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Topic: Keyboards! (Read 9819 times)

  • Frenzie
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Keyboards!
Not a great picture, but here's mine:


  • ersi
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #75

I have no idea what secretary training is, but it's irrelevant.

The kind of training that gets you a certificate about your typing skills. A certified typist.


An experienced typist is one who doesn't look at the keyboard, types at a certain minimum speed (let's say at least 300 characters/minute*), and presumably uses all of their available fingers to do so. If one manages to type 300 CPM with just two or four fingers I imagine it to be closer to a top speed than a minimum speed.**

I have to measure this some day. I might narrowly qualify to your definition of experienced typist. I always suspected not.

Is the speed measured backspacing excluded? I.e. the characters that one must delete due to mistyping are not counted as typed, right?


I disagree with your suggestion that a method involving more than just a few fingers wouldn't be similar to your prescription image at least in principle. Although the physical layout of the keyboard is somewhat suboptimal, having more or less dedicated finger areas is surely the fastest and most efficient.

Now, whatever I said about unschooled typing, I didn't mean two-finger typists. I didn't mean someone who has to hunt for each key with the eyes, like for Rosinen im Striezel. Certainly all fingers would be involved, just that middle fingers would get much more work than prescribed.

I have to pay more attention to how I normally type, but I am not aware of having assigned specific territories to fingers on the keyboard. It seems to me I can hit any key with any finger - currently convenient finger in the course of the sequence, that is. Middle fingers do most of the work and little fingers least, but none is idle.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #76
The kind of training that gets you a certificate about your typing skills. A certified typist.

As long as you meet the requirements for speed and accuracy your methods don't matter. In any event, I suppose I have one of those from about twenty years ago.

Is the speed measured backspacing excluded? I.e. the characters that one must delete due to mistyping are not counted as typed, right?

Traditionally mistakes are penalized. I forget by how much for the certificate mentioned above, but indeed in our modern world they can simply be ignored as irrelevant besides the extra time involved. In the event that I do make a typo, I also tend to correct it before I even become aware of it.

I have to pay more attention to how I normally type, but I am not aware of having assigned specific territories to fingers on the keyboard. It seems to me I can hit any key with any finger - currently convenient finger in the course of the sequence, that is. Middle fingers do most of the work and little fingers least, but none is idle.

Having your middle fingers do most of the work doesn't sound natural to me. You'll notice that people who type with two or four fingers do most of their typing by index finger. Perhaps your middle fingers are unnaturally dexterous? ;)

  • ersi
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #77

The kind of training that gets you a certificate about your typing skills. A certified typist.

As long as you meet the requirements for speed and accuracy your methods don't matter. In any event, I suppose I have one of those from about twenty years ago.

And I maintain that the certificate matters. It's both a mark and the result of the formal training. People without training are not likely to take the certificate test.


In the event that I do make a typo, I also tend to correct it before I even become aware of it.

This is an indication of a highly skilled typist. I am acutely aware of each typo and I sometimes have to rest my nerves, because correcting my own typos is a significant extra workload.


Having your middle fingers do most of the work doesn't sound natural to me. You'll notice that people who type with two or four fingers do most of their typing by index finger. Perhaps your middle fingers are unnaturally dexterous? ;)

Two-finger typists are inexperienced by definition. They have no say or bearing on the natural way to type. Surely you noticed how old people handle mobile phones. They hold it in one hand and press it with the index finger of the other hand. Is it more natural than youth who can hold the phone in palm and do everything with the thumb of the same hand? And now with the advent of bigger smartphones the manner of grip is changing again.

Given a reasonably fast typist, the natural way to type is to give labour to all fingers, I think. I'd make the amount of typing fingers a mark of experience and skill. But there are two distinct ways to cover the keyboard. One is the standard prescribed way, to assign territories on the keyboard for each finger. The other is patterns of convenience where every next key is pressed with a different finger.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #78
One is the standard prescribed way, to assign territories on the keyboard for each finger. The other is patterns of convenience where every next key is pressed with a different finger.

The reason you use the natural (ahem, "prescribed" :P) way is because otherwise you have no idea where your fingers are. That is, it's the F and J keys from which everything logically derives. On a proper keyboard like mine you could of course stick marked keys wherever you like -- or nowhere at all. Provided you stick to a fairly standard QWERTY layout, I see no logical positions for the marked keys other than D and K (for middle fingers) or F and J (for index fingers). Alternatively you might try D and L or F and K, thus reducing the right-hand overload (a major design issue), but I believe that would best be accompanied by a remap. Given a standard QWERTY layout I see no reason to prefer non-standard placement.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #79
There's a new Kickstarter for a keyboard called the Keyboardio: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keyboardio/the-model-01-an-heirloom-grade-keyboard-for-seriou/description



At first glance I'm tempted, but the price is steep. If I were in America, I'd definitely try to take a look at one of the events they'll have this month.

