Keyboard Cat

Do different computer keyboards help you type?

This came to me as I am writing on my Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard.

I have used almost every type of keyboard for modern computers and have found that they do make a difference. But some of the more expensive keyboards or fancy features don’t seem to affect how good I can type on them.

Let’s start with laptops, as that is what I am on. The ThinkPad line of keyboards are known for how easy they are to type; some writers keep around ancient laptops just for the keyboard and how fast they can type on them. That said, there are some low-end laptop keyboards with really bad switches that make you go back and rewrite things over and over because the key would not work right or other problems. The Apple laptops also seem to have good keyboards, but they are still smaller keys and are not the easiest to type but are of higher quality.

Next, let’s look at desktop keyboards. I use a mechanical keyboard, and I find it easy to type on with real feeling, so you know you pushed the key. Cheaper keyboards can feel mushy and don’t register; they pressing of them as nicely. The Apple keyboard is way overpriced for not the best keys but is of good quality. Now mechanical keyboards almost all come with lights, that’s useless, and some switches make a lot of noise, so work environments may not like them, and they cost a lot more.

Another place to look at is tablet keyboards. Most are bad with lousy movement or missed key presses. The Apple one I found to be great despite the size. I have bigger hands, so some of them are just too small, and I always hit 2-3 keys.

Mobile on-screen keyboards are not even a thing for this comparison, but I do like the help spelling along with other things they can do.

I guess you end up getting used to what you have. I find keys with feeling to be the best for me, along with some size. I also think not enough people who spend all day typing things won’t look into different keyboards or employer’s who just give them the cheapest thing and hope they get by. I would bet that spending $50-100 on a keyboard that an employee likes would help by not wasting 5 hours each week. But that’s just my opinion on how people use computers in business.

Laptop with Screen and Code

Do you need a laptop still?

I question some times after having an iPad with the keyboard and using it for almost all of my fieldwork doing IT support and Network Management. The systems we used ether had useful apps or were almost fully web-based. It was also effortless to pack the iPad with a cellular data connection no matter where I was going.

But it the question gets more challenging when you need to do work on older technologies and systems that still don’t get that most people live in a web browser and apps. Phone systems, old routers, servers, or things that need more coding. That’s where you need a laptop when in the field.

I could argue that if you have a desktop system, you could get away with just the iPad if you worked with modern equipment. But if you need a desktop for work, why not only have the laptop with a dock and nice monitors. It gets complicated, right.

I will have to say my setup as a small IT support and Managed Network technician I need it all. My home desktop is what I use to provide support for my clients, configure systems and servers, develop code for websites and software, and use for entertainment such as videos and games when not working. Now my laptop is useful for on-site doing work on the older equipment, network scanning, and things I need a good keyboard for. The tablet seems to tie everything together, now more than when I was working with others. The there systems make it so I can do work in any setting.

While my laptop is aging because it hasn’t been used much, I have kept it update and upgrade. It leaves me saying, “wow, it still works great” and not having a justification for a replacement. When I got it for school 7 years ago, I made sure I was getting something good, but never thought it would have worked out this long.

So my advice would be to get a reliable laptop you can do everything your work or entertainment needs can afford. If you do need a desktop, you may still need a laptop to meet your mobile needs. Finally, an iPad or tablet can be much more useful for work than just entertainment.

Another note about laptops is that many workplaces no longer get desktops, just USB 3.0 docks with monitors and a laptop. It makes even more sense to do this so your workers can be remote at any time with all of their systems and files. Also, don’t cheap out on computers. They are tools for your employees you are paying a lot of money to, which makes it possible for them to do the job you ask of them.

Anyway, this was some thoughts on laptops. I hope to keep doing these types of posts on this site. If you need help with your network or IT systems or even new laptops, check out my IT business at Grand Junction Computers.

New Keyboard Test Post

So I got a new keyboard, so far its working great. It’s a Corsair K70 LUX RGB with Cherry MX Brown switches. I was thinking what should I do to test out typing, and boom here is a blog post.

I did some gaming on it earlier and it was great, and I was doing great in the game. The RGB lighting is kind of cool but if you’re not doing something that takes a lot of paying attention to the screen you end up noticing a rainbow of colors over the keys. I know I can switch it to all kinds of things but this was fun for the first night.

When typing so far I have done good at hitting the correct keys and the feeling of pushing down the keys is good, I almost need to have a lighter touch. There is a good amount of that mechanical sound that you know when you are typing. But not so much its annoying. If it was in an office and you did typing or coding next to people it could be a problem. I would also guess because of the frequency of the sound a phone or VOIP call would pick up every key stroke.

I plan on using this one in my home office where I don’t care about sound so much. I had a Dell Alienware keyboard that was not as noise, but had decent switches. They don’t give you a brand so who knows what they are, the only thing I could find was they were like the Brown switches by Cherry MX. Because that keyboard isn’t that loud and I want something better for typing and coding at work I will take it in and use it there.

Other than the normal spelling mistakes I have been able to type out things fast and with good accuracy in this post. If you do lots of typing a good keyboard could improve productivity and just make it nicer to type. There are quieter keys, and other companies who make keyboards with these switches, so if you wanted something more “professional” you could get one of those for less because the RGB is not something you really need. ~600 Words in about 10 minutes with some time to think and look at the other keyboard is quite good.

Tek4.ME My New Technology Blog

A few weeks ago I quit my normal crummy job that wasn’t helping me with my goal of working with computers, technology, or the internet. I had gotten my degree as an Information System Administrator but the job market for IT workers is very hard because there aren’t that many jobs where I live, but I had a few ideas on how I can still have an income.

