Whatever happened to …

… those great computer keyboards?

I’ll attribute my interest in this originally to learning how to type on a typewriter.  The typewriter was really heavy which made it stable to work on.  You really had to work to get it to physically move on the desktop so generally you didn’t.

Then, of course, we moved to computers and they needed their own keyboards.  Typically, if you have a laptop, you’re good to go although smaller laptops do have compromises.

So, if you’re like me, you might just attach an external keyboard to the laptop to give you the whole keying experience.  I love the embedded keypad and programmable function keys.

Without a doubt, the best keyboard ever are the ones that used to come on the IBM Personal Computers.  They were made of metal and were the closest to a great typewriter experience that I ever had.  Perhaps a bit noisy but that was part of the whole experience.

But you had to buy an IBM PC to get one!  When you buy a clone of the PC, you get something less than that.  I think it’s a cost factor for manufacturers and most of them are plastic and actually move around if you type with emotion.

My desktop experience is now one where I plug an external keyboard into the USB port on my laptop.  I’ve found a great keyboard – Logitech Internet Navigator Keyboard.


It plugs in nicely to a MacBook Pro, Chromebook, or Windows/Linux computer.

For a Sunday morning, your thoughts please…

  • Do you plug an external keyboard into your laptop?
  • If you do, which one do you own?
  • What’s your favourite computer keyboard of all time?
  • When you’re buying a new computer, how important is the touch and feel of a keyboard to your choice?
  • There’s one key that adds additional functionality to regular keys.  It’s located in a different position on the standard Macintosh keyboard.  What’s it called on the Mac, in Linux, or on Windows?
  • If you use an external keyboard, does it come with special function keys?  Can you or do you reprogram them?

I’d be interested in your comments with respect to keyboards.  Share them in the comments.

Got an idea for a future post?  Let me know.

2 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Back in the mini computer days (remember when the screen was either black on white or white on black or many amber?) I got a terminal with programming keys on the keyboard. I programmed them for all sorts of things. My co-worker debated it that was because I was lazy (her view) or efficient (my view).

    I use laptops almost exclusively these days and while I do plug in a second monitor (makes things easier) I haven’t bothered to plug in a larger keyboard. I do have a really nice bamboo keyboard around here somewhere but until I clean up my desk there is no room for it even if I wanted to use it.

    The keyboard for the surface family of laptops is pretty good though so I don’t mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just got rid of my last Model-M keyboard. It’s still the best and was still working great even though it dated back to the late 80s. I just got to used to having those couple of extra keys that modern keyboards have.

    At least now with cherry-blue / cherry-brown switches you can get a decent feel on a modern keyboard. I like the code keyboard and Das keyboards but am now using a Logitech G610 cherry-brown which is pretty nice. Good feel but not too loud.

    Liked by 1 person

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