  • Barulheira
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #80
I have been a certified typist for about 30 years.
At that time, the finger mapping for the numeric keys row was shifted to the right. I should use the middle finger for 4 and for 9.
That's the way I usually type. But I agree with ersi, we have a trend to build our own shortcuts. For instance, I wouldn't type LOLOLOLOL with just one finger.
I think our brain works in a similar way as finding routes in Google Maps. Always instantly, it builds an algorithm to find the quickest way to type a bunch of keys. The standard way is just a reference; alternatives are allowed.
(Some time ago I would like to learn how to type on a Dvorak keyboard. I'm not that interested anymore.)

  • ersi
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #81
Barulheira correctly identifies what I was getting at - the prescribed way tells you to hit adjacent keys with the same finger, but I find it impracticable to press adjacent keys in sequence with the same finger. And this principle - the next key with the next finger - applies even stronger when the keys to be pressed in sequence lie further apart. On the other hand, when I press the same key multiple times, of course I use the same finger.


The reason you use the natural (ahem, "prescribed" :P) way is because otherwise you have no idea where your fingers are. That is, it's the F and J keys from which everything logically derives.

This is the common point in all experienced typing, I'd say. Naturally you have to know where your fingers are, because your expectations of what is getting pressed (without looking at the keyboard - a mark of skill) must match with what actually gets pressed.

The start position is the same, index fingers on F and J, and typing means reaching for all other keys around F and J. But then there's the fact that fingers are of unequal length and this is why I cannot imagine putting middle fingers on D and K, next to F and J. When index fingers are on F and J, middle fingers seem most at rest on R and I instead.

Further, when I move a finger to a next position, all other fingers, the whole hand moves along with it, so the most convenient keys for fingers change with each change of position. My typing thus consists of inventive gestures throughout. It must be due to lack of dexterity (not dexterity that you previously accused me of) that I am unable to move each finger with precision confined to its own territory.

This perhaps fits the description of a typist who never got beyond the clumsy beginner's stage. I mistype and have to backspace more than I'd like to. However, I don't have to search keys by looking at the keyboard. And my typing speed, including backspacing, is likely average, never too slow for actual work. And I'd say I started the right way once upon a time - I began to type on an actual typing machine 20 years ago, when I was unable to afford a computer. (More correctly, I didn't properly understand the difference between a typing machine and a computer besides the price.) On a typing machine there's no backspacing, and this is how I started, slowly and carefully considering each touch on keys.


  • ersi
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #82
Having had some more conscious contact with different keyboards lately, there are some considerations I have been through. In addition to good computers and monitors, Dell makes good keyboards. This is a nice standard keyboard, Dell KB-212.


Defender and Acme make more commonly available standard keyboards, closely resembling the above Dell, so much so that they look interchangeable, even though there are a few differences. Dell is more silent and has rubber feet on the other side to keep it solidly in place on the table. Defender and Acme are loud and gliding.

Many keyboards come with more keys than the standard set. I personally need multimedia keys to set a media player to play/pause and to pick next/previous track even when the media player is not in focus. These have to be separate single-touch keys. Comboing multimedia functions via Fn key or configuring them in the window manager is a worse option in an extended high-speed productive situation. Such dedicated multimedia keys are very conveniently placed on this Defender Bern.


The round button is meant to screw the volume up and down. It makes perfect sense for a volume button. The only problem with this keyboard is that it's a Defender - noisy and slippery, sometimes said to be of poor manufacture quality.

Some kids may want to have a gaming keyboard. A true gaming keyboard is of durable manufacture, de/reconstructible, with programmable keys and endless lighting options.


And they cost at least a $100. A cheaper option is a poor copy, nothing like that in the video above. This Tracer Kicker, a regular multimedia keyboard, may dupe a beginner gaming enthusiast one single time.


An affordable middle path among the different keyboard types may be provided by Zalman K300M.


For people working long hours at keyboard, a handrest may be important. I like how this Modecom 9005 places the multimedia keys accessible for thumbs rather than any other fingers. But I would like the middle set of keys (Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, etc.) to be in three columns a la standard, when I look for a main keyboard.


Currently I don't know of a better option than Dell KB-522 with detachable handrest.

  • Sparta
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #83
i use any keyboard , as long it works .

for now i use wireless keyboard and wireless mouse .
nothing special , it is just works as intended .

  • Belfrager
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Re: Keyboards!
Reply #84
the keyboard has been drinking...
My version of Tom Waits to explain my typing errors... blessed spell checkers.
A matter of attitude.