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Lenovo Tinkers With Larger Delete and Escape Keys

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the boffins-are-everywhere dept.

Input Devices 586

Slatterz writes "After a year's research, Lenovo boffins have decided the time is right to install larger Delete and Escape keys on their updated ThinkPad laptop T400s range. While it is a small change, it is fairly radical to tinker with an area of hardware which has been largely unchanged since the 19th century. What convinced them to make the size-change was doing some tests on users to see which keys they use the most. They found that on average, people used the Escape and Delete keys 700 times per week, yet those were the only non-letter keys that Lenovo hasn't made any bigger." The article says Caps Lock may be next on the agenda; death is too good for Caps Lock.

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586 comments

HERE'S AN IDEA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509297)

Get rid of the keyboard entirely. I'm fucking sick of it. Why don't we have shapeshifting touch screens yet? Yes, I'm impatient.

Re:HERE'S AN IDEA (5, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509353)

This is a ridiculous story as HP already messed with keyboards.

Try checking out the HP laptop keyboards on Canadian laptops. Dear god the layout on those things is terrible. The old QWERTY stuff is in the right place but punctuation etc... Is all over the place. Absolutely horrendous keyboards. I wound up having to use a USB keyboard with it as the default keyboard is damn near unusable unless you like doing a LOT of deleting and retyping of stuff.

Re:HERE'S AN IDEA (5, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509415)

HP/Compaqs are probably the worst computers on the market today. I don't know why anybody would buy one. Horrible quality control and service, no XP drivers for any of the newer units...UGH! Lenovos are probably my favorites if for no other reason than the mouse "track point" nub thingy and they're still easily available with XP. I hope they tinker with smaller price tags some day.

No need (5, Funny)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509301)

Pfft. Deletee kye? I never usses taht aneemore.

Re:No need (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509445)

Making the "Delete" key larger isn't a bad idea. But since Windows is still the most widely used operating system out there, maybe they should make the "Control" and "Alt" keys larger as well...

Re:No need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509839)

You're right. It's backspace or die^H^H^Hnothing.

Caps lock will be the end of unintended shouting (5, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509309)

and, more importantly, reduce calls during your off hours because a user locked out his/her account due to CAPS LOCK being on when entering a password.

Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (5, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509337)

Yep, the key to the left of "A" should be Ctrl. That is one think about the OLPC XO-1 keyboard I like. The actual keys are crap, though.

They had laptops or typewriters with function and modifier keys in the 19th century?

Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (3, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509431)

They had laptops or typewriters with function and modifier keys in the 19th century?

Yeah, of course!

What do you think Ada Lovelace, the first programmer, used to code with?

Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509623)

They had laptops or typewriters with function and modifier keys in the 19th century?

Of course they did! How else do you think they were able to write the stories about how Ford started mass-producing flying horseless carriages or the first Montgolfier balloon to actually circumnavigate the moon. My great-great-grandparents watched it as it happened on their coal-powered TeleStereopticon. If you don't believe it, you can always search for the story on the aethernet with your Difference Engine. Just goolgol for it.

Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509651)

Yep, the key to the left of "A" should be Ctrl.

Why? Because some obsolete VT-52 or obscure Wyse terminal had it there? What are you going to do with the right ctrl key if you move the left one above the shift key? Place it above the right shift key where the enter key is? Or perhaps you'd leave the right ctrl key where it is and have an asymmetric modifier key layout?

No, the real problem with keyboards is the NumLock key. The number keys and cursor control keys should never have been allowed to mix.

Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509733)

Maybe I didn't use it enough, but I always had trouble typing on one of those SUN keyboards with a few crucial keys in different places. That, and certain case-sensitive programming languages or database data has legitimate use for long sequences of all-caps strings, often broken up by underscores. I would miss the caps lock if it were totally gone, but I certainly wouldn't miss mistaking it for tab or lshift. Can we move it to main function for Scroll Lock instead, and make Scroll Lock an alternate function? I don't know what I'd want in its place, because for Windows typing, the common CTRL functions (X,S,V,C) are all easiest as LCTRL chords, and anchoring your left pinky to where Caps lock is to type these I think feels unnatural. Never mind the loss of symmetry in the three-fingered salute!

Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (4, Interesting)

davevt5 (30696) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509795)

I have a Lenovo T400 and the placement of the DEL key always annoyed me. I use a program called KeyTweak (http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/) to remap my lenovo keyboard as follows:

Right CTRL key is DEL
Those silly keys to the right and left of the up arrow are HOME and END

And finally, drum roll please... the CAPS key is mapped to the TAB key so I have a gigantic space to mash my chubby fingers when looking for a tab stop!

Article?!? (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509311)

Where's the article? I clicked on the link, and it's barely longer than the summary.

There's so much they could have elaborated on, like the "years of research", and what the hell they mean by "those were the only non-letter keys that Lenovo hasn't made any bigger." (Because I highly doubt they've made PrintScreen any bigger)

- RG>

serious improvements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509315)

They should think of something to make mistyping harder.

Location, location, location (5, Insightful)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509317)

I am happy to see some thought go in to "routine" matters like this -- too often I feel that laptop keyboards have abominable designs, such as shrunken space bars and control keys, miniscule arrow keys, or nonstandard placement of arrow keys, etc.

However, I would say the esc enlargement on my Lenovo is unneeded -- its location above the other keys means it is struck accurately. I would venture to say the same for the delete key, which I could locate with my eyes closed by its characteristic placement. I think the aesthetics of the vertical extension of these keys is going to be negative.

For my money, I wish they would just lay off the IBM keyboard design. Thinkpads should not have a Windows key. :)

Re:Location, location, location (0)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509737)

Actually, Apple who have a tendency to overthink and overdesign everything have some of the worst laptop keyboards for one very simple reason: No delete key.

There's a backspace key labeled 'Delete,' which I cannot figure out the rationale of for the life of me. My full-sized wireless keyboard also has a backspace key labeled "delete" as well as a real delete key labeled in the exact same manner.

Although Apple's always done it that way, the rest of the world has adopted different terminology, and appreciates being able to delete text on both sides of the cursor.

Also irritating is that Apple no longer even offer a full-sized wireless keyboard, while their wired keyboards default to the godawful "compact" model. This is made slightly more bothersome by the fact that Apple's keyboards are otherwise actually quite good, are visually appealing, and take up a very small footprint on my desk. Logitech's keyboards are hideous, enormous, don't use bluetooth, and very often actually cost more money than the equivalent model from Apple.

Re:Location, location, location (2, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509825)

For my money, I wish they would just lay off the IBM keyboard design. Thinkpads should not have a Windows key. :)

Yes, absolutely. Lenovo's biggest mistake is tarnishing the ThinkPad keyboard with a 'doze key. The second biggest mistake is making (almost) all ThinkPads shortscreen, but my understanding is that they were essentially forced down that path by their suppliers.

Hmm... (1)

shay_rossignol (1540595) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509319)

I wasn't aware there were keyboards in the 19th century...

Re:Hmm... (1)

Rock Chalk Jayhawk (1443729) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509349)

Typewriters were invented during the 19th century.

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

shay_rossignol (1540595) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509361)

yes I'm aware of that but what did those typists need to 'escape' from? And deletion was not quite there either...

Re:Hmm... (1)

Rock Chalk Jayhawk (1443729) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509557)

Typewriters did have a backspace key for the purpose of going back for corrections or adding accent marks. Computers have changed the meaning of backspace to backspace+delete. On some keyboards, such as my MacBook, the backspace key is actually labeled as the delete key, even though delete generally doesn't backspace on most keyboards.

You're right that the keyboard has changed, but it hasn't changed nearly as much as most other hardware.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509367)

typewriter

So conflicted... (5, Funny)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509331)

Lenovo has adware in their updates, but they might sell a laptop without a caps lock key! It's like they're simultaneously the worst and best computer company at the same time.

