Tag Archives: keyboard


I’ve been using the same keyboard for the last ten years – a Microsoft Natural Keyboard. It’s pretty much the only Microsoft product I use on a regular basis. I’ve been using it at home and at work since when I was at TCG, which was starting in about 1999 or 2000. I actually had two of them – one for home and one for work. One of them broke several years back, but that’s fine since I work at home now.

A month or so ago it started dropping keystrokes, and about a week ago it started getting stuck in CTRL or CMD mode, and only unplugging it would reset it.

I’ve replaced it with the new Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, which is the same keyboard, although with a few more bells and whistles. It’s got programmable keys that actually work on OSX, and it’s got a little zoom scrolly thing in the middle. It’s got the same basic shape and split keys, which is what I’d gotten used to, but the key layout is just slightly different – enough that I’m missing keys every now and then. But I’m getting used to it pretty quickly, I think. It’s happening less today than it did yesterday.

I don’t think I’ll use the programmable keys much – never felt the need for them before – but the volume keys and the play/pause key is already getting a lot of use. They Just Work out of the box and do the right thing on OSX without any special programming, controlling the volume and iTunes, respectively. Oh, and there’s a calculator button that’s slightly useful – at least, I think it might be.

There’s also a back and forward key down front, and I don’t know why anyone would want that. But fortunately it’s not actively in the way, so I probably won’t press it by mistake.

I looked around a little before choosing the same keyboard. But much of what I do on a daily basis is all muscle memory – this is why I still use vim as my editor, after trying dozens of other editors briefly. After using vi for 20+ years, my hands want to press :wq when I’m done, and they want to press x and dd and so on when doing basic editing. So I went with the keyboard that my hands already know, even though I got several recommendations for other keyboards.