Actually, now that I think about it, the original IBM PC keyboard had the CTRL key where you like it and hid the CapsLock key over on the other side of the keyboard under the shift key. I recall they did that because they had a very profitable dedicated word processor business they wanted to protect. Later on, the industry seemed to standardize on the typewriter friendly layout.
Last edited by NA8; 03-15-2009 at 10:50 PM.
This is the first time I've ever heard anyone make such a fuss about the position of the control key! Is it really so bad as all of that? I mean, if it comes to that, then the entire world should adopt the DVORAK keyboard, right, as it is more efficiently laid out.
Like it or not, tradition, once established, must be considered. I would be unhappy if I had to relearn the position of the control / caps lock keys, just as I would be really unhappy to have to learn dvorak layout.
For those who type for a living, it would be worth it to do something like that and it would be significant where the control key is. But for most people? Not an issue. Not an inconvenience. Not hardly. Most people don't even use keyboard shortcuts, they use a mouse.
I'm not saying you're wrong, only that you're being a drama queen!
Just buy an HHK keyboard. Someone who goes by the name "LLCoolBeans" recommended it 'cause it has the control key in the right place. No inconvenience for you, and the rest of us are just fine with it where it is.
First let me state that my statements are somewhat exaggerated for comic effect. My humor comes through much better in person.
I too was once like you, until I tried a keyboard with the control key in it's rightful place. It was awkward for about 5 minutes and then I it clicked. The only reason I feel so strongly, is that I found it made a huge difference in my ability to use the keyboard efficiently. I've never gone back. I feel that others should give it a try, so they can benefit too.
Don't let the Ctrl key thing stop you, if you are married to your Ctrl/Caps arrangement, no problem. You can swap the position of Ctrl and Caps via dip switches on the back of the board.
Also, the HKK can look like one of those travel keyboards in the photos. I assure you it is not. The board is weighted so that it stays put on your desktop or keyboard tray. It is only small in stature because the human hand is only so big. Why not use an input device where all functions are right at your fingertips, rather than having to move your arms about or look down at the keybord?
They used to have a DVORAK model, that is one of the ones that has gone the way of the dodo. They also used to have a model with no labeling on the keys at all.
There are a couple of other great products that complement the HHK very well.
And the Genovation programmable keypad
Oh, and the HHK Lite 2 page
Great response! I believe you that it just might "click" for me, but since I like to YELL at people a lot in my posts and emails, THE CAPS LOCK KEY IS A GODSEND! I use it way more than the STUPID control key. *grin* For instance I just used it like three freaking times in this one post! How cool is that?
But seriously, like I said, I think you're probably right about this issue. Although, when I worked for the military, there was a crazy amount of ALL CAPS acronyms and just general style/preference, so I probably used it almost as much as the control key back then.
Anyway, thanks for the posts and the HHK recommendation.
You might also try swapping with [R Ctrl] instead, this would allow [Ctrl] to be in the new place and in the place you are used to it being.
I did some looking on eBay and as it turns out, the real HHKs are still availible, however they are only availible on the Japanese market. They used to retail for $150 or something from PFU. Now if you want one you have to get one from ebay and pay $200 to $300+. Ouch.
That is the "Professional 2" model. The "Lite2" model is still imported into the US and can be had from PFU, the above link should take you to the online ordering page.
The Lite2, is probably the better board to try out the concept, as it will only set you back $70 or so.
They also used to make/import the Lite2s with a PS/2 interface, now only USB is availible.
Also, looking on eBay, I noticed what Nortgate keyboards are selling for. Egads! Do an ebay search for Northgate keyboard. This may give you an approximation of the quality of these boards. If people are stepping over each other to purchase a 20+ year old keyboard for upwards of $300, what does that say about the quality of the keyboard?
I was lucky, I found mine some years ago under a stack of old keyboards at the local thrift shop. I think I paid $2-$5 for mine.
I was kidding about using the caps lock key more. I, like most serious computer users, use the CTRL key way more--the keyboard is always faster than the mouse. And at home I use a Mac, and OS X, in system preferences, makes it very easy to redefine keyboard keys. As for the windows and Linux stuff, here at work I barely have the authority to change the effing time on my computer, let alone install applications and make system changes. The computer group locks those things down tight. Never mind that I am trusted with operating a $125,000 API laser tracker, and am entrusted with operating and being responsible for the entire accelerator. That, apparently, must pale in comparison to being given administrator priviledges on my own damn machine. It annoys me so much that I bought a Macbook Pro on my own dime so I could have an unhampered computer experience here at work when I want. So, the point is that I would almost certainly not be able to get software like you are talking about installed on my machine. I couldn't even get a different web browser installed unless I could "justify" it. Just because I like a different one doesn't cut it.