Nineteenth Century (5, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509339)

Show me a keyboard that even HAD the Delete or Escape keys, idiot. Hell, when I learned to type, you had to use a lowercase L for the digit 1, and a capital O for the digit zero. Exclamation point was "apostrophe, backspace, period."

Re:Nineteenth Century (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509417)

Show me a keyboard that even HAD the Delete or Escape keys, idiot. Hell, when I learned to type, you had to use a lowercase L for the digit 1, and a capital O for the digit zero. Exclamation point was "apostrophe, backspace, period."

You had backspace? I had to disconnect the carriage and slide it to the left.

Re:Nineteenth Century (2, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509481)

You had backspace? I had to disconnect the carriage and slide it to the left.

You had a carriage? I had to type by hand-compositing.

Re:Nineteenth Century (4, Funny)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509587)

You had a hand? I had to use a hook.

Re:Nineteenth Century (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509605)

you had a hook? I had to make kids so that they would type for me because I couldn't afford any prostetics!

Re:Nineteenth Century (1)

4181 (551316) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509641)

You had backspace? I had to disconnect the carriage and slide it to the left.

Wow. It's been over three decades since I've touched a manual typewriter, but I can still remember the feel of the backspace key, with the extra force it needed to drive the carriage right.

Re:Nineteenth Century (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509601)

I wonder if people are modding you 'funny' because they don't realize that you're being informative?

Your point is right on, also. If by '19th century' they meant 'second half of the 20th century', they would be closer to the truth.

Apple losing a golden chance (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509341)

The article says Caps Lock may be next on the agenda; death is too good for Caps Lock.
If Lenovo is going to do it - Caps Lock will die a death and no one will notice. It is better for the industry to let Apple do what it does best and let the Caps lock die at Apple's hand. They will sell a iCapsLock add-on for $30 to stir up things even further and the caps lock death will then be rightly celebrated by the loads of forum posts and bickering by people newly realizing how much they miss the Caps lock now that it is gone.

Bigger ENTER too!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509357)

I would like a bigger enter too, made so it takes more "vertical" space (somewhat relocating the \ key) like on some European keyboard layouts.

Re:Bigger ENTER too!! (1)

twosat (1414337) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509779)

Hear, hear, that's my pet gripe about modern keyboards. The PC keyboards that I had been using until about 9 years ago had a large inverted "L" shape for the enter key. Now, when I touch-type I often miss the enter key. Also makes it hard for people who don't have much typing experience to find a very similar-looking key on the keyboard.

What Key Instead of CapsLock? (1)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509365)

Control instead of CapsLock? And just when most people have gotten used to the current placement. :-) Then does CapsLock get demoted to Fn-(Right)Shift?

Re:What Key Instead of CapsLock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509465)

I use my capslock as a meta-key.

Re:What Key Instead of CapsLock? (2, Interesting)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509527)

Colemak turned it into a backspace, a clever thing to do and since then I rarely move my whole right hand to the upper rows just to hit backspace.

They should just put CapsLock along with PrintScreen , ScrollLock, Pause/Break.

Incomplete statements (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509373)

Statements such as...

"...They found that on average, people used the Escape and Delete keys 700 times per week..."

are meaningless unless they (Lenovo) tell us what type of keyboard layout the tested computers had or even what applications people used. By the way, who constituted what they refer to as "people?"

Re:Incomplete statements (1)

shay_rossignol (1540595) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509393)

"By the way, who constituted what they refer to as 'people?'" those little monkeys that NASA used to test space equipment

Re:Incomplete statements (1)

jimbot76 (862223) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509419)

From the USA Today article: "Lenovo is on a more conservative course. In designing the new ThinkPad, it installed keystroke-tracking software on about 30 employees' computers (They volunteered)." http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/2009-06-26-delete-key_N.htm [usatoday.com]

Re:Incomplete statements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509477)

Just like chinese prisoners "volunteer" to donate their body parts?

