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10 Strange Computer Keyboards

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the well-not-that-strange dept.

Input Devices 181

DirectedImpact noted an amusing little compilation of 10 strange keyboards. Some of them you've probably seen before (the laser keyboard, the optimus OLED keyboard) and others are quite real (I actually had one of those split keyboards for awhile) and others are pretty out there: like the keyboard built into the lacy doily placemat thingee.

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181 comments

goatse (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034240)

There's no such thing as a goatse, except free sex [bloomberg.com] .

CMDRTACO drinks squeezed ball sweat! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034366)

He licks the balls of Keith Dawson [slashdot.org] once they are squeezed in order to obtain the last licks of salt!

CMDRTACO IS A BIG FAT FATTYPANTS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034468)

nigger ni gg er nigger n i g g e r nigger n-i-g-g-e-r

Link Correction! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034812)

Since the ball licking SLashdot parsers remove spaces in address links, I am forced to put a %20 in the link. So so so gay. Keith Dawson, everybody [slashdot.org] .

No ErgoDex DX1? (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034244)

My personal fav weird keyboard is the ErgoDex DX1 [ergodex.com] Keyboard. Completely moveable keys, macros, etc. Recognfigure it however you like. Runs about $150.

Re:No ErgoDex DX1? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034384)

What about this one?
http://www.maltron.com/ [maltron.com]

Re:No ErgoDex DX1? (3, Informative)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035348)

The Maltron is supposed to be great. I have the Kinesis version -- the key "wells" are great for reducing finger travel, and the long stroke distance takes away the impact of the the key bottoming out. Very nice, and dramatically extends (more than doubles) the hours per day I can work before my fingers start burning. Took about a day to adjust, and a week to get back up to full speed.

I have nasty RSI or something like it, and the Kinesis just seemed the best balance of bang for the buck -- the Safetype was more for wrist than finger problems, split keyboards and basic ergonomics didn't do enough, and the Datahand (mentioned below) was too spendy for me to try unless the Kinesis wasn't good enough.

Seriously young geeks -- if your fingers start hurting, do something before you do permanent harm. Switch mice (vertical mouse, trackball or tablet), switch keyboards, try Dvorak or Colemak, talk to your doctor -- it just gets worse over time if you don't.

Re:No ErgoDex DX1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22036432)

I switched to a Logitech Office Comfort split keyboard. Do you figure that's enough?

Which letter do you like least? (3, Funny)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034788)

The DX1 Input System includes a Pad, a removable Tray, 25 numbered Keys with a storage tray, preprinted labels, an installation CD and a Quick Start Guide.

So with only 25 keys, which of the 26 letters of the alphabet do you like least? You could go Roman and use "V" for "U"'s, or drop F and use "PH" instead.

Or, you can be really revolutionary and go with the Decabet [wikipedia.org] , which will even leave you enough keys for all 0-9 numerals and some punctuation too!

Re:Which letter do you like least? (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22036436)

You can order a pack with an extra 25 keys for the DX1, which will allow you to avoid the indignity of dropping the useless letter "Z" from the alphabet (though it deserves it).

DataHand (3, Interesting)

Agenor (1136719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034906)

I have to grant you that the DX1 is pretty neat, however my personal favorite is the DataHand [wikipedia.org] . The idea is to place each finger in a little well with buttons in four directions and one at the bottom so your fingers never move more than a half inch in any direction. Using the mouse is handled by switching modes which then enables each index finger to control the mouse, one finger controls slow movement and the other fast movement. One of my coworkers picked it up to help deal with his Carpal Tunnel and swears by it. I would pick one up to if they weren't so expensive [datahand.com] .

They also sell a chair mounted [datahand.com] version.

Re:DataHand (1)

dugjohnson (920519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035382)

I remember seeing this at a ComDex YEARS ago. Always thought it would be pretty cool, but with a serious learning curve. And since I haven't even bothered to learn the Dvorak [dvorak-keyboard.com] layout, I can see why they are no more.

The forgot one of the oldest and best.... (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034286)

http://www.handykey.com/ [handykey.com]

the twiddler, I even still have one in the basement somewhere from 1993 when I was into Wearable computing. when you got used to it you could type really fast, it was fun writing C code when you were walking from the bust stop to your EE classes while looking in the LED alphanumeric hud.

Cool part it was a mouse as well.

