Maybe you don't make your living with a keyboard. Or maybe you don't accidently sit down to write a quick post and get up a day or two, 13,000 words and 7 posts later. Still, you have to have learned to hate what the keyboard has become.
Dell makes dissatisfyingly mediocre keyboards. Their left shift key works on union scale, taking breaks every two hours no matter how important the job. They saved themselves about $0.30 worth of plastic, by getting rid of the 1/2 inch border around the actual keys - leaving the (somewhat?) important ESC, CTRL, Windows, "Second" and ENTER keys exposed to every careless brush of the palm. And they keep lining up the Insert, Home, Delete, End, Page up, Page down keypad differently every year. I will risk the judgement by calling them morons. Was anybody thinking? Could it really be that much more efficient to randomly rearrange them again?
But worst of all, Dell's keyboards are not, and nor will they ever be, IBM keyboards.
Ah. Do you remember the IBM keyboards? IBM still puts real keyboards like that on their laptops (last time I got to touch one, anyway.)
Their keyboards click.
That doesn't sound like much, but it's the world.
The click rewards the user twice. The first reward comes because your ears know what your fingers are doing. You can blithely tap along, reassured with every meshing of push, click and sight that all is well with the word. Every push yields a click, and every click yields a character. Oh, and to hear the shift key before the character key... heaven.
The second reward comes when your fingers know they can rest again.
You see, the click of the old keyboard was not just a reassuring noise. All keyboards make noise - nasty, pointless thunking noise, but noise. No, the click came when you had pushed the key about half way down, not all the way at the bottom. And once that key had clicked, your finger's work was done - every time. You could push that key half way, knowing the click would come, and quit. And, sure enough, the click came, and if the click came the character showed up on the screen.
And rapture of raptures, when you hit the shift key, and you made it click before the character key, you could be SURE the character would be in upper case. Those shift keys worked on a commission, I tell you. They knew if they took a break, productivity would fall, and they'd be begging bread for their children!
Give me my Dell computer, and watch me backspace over and over and over because the shift key was only 83% depressed, while the character key was 86% depressed.
Even using shorthand as I do (so that a 60,000 character series of posts only requires that I type 33,000 characters - now you know my secret) having to press every key through the bottom of the keyboard just to be sure it will show up on screen gets painful! And while you may wish that my keyboard hurt me enough to make me shorten a post or two, it never works that way. I am compelled to keep clicking through the pain until the muse leaves. (Actually, maybe if I would quit when the muse did people would read more?) I hope it's enough merely to know that I hurt with each word I write as much as you do with each word you read.
Anyway, if anyone knows of a good keyboard out there, I'll buy two, maybe three of them. Elsewise, I'll be cruising the IBM peripherals site in the next day or two.