Best keyboard and monitor?

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AmberV
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Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:18 am Post

Thanks for posting an update on that keyboard. I think I'll save up for the Celesta instead. I quite like scissor action keys, and having them on a full sized keyboard as opposed to a compact laptop would be nice. It looks like the only other serious mechanical keyboard out there is the Avant Prime, and personally I'd rather have something Mac specific. The Celesta is getting good reviews from what I've seen so far. The only con being its price, which given what I use a computer for, is entirely justifiable.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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lenf
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Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:41 pm Post

AmberV wrote:It looks like the only other serious mechanical keyboard out there is the Avant Prime, and personally I'd rather have something Mac specific. The Celesta is getting good reviews from what I've seen so far.


That's one bit I've wondered about regarding the Celesta - how are the Mac specific keys actually labeled? It's described as a keyboard for Windows, Mac & Linux. Do the Alt & Windows keys also have Opt & Command/Cloverleaf bits? The only pics I've seen so far manage to not include those keys. :)

While I don't look at the keyboard while writing, when doing graphic work I sometimes look to verify I'm using the Option or Command keys. After a couple of months using the Prime, I wished those were Mac labeled on the key tops. The company was nice enough to send extra keys which I labeled the way Cupertino intended.

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AmberV
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Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:12 pm Post

Their design page has a series of images, most of which do not show the tops of the keys clearly enough. But from the few you can see, it looks like a case of double-labeling. For example the F13-4 are also the old PC keys that nobody uses. On one of the shots of the black version, you can see the modifier keys to the right of the spacebar. "Control" is in its usual position, then there is another key I cannot read, looks like "Mute" (?? that would be a weird place for it though, since volume controls have been moved above the arrows) and then an Option key, and you can barely see what looks like a stylised Command key next to that. The left side, as you can see from another shot, has three keys. I'm guessing those will be identical to the standard Mac keyboards, but with double usage for PC users.

Above the arrow keys, the grid there is very Mac oriented. PC keyboards do not have a "help" button for instance, most Windows applications use F1 for that.

I don't mind cross-labeling. The important thing is that all the keys are there. Some PC oriented keyboards do not have enough modifier keys, and all of them are printed with windows icons, which isn't very intuitive. From what I can see, it looks like a reverse of the normal situation. It is for the most part a Mac keyboard that happens to support PC users too. The key designs are very Mac-centric. 'delete' instead of 'Backspace' and so on.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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lenf
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Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:38 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Their design page has a series of images, most of which do not show the tops of the keys clearly enough.... then there is another key I cannot read, looks like "Mute" (?? that would be a weird place for it though, since volume controls have been moved above the arrows)


OK, I hadn't noticed the photo of the black keyboard with the key tops.

The "Mute" key probably actually says Menu, as my Prime has a sort of Menu'y icon at that place. With a menu open, it either seems to jump to the bottom of the menu list or toward some item in the menu list that relates to either the A key, or the A + a modifier, or something more random.

I expect someone with more experience on PC keyboards can explain what it is actually intended to trigger...grin.

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AmberV
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Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:13 am Post

Oh you know what, I think that key is very similar to right-clicking, if not simply a duplication of the feature. That way you can get to contextual menu stuff without using the mouse.

So I was in a Mac store today and decided to pick up an IceKey keyboard. I figure the typing action cannot be that much better on the Celesta, and I might as well save $100 or whatever. I have to say, so far, I'm extremely happy with the keyboard thus far. It's a pleasure to type with, and the build quality is good; better than a lot of more expensive keyboards I've seen. One weird thing about it: There is a blank key to the right of right Control key. Very odd. It doesn't seem to send any keystroke to the system, nor does there seem to be any way to bind it to anything. It's just this blank key!
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Sat Jun 23, 2007 6:44 am Post

I'm happy that you're happy with your new keyboard, Amber. I never touched the IceKey nor the Celesta, so I can't judge their functionality. But as far as looks are concerned, for me there's absolutely no comparison between the two: while the Celesta is simply beautiful, period, the IceKey looks … well, let's say very 'average'.
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Sean Coffee
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Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:12 am Post

Amber:

Maybe you have the Optimizer key I never got on my Tactile Pro 2.

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AmberV
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Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:42 pm Post

That is certainly true, but despite being an owner of an Apple computer, I am not entirely wrapped up in appearances!

Sean, I'd send you my Optimizer key, but like I said, I cannot get it to work at all. So I doubt it will do you any good. I think I am going to pretend it is a Reboot button. Or maybe a Reinstall Windows button. That would be appropriate.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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lenf
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Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:13 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Sean, I'd send you my Optimizer key, but like I said, I cannot get it to work at all. So I doubt it will do you any good. I think I am going to pretend it is a Reboot button. Or maybe a Reinstall Windows button. That would be appropriate.


Appropriate, maybe, but not much fun. :D

Paint it red. Label it PANIC.

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Sean Coffee
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Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:51 am Post

Was reading through screenwriter John August'ssite when I came across a reference to this keyboard. In. Freaking. Sane.

I can't begin to imagine using one, but I'm sure some of you sore-wristed* kids out there in Scrivenerland might like something like this.



*sounds comically dirty

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Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:11 am Post

Cool, isn't it? Looks like something they should have had in Star Trek.

Have you seen the DataHand?

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AndreasE
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Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:35 pm Post

:roll:

Urgs! One thing crazier than the next one.

The best keyboards I ever had:

1. The Alphasmart.
2. The good old heavy clicking IBM-PC-keyboard.
3. The keyboard of my iMac. It took some time for me to get used to it, but meanwhile I appreciate it's quality.

The rest of what is sold in the stores: Forget it. I very often went there, willing to spend a lot of money on a good keyboard, but there wasn't one. You can spend your money on keyboards with gimmicks of all kind (a shining example is the expensive "Harry Potter"-keyboards that has a F-9 3/4 key instead the usual F-10 function key... :roll: ), but beyond that... it's as if there were only Ladas available in a lot of varieties, but no Mercedes.

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Sean Coffee
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Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:02 pm Post

Weird: On the heels of discovering the keyboard I mentioned above, I read an article on 10 Screenwriters To Watch in Variety. Check out the section on Dana Fox, who -- in addition to being surprisingly hot -- types like a freak on this keyboard. =-)

Looking at that picture actually gives me a little anxiety. Like, seriously, that works?

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lenf
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Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:32 pm Post

Sean Coffee wrote:Looking at that picture actually gives me a little anxiety. Like, seriously, that works?

In '96 or so, a guy designed one of the first folding keyboards like this, had a few dozen samples made, and tried to get Apple to adopt the design. I typed on one of those in Apple's SF office one afternoon for an hour or so.
The particular design allowed one to fold the keyboard in about six steps, from a slight rise in the center to full vertical. The full vertical position was by far the most fun, stable, and fast. I clocked in a good 135 wpm.

You did have to adjust some wrist and hand pads which were sort of cobbled together at that stage, and the bare ribbon cables joining the halves were odd, but it could have been a great keyboard.

I think on the same afternoon we also played with a version of the head mouse, a little sensor you could wear like a small headphone set, and click the button with a foot pad.

Instead, Apple opted to address the RSI bits with the Adjustable Keyboard, which just rotated about a central axis to a middling degree.

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KB
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Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:52 pm Post

Dang! The Microsoft natural mouse is very nice, but it doesn't work on the glass surface I bought for my desk! *Sob*. And the Gateway monitor is MASSIVE. The IceKey keyboard feels great and I can type very fast on it - fantastic. Very satisfying. Annoying about the mouse though. I like it a lot, but it would be a lot of hassle to get rid of the glass desk top...