Re:The forgot one of the oldest and best.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034438)

it was fun writing C code when you were walking from the bust stop to your EE classes

Hmmm, I don't recall ever visiting that club...

Re:The forgot one of the oldest and best.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034466)

you were walking from the bust stop to your EE classes

Hey Freud, your slip is showing.

Re:The forgot one of the oldest and best.... (1, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034804)

What would you expect from a guy that walks around fingering his twiddler in public?

Re:The forgot one of the oldest and best.... (1)

lhorn (528432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035136)

Kind of a Chord http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard [wikipedia.org] keyboard??
Hey, my telephone has T9, and I am getting used to it. Has somebody combined T9
with this as a mouse/onehand input device? OOps...
Memo to Self: Do not publish ideas before the money is on the table.
Memo to Self: Who cares, I will not make one of these as my days are rather full,
so the only way I will get one is if somebody runs with the idea. China? Taiwan? India?

The funniest: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034302)

The OLED NiggerBoard. Ha!

Amusing indeed. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034320)

Amusing like a fox. Or like a nigger. Or a nigger-fox.

So How many users (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034322)

Dugg this before it qualified to be posted on slashdot

Windows ME keyboard? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034358)

What about this [funny.co.uk] minimalistic Microsoft keyboard?

There's more where those came from (5, Informative)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034390)

A similar article, with a couple of other--even weirder, IMHO--classics can be found here [fosfor.se] .

The Orbitouch FTW!

Where is mine (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034420)

The Happy Hacker. Most people who see it think it is strange. I have had IT people unable to log in as admin, becayse they were unable to figure out you needed 4 fingers for the three finger salute.

Re:Where is mine (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034912)

This sorta ties in with my new years' resolution, to learn to touch type after 20+ years as a professional programmer!

I have a couple of the HHKII one for home one for work. But this and every other normal keyboard is too small for my hands and requires me to move my hands when typing.

So I'm looking to change, my new standard keyboard [newstandardkeyboards.com] should arrive today and then I'm looking to change it to dvorak layout. Big keys plenty of space and most importantly the keys are all staggered the way my hands lay on the keyboard on a normal keyboard the Q,W,E and R keys require my left hand to move to the left off the home keys.

I've also picked up a dual BAT keyboard [infogrip.com] on ebay just to try.

If all of the above fails, unlikely, I'll be buying a large number of cherry mechanical switches and building my own keyboard with a dvorak layout.

Does anyboard have supply for individual buckling spring switches?

Re:Where is mine (2, Informative)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035340)

I've got a BAT keyboard, I've found it's totally useless unless you don't mind fiddling about with rebooting and unplugging/replugging until the keyboard actually works correctly each time you want to use it.

Re:Where is mine (2, Insightful)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035414)

If you switch to Dvorak, I would recommend keeping an index next to your monitor rather than switching your keylabels -- that way you learn proper touchtyping while switching, which speeds you up and helps your posture. And when a friend wants to type, you can just switch the OS back to Qwerty and let them go.

Slashdotted? (1)

Ryukotsusei (1164453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034424)

It seems like the sites already been /.ed for me. And I thought the Optimus keyboard was vaporware... really expensive vaporware.

Re:Slashdotted? (0, Offtopic)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034504)

A case of /. having a "direct impact". But this site should know how to handle that, given their name. :)

Re:Slashdotted? (2, Interesting)

prelelat (201821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034992)

I don't think it's vapor ware in the same sense that Duke Nukem Forever is. From what I understand they were having problems with production and couldn't make enough or something. I do know that they were planning on releasing the keyboard again in December on a limited production run. I'm not sure if that happened. But yes I believe recalling they won a vaporware award. Remember though that winning the vaporware award doesn't mean that a product won't come out it just means it's missed multiple release dates, and hasn't come out yet. So if the December production run did complete successfully it would no longer be vaporware.

Look ma, one page! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034448)

Hey, an article about 10 products that fits on one web page! I didn't think that was possible in this day and age!

Rubber (5, Informative)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034482)

There's also the Flexible Rubber Keyboard [gadgets.co.uk] , which is not only easy to roll up and carry around with you, but is also waterproof (for shallow depths, anyways) and resistant to strong acid and alkaline environments. (But disintegrates fast with organic solvents like acetone, potentially leaving nothing but a few strands of copper wiring and gooey sludge.) I've never tried using mine underwater, but at least one of the reviews I've seen of them mentions using them in the bath. They're more resistant to being smashed by heavy-handed typists, and it's impossible to get crap-buildup underneath the keys since it's a sealed silicon unit.

