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RE: [midatlanticretro] FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....

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  • Jim
    I have to agree with the #1 worst keyboards. I have one on my PCjr, and hate it. Finally got the full sized PCjr keyboard (if you can call it full sized). I
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 10, 2008
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      I have to agree with the #1 worst keyboards.  I have one on my PCjr, and hate it.  Finally got the full sized PCjr keyboard (if you can call it full sized).  I had a Commodore Vic-20, C-64, and C-128, and thought the keyboards okay.  But nothing compares to an IBM Model M keyboard.

       

      Jim K.

       

       


      From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bryan Pope
      Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:33 PM
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....

       

      Jim wrote:

       

      This came from one of my typewriter groups, and I thought it might be of interest on this group.

       

      Jim K.

       


      While this isn't strictly typewriters it is very close, and reminds one of the way things were in the beginning, when the 'universal' keyboard was just one of many competing for popularity. (Blick, Hammond , Smith Premier, etc....)


       

      http://www.pcworld. com/article/ id,139100- page,1-c, keyboards/ article.html

      Its about the 'ten worst pc keyboards' and it reminds us that the typewriter bequeathed the PC a perfectly good keyboard layout, and yet they still tried all manner of inept things...

      typewriter != computer keyboard

      Cheers,

      Bryan

    • Evan
      I pretty much agree with Bill. Didn t even bother reading this when I saw the headline -- Ugh, another one of THOSE stories -- CNET is usually pretty good
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 11, 2008
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        I pretty much agree with Bill. Didn't even bother reading this when I saw the headline -- "Ugh, another one of THOSE stories" -- CNET is usually pretty good about their news but this is crap and ridiculously subjective.

        -----Original Message-----

        From: "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...>
        Subj: Re: [midatlanticretro] FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....
        Date: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:14 am
        Size: 3K
        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com


        http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,139100-page,1-c,keyboards/article.html

        I think that this article is kind of dumb, they basically picked computers that they could find pictures of from 1979-1983 and then made up a story around it. That is the era when many keyboards in the small/home computer market were like that. They obviously were popular then. They might as well have just saved space and wrote a single paragraph: "Early 80's computer manufacturers, in their effort to build ever smaller and inexpensive home computers, were forced to squeeze a small keyboard into their systems. Consumers were willing to sacrifice keyboard ergonomics for portability. By 1984 these types of computers became less popular as true laptops and the IBM PC/clones took their place in the home computer market.

        I don't disagree that some of these keyboards were hard to use, but it's the context that's missing.

        Lastly, I understand the "blue" 2001 PET, but the later PET 2001-N keyboard is fine, and should not be included... what's wrong with that one?

        The Coco keyboards were actually easy to use...try one! Not all of the listed keyboards were hard to use even though they were compact. The engineers pulled off some usable systems despite the confines of space. The PC JR had a "regular" keyboard, at least mine did unlike what's described in the article.

        I don't like the Sinclair 1000 keyboard. This is the worst of the group.

        Bill gets off soap box
      • Bob Applegate
        I only have one of the bad keyboards in my collection: several of the Atari 400s. When people were talking about getting an Atari, I advised them to spend the
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 11, 2008
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          I only have one of the bad keyboards in my collection: several of the Atari 400s.  When people were talking about getting
          an Atari, I advised them to spend the extra cash on the 800 because the 400 keyboard was just awful.  Most made the
          wrong purchase, but would upgrade to an 800 within a few months.  Maybe it was a good engineering/marketing move
          by Atari???
           
          Personally, I hated the original IBM PC keyboard.  That stupid mechanical clicking was extremely annoying.  I know it
          was there to make the transition from typewriters to PCs easier, but it was trash for people already used to working
          wtih computers.  I watched more than one of them being hurled across the lab because the user got tired of all the
          noise.
           
          FWIW, my first keyboard was a KIT that I bought in 1978 and interfaced to my KIM-1.  Yeah, keyboards were offered as
          kits back then for something like $70.  Case?  That's something offered from third-party vendors!
           
          Bob
           
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Jim
          Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 10:41 PM
          Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....

