Sunday, May 29, 2011

German Keyboards

So you all know I have a job at DIL, more on that later, but what you may not know is that it's a desk job and I spend eight and a half hours each day sitting in front of my computer (I just got mine, more on that later).  Normally, this would be inconsequential--I have a long association with computers and, though I don't know much in the way of programing, I'm pretty good and I continually make efforts to learn more [Minecraft has actually been a minor course in the technicals of how computer filing works, I have to manually place the texture packs into the proper folder {took me forever to figure out *windows button + R* and search appdata}]--but in this case it amounts to something because I have to use a German Keyboard.  

What did I just show you a picture of?  This is what I have to deal with every day.  At first glance it actually looks normal, the F and J are in the right places so you don't have to alter your hand positions or think too much about where things are on the keyboard.  But, before you say anything, do me a favor--look down at your keyboard, and back at the picture.  Notice the "y" and "z" positions are reversed.  Just those two.  Zou have no idea how annozingz this can be.

That being said, I submit my further observations on the design.  The "up arrow" key can be correctly inferred from relative position to be the "Shift" key.  "Down arrow" is similarly "Caps Lock."  "Strg" is "CTRL," there are some extra letters you don't use, but they're not in the way (and end up being downright convenient when you have to type "Quakenbr├╝ck").  The ' key is aggravatingly hidden behind the #, whether you can see that from this image or not.  

But the only thing you might really be confused about is something called "Alt Gr."  Notice the upper row, with the numbers.  There are three symbols per key.  The "Alt Gr" is a kind of 'second shift' key, that lets you  stack numbers and letters in groups of three--actually a good idea if you desperately want to fit all the German letters and symbols onto an American style keyboard.  But it makes hunting down "[" "(" and "@" very difficult.  

I don't know how many 'alternate shift' keys you'd need to fix this, 


  1. Is it just me, or is anyone else hungry for waffles now?

  2. Peggy Snow thought this was great - and she agreed about craving waffles!