They also come in a variety of colors and styles. My sister wants the pink one. she needs it considering how much pop my niece has dumped on their old keyboards, and the fact that they both type like they're trying to leave finger-shaped dents in the floor underneath the desk.

Re:Rubber (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034612)

Wouldn't it just be easier to just not allow pop near the computer. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Decrease likelihood of diabetes and save a few dollars on keyboards.

Re:Rubber (3, Insightful)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034650)

Wouldn't it just be easier to just not allow pop near the computer

With the computer in the kitchen (so she can make sure that my 12 year old niece isn't doing anything inappropriate on the internet - she's one of those rare people who believe in parental supervision instead of using the computer as a babysitter) most of the pop spills (that my niece admits to anyway) have been while bringing things to the table for dinner. Not allowing pop near the computer would probably be better for both of them health-wise, but it's not likely to happen.

Re:Rubber (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035478)

Maybe it's just me, but the kitchen sounds like a terrible place for a computer. First, it seems like the place where most families would spend the least amount of time. Also, all the airbourne grease and steam couldn't bode well for most computers. Plus there's bound to be tons of food in the kitchen, waiting to get spilled. Does anybody actually spend that much time cooking that the computer actually should be placed in the kitchen for surveillance reasons?

Re:Rubber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22035968)

You're kidding, right?

Re:Rubber (4, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034720)

There's also the Flexible Rubber Keyboard, which is not only easy to roll up and carry around with you
Actually, we found a use for them on a factory shop floor because of all the dust and junk that flies in the air kills a normal keyboard in no time flat. We found that the solvent thing was true but it's pretty true with ANY chemical/keyboard combination. They are not the best for gaming because their response time sucks and they have to be on a hard flat surface... Then again, maybe someone has fixed the response time issue because they'd make a wonderful LAN party keyboard because of portability. But the sheer unbreakability and ease to clean them sold us for the factory.

Still infinite keys short. (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034506)

"You rolled out in front of me a keyboard of millions of keys, millions and billions of keys that never end. And that's the truth Max, that they never end. That keyboard is infinite... and if that keyboard is infinite, then on that keyboard there is no music you can play. You're sitting on the wrong bench... That is God's piano." La Leggenda del Pianista sull'Oceano

The SafeType (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034588)

FTFA:

This keyboard is meant to put the keyboard in as comfortable of a position as possible. You can move the different sections to different angles, as well as take them apart and put them on your lab.

ROVER! Come back here! I was typing, darn you!

My keyboard: TypeMatrix dvorak (2, Interesting)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034620)

I use TypeMatrix [typematrix.com] keyboards with Dvorak skins and I love them! I also have Plum keyboards [www.plum.bz] but I don't really like them much. I also have laser projection virtual keyboards (their error rate isn't low though). From the article I liked the wearable keyboard, though. I will probably buy it, because I think it will be useful for as I use laptops while standing or walking. I have also seen AlphaGrip at shops and they are also interesting. Another company with interesting products is Maltron [maltron.com] . Data hands look nice too. However, I have found my TypeMatrix a very good choice and I like it for its small size and a design which is comfortable while maintaining compatibility with Qwerty. This is important for me as I know to type fast in Dvorak only in English. For other languages I am still stuck with Qwerty for fast typing as I didn't bother to learn Dvorak for non-English languages. TypeMatrix has built-in Qwerty and Dvorak modes so I don't need any changes in software to make it switch between the two depending on which language I type.

did they include the senseboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034628)

the senseboard has to the weirdest frigging thing I've ever heard of...

No more Optimus stories, please! (0, Flamebait)

Kagura (843695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034662)

Please stop showing the Optimus Keyboard on Slashdot. It is almost complete vaporware. They have continually reduced the number of keys they will use OLEDs on, and they have even switched from "planning" to use color OLEDs to using black and white OLEDs. They have continually pushed back their preorder and production dates. I recently read a story that summed up all their setbacks and delays, and made it clear that it's vaporware.

I can't find the link to that article, so since I don't have any sources at the moment be sure to take this with a grain of salt.

Re:No more Optimus stories, please! (3, Informative)

crabbz (986605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035086)

ars [arstechnica.com] played with the full keyboard recently, complete with full color keys. seems like it is real, but freakin' expensive.