That's OK, though, when I'm on the control system cluster, I have God-like power! *muh hah ha ha* (evil laugh).
Anyway, while I appreciate the offer(s) and the recommendation on the HHK and Northgate, I almost certainly will just "settle" for my IBM Model M here at work. I like it, and while I can usually spend money to get what I want, my wife looks very askance at multiples. i.e. I can buy a knife--a very expensive knife even (I bought a Sebenza, years ago)--but if I wanted to buy another one, well, that would be harder to get past her. LOL! And, personally, I too would be hard pressed to justify spending another $100 or more on a keyboard, since I just spent $70 on my Model M. I decided on the Model M because it's a classic and I wanted to experience it, and also because I got a "new" (i.e. newer) computer here at work when my old one died, and it's an IBM ThinkCentre. And my monitor is an IBM ThinkVision. And so, when I got my keyboard, it formed a nice matched set of IBM components! Well, the mouse is a Logitech, but that's OK.
Still, good to know about the Northgate. I picked up my two Apple Extended Keyboard II's at a Church rummage sale and a Salvation Army Thrift store for $4 ea, so who knows? It's not impossible to believe that I might run across a Northgate. I can dream, anyway!
Don't get me wrong, I like the old IBM battleship boards, except for the [Caps] issue, that is. That is definitely a quality board.
I'm using a 1993 M here at work ( it is my personal kb )
A very good condition, cleaned, tested white label IBM Model M 1391401 keyboard goes for about that, yes. I'm sure I paid a bit of a premium ordering from www.clickykeyboards.com, but for me it was worth it. It came with a guarantee / return policy, and was fully tested and cleaned and all that. Plus, I like that company and was happy to support it. I tend to avoid ebay unless I have no other choice, or know the seller well.
As for my personal machine, I'm quite happy with the Apple Extended Keyboard II or the new Apple Keyboard kit which I mentioned (and linked to), and my wife would not go for yet another keyboard. Plus, we're about to upgrade our desktop machine.
It's a neat keyboard, isn't it?
Just in case you are interested, here are some links to videos showing the HHK Professional 2 in action.
This one shows the Lite 2
Started learning DVORAK last night. So, I've gone from about 80 WPM to about 12, but I can already tell that I will soon be blowing 80 WPM away.
It's not just a little more efficient, it's WAY more efficient!
Querty = 30% of keystrokes on the home row.
DVORAK = 70% of keystrokes on the home row.
You absolutely must try it!
Cool . . .
I'm impressed, LLCoolBeans! You talk the talk and walk the walk.
I've got 3 Model Ms and 1 Northgate.
The Model Ms have been flawless for years, and the switchable caps are great for cleaning. The Northgate suffers from the occasional (slightly) sticky key.
Given that the Northgate cost about 5 times more than each of the Model Ms, the IBM keyboards are far better value for money. The only reason not to use a Model M is if you don't want to deafen people around you
Sorry, but you can't beat the Optimus Maximus imo.
The price tag sucks but it doesn't get better than it.
I am a pretty big dvorak fan. i can type a good bit faster on one than a qwerty keyboard. about 15-20 wpm faster. not to mention that i can type longer without starting to feel like cutting off my hands. i have had a big delema the past few months with keyboards, i could not find one suitable for gaming and for typing. i have had a logitech g15 scince they first came out. however i traded it for something else. (not keyboard wise, but something else) so now i am on the hunt for a keyboard and will probably go with the das keyboard. but i worry about every keyboard i get with the letter printed on the keys, because those long nights of gaming wear the lettering down to noithing. like the keyboard i am typing on now has WASD, alt, and R already worn down to nothing. several others on their way. the bad thing is, i have not learned to touch type on a qwerty keyboard. so i will soon have to learn! i can only touch type on a dvorak. if only DAS made a dvorak keyboard.
Too hard to get used to Dvarok for me, but I can already get 100+ WPM if I want.
Well I have a G15 (version 1), and I am very satisfied with it for the most part. The backlit keys are very useful for low light, and the built in LCD is VERY useful. I can display basically every bit of info I need about my computer on it (Temperatures, fan speeds, CPU usage, RAM usage, internet usage, and a lot more).
Eagletac T10L, 3D maglite with Malkoff 3-6D XP-G Dropin, Stanley 35 watt HID, Gerber LX 3.0, L-mini II Q3-5C, 2D ROP w/ LiMnNi 26650, Eagletac P100A2, Quark Mini AA XP-G S2