First I have done some service calls for a company installing Internet, and those pay good for the work, I also have some friends that has been offering to get me doing the service calls they do but in my area. Because these calls aren’t consistent I plan to do some other stuff with my time when I’m not just taking care of my kids.

So my plan is to write on my Technology and Gadget blog Tek4.ME as much as I can. It will have topics such as news about upcoming Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other Companies new products and services. The blog will also have tips and tricks for best using your technology and online services. Some of the articles already up include my Hands on Review of the Nexus 7, information on why YouTube won’t be part of iOS 6, and what’s new in Windows Essentials 2012.

Finally I would also like to start building a few websites a month; this would be things like setting up and building a site using WordPress or Drupal for any type of business or organization. If interested check out more information at Grand Junction Computers web site.

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Carbonite Pop Up Ad WTH

Carbonite pop up ad
Carbonite pop up ad

What the heck Carbonite! When did Carbonite think it was a good idea to start putting pop up ads on people computers who are paying for a service already! I got your stupid email already and I didn’t want it so I didn’t sign up for this service, but now you are putting pop ups on my system. This kind of think will make people jump ship from your service real fast.

Yes I like the service and I understand you want to tell people you have other levels of service but it goes back to the days of adware and scams like that to start this crap. I was ok with the emails once in a while saying you have other services and I listen to the ads on TWiT.TV but I don’t want crap popping up on my computer.

Please stop those ads, and thanks for the service I do have I like how well it works and want to stay in my current plan!

Kinect for Windows and Microsoft’s Last Keynote from CES 2012

Steve Ballmer with Ryan Seacrest

After hearing the last keynote from Microsoft as CES 2012 I was kind of disappointed by it, they has Ryan Seacrest and he sounded like he was just reading lines and didn’t care about anything the they had to show. And Steve Ballmer was his same yelling self the only thing new that they showed was relay the Kinect for windows and it wasn’t even much more than a video of it. They mostly recapped things about products that were out or things that were known about new products such as Windows 8.

As for the Kinect for Windows it looks like it will let you do motion controls for your PC along with know where the user is. But I think this is just a gimmick like voice controls are right now, they are built in to Windows 7 and work well it is just so easy to just mouse to something and click it. Also when you want to change your thoughts to text a keyboard is so easy to use and is faster. I’m sure they will market this as a use for all kinds of things but it won’t go anywhere. Most laptops have cameras built into them and how much do they get used and if they wanted to they could see if you are waving a motion using those cameras.

Another bad thing is the price, who will pay $249 to wave at their computer, and have no real use for it. They say it will be used in medical fields and education, ya sure if they had their way, but education is having a hard enough time getting teachers to use projectors and PowerPoint let alone money to get these in schools. And how will a doctor use the system, O he doesn’t have to touch a screen that would have a image of something, most of their time would be looking at what they are working on.

It is available on Amazon.com for $249.99 and will ship February 1st 2012. And MS Press site didn’t think it was even that important to have an image of the Kinect just ol Steve and Ryan.
Amazon.com : Kinect Sensor for Windows

Lenovo Thinkvision LT1421

Watching Live.Twit.TV and they are at CES early Sunday January 8th 2012 and they are looked the lenovo early booth and they have a second display for your laptop that is USB powered, 14″ and around 2.5LB. It looked cool and useful if you travel and need more desktop space on your laptop.

It’s already available online list $199.99 but Amazon.com had it already for 189.38.
Amazon.com: Thinkvision LT1421 Wide 1452DS6

CES 2012 Pre-Thoughts

CES is coming for 2012 and I like to see what comes from the show. Last year it was all about 3D TVs and Android Tablets. This year it looks like tablets and apps on TVs will be some of the big things. I’m sure they will have more 3D TV but some without glasses but I don’t care because I can’t see the 3D.

Android Tablets were big last year but the ones that did come out in 2011 were flops and the main reason was that they were trying to do the old computer trick of having spec wars and charging too much. The iPad dose so good because it is not that expensive and is somewhat of a good device that has a sexy or prestige factor that the Android tablets lack because of marketing by Apple.

If they can make new tablets with Android 4.0 that are good specs and don’t cost over $500-600 then they may work out but if they want to sell lots they need to have it be good spec, Android 4.0 and cost less than $350.

As for the TVs with apps, it looks like they will be running Google TV aka Android TV, but the mistake that the companies are going to make is putting skins on them, they need to look and feel the same. Also Google and the TV companies will need to make deals to get the content producers to make apps to put their content on the system.

With Microsoft also pulling out I don’t see much coming from them, probably some new looks at Windows 8 and a recap of the new video options on Xbox 360. And I’m sure Sony and Nintendo will save most of their big things for games for E3 were I’m sure Microsoft will still have a big setup to pimp there Xbox stuff.

This year I will probably keep looking over some of the blog sites, and check out Twit.tv they have the most raw unorganized look from the floor as if you were there. CNet has some good stuff but it is more organized and almost too setup only with big names.

Battlefield 3: Operation Metro Map E3 Trailer

Looks like EA has a new Battlefield coming out, Battlefield 3. From the trailer at E3 2011 it looks like it will be a modern city battles rather than some of the older open field battles. This should help keep players fighting each other and not just wondering around looking for that one good sniper kill. This new shooter will have big compotation with the new Call of Duty game coming out this winter also.

After looking at it some more this trailer is just one map but it’s still cool, if this is going to be the multiplayer game play!

 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Trailer

Once again another COD game is coming out, this time they blow up the USA, EU and a bunch of other things! I’m sure there is going to be a multi player mode that millions of people will be hooked on, I just hope that they will make the maps small enough for the few people they get in a game now that you can’t host you own 32 player frag fest. O the good old days of running out tossing a grenade and blowing up 3 n00bs! Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be out November 8th 2011. Its big competition will be Battlefield 3.