GP is a troll (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035196)

Indeed, the keyboard is real, just very expensive.

Furthermore it is hardly a long-time vaporware product, considering the fact that the before last year there were no displays available on the market that could do what they wanted for the optimus. On just two years they created a functional keyboard, and have been completely open in the development process, even if that would inform competition how far they were, I would dare any other company to do the same.

Re:No more Optimus stories, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22035424)

Not to mention the price is in the multiple THOUSANDS of dollars

Apple Adjustable Keyboard (3, Informative)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034680)

This one should have made the list... it was one of the first adjustable ergonomic keyboards to come from a computer manufacturer. It also came with a disclaimer about RSI that was almost as heavy as the keyboard itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Adjustable_Keyboard [wikipedia.org]

What the wikipedia article's photo fails to show you are the giant wrist rests that are attached to the main keyboard and number keyboard. A small ADB cable attached the external number keyboard to the main qwerty board and could be arranged on either side. It also provided audio controls and a full compliment of F keys.

I miss that keyboard... I had one and enjoyed it up until the point I no longer could use an ADB keyboard.

Re:Apple Adjustable Keyboard (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035102)

I've used (and still have) one of these keyboards. It lives teathered to an old Mac lcIII.
A long while ago I found an ADB->USB adaptor, for using it on newer systems, which runs about $40 from http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imate [griffintechnology.com]

Unfortunatly due to the nature of ADB, the response time will be quite low, and although there may have been some improvements in the driver software since then, at the time it was very hard to map all of the keys correctly to use with windows.

Kinesis Contour (3, Informative)

danberlyoung (560513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034704)

You can't forget about Kinesis's Contour. The weirdest yet most comfortable keyboard I've ever used. (Looked weird enough that MIB used it as Zed's keyboard at the office.) Saved me from carpel tunnel surgery about 5 years ago and I"m pain free to this day. http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/contoured.htm [kinesis-ergo.com] A little pricy ($300) but much cheaper than surgery.

Re:Kinesis Contour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22036164)

I would buy it if it had a numeric keypad in the empty space in the middle.

France (1)

Frekko (749706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034718)

Go to France for the strangest keyboard. They have switched at least six letters on the keyboard.

The numbers are special the special symbols by default and you have to press shift to get the numbers or use caps lock.
In addition to that . has switched with : and , has switched with ;.
God knows why they went for this design...

Re:France (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22034964)

For some reason, just about every language is associated with a different keyboard: the Swedes use a Swedish keyboard, the Germans use a German keyboard, the Brazilians use a Portugues keyboard etc. Most of them are similar to American QWERTY, but the number of keys in identical places varies. Usually all punctuation is switched around, there are a few extra letters, and some of the QWERTY letters are switched around.

!France but French (1)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035520)

To put it very simply: The French have french as a language. In comparison to english it contains different amounts of different letters.

Now. If you know how these keyboard configurations originally came into being (remember typewriters?), then it's quite normal for a different language to have a different layout of keys.

The layout was meant to be such that 2 letters often being used in conjunction with each other are spaced apart on the keyboard, thus avoiding the problem of getting your typewriter hammers stuck on each other when typing real fast. The french have the AZERTY keyboard, the english QWERTY, exactly for this reason. And since those were pretty much taken over for computer keyboards (where it would actually be *beneficial* to have often used letter combination as close to each other as possible), we're now stuck with all sorts of weird combinations.

Re:France (1)

mclatte (1219584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035936)

Consider the frog pad, http://www.frogpad.com/ [frogpad.com] .

Re:France (2, Interesting)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22036118)

A Frogpad strapped to the underside of the arm together with a Smartphone/PDA has always sounded to me like an excellent combo, since it's the only platform (not counting an on-screen keyboard, which I have always disliked) that can be operated with one free hand while standing.

Anybody ever tried this?

The Evolution keyboard was awesome... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034816)

... I had one bolted to an Aeron, and for the first 6 months it was AWESOME, except for the touchpad mouse. Eventually it started to fall apart. But for awhile there it was the l33test ch33z EVAR.

Now, I'd like a wooden keyboard with no characters on it at all, just little nubs on the F and J keys.

