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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Wednesday August 09, 2006
09:57 AM

Why I can't seem to switch my damned keyboard

[ #30577 ]

After finally getting sick and tired of the subtle differences between US and British keyboard layouts, I figured I would just figure out how to switch the key mappings on my Ubuntu box and rely on touch typing. Oh, wait. I can't. It's not just that the keys are remapped. They keys are physically different.

Here's an image for a US Keyboard. (My first search, for just "keyboard", turned up a "not safe for work" image despite the fact that "moderate safe search was on". You've been warned.)

Here's an image for a UK Keyboard. (I searched for that on Google images and it's a complete coincidence that Ricardo Signes owns that domain).

Can you spot all of the differences between the two? Why the heck have the @ and " been switched? The backslash is now left of the 'z'. The key where it was doesn't exist on the British keyboard. The tilde is moved and some funky '¬' character is there (does anyone use that?). I do like that I no longer have to hit shift for the hashmark since I often use that for searching in vim, though. That makes one tiny pleasure to offset the pain. Just hitting 'z' all the time instead of a backslash is getting annoying as hell.

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  • I've long puzzeled over the diffeences in keyboards. The UK keyboard is the same keyboard as the rest of the world, though the letters and such may be on diffent keys. The US is usualy a phyiscally different keyboard with a similar but annoyingly different layout to the UK keyboard. If you count the keys you will find that a standard US keyboard has a different nunber of keys to the rest of the world.

    Having worked and lived in both the UK and US, I must confess that I prefer the UK layout, the double h

    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • There are only two differences, physically.

    1. The US backslash key is located left to the weirdly shaped Enter key, next to the QWERTY quote key.

    2. There's an extra key located left of the QWERTY "Z", right of Shift.

    Backslash keys are in different locations for US keyboards too. Sometimes they're above Enter, sometimes left of Backspace. Sometimes right of the right Shift, under Enter.

    And I can't see how having an extra key can really bother anyone - if it's in the way, map it to the key that you were used
  • Looking at the Silicon Graphics keyboard sitting next to me, it matches the US picture you posted.

    I can't remember for sure, but I /might/ have a spare keyboard in my attic at home, from my old SG box. It'll be a PS/2 connector.
    If I still have the spare, would you want it?
    I could bring it along to YAPC in Birmingham later this month, if you'll be there.