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Hi, I'm Iljitsch van Beijnum. These are my posts about keyboards and other input devices.

The evolution of computer keyboards since 1980

It's interesting to see how much has stayed the same over 40 years, and also how some keys have been moved around, as well as the differences between Apple's keyboards and the standard PC keyboard.

So I drew the layout of 18 keyboards to easily compare IBM, Apple, Digital, Sun, Amiga, Atari and third party keyboards over the years.

Permalink - posted 2020-12-17

Reviving the C64 (or C128) experience

In this post, I want to look at different ways of running an emulated Commodore 64 (or Commodore 128) and how they compare. The contenders are the THEC64 Mini, a half-size recreation of the C64 powered by an ARM CPU running an emulator, the full-size THEC64 that adds a working keyboard and the VICE emulator running on my MacBook Pro.

Read the article - posted 2020-09-08

The Touch Bar: why it makes sense

The introduction of the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pros has kicked off a lot of discussion. How is this better than the function keys, those are touch typable, unlike the Touch Bar which pretty much requires looking before touching. And how is the Touch Bar better than a touch screen, where you interact with the stuff on the screen directly?

That's missing the point. The Touch Bar isn't a replacement for function keys—in functionality, that is. Nor is it a replacement for a touch screen. It's something completely new!

Full article / permalink - posted 2016-10-29

Keyboards, trackpads, mice

There have been rumors for a while that Apple would be releasing new keyboards and/or mice and/or trackpads soon. The rumors were right: a week or two ago they released all three. I had actually been waiting for the new keyboards because the Apple wireless keyboard I got in 2008 no longer wants to pair with anything. So that one is a paperweight now. The big white one introduced in 2003 that I also have still works, but that one won't talk to iPhones or Apple TVs.

So enter the new keyboard, mouse, trackpad. So I went to to check them out. And nearly fell off of my chair as I saw the prices: € 120 for the keyboard, € 90 for the mouse and € 150 for the trackpad. So that's 360 euros for all three. For 20 euros more you can buy a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop!

To add insult to injury, the new laptop really isn't very good from the looks of it. I've heard some people comment that the new full-size left and right cursor keys are actually worse than the old half-height ones because now they're harder to identify by touch. The key travel is also quite shallow, shallower than that of the old one, I believe.

None of this would be a deal breaker by itself, as was looking for an extra keyboard, as I already have a big IBM Model M that covers my daily typing needs.

I had heard about Logitech bluetooth keyboards that will let you switch between three different paired devices quickly and easily before: the Logitech K810 illuminated keyboard for Windows and the Logitech K811 for the Mac. These get rave reviews. The K811 looks a lot like Apple's wireless keyboard, but adds backlighting like Apple's laptop keyboards have. At around 100 euros, this already looked like a much better deal than Apple's new wireless keyboard.

But it turns out there's now also the Logitech K380 multi-device keyboard. I got mine for € 50.

Full article / permalink - posted 2015-10-24

→ Why I use a 20-year-old IBM Model M keyboard

My latest Ars Technica post, extolling the virtues of the IBM Model M keyboard. This got a lot of comments on Ars and on Twitter, but so far nobody has picked up on the easter egg. Have a good look at the photo (larger version).

Permalink - posted 2013-11-18

The "IPv6 Buddy" IPv6 keyboard

There's now a USB IPv6 keyboard called the IPv6 Buddy. It has the hexadecimal keys as well as the colon, double colon, slash, period, tab and enter keys. So everything you need to enter IPv6 addresses, including IPv4-mapped addresses and CIDR notation prefixes. It also works for MAC addresses.

"With all the time I save entering IPv6 addresses, I can concentrate on more exciting things! Like perfecting my BGP, OSPF and VRRP implementations."

Did I mention that my birthday is in a few weeks?

Permalink - posted 2011-12-13

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