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--- Quote from: depletedvespene on Wed, 22 June 2022, 09:01:05 ---To add to what others have already said, consider one further factor: what national layout do you use? How does it cope with being transplanted from its "native" ISO or ANSI layout to the other one?

As an example: if you use the Spanish (Spain) layout, using an ANSI keyboard makes you lose access to the characters < and > , and the Ç and } characters get moved to the 1.5U alpha in row two, which is a pain.

Besides that, remember that you can go ISO, you can go ANSI, and you can go in between: ANSISO (long left Shift, vertical Enter) and ISANSI (short left Shift + extra alpha, horizontal Enter).

--- End quote ---

I use a slightly modified danish layout to write in English and Spanish—occasionally in Italian. It is far better than the US International layout that I used for years, although it always gets in my way, for example, when typing Tex or R Scripts. The three special letters å, æ, and ø, have alt-gr locations under the a, e and o, just in case I need them, which I seldom do, and their original locations are used for delete, left, and right keys. It is not easy to get key caps for this layout; but, over the years I have been getting Norde kits and found a source for three Danish Olivetti double shots with weird right-side mods that I get for a fairly good price. Now, I have beige, black, and Olivetti's colored alphas that I mix and match with mods that I have. I found this particular layout to be a great fit for my needs. I can use it with both, ANSI and ISO enter keys, but I always require the short left shift because I use the pipe-back-slash at its right (Tex user here).  I know that this is hardly a choice for everyone; but, I found that US-International is a lousy adaptation of the common US layout to some European languages, a compromise many have to live with. The way the dead keys are solved in Danish is way better than US-Int. I gave a try to Finish—another good multilingual layout—and German, but found Danish and Finish to be best and ultimately settle with Danish.

For me ANSI was very easy to adjust to and for the number of parts available, it was worth it.

I have an 84-key IBM Model F keyboard.   Well, 91 keys, now.

The F came with the canonical Big-Ass Enter key, which is what I was used to, and liked.   But the BAE uses three switch positions in prime real estate, and I wanted to recover one.  After scouting my options I bought a used ISO Enter keycap, from some IBM terminal.  Despite cleaning and lubing, it was prone to stick.   I bought another, which I think came from a DisplayWriter.  It was better, but stuck enough to be annoying.

Frustrated, I popped the Enter key off a spare Model M and put it on.  It worked just fine.  There was no learning curve; I had used a lot of ANSI keyboards.  The top of the BAE is now a 1.5u backspace key.

The Enter key is important, but it's also important enough that you learn the position from memory.  Could I split the ANSI key?  I put a 1.25u cap on the right-side post and the top of a two-piece cap over the empty left tower to keep dirt from getting in.

It took a little while to get used to the 1.25u Enter; apparently I mostly hit it on the left side, and now I had to hit to the right.  No big deal, just some finger retraining.

I also moved ESC from the cursor pad to the left top corner, moved ~,` to where the old 1u Backspace key was, split the 2u Insert key, replaced the 2u + key with an M keypad Enter, repurposed the never-used numlock, scroll-lock, and capslock keys, and split both the right and left Shift keys.

Splitting the right shift gave me no learning problems at all.  Splitting the left shift took a while to get used to.  I tried the 1.25u left half, then the 1u right half, went back to the original 2.25u for a while, and finally settled on using the left half of the split.

I have the bits for the M spacebar mod, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.


--- Quote from: Marboard on Fri, 05 May 2023, 13:46:18 ---For me ANSI was very easy to adjust to and for the number of parts available, it was worth it.
--- End quote ---
The same goes for me, especially for programming, ANSI is way better. Whether the key assignment is US or US International is pretty much meaningless in this context.

I have used, on the same IBM PC/AT keyboard, the original "Big-Ass Enter" key, an ISO Enter key, an ANSI Enter key, and I am now using a small 1.25u key, which let me recover two unused switch positions for extra keys.

The 1.25u is still larger than the old PC/XT keyboard, which had a 1u Enter.

I normally hit the BAE on the left bottom corner, the "foot".  It took a little getting used to for the ISO, learning to hit to the right.  The ANSI Enter, I used about 50/50. (I was putting paper labels on the tops, looking at the dirt patterns from use)  I don't think I ever used the top of the BAE or ISO key at all.

The 1.25u works just like the ISO, as far as "muscle memory" goes. 

I would say 60-70% of my "Enter key" use is the vertical 2u Enter key I put on the cursor pad.  I could probably recover one of the key barrels there by going to a 1u key, but I don't have an immediate use for another key, and I like karate-chopping the bottom corner with the edge of my hand.

I split the 2.25u left Shift key into a 1.25u shift and a spare key.  I originally intended to make that one a left-side Enter, but it turns out I don't use Enter as much as I thought I did, and my left hand is already overloaded with "CUA" control-key ZXCV and RFA commands.

Most keyboards won't give you the option of splitting keys, of course, but if you're using antique IBM hardware or wiring your own board, it can be useful.


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