Monday, 27 January 2014

Posted by Cratchety Ol Joe | File under : , , , , ,
A very important question, and one I can easily illustrate with the help of Mr Jean-Claude Van Damme, He popped by to help me with a to-scale experiment.

Firstly I had to measure the distance he can perform the splits, turns out this is about 70 inches from foot to foot depending on how split the action star cares to be.

That's about 1.75 meters which Ironically is about the average height of a man.

In this image we see good old JC doing what he does;

jean-claude, van damme, chiclet, keyboard

From this detail we can clearly conclude that the gap between chiclet keys is about 1 ¾ meters which is wider than a small commercial vehicle.

My Findings:

  • The gap is too Damme wide!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

For a few years (from the point I was previously searching to purchase a laptop, which turns out to be the one I'm now typing on...) I have found a disturbing trend in laptop design.

They're called 'chiclet' (or chicklet, or even island-style) keys, I believe it stems from apple? I'm not entirely sure... Whatever started it however has now doomed all of mankind to suffer these cuboid blocks of design disgust.

chiclet, island style, chicklet, keyboard
I wrote this Haiku to sum up my annoyance:

Gaps so frustrating
When typing, letters misplaced
Island keys are bad

These tiny squares often where tab, shift, backspace and even enter are all the same size makes any form of fluid typing a chore with example sentences such as "the qyick beown focd jump3d ovet the ;ZY DOG"

The typing experience on these cruddy keys leave me feeling much like this amusing animation:

So, If Chiclet Keys Suck, What's The Alternative?

laptop, normal keyboard
I have from the time I began typing used  'classic' style keys that is to say non-gapped scissor functioned keys such as the ones on which I regale this tale. While these keys are 'flat' style as opposed to the even more classical bevelled edge keys (which adorn my keyboard on my main PC) The fact that the keys are
placed together and with tactile interaction when passing a finger across them allows much greater typing experience.

The sad part is that these 'classic' style keyboards are now rarer than I like my steak, and I like mny steak to be a little pink ... so that's quite rare.

Why Does Any Of This Matter?

I find myself at the point in time where once again I require to upgrade my laptop, and to do so I must part ways with some hard earned cash for an item which I will most likely use at least once every other day for the next 3 or 4 years, I cannot bear the thought that I have to spend money on something that will annoy me perpetually until such time as I recreate the animation above in reality.

So I put finger to key (non-chiclet key mind you...) to vent my distress and frustration, I shall from this point be using this blog as a collective reference for when I find laptop models which have normal keys and hopefully be able to find one which not only has the magical keys of yore but also the hardware to cope with my demands.

That means that somewhere in the future I shall be spending a few hundred bob on a hunk of plastic and silicone, and by all that is regarded as sacred by anyone on this planet I shall not be buying a laptop which features lego bricks as it's medium of human interface device.