M. Douglas Wray

Keyed Up

My pal Tony sent me this shot of his old Olympia manual typewriter keyboard. Amazing how few keys we got by with.

Olympia Portable Typewriter

Olympia Portable Keyboard

Nowadays we have a lot more keys to worry about – not to mention that weird little pre-trackpad ‘wart’ for cursor control.

HP Portable Keyboard

HP Portable Keyboard

Then there’s your typical home PC keyboard. I think I paid a whole $7 for this one. Very light, very cheap but works fine on Mac or PC.

KeyTronic

KeyTronic Cheapie Keyboard

Then came the ‘split and twisted’ scheme to minimize RSI*. There’s successively more and more compliant versions of these – one that has the keys in ‘pockets’

Windows Ergo Keyboard

MS Ergo Keyboard

Then there’s the truncated Apple iMac keyboard that was on my jukebox – I decided to try the KeyTronic cheapie and it works fine. Better set of control keys.

Apple iMac

Apple early-generation iMac keyboard

My current keyboard – the Matias Tactile Pro. It’s noisy but it types very nicely. Five-year warranty.

Matias Tactile Pro

Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard

Here’s all of em together for comparison.

Comparison Shot

* There’s an outstanding article on Repetitive Strain Injury by Tina Richardson at dopasolution.com. It’s fully WC3 compliant and should work properly with most if not all assistive technologies. Thank you Tina!

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