Misleading article (2, Interesting)

dsmitchell1 (720633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034818)

The article claims that the keyboards are or will soon be on the market. However, the last keyboard is made by a now-defunct company called Fingerworks. The article claims that the keyboard is available on the Internet for $350, but I would be amazed if you could find one for under $600. How many other keyboards in the list are no longer available?

As time goes on (3, Insightful)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034826)

People will keep on trying to reinvent the wheel.

Re:As time goes on (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035140)

Bingo. They need to stop with this keyboard bullshit and get on with developing that Simlink. According to my Shadowrun time line we should be well under way to being there.

Ahhh, downloading full sim porn right to the brain.

I've tried most of these... (2, Informative)

kahei (466208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034830)



I've tried most of the keyboards shown (I like input devices). I'd rate them as follows, where '10' is a regular keyboard.

Combimouse -- 0/10. This is the one I haven't tried, but I simply don't see how it can possibly work.
Evolution -- 11/10. This was intended to be used in conjunction with an entire ergonomic environment. It's like a regular keyboard but with touchpads. Yay.
Wearable -- 1/10. This is nothing like as good as a chording keyboard such as the Twiddler.
Optimus Maximus -- 12/10. I've only ever used it very briefly and since it's exactly like having a regular keyboard (except that you can put pictures on the function keys) I'd say it has mainly coolness value. But a *lot* of coolness value.
Virtual Keyboard -- 3/10. Lack of tactile feedback renders this horrible to use.
SafeType -- 6/10. This is one of the many easy-to-make, hard-to-use ergonomic keyboards that came out around the time RSI got to be big news. It's a pain. I think it used to come with little mirrors so you could see what you were doing.
Tidy Tippist -- 1/10. I've never seen this before but *look* at it.
AlphaGrip -- 9/10. It's nice to use, but there are two problems; first, it's fussier and slower than the Twiddler. Second, the keys can't be remapped or assigned macros at all.
ElekTex -- 3/10. No tactile feedback, and easy to rumple it up inadvertently.
TouchStream -- 16/10. This is fascinating to use. As a keyboard, it sucks because you can't tell what key you pressed (if any). However, the gesture system is fascinating, intuitive, and extendable. The small version of the TouchStream, used in conjunction with a regulare keyboard, is fun; but if you do that you can't type and gesture in the same place which takes away most of the fluidity of the full sized TouchStream.

I'd say people have had a lot of trouble coming up with designs that really improve on the IBM-style keyboard. The Kinesis Advantage I'm using is the only unusual keyboard I've ever had that I thought it was worth switching to, and it must be about 12 years old by now; since then almost every 'advance' has involved either not having keys (no tactile feedback, impossible to know where your hands are and whether you pressed a key) or else cutting a keyboard up and bolting junk to it (a la Evolution and Combimouse).

The Kinesis Advantage is remappable, programmable, pedal-compatible for those who just have to be like that, it saves my fingers a few miles of movement a day and it lets me use the cursor keys and backspace without having to drag my whole hand off the home row and over to some other part of the keyboard. But I note that the Evolution (also from Kinesis) outsells the Advantage, because it's got gadgets and rounded edges and looks space-agey when bolted to your executive chair. That's the trouble with keyboards as a market -- since flat keyboards are pretty much good enough, any extra money that gets spent tends to go on bells and whistles rather than on advancing the basic design.

The Kinesis Advantage [kinesis-ergo.com] is the king of keyboards, by the way.

Re:I've tried most of these... (1)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035850)

The laser keyboard isn't meant to replace your computer keyboard, thus comparing it to a normal keyboard is beyond the point.

It's a Bluetooth, battery powered device that allows you use a keyboard to enter data into your PDA (or phone I suppose). Relevant comparisons would be folding keyboards, but then you would need to judge on portability and convenience.

Missed a lot of stuff out (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034944)

They also missed the Goldtouch adjustable keyboard:

http://www.keyovation.com/pc-65-2-goldtouch-ergonomic-adjustable-keyboard-white.aspx [keyovation.com]

Been happily using one since 2004 and it's the best investment ever. For some pretty horrible time I thought I was going to have to leave IT in search of some other profession - not particularly comforting as I'd only graduated two years earlier.

It's expensive, but a lot cheaper than learning a new job - particularly when the NHS's attitude was "Oh, your wrists hurt. That's a shame. Spend the rest of your life taking ibuprofen and give us a shout if you develop a stomach ulcer."

