Computing > General Computing

keyboard for programmers, any recommendations?

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DiTBho:
It's time to change my old keyboard because ... well because it just died.

R.I.P.

(1 sec of silence, to remember how many things I typed on it. Great stuff.
It was a rather good IBM PS/2 keyboard. Paid 150 euro, it lasted 10 years)

....

OK, I am mostly a C programmer, I usually also program in assembly, sometimes in Python, but I think i will write a lot of documents in Latex in the next months because the development list of  tasks in my depart is rather idle at the moment.

Yesterday I watched a video on Youtube, a dude was mentioning a "keyboard for programmers", but he didn't explain what "for programmers" really mean. He simply showed a very expensive (250 euro) mechanical keyboard, and I am really confused.

Is really there a keyboard optimized for programmers?!?
Like those keyboards optimized for gamers?


That guy also showed his new iMac which comes with a super small keyboard, wireless. Aesthetically it looks nice, but the touch-pad is an external unit you have to buy separately. I don't know how good it for typing, it also comes a fingerprint recognizer, that's exactly one of the features I don't strictly need to have.


What I really like to have is a track-point in a decent position (e.g. between the keys G and H?), embedded with the keyboard rather than on an external unit.

I really used a lot the track-point on my old keyboard, and I think it's one feature I would like to have on my next keyboard.

Any recommendations for a new keyboard? 

Thanks :D

Ian.M:
There aren't many options for a full sized keyboard with a pointing stick.  AFAIK Unicomp EnduraPro is the only one currently available.  Allegedly, its very much like an IBM model M + a classic Trackpoint, but with a USB plug on it.  If you can live with a compact keyboard (no numberpad), Lenovo do the standalone USB 'ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II'.

I cant actually recommend either as I haven't used them as I'm a cheap-skate and my satisfaction criteria for keyboards are fairly low due to early experiences with rubber keyed 8-bitters best described as typing on a corpse, and I'm not *that* fond of pointing sticks (although if someone would make a min. 5 button mouse with a pointing stick for scroll wheel functionality, I'd be all over it)!

N.B. a buckling spring keyboard is likely to make you unpopular in a cube farm due to the resulting noise level!

sulami:

--- Quote from: DiTBho on June 02, 2021, 04:02:55 pm ---Yesterday I watched a video on Youtube, a dude was mentioning a "keyboard for programmers", but he didn't explain what "for programmers" really mean. He simply showed a very expensive (250 euro) mechanical keyboard, and I am really confused.

Is really there a keyboard optimized for programmers?!?
Like those keyboards optimized for gamers?

--- End quote ---

Not really. Some are programmable, either via firmware flashing or on the fly, and might allow for macros and such, but in general they all work the same.

More interesting imho is actually the form factor and ergonomics. As someone suffering from typing-induced RSI, a well shaped keyboard is just as important to me as a decent chair.

In general I’d say go for something mechanical, have a look at different switch kinds and what you might like (stiffness and sound mainly), spend a decent amount but not too much, 80-200 is a good starting point. Stay away from anything too obnoxiously gaming branded, and just pick something that you like. Reviews can be useful too.

As for an actual recommendation, I’ve heard good things from colleagues about the CODE keyboard, which is definitely on the pricier end, but a standard form form factor and robustly built.

Rick Law:

--- Quote from: Ian.M on June 02, 2021, 04:46:34 pm ---There aren't many options for a full sized keyboard with a pointing stick.  AFAIK Unicomp EnduraPro is the only one currently available.  Allegedly, its very much like an IBM model M + a classic Trackpoint, but with a USB plug on it.  If you can live with a compact keyboard (no numberpad), Lenovo do the standalone USB 'ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II'.

I cant actually recommend either as I haven't used them as I'm a cheap-skate and my satisfaction criteria for keyboards are fairly low due to early experiences with rubber keyed 8-bitters best described as typing on a corpse, and I'm not *that* fond of pointing sticks (although if someone would make a min. 5 button mouse with a pointing stick for scroll wheel functionality, I'd be all over it)!

N.B. a buckling spring keyboard is likely to make you unpopular in a cube farm due to the resulting noise level!

--- End quote ---

Model M keyboards...  I've not seen/feel anything smoother than them.

I am not programming professionally anymore but I am still using my IBM-PS2 keyboards (Modem M keyboard) that was once on my IBM-PS2 (model 50, 70 and the p70)...  Yeah, they are the round PS2 mouse/keyboard connector plug, but these days they are used via a USB adapter.

SiliconWizard:
Ah yeah, Model M...
Unicomp now makes keyboards that have a similar tactile feel with USB connection: https://www.pckeyboard.com/

Other than that, I'd personally vote for a mechanical keyboard. Much more pleasant to type on. Another point: I'll only use keyboards without numeric keypads these days (aka "tenkeyless"). They are not as wide, and when you're using a mouse, it'll be closer to the center and thus more comfortable in the long run. Numeric keypads is something you can definitely do without. I have a separate numeric keypad just in case, but I hardly ever use it.

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