Re:Incomplete statements (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509699)

More importantly, who were these people? Were they predominantly doing data entry, coding, document copy writing? Were they touch typists or did they hunt-and-peck? That's a pretty small sample of people to base a fundamental interface design change on.

Re:Incomplete statements (0, Offtopic)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509843)

Yeah and what color hair do they have? And what town do they live in? Are any of them allergic to shellfish!? Did they like the movie The Green Mile, or do they prefer The Shawshank Redemption? THESE ARE ALL THINGS I MUST KNOW!

Re:Incomplete statements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509769)

And long before that:

Microsoft natural multimedia keyboard
http://www.microsoft.com/products/info/product.aspx?view=22&pcid=e4eef44d-ef98-44d2-9451-abc336a4ec1b&type=ovr

Optical desktop 1000
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=058

Laser desktop 4000
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=094

They all have the said delete key change and separation of ESC key.
But people have been complaining about the change of delete key though.

Re:Incomplete statements (1)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509553)

and after they tell us that, it would be helpful to know how many keystrokes they recorded, what the average hit per key is and the overall distribution. what does 700 mean if you don't have any other data to compare it to? exactly, nothing, so why even mention it? also delete has already gotten bigger on many non-laptop keyboards, so i fail to see the big innovation, getting rid of caps lock is something i very much support though.

Lenovo aren't the only ones (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509395)

I'm sure I'm not the only person on slashdot to own this fine keyboard [logitech.com] , with it's double-sized delete key. Although, the escape key is standard sized.

Re:Lenovo aren't the only ones (2, Interesting)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509559)

well .. I for one don't. I own this one [logitech.com] and the double sized delete key WAS a factor.

Laugh as much as you want, but my keyboard is the input device I use the most, and I'm pretty sure this is true for a lot of /.'ers. I find it always mind boggling that people will pay incredible sums for their mices, but will get $9,99 keyboards with the argument that "it's just a keyboard, you know". A keyboard should be as ergonomic as possible, unless all you ever do is click links in your browser.

When friends give me a list of notebooks with similar specs and ask me to tell them which one to buy, my answer is always to open notepad or whatever is installed, type a few sentences and buy the one that felt best, even if it doesn't have the best specs or the best price of the lot. Incidentally, the chance that that they WILL use the delete key is quite high, and a big one you can hit easily with your pinky without looking for it is, in lack of any other word, awesome.

Re:Lenovo aren't the only ones (2, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509709)

I find it always mind boggling that people will pay incredible sums for their mices, but will get $9,99 keyboards with the argument that "it's just a keyboard, you know".

The term is 'meese'. ;) As for $10 keyboards, my current keyboard was free. I got it off a 'dead keyboard' pile and it's awesome, can't beat the motion of the older keyboards.

Re:Lenovo aren't the only ones (5, Insightful)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509789)

Oh, man. There is nothing I hate worse than typing on than one of those Logitech keyboards that shuffle that whole block around. I can never find the home or end keys!

Re:Lenovo aren't the only ones (1)

jzhos (1043516) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509813)

Not sure if it is earlier than logitech,

Microsoft natural multimedia keyboard
http://www.microsoft.com/products/info/product.aspx?view=22&pcid=e4eef44d-ef98-44d2-9451-abc336a4ec1b&type=ovr [microsoft.com]
Optical desktop 1000
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=058 [microsoft.com]
Laser desktop 4000
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=094 [microsoft.com]

They all have the said delete key change and separation of ESC key. But people have been complaining about the change of delete key though.

Still prefer regular sized keyboards (1)

Henry Pate (523798) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509411)

I can't use a laptop keyboard to near my regular level of productivity. I only have to use a laptop for work from time to time and whenever I do I always plug in a regular sized keyboard if one is available.

