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My continuing complaint about Apple keybords

 
 
Salmon Egg
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      05-13-2012, 09:31 PM
With the recent thread on how to open Apple keyboards, I want to bring
um my major complaint and ask questions about the "aluminum" keyboard. I
think it is a great keyboard in all but one disasterous way. The keys
are too large. If the keys were approximately circular and half the area
they are now, I would have no complaints. Making the keyboard highly
attractive caused the failing.

My complaint is that the keys are just too large in area and too flat so
that it is easy for fingers to drift onto adjacent keys, thereby adding
unwanted letters too often. My eyes are lousy enough so that I do not
see the letter markings on the keys. I can see the key outlines well
enough so that if I watch my fingers, I can remain centered on the keys.
My fingers "know" approximately where to go, but not well enough to
avoid the edges and drift onto adjacent keys. With smaller keys I would
get tactile feedback when my fingers are drifting off center.

How many people here touch type without looking at their fingers? Of
those doing such typing, do any have trouble staying centered on the
keys? How often do you end up inadvertently catching an adjacent key?

I want to know if my problem is because I just am an inept typist or
whether others avoid it by watching their fingers at work.

--

Sam

Conservatives are against Darwinism but for natural selection.
Liberals are for Darwinism but totally against any selection.
 
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Andy Hewitt
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      05-13-2012, 10:22 PM
Salmon Egg <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> With the recent thread on how to open Apple keyboards, I want to bring
> um my major complaint and ask questions about the "aluminum" keyboard. I
> think it is a great keyboard in all but one disasterous way. The keys
> are too large. If the keys were approximately circular and half the area
> they are now, I would have no complaints. Making the keyboard highly
> attractive caused the failing.


I have fairly large hands, and find the Apple keyboards absolutely
perfect. It's the little laptop ones that I can't get on with.

Sometimes it can just be a matter of getting used to a slightly
different feel, or simply having to find a keyboard that suits *you*.

--
Andy Hewitt
<www.andy-hewitt.me.uk>
 
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sbt
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      05-13-2012, 11:56 PM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Salmon Egg <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> With the recent thread on how to open Apple keyboards, I want to bring
> um my major complaint and ask questions about the "aluminum" keyboard. I
> think it is a great keyboard in all but one disasterous way. The keys
> are too large. If the keys were approximately circular and half the area
> they are now, I would have no complaints. Making the keyboard highly
> attractive caused the failing.
>
> My complaint is that the keys are just too large in area and too flat so
> that it is easy for fingers to drift onto adjacent keys, thereby adding
> unwanted letters too often. My eyes are lousy enough so that I do not
> see the letter markings on the keys. I can see the key outlines well
> enough so that if I watch my fingers, I can remain centered on the keys.
> My fingers "know" approximately where to go, but not well enough to
> avoid the edges and drift onto adjacent keys. With smaller keys I would
> get tactile feedback when my fingers are drifting off center.
>
> How many people here touch type without looking at their fingers? Of
> those doing such typing, do any have trouble staying centered on the
> keys? How often do you end up inadvertently catching an adjacent key?
>
> I want to know if my problem is because I just am an inept typist or
> whether others avoid it by watching their fingers at work.


At first glance, I also thought the keys were too large, but ultimately
discovered that they are the same size at the base as the keys on the
Saratoga and the Extended USB keyboards I really like...it's the lack
of beveling that makes them larger at the top. Additionally, the lack
of concavity on the surfaces detracts seriously (for me) when it comes
to placement and tactile sensitivity. BTW, the keys are the same
size/shape (I measured them) as the ones on my MacBook, which I also
seriously dislike...I carry a USB keyboard and trackball in the laptop
case and only use the built-in keyboard and trackpad when there's no
room to set up the alternative.