          I have to agree with the #1 worst keyboards.  I have one on my PCjr, and hate it.  Finally got the full sized PCjr keyboard (if you can call it full sized).  I had a Commodore Vic-20, C-64, and C-128, and thought the keyboards okay.  But nothing compares to an IBM Model M keyboard.

          Jim K.


          From: midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:midatlantic retro@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of Bryan Pope
          Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:33 PM
          To: midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com
          Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards... .

          Jim wrote:

          This came from one of my typewriter groups, and I thought it might be of interest on this group.

          Jim K.


          While this isn't strictly typewriters it is very close, and reminds one of the way things were in the beginning, when the 'universal' keyboard was just one of many competing for popularity. (Blick, Hammond , Smith Premier, etc....)


          http://www.pcworld. com/article/ id,139100- page,1-c, keyboards/ article.html

          Its about the 'ten worst pc keyboards' and it reminds us that the typewriter bequeathed the PC a perfectly good keyboard layout, and yet they still tried all manner of inept things...

          typewriter != computer keyboard

          Cheers,

          Bryan

        • Herb Johnson
          ... computers ... story ... (Herb gets on soap box) The article begins: Missing keys. Misplaced keys. Misshapen keys. These computers made typing confusing
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 11, 2008
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            "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:

            > I think that this article is kind of dumb, they basically picked
            computers
            > that they could find pictures of from 1979-1983 and then made up a
            story
            > around it. ....
            >
            > Bill gets off soap box
            >

            (Herb gets on soap box)

            The article begins: "Missing keys. Misplaced keys. Misshapen keys.
            These computers made typing confusing and uncomfortable--and sometimes
            nearly impossible. Aren't you glad you're not using any of them today?"

            I agree the PC World article is dumb. It's dumb because it ignores
            most computer history before the IBM PC, all kinds of history
            including terminals and CP/M systems. It's better than most "history"
            articles only because it includes non-PC's, but only to ridicule them
            so better is worse in this case. The article's (Power)point? - old
            equals bad, new equals good.

            I've seen a lot of these "old stuff was bad" articles in the last few
            years, based on the premise of the "25th anniversary of the IBM PC".

            And the article is ironic, as most any typewriter collector can tell
            you, because the origins of the QWERTY typewriter keyboard, was to
            scramble the keys to make it HARDER to type. That's so the mechanical
            typewriters would not jam, so I'm told. (I differ to those who know
            better on this.)

            Organizations like MARCH serve a good purpose: to provide computer
            history in context, not as an apology for not being IBM PC's.

            (Herb gets off soapbox)

            Herb Johnson
            retrotechnology.com
          • Mason Taube
            My understanding based on folklore -- The PET s chiclet keyboard was designed the way it was so Commodore could use (surplus?) calculator parts to construct
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 11, 2008
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              My understanding based on folklore --

              The PET's chiclet keyboard was designed the way it was so Commodore could use (surplus?) calculator parts to construct it. It was upgraded in the -B and -N since either people were annoyed by it or they ran out of calculator parts.

              The Atari 400 keyboard was designed primarily to be spill proof as kids were its target market.

              I think the vic-20's keyboard was worse than the 64's (which i thought was actually pretty ok). The Apple and Atari 800 had good keyboards. If I had to pick one I think apple had the best of the garden variety 8-bit keyboards. I also agree with the articles #1 choice for worst keyboard, the PCjr.

              I only have one of the bad keyboards in my collection: several of the Atari 400s.  When people were talking about getting
              an Atari, I advised them to spend the extra cash on the 800 because the 400 keyboard was just awful.  Most made the
              wrong purchase, but would upgrade to an 800 within a few months.  Maybe it was a good engineering/ marketing move
              by Atari???

              .



              Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
            • John Allain
              Our SW porting lab at IBM had all different keyboards for the DG, Dec, HP, SGI, Sun, and IBM workstations. The standout oddest would have to be the Sun.
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 11, 2008
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                Our SW porting lab at IBM had all different keyboards for the DG, Dec, HP,
                SGI, Sun, and IBM workstations. The standout oddest would have to be the
                Sun.

                Oddest config ever for me was the Calma dual-screen CAD workstation.
                The text half of the CRT was just a standard Hazeltine terminal with the
                circuit board made flush with the CRT by turning it around backwards. So
                the system had a second hidden keyboard sticking out the back if you took
                the cover off.

