of using the arrow keys.

And in the far upper right of the keyboard, right in the corner, a mute button that lights up (optionally blinking) when the pc is muted.

And buttons on a multi-media keyboard that work with your default player, instead of whatever player they feel like associating it with. I can't stand those buttons being set for stuff I don't use and no way to change it. On every keyboard I have ever owned, that email key always opened Outlook Express instead of whatever I used for email, IE instead of my default browser, WMP instead of whatever player I used.

And how about some adjustable height feet on the bottom, so you can either raise your keyboard higher or change the angle.

A dedicated pen/pencil holder groove at the top!

And all desktop keyboards should be sealed inside, to protect against damage from spills.



I have the adjustable feet - would never want to do without them!
I would LOVE having the mouse closer or as part of the keyboard - it's a pain in the neck to remove the hand to my trackball, then jump back.
And you're right on - ALL keyboards should be sealed!
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2009, 12:05:16 PM »

Hmmmmmmm, for super touch-type know-all-the-shortcut-keys people probably the best thing would be a very light-weight headset with laser tracking.  On rare occasions when you want to use the mouse, the tracking would move the mouse pointer to the point you are looking at.  You could wiggle your ears or blnk hard to double-click.

With the electronics so cheap nowadays there may even be something out there.  I know combat pilots have had this laser eye-sight tracking stuff for quite awhile.

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