I bought up a few USB Extendeds when an Apple Reseller was doing a
"going out of business" sale, so I'm set for the time being

--
Spenser
 
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Michael Vilain
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      05-14-2012, 12:10 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Salmon Egg <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> With the recent thread on how to open Apple keyboards, I want to bring
> um my major complaint and ask questions about the "aluminum" keyboard. I
> think it is a great keyboard in all but one disasterous way. The keys
> are too large. If the keys were approximately circular and half the area
> they are now, I would have no complaints. Making the keyboard highly
> attractive caused the failing.
>
> My complaint is that the keys are just too large in area and too flat so
> that it is easy for fingers to drift onto adjacent keys, thereby adding
> unwanted letters too often. My eyes are lousy enough so that I do not
> see the letter markings on the keys. I can see the key outlines well
> enough so that if I watch my fingers, I can remain centered on the keys.
> My fingers "know" approximately where to go, but not well enough to
> avoid the edges and drift onto adjacent keys. With smaller keys I would
> get tactile feedback when my fingers are drifting off center.
>
> How many people here touch type without looking at their fingers? Of
> those doing such typing, do any have trouble staying centered on the
> keys? How often do you end up inadvertently catching an adjacent key?
>
> I want to know if my problem is because I just am an inept typist or
> whether others avoid it by watching their fingers at work.


I touch type and don't look at the keyboard unless I'm typing numbers.
My fingers stay over the keys just fine because I HATE the aluminum
keyboard (I gave mine away) and use the old school clickity keyboard
from Matias Pro. It's full sized, fits the width of my shoulders (which
a smaller Aluminum keyboard would not thus causing Repetitive Motion
injuries).

Be glad for the size of the keyboard. Any narrower and you'd be in
serious pain from repetitive strain. Well, maybe that's something.
You'd still have something to complain about. Either your eyes or your
wrists or your numb hands or shoulders that have become earings.

Take your pick.

--
DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...
[I filter all Goggle Groups posts, so any reply may be automatically ignored]


 
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JF Mezei
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      05-14-2012, 12:47 AM
Salmon Egg wrote:

> My complaint is that the keys are just too large in area and too flat so




I think I agree about the flat part. I find my rate of typos since I
switched to this keyboard has significantly increased. Having concave
keycaps might help.

Tactile feedback would also help. Right now, you have to really bang on
the keys to make sure the key has been activated.

And there doesn't seem to be an option for key click in the system
preferences. (unless I missed it).
 
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nospam
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      05-14-2012, 12:52 AM
In article <4fb05623$0$20711$c3e8da3$(E-Mail Removed) om>, JF
Mezei <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > My complaint is that the keys are just too large in area and too flat so

>
> I think I agree about the flat part. I find my rate of typos since I
> switched to this keyboard has significantly increased. Having concave
> keycaps might help.
>
> Tactile feedback would also help. Right now, you have to really bang on
> the keys to make sure the key has been activated.


all true.

> And there doesn't seem to be an option for key click in the system
> preferences. (unless I missed it).


<http://www.sustworks.com/keyclick_pref/index.html>
 
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dorayme
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      05-14-2012, 01:04 AM
In article <1kk23hc.jz0altce2eveN%(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed) (Andy Hewitt) wrote:

> I have fairly large hands, and find the Apple keyboards absolutely
> perfect. It's the little laptop ones that I can't get on with.
>
> Sometimes it can just be a matter of getting used to a slightly
> different feel, or simply having to find a keyboard that suits *you*.


I market some gloves that have extended smaller fingers (with lovely
painted nails) that you might be interested in for use on laptops. If
you want a pair, tell me your preferred drop point, they will finger
their way over.

--
dorayme
 
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billy@MIX.COM
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      05-14-2012, 02:00 AM
sbt <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> At first glance, I also thought the keys were too large, but ultimately
> discovered that they are the same size at the base as the keys on the
> Saratoga and the Extended USB keyboards I really like...it's the lack
> of beveling that makes them larger at the top.


Yes, this is exactly the problem, and has been for at least 12 years
now. Maybe even longer, I can't remember. With proper keycaps, this
problem would be solved.

One wonders -- what the hell are the staff at Apple (particularly those
writing software) actually using?

> Additionally, the lack of concavity on the surfaces detracts seriously
> (for me) when it comes to placement and tactile sensitivity. BTW, the
> keys are the same size/shape (I measured them) as the ones on my MacBook,
> which I also seriously dislike...


Going to a notebook style keyboard on desktop systems just makes this
all the worse.

Michael Vilain <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> I touch type and don't look at the keyboard unless I'm typing numbers.
> My fingers stay over the keys just fine because I HATE the aluminum
> keyboard (I gave mine away) and use the old school clickity keyboard
> from Matias Pro. It's full sized, fits the width of my shoulders (which
> a smaller Aluminum keyboard would not thus causing Repetitive Motion
> injuries).