                John A.

                Coolest new keyboard
                Optimus OLED animated color graphic keycaps.
                http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/88ee
              • Bryan Pope
                ... They are whining about the *placement* of certain keys! :-/ And pretty much the same reasons for the other keyboards that were not chiclet-ish or
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 11, 2008
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                  B. Degnan wrote:
                  >>>
                  >>> http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,139100-page,1-c,keyboards/article.html
                  >
                  > I think that this article is kind of dumb, they basically picked
                  > computers that they could find pictures of from 1979-1983 and then
                  > made up a story around it. That is the era when many keyboards in the
                  > small/home computer market were like that. They obviously were
                  > popular then. They might as well have just saved space and wrote a
                  > single paragraph: "Early 80's computer manufacturers, in their
                  > effort to build ever smaller and inexpensive home computers, were
                  > forced to squeeze a small keyboard into their systems. Consumers were
                  > willing to sacrifice keyboard ergonomics for portability. By 1984
                  > these types of computers became less popular as true laptops and the
                  > IBM PC/clones took their place in the home computer market.
                  >
                  > I don't disagree that some of these keyboards were hard to use, but
                  > it's the context that's missing.
                  >
                  > Lastly, I understand the "blue" 2001 PET, but the later PET 2001-N
                  > keyboard is fine, and should not be included... what's wrong with that
                  > one?
                  They are whining about the *placement* of certain keys! :-/ And pretty
                  much the same reasons for the other keyboards that were not chiclet-ish
                  or membrane.

                  Cheers,

                  Bryan

                  >
                  > The Coco keyboards were actually easy to use...try one! Not all of
                  > the listed keyboards were hard to use even though they were compact.
                  > The engineers pulled off some usable systems despite the confines of
                  > space. The PC JR had a "regular" keyboard, at least mine did unlike
                  > what's described in the article.
                  >
                  > I don't like the Sinclair 1000 keyboard. This is the worst of the group.
                  >
                  > Bill gets off soap box
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  >
                  > No virus found in this incoming message.
                  > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                  > Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.1/1219 - Release Date: 1/11/2008 10:19 AM
                  >
                • Jim Scheef
                  Hello all and Happy New Year, I just read thru this thread and found a few things interesting. Jim is sight-impaired so I can see [pun] why keyboards would be
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 13, 2008
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                    Hello all and Happy New Year,

                    I just read thru this thread and found a few things interesting. Jim is sight-impaired so I can see [pun] why keyboards would be very important to him. Our first response is to attack the messenger (the article, not Jim). The article is what it is - an attempt by a "popular press" outlet to make their magazine more interesting to typical PC users. Its not historical. I find it interested that they can't find any bad keyboards today. I hate Dell and IBM/Lenovo keyboards because of the tiny PgUp, PgDn, Home and End keys - the vary same thing they criticized in the C64. Of course Dell and Lenovo are current advertisers...

                    Mason was the first to look at the article from the standpoint of a collector or computer history buff. I think a VCF exhibit of examples of bad keyboards would be a winner, especially if it covered the history of these bad keyboards - cost, surplus parts (like the screen in the Osborn 1) or other factors. A membrane keyboard *is* kid proof. Today the OLPC laptop has a sealed keyboard for the same reason. The PCjr chicklet keyboard is a great collectible today because so few (relatively speaking) were produced and sold. They sell for what I consider exorbitant prices but no PCjr collection is complete without one.

                    Jim


                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: John Allain <allain@...>
                    To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 3:05:23 PM
                    Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....

                    Our SW porting lab at IBM had all different keyboards for the DG, Dec, HP,
                    SGI, Sun, and IBM workstations.  The standout oddest would have to be the
                    Sun.

                    Oddest config ever for me was the Calma dual-screen CAD workstation.
                    The text half of the CRT was just a standard Hazeltine terminal with the
                    circuit board made flush with the CRT by turning it around backwards.   So
                    the system had a second hidden keyboard sticking out the back if you took
                    the cover off.

                    John A.