Re:Missed a lot of stuff out (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035322)

I second the Goldtouch. I've been using one for a couple of years now at work. I like that it is easy to adjust when needed.

Is this an invite to sell my Dvorak touchstream LP (1)

ToadMan8 (521480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22034966)

Maybe slashdot will run an article on the top 10 used cars and I could sell that too ;)

How old is this article?!? (1)

shabble (90296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035066)

From TFA:

The TouchStream is both a mouse and keyboard in one. The keyboard splits in half to try to provide extra comfort. The keys are all flat, which can make them feel strange to type on. It retails on the internet for about $350.

The Touchstream keyboards went out of production over a year ago. I had two of these for ages and loved them, then when both eventually 'wore out' I tried to get another - http://www.fingerworks.com/ [fingerworks.com] :

FingerWorks has ceased operations as a business.
[...]
  FingerWorks products are no longer available for resale, and no further updates to software drivers will be developed.

Re:How old is this article?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22035814)

Apple bought the company along with the patents. Just so people can have a non spinning touch wheel on an ipod and greased up finger smears on their iphone.
I want to buy that keyboar - they wont sell me one.

Much stranger keyboards (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035116)

I'll post a follow-up from work, once I can check exactly what it's called (and maybe find a link), but maybe someone can beat me to it...

It's a keyboard which places the keys surrounding your fingers. Each finger will have a home-row key under it, and then a vertical key placed directly to the left, right, forward, and back.

I can't see myself actually learning it, but it's got to be the most ergonomic keyboard that still lets you type as fast as a standard 108-key. The way he describes it, when you start moving your finger towards the key you want to hit, you've probably already hit it.

Re:Much stranger keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22035390)

I think you mean the 'Datahand'

How to make a prototype keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22035150)

So, if you have an idea to make your own keyboard and mouse, how do you go about making them?

AlphaGrip (1)

confused_demon (1161841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035152)

I was part of the initial preorder program for the Alpha Grip. I wanted one because of a repetitive stress issue, but it turned out to be worse for my condition than a normal keyboard. I still have it, and wish I could use it.

Kinesis, not weird enough? (1)

Average (648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035264)

A couple of other people mentioned it... the best keyboard design (for me) is the Kinesis contoured (bowl-shaped) keyboard.

Of course, I double the weirdness by typing Dvorak on mine. What's really weird, though, is the mental programming. I simply cannot type QWERTY on a Kinesis. I can, with a little zenning-out, type in Dvorak on a flat or laptop keyboard, though I type in QWERTY just fine on those.

The only problem with the Kinesis is the little rubber keys for F1-F12 and Escape. I really hated the Escape, so I programmed it to be swapped with the CapsLock key (which I never use, anyway).

Datahand (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035298)

How can a list of odd keyboards not include the Datahand? Yes, it's been out for a while (years, actually) but all but one of these keyboards attempts to be very close to Bob-standard keyboards, whereas the Datahand is really very different -- Still qwerty, but not the same sort of finger-motions at all.

I don't think they sell many of these things, and they cost too much, but people with RSIs swear by them.

Here's their webpage. [datahand.com]

How about the Macbooks? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035320)

Not all "strange" computer keyboards need to be innovative technologies.

The MacBook Pro keyboard [google.com] is weird enough to qualify. Backspace is called delete, there's two enter keys, and no delete key. Less odd, but still strange, are the eject button, missing print screen, and swapped "apple/windows" and alt keys. And this isn't an anti-mac rant or anything (since I am typing on my Macbook Pro now) but this keyboard is neither Macintosh "standard" or Windows "standard" - It's just odd.

Re:How about the Macbooks? (1)

IwarkChocobos (881084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22036304)

I agree that it's pretty non standard, but I like the keyboard on my MBP. I don't get the two enter buttons, but delete is actually on here (fn+delete). My old laptop's keyboard (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=toshiba+a-10+keyboard&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2 [google.com] ) was great, I enjoyed the function buttons on the side, but I have grown to enjoy my MBP more than that one. I actually enjoy laptop keyboards a bit better than many desktop ones.

WEHT the dish-shaped keybord? (1)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035522)

I remember on an episode of SeaQuest DSV these hacker kids had a keyboard that can only be described as having been punctured inward. Imagine 2 bowls next to each other, and the keys are on the bottom surface. Supposedly this was more ergonomic, but I can't see how. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Naturally, it wasn't listed in TFA.

