Michael Herrick's blog

Fixing the keyboard

The image here is a picture of the keyboard I use every day which, combined with a Dvorak layout, enables me to achieve typing rates that sound like a dull buzz. So I’m all for improving the keyboard. And here’s a great article that makes some simple, common-sense proposals. A key for the em dash. How fantastic would that be?

Caps lock has to go, and other proposals for improving the computer keyboard

His ideas:

  • Get rid of caps lock
  • Dedicated em-dash key
  • Put the exclamation mark and question mark on the same, shiftable key, near the period and comma
  • A key for @. The shift should type .com (I’m less jazzed about that one)
  • Eliminate all the dumb ancient terminal options that were yanked from the Mac keyboard decades ago but still linger on PCs

There are all kinds of people who will say, “Oh, I’m so used to my keyboard, I could never change.” That attitude baffles me. My response is usually, “You’re right, you couldn’t.” But recent experiments with touch-screen keyboards prove that people change and adapt just fine. Time for Apple to start work on fixing the keyboard. They’re probably the only ones who can pull it off right now.

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