Matias is as good as it gets these days. Even though there is some slop
(lateral play) in the keys that makes typing somewhat a pain, and even
though it's possible to get keys to click without outputting any data,
it's still the best 'plug in and just use it' keyboard available. Too
bad they use Alps key switches - sadly, they are low-end components.

What I'd greatly prefer is the old IBM buckling spring keyboard -

http://www.clickeykeyboards.com/

But it's just about impossible to find one with a full keypad (what
I use to control my text editor).....

Billy Y..
--
sub #'9+1 ,r0 ; convert ascii byte
add #9.+1 ,r0 ; to an integer
bcc 20$ ; not a number
 
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Ron
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      05-14-2012, 02:43 AM
Salmon Egg <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> With the recent thread on how to open Apple keyboards, I want to bring
> um my major complaint and ask questions about the "aluminum" keyboard. I
> think it is a great keyboard in all but one disasterous way. The keys
> are too large. If the keys were approximately circular and half the area
> they are now, I would have no complaints. Making the keyboard highly
> attractive caused the failing.
>
> My complaint is that the keys are just too large in area and too flat so
> that it is easy for fingers to drift onto adjacent keys, thereby adding
> unwanted letters too often. My eyes are lousy enough so that I do not
> see the letter markings on the keys. I can see the key outlines well
> enough so that if I watch my fingers, I can remain centered on the keys.
> My fingers "know" approximately where to go, but not well enough to
> avoid the edges and drift onto adjacent keys. With smaller keys I would
> get tactile feedback when my fingers are drifting off center.
>
> How many people here touch type without looking at their fingers? Of
> those doing such typing, do any have trouble staying centered on the
> keys? How often do you end up inadvertently catching an adjacent key?
>
> I want to know if my problem is because I just am an inept typist or
> whether others avoid it by watching their fingers at work.


I agree about the keys being too flat. It feels like a laptop keyboard
on the desktop. After months with an aluminum keyboard, I still
sometimes find my fingers drifting out of position. The short travel
distance of the keys feels a little odd compared to other desktop
keyboards but that doesn't present a problem by itself.
 
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John Albert
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      05-14-2012, 02:44 AM
On 5/13/12 5:31 PM, Salmon Egg wrote:
> How many people here touch type without looking at their fingers? Of
> those doing such typing, do any have trouble staying centered on the
> keys? How often do you end up inadvertently catching an adjacent key?
>
> I want to know if my problem is because I just am an inept typist or
> whether others avoid it by watching their fingers at work.


You are not inept.

I realize that Apple is about "style", but their current
keyboards are the most un-ergonomicly-designed I've ever seen.

I learned to type in 1965 on manual typewriters in my junior
year in high school. Even IBM Selectrics were a luxury back
then. Having some typing knowledge probably helped to keep
me out of the infantry when I was drafted, I ended up being
a radio-teletype operator in 1970 (you could save what you
typed on paper tapes!).

The keyboards on the teletypes were reminiscent of the first
computer keyboards, with shaped keys that helped to keep
your fingers "centered", for lack of a better word. They
were noisy, but great keyboards.

I've never quite gotten used to most Apple keyboards, and
during the time I've owned Macs (from 1987 onward) I
generally used third-party keyboards instead - because they
just "felt like a real keyboard". Early on, I used a
Datadesk "Mac-101". Later, I used SuperMac USB keyboards,
and I'm typing this on a Macally keyboard that resembles the
earlier Datadesk, with "shaped" keys, a long throw, and a
"traditional feel".

When I got my Intel iMac, the factory keyboard stayed in the
wrapping.

I've tried typing on them at The Apple Store, etc., but
always come away frustrated -- I just can't type on those
"flat" things, my fingers can't find the keys, or more
accurately, can't find the -right- keys on which to "stay
centered".

I'm thinking that how one reacts to "Apple-designed" or
"modern" keyboards probably has a lot to do with how, and on
what equipment, one learned to type in the first place.
Older folks who learned on "manuals" or Selectrics, prefer
to have a "traditional" keyboard under their fingers, and
feel disoriented without one.

Younger kids who learned to type on computers probably don't
mind the "flat" type keyboards, and might actually run into
trouble on a more traditional keyboard. Perhaps they're more
used to watching their fingers.

A friend, who also feels as I do, spent about $100 and
bought one of the older IBM-style
keyboards with USB to use on his Mac. It looks and feels
very much like those old teletype boards! Might have to get
one myself....

 
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