The laptop keys don't have the same feel, some are in strange places, no regular number pad. Less lack of division between the keys, regular keyboards have that nice gap between the tops of the keys.
Making the Esc and Del keys bigger is a good idea in my view but it still isn't going to get me to use a laptop keyboard unless I'm forced to.

NOBODY (1, Troll)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509427)

NOBODY, absolutely NO one can improve on the IBM Model M. It is the absolute epitome of our technological renaissance, the baine of my roommate and simply the cats meow.

Re:NOBODY (1)

rizzo320 (911761) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509539)

My mom has a stash of these in her basement - she does a lot of typing and swears by them. Some of them are almost 20 years old. You can buy new ones from http://pckeyboards.com/ [pckeyboards.com] - they bought out the license/patents from Lexmark (who had received them from IBM.

I did have a really funny comment on here... (1)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509439)

...but after years, I finally noticed a really small Delete key hidden on this keyboard! I was so overjoyed that I had to test it out.

Re:I did have a really funny comment on here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509649)

Too bad you didn't discover the Escape key.

Marketing Gimmicks & Flawed Analyses (5, Insightful)

xixax (44677) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509447)

So let me get this straight.

The best way to improve keying accuracy is to create even more derivative keyboard layouts?

I'd guess the del key might even afford to be *smaller* as it is used more often and hence more easily remembered.

I would have had a bit more sympathy if the article had said they'd placed it in a more accessible location ala space bar (rather than off to one side of the main keymap).

Maybe they could create a "Lenovo" key to sit between the "Windows" key and a new "Dave was here!" key. Then I can loan them my 16 button hexdecimal mouse[1].

Xix.
[1] Otherwise known as a digitizing puck

Goldtouch Keyboard (4, Insightful)

chroma (33185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509463)

I've got a couple Goldtouch keyboards that have a great improvement: extra Delete and Backspace keys on the left hand side of the keyboard. It's very helpful when you've got your right hand on the mouse.

Also, Goldtouch moved the Windows and Right Click/Context Menu keys off of the main area into a separate space. Both of these are great improvements.

Changed Keymap layouts (2, Interesting)

xixax (44677) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509607)

Yes, there's oodles of room for real improvements.

I love Sun Type5 keybards because the cut/paste & front/back keys is on the left hand side of the keyboard. Ditto super handy when your right hand is on the mouse.

Xix.

19th century? (0, Flamebait)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509493)

I'm not aware of many keyboards from the 19th century. Sure, the QWERTY layout came about at the end of the 19th century, but was used on typewriters as best I know.

Re:19th century? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509543)

Indeed, I'm pretty sure the submitter never used a typewriter, either. It was rare to find one with a delete key. Sometimes, with more modern typewriters you would, or maybe just a backspace key, but for the most part, no. That is why error rate was so important as a measurement for secretaries and typists.

In addition, even in our modern era different keyboards have had different layouts. Commodore 64 was significantly different than the Apple II, and even now different laptops have different key layouts (especially with the meta keys).

I agree with the editor comment, let's do something with the caps lock key. I haven't used it in three years, I think (maybe some people do: I'll bet a lot of people don't understand why we have a backslash, forwardslash, and pipe on the keyboard, but I personally use them all the time).

Re:19th century? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509617)

and what do you call the part of the typewriter with the keys?

Just out of curiosity ... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509495)

Lenovo boffins have decided the time is right to install larger Delete and Escape keys on their updated ThinkPad laptop T400s range. While it is a small change, it is fairly radical to tinker with an area of hardware which has been largely unchanged since the 19th century.

So can someone provide a list of 19th-century keyboards (i.e., typewriters) that had Delete or Escape keys?

Inquiring minds want to know about this bit of history ...

(I've long wanted a bigger ESC key that's easier to hit, and I suppose most vi users would say the same thing. ;-)

Esc Key? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509505)

Actually, I was thinking just the other day that I hardly ever use the escape key. It just doesn't come up as a useful or needed key very much. Even for some in-game menus, I usually hit the Cancel or X buttons with my mouse before even thinking about using the escape key.