                    Coolest new keyboard
                    Optimus OLED animated color graphic keycaps.
                    http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/88ee



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                  • Evan
                    I strongly do NOT agree on two points. First, it s pretty dumb to say that advertising has anything to do with a fluffy thing like bad keyboards ... Second,
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 13, 2008
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                      I strongly do NOT agree on two points. First, it's pretty dumb to say that advertising has anything to do with a fluffy thing like 'bad keyboards' ... Second, a whole VCF exhibit about them? Sounds boring. (Although an exhibit of "Bizarre I/O of Yesteryear" would be interesting if the exhibitor were creative.)

                      -----Original Message-----

                      From: Jim Scheef <jscheef@...>
                      Subj: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....
                      Date: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:52 am
                      Size: 5K
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com

                      Hello all and Happy New Year,

                      I just read thru this thread and found a few things interesting. Jim is sight-impaired so I can see [pun] why keyboards would be very important to him. Our first response is to attack the messenger (the article, not Jim). The article is what it is - an attempt by a "popular press" outlet to make their magazine more interesting to typical PC users. Its not historical. I find it interested that they can't find any bad keyboards today. I hate Dell and IBM/Lenovo keyboards because of the tiny PgUp, PgDn, Home and End keys - the vary same thing they criticized in the C64. Of course Dell and Lenovo are current advertisers...

                      Mason was the first to look at the article from the standpoint of a collector or computer history buff. I think a VCF exhibit of examples of bad keyboards would be a winner, especially if it covered the history of these bad keyboards - cost, surplus parts (like the screen in the Osborn 1) or other factors. A membrane keyboard *is* kid proof. Today the OLPC laptop has a sealed keyboard for the same reason. The PCjr chicklet keyboard is a great collectible today because so few (relatively speaking) were produced and sold. They sell for what I consider exorbitant prices but no PCjr collection is complete without one.

                      Jim


                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: John Allain <allain@...>
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 3:05:23 PM
                      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....

                      Our SW porting lab at IBM had all different keyboards for the DG, Dec, HP,
                      SGI, Sun, and IBM workstations. The standout oddest would have to be the
                      Sun.

                      Oddest config ever for me was the Calma dual-screen CAD workstation.
                      The text half of the CRT was just a standard Hazeltine terminal with the
                      circuit board made flush with the CRT by turning it around backwards. So
                      the system had a second hidden keyboard sticking out the back if you took
                      the cover off.

                      John A.

                      Coolest new keyboard
                      Optimus OLED animated color graphic keycaps.
                      http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/88ee



                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Dan Roganti
                      Evan, I believe I sensed some anxiety in your recent replies :) Could it be that Eli Manning has to confront the notorious Tony Romo in the playoffs today ?
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 13, 2008
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                        Evan,

                        I believe I sensed some anxiety in your recent replies :)
                        Could it be that Eli Manning has to confront the notorious Tony Romo in the playoffs today ?
                        I'm rooting for the NY Giants too (my hometown)

                        =Dan
                        just kidding


                        Evan wrote:
                        I strongly do NOT agree on two points.  First, it's pretty dumb to say that advertising has anything to do with a fluffy thing like 'bad keyboards' ... Second, a whole VCF exhibit about them?  Sounds boring.  (Although an exhibit of "Bizarre I/O of Yesteryear" would be interesting if the exhibitor were creative.)
                        
                          
                      • Evan
                        I m not worried. :) ... From: Dan Roganti Subj: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards.... Date: Sun Jan 13,
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jan 13, 2008
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                          I'm not worried. :)

                          -----Original Message-----

                          From: Dan Roganti <ragooman@...>
                          Subj: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: FW: [TYPEWRITERS] bad keyboards....
                          Date: Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:17 am
                          Size: 2K
                          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com


                          Evan,

                          I believe I sensed some anxiety in your recent replies :)
                          Could it be that Eli Manning has to confront the notorious Tony Romo in the playoffs today ?
                          I'm rooting for the NY Giants too (my hometown)

                          =Dan
                          just kidding


                          Evan wrote: I strongly do NOT agree on two points. First, it's pretty dumb to say that advertising has anything to do with a fluffy thing like 'bad keyboards' ... Second, a whole VCF exhibit about them? Sounds boring. (Although an exhibit of "Bizarre I/O of Yesteryear" would be interesting if the exhibitor were creative.)
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