Thanks but no thanks (1)

Butterspoon (892614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035648)

Jesus! These keyboards give me a headache just looking at them! I'll stick with my common-or-garden 105-key job, thankyouverymuch.

TouchStream (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035760)

TFA doesn't do the TouchStream justice. It's essentially the predecessor to multi-touch. In fact, TouchStream was acquired by Apple quite a while ago...

The TouchStream wasn't just a "keyboard plus mouse". It didn't have mouse buttons, instead recognizing up to 3 mouse buttons by tapping (different number of fingers). It could also do mouse-gestures, again with multiple fingers.

Very nifty device. Only disadvantage: If you can't touch-type, it's hard to use.

A strange (but clever) 'saddle-bag keyboard' ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035794)

... from a guy who fitted two keyboards to make A $14 "ergo" keyboard from surplus parts [thecraftstudio.com] .

Quote from his site (including pictures of the process): "Part of my symptoms were pains in my elbows from being constantly bent, and pains in my wrists from being held rotated, in the plane of the keyboard. I wanted a keyboard which allowed my wrists and arms to be in their relaxed positions, i.e. at my sides. What I imagined was, basically, a saddle-bag keyboard."

CC.

I, for one... (1)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035926)

I, for one, would just like to thank the poster and the article author for making TFA one nice, shiny page, instead of 10 separate pages filled with ads, crap, and only a few lines of real text. I hope this is a trend that continues.

They forgot this one (1)

qazwart (261667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035942)

http://www.matias.ca/halfkeyboard/ [matias.ca]

This suppose to allow for one hand typing. If you need a letter that's on the other side of the keyboard, hold down the space key and press the corresponding finger placement. For example /Space-Q/ for "P" and /Space-G/ for "H".

My strange request is a keyboard/touchpad (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22035958)

..combo with the left/right buttons above the touchpad, just below the space bar. That way I can move the cursor with one thumb and click with the other, without my fingers ever leaving the keyboard.

Instead, virtually all laptops with touchpads have the mouse buttons below the touchpad, making it very awkward and error prone (like accidentally hitting the touchpad itself) if I try to stretch my thumb down to press them, unless my hand leaves the keyboard thus interrupting my flow.

Does anyone know the justification for mouse buttons under the touchpad? I cannot think of any benefit at all. Even a regular mouse (that the touchpad is presumably imitating) usually has the buttons near the top.

My favorite computer years ago (early 90s) was a Mac Powerbook with the mouse switch above the trackball and just below the space bar. I worked very efficiently with that arrangement, mixing typing and mouse movements seamlessly, and miss it. (Unfortunately I no longer have a Mac laptop and don't know how today's touchpads are arranged. Educate me.)

It does seem that the Thinkpad with pointing stick/touchpad combo has a second set of mouse buttons under the space bar, looking at photos. Something to consider for my next laptop purchase. But they still have a second set of mouse buttons below the touchpad - why? It seems a waste.

Re:My strange request is a keyboard/touchpad (1)

ballwall (629887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22036398)

You want this. [lenovo.com]

A trackpoint is infinitely better than a touch pad (but it still has one if you want it). I wish they made a full size keyboard (with numkeys) with this style of keys and mouse input, but you can always add a 10 key to the right of it via usb.

Re:My strange request is a keyboard/touchpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22036434)

"Drag" I'd assume. You can't punch a button with your index finger while dragging it across a touchpad, so the buttons have to be convenient for other fingers. The thumb I guess was the choice.

My thoughts (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22036326)

The first one:

Awefully bulky

The second one:

This will take some getting used to

The third one:

Lol, nintendo powerglove

The fourth one:

Shiny but very expensive

The fifth one:

I don't like the fact that there is no feedback. I NEED my feedback!

The sixth one:

It looks like something Playmobil makes

The seventh one:

Something for grandma perhaps?

The eight one:

You have GOT to be kidding me

The ninth one:

Again, no feedback

The tenth one:

Do NOT combine a keyboard and a mouse

Apple Extended KB (1)

IwarkChocobos (881084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22036418)

One of my favorite keyboards to use, and I still use one:Apple Extended Keyboard [wikipedia.org] . It's huge, loud, and quite tough. Mine is from 1991 and still works fine:) I would say this is up there with the IBM M Keyboard. They don't make them this tough anymore.
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