Half right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509541)

Forget the bigger delete key, I don't make mistakes.

Bigger escape key, sure. Help counter other people's mistakes. :P

while they are at it (1)

Gresyth (1103851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509547)

they could also add they letters "ANY" to the space bar. Help desks the world over will be eternally grateful

The Following keys also need to be altered Lenovo (4, Funny)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509567)

Here's a better idea Lenovo: enlarge the: U, O, Y, K, C, U, F keys. ;)

Re:The Following keys also need to be altered Leno (1)

shird (566377) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509715)

why did you mention the U key twice? and yes, I get your joke.

mode lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509569)

Whenever the keyboard is in a locking mode, or in insert mode, there should be an LED reminding the user of that.

Yeah, it costs a bit more, and I realize it may not be as easy as it sounds b/c of the keyboard driver, but that's one of the ways you get your product line out of the commodity end of the market.

...largely unchanged since the 19th century? (2, Insightful)

PNutts (199112) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509583)

Ahem. We still have 26 alpha and 10 numeric but about everything else has changed. Frequently. More like "largely unchanged since the 19th of June".

wAIT! i need THAT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509631)

I use my caps lock key when I enter (into my accounting system) the description of parts purchased at Fry's Electronics, which are often WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS.

Boffins? (5, Funny)

IceFoot (256699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509647)

Lenovo has boffins? What the heck are they, creatures from Lord of the Rings? Some kind of exotic bird? Wait, the dictionary says it's BRITISH SLANG. Well, you can just keep your esoteric BRITISH SLANG over there on your little island, buster, because we don't need no stinking BRITISH SLANG over here in America, or the rest of the world for that matter. If you can't write in standard English so English speakers around the world can understand it, just press your DELETE key (no matter what size it is) and go do something else. *grumble* damned Recoats *grumble*

Apple must be scared (2, Funny)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509661)

This has to be the biggest upgrade to PC usability since PC 97 added colour coding the mouse and keyboard connectors. Well done.

Unicomp killed the Capslock key... (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509679)

> The article says Caps Lock may be next on the agenda; death is too good for Caps Lock.

Unicomp bought and still run the original IBM keyboard factory in the US. They've been offering a variant with a demoted-CAPSLOCK key and a bigger control key in its place for Linux heads: http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/linux101.html [yahoo.net]

This is the original buckling spring keyboard - the one with the glorious clickety-click sound as you type. They also offer the original keyboard (with the big CAPSLOCK key) too: http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/cus101usenon.html [yahoo.net]

I want to know just whose idea it was to put a CAPSLOCK key on the keyboard in the first place. I want to know the name and face of the IBM Engineer who did it. They can join MSDOS's Tim Paterson's '\' vs '/' in the Hall of Shame for the stupidest decisions with the most hurt in computing history.

DVORAK (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509745)

it is fairly radical to tinker with an area of hardware which has been largely unchanged since the 19th century

What I find to be "radical" is that we still insist on using the QWERTY layout when it is well-known to be inefficient.

Bring back the LOCK key I say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28509781)

Caps-lock is handy on occasion - it's just the implementation that's flawed on modern keyboards. Bring back the system where you held SHIFT then pressed LOCK, a-la 19th century typewriters through to some very early personal computers, and you can have the feature without the pain of accidental shouting and messed-up passwords.

Caps Lock Idea... (5, Interesting)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28509833)

I don't care much about the Delete and Escape key changes mentioned in TFA... but I think the article's author gives a glimpse of tech-naivete' by suggesting that the Caps Lock key is obsolete. Just because he doesn't see a reason for Caps Lock out there in his little business world doesn't mean the key isn't highly useful to application developers. I'll point out SQL capitalization standards as just one example.

DELETE FROM my.memory WHERE opinion = his
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COMMIT
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