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To Bruce: Filco Tenkeyless enquiry

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Daniel Beardsmore:
Just curious on the odds of UK layout tenkeyless keyboards ever arriving?

I am warming the idea of just ditching the number pad, but switching between UK and US layouts is too annoying (rather like when I was switching between my Mac and PC, the former having Apple's bastardised UK layout with some characters in their US positions).

I'd say that would depend on the popularity of the Filcos that they are currently getting into stock.

I should warn you by the way, there are very few British or Irish Geekhackers who don't switch over to the US layout after a few months in this place...

Daniel Beardsmore:
Fair point about the prospect of tenkeyless keyboards.

I've already found ways to reduce my numpad usage, including installing Autohotkey to map en dash, em dash and bullet to ctrl+alt+-, ctrl+alt+shift+- and ctrl-shift-8 respectively, just as on the Macintosh, to complement the unmaintained but excellent UK International keyboard layout. (This reduces my reliance on alt-numpad{nnnn} codes.)

And yes, tis true, there are various keyboards that would be interesting to try, including the ASK-6600 (sounds glorious, those ALPS switches) that are US layout only. However, switching layout repeatedly (between different machines) comes at a cost of perpetual annoyance, and the physical layouts are not compatible.

That said, I believe that I need to rule out a clicky at work, and likewise at home I think it would interfere with music too much as well as disturb people trying to sleep. Therefore, that rules out most keyboards anyway! Even non-clicky ALPS sound very loud, and I think my only options are brown Cherry or Topre, and for a blind purchase over the Internet, a RealForce is far too expensive. And I want absolutely nothing to do with eBay.

If I had decent soundproofing at home and work, allowing me to use the same keyswitch in both places without the twice-daily reacclimatisation process I have now just for scissor vs full travel rubber dome, and eBay wasn't made of scum, I'd be more interested in experimentation -- I'd love to play with what's out there and compare.

As it stands, I'm just trying to scrape up the courage to grab a FILCO brown Cherry 105-key in mid-Jan and hope for the best (esp. as I've got to pay for NKRO when I have no need for that).

I'm half wondering whether to get one blue and one brown, prove whether or not blue is as bad as people say (my work Dell keyboard is a complete rattletrap!!) and flog the other one here in the classifieds.

Sorry, another long ramble :-) I am a southerner with the soul of a penny-pinching northerner. I will spend money where needed, but keyboards are a matter of personal taste ...

My switchover to the US layout was greatly aided by the fact that some ill-configured machines in my college that we had to use for labs had UK kyeboards, but the US keyboard layout applied, and were locked down in such a way that prevented you changing it. I became quite adept at switching between the US and UK layout, such that I can use either effortlessly once I realized that I'm using one or the other.

Physical layout? The ANSI (US) one is much better in my opinion, but I can still use the ISO (European) one without much effort. Again, changing between them is something that sounds much more difficult than it really is.

Daniel Beardsmore:
Well, I used to switch regularly between a Mac and a PC. Apple's UK layout leaves " and @ in their US positions and it was an endless source of confusion for me as to just where those symbols actually were.

To switch permanently to a US layout wouldn't be a problem for me if I was entitled at home and at work to only ever use US keyboards on both local and remote machines (and for some reason remote access software tends to transmit keycodes not characters so if the remote layout is different you don't get what you type).

For me, sticking to the UK PC layout is for the best.

If your brain has a swift change time, then all the better for you.


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