Posts about keyboards

Spacemacs for 2016

I've been an Emacs user for more than 15 years and I've been keeping my emacs configuration ever since February 2000 (when it was just a simple ~/.emacsrc) until it evolved over time to something quite complex and hairy. Since the past couple of years it's developed a will of its own, to the point now that I cannot easily maintain it: if I make a change to something, three other things will unexpectedly break.

I tried last year to overhaul my ~/.emacs.d structure and I had some success, but it's still an awful mess.

So, in December 2015 I declared Emacs Configuration Bankruptcy.

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Solaris X11 and Dvorak simplified keyboard layout

I've recently been playing with OpenSolaris and Solaris Express DE running in VirtualBox. They're fine so far (except audio isn't working) but I stumbled on a usability issue that was nearly a show-stopper: dratted QWERTY layouts! The GNOME GUI for switching to Dvorak doesn't work, and setxkbmap(1) can't find the rules file for dvorak either (they don't seem to be installed where the man page indicates)...

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Microsoft Vista keyboard?

I spotted a "Vista compatable" keyboard in K-Mart the other day, which set me thinking... what would a Vista keyboard actually do that a "non-Vista" keyboard can't?

Then I Googled for "Microsoft Keyboard Vista" and found this ad from Microsoft (Google Cache).

What the? "Designed to make it easier than ever to control PC media from your desk, your lap–or even from the comfort of your couch". So… if I use this keyboard's Play button to try and play media that Vista's DRM system thinks I shouldn't be playing, does it administer an electric shock? What if I have the keyboard in my lap :-D  Ouch! No so comfortable now…

Thanks, Microsoft, but … ahem, no thanks!

Dvorak keyboards

This post was originally published at on 27 March 2006.

I prefer Dvorak keyboards to QWERTY, which confounds my work colleagues no end :-)

I've been typing on Dvorak for about 3 years now [ed: That is, since 2003]. The main reason I use the Dvorak keyboard layout is because, after 15 years of six-finger typing on QWERTY, I decided to learn to touch-type, and Dvorak is very easy to learn (I learnt it in 2 weeks, back to my old typing speed after a month).

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