26 August 2011

kjwcode: A flapping duck. (duck)
If you don't live in Canada you will probably not quite appreciate this situation. Laptops overwhelmingly have bilingual English/French keyboards, and no retail operation seems to stock anything but US-layout English keyboards. It's not a matter of the ink on the key caps -- I couldn't care less about that. It's the matter of two keys in places where you're not expecting them and a tall, skinny Enter key that sits where you'd normally hit the backslash/pipe key. If you had a reaction of "I can't type on this fscking keyboard!", you'd be completely normal, but unless you want to buy a laptop from the US or deal with an Apple product, it's pretty much what you're stuck with.

I use laptops. Period, end of story. I've got a couple of vestigal nettops and a 1U rackable at home, but they're all headless. I use laptops when I'm out of the house, too. My primary out-of-the-house laptop has a bilingual keyboard. Anyone who brushes this off and says "whatever, just get used to two different layouts" likely doesn't spend the number of hours I do behind a keyboard each day. (That's 10+, 6-7 days a week. On a slow week.)

It occurred to me a while ago to try using a bilingual keyboard in UK layout mode. This is perhaps the smartest thing I've done in a long while. Hooked instantly. I did nothing about it for a while, but the other day I snapped and bought two Logitech K750s with French layouts -- one for home, and one for work. They are freaking awesome. The keys are close enough to laptop keys that my fingers don't get confused switching back and forth, and the layout is now consistent across all of my systems.

Actually getting someone to bring in the keyboards took dealing with incredibly rude service at a couple of places (seems hatred of the French and Quebecois is alive and well in Canada), a couple of pointed tweets, and some waiting.

A small victory, yes. But it's a relief.


kjwcode: Bella, the little silly dog. (Default)

February 2012

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