[OT] Typos

justin gedge jgedge at amis.com
Thu Jan 12 19:28:56 MST 2006

Gabriel Gunderson wrote:

> This is less dramatic, but when I use a "standard" keyboard my typing 
> slows to a crawl.  I'm so accustomed to the "natural" keyboards that I 
> have a hard time knowing where my fingers are on a standard.  I think 
> it has to do with not using the little warts on the "f" and "j" keys 
> for finger placement.  With the natural my fingers just kinda know 
> where to go.
> I get an "off by one" key on my right hand under my ring and pinkie 
> fingers.  So when wanting to type "ll" do show a long listing of the 
> directory, I will hit a ";;".  It's kinda embarrassing when you're 
> working at someone's keyboard.  Then what will happen is I'll end up 
> lifting my right hand to be sure of finger placement (thus the slow to 
> a crawl).
> Anyway, my old keyboard is getting ready to be replaced and I'm 
> thinking about getting rid of "natural" keyboards all together.  Is it 
> just me or are they selling less of them anyway?  And does anyone else 
> suffer from FKBS (Foreign Keyboard Syndrome)?
> ;ater,
> Gabe

I tried the ``natural'' keyboards a few years ago when one showed up 
with a new PC-- but eventually went back to the $15-20 basic keyboard.  
A few things drove me completely nuts w/ the natural keyboard.  1st was 
the placement of all the [insert][home][pageup][delete][end][pagedown] 
keys that are right above the arrow keys.  The natural keyboard had all 
these keys flipped arrount 2x3 col/row instead of 3x2 col/row.  Come to 
think about it-- the arrow keys were small and screwed up too.  just 
drove me crazy-- but the final factor was my use of drawing programs.  I 
was using enough CAD software that it became very un-natural to navigate 
my left hand across the huge gap in the middle of the keyboard.  I 
eventually had a senior layout designer show me a few productivity 
tricks for CAD-- where you map your most common functions to bindkeys on 
the left half of the keyboard-- this way you can keep you right hand on 
the mouse and your left hand in the same place--  natural keyboards may 
not be as bad once you get all the bind keys setup/customized-- but when 
the brain is in ``drawing'' mode-- it likes to view the whole keyboard 

Now-- years later-- I've got 5+ years on a Sun Keyboard-- that combined 
w/ learning emacs on the sun-- I find the 1st thing I customize in linux 
now is the swapping of the caps-lock and ctrl keys so it's like the sun 
keyboard.  It just feels more natural to me this way [even though i'll 
probably have to change this on every keyboard i use for the rest of my 

Also-- if you find yourself continuing to hit the [;] instead of the [l] 
key a year after your transition back to standard kayboards-- you could 
just map your keys over-- kind of like when I have aliases set in the 
shell for the commands I commonly mistype.

Justin Gedge

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