Monday, September 05, 2005

Alternative Keyboards

Funky! That's it. Don't know if I can say anything more profound.

All right, what's this about? Alternative keyboards are relevant to two groups of people. Those who want an alternate input system for ergonomic reasons and those who want to work with something other than the good ole English alphabet. I am the latter. However, paths converge, scope broadens, and so on.

This image is from an educational site, (not a commercial site so not plugging any one brand) called the Typing Injury FAQ - very cool. There are fixed split and adjustable split keyboards, contoured keyboards and vertical keyboards, as well as a discussion about why the chording keyboard is not so fast after all. Other links here and here .

For those with further questions on specific keyboards there is a Yahoo group called altkeyboards. This keyboard on the right demonstrates the move towards putting the non-letter keys in the middle rather than off to the side. So enter, tab and backspace are centre rather than side keys. Shift, however, is left on the sidelines.

This keyboard, Morita, was discussed in the yahoo group altkeyboards in this message.

This discussion will connect somehow to a further post on the thumb shift keyboard, coming up some day - well I hate to promise anything since this is such a spontaneous hobby for me. However, there are numerous real writing system articles on the thumb shift page.

NB. Keyboards one and two are QWERTY keyboards so they are not alternative in layout. Morita and, of course, Dvorak are alternative layout keyboards. However, they are both discussed at the Typing Injury FAQ.


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