The new Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Well, together with the LX5 my wife also get me a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. There’s nothing wrong with my old Dell keyboad and/or the BTC 9019URF wireless keyboard. It is my wrist. With more and more typing, I began to feel the pain of RSI so I decided to give this famous one a try.

It is said that this is the best saled keyboard in US, and it really did something good. From the first time I lay my hand on it, I feel the rest of my wrist.

The keys are a little harder to hit at the beginning, and looks I’m not the only one feel ing this. The good news is that after four days typing on it, the keys get easier to hit, or I began to get used to it.

And it also “discovery” some of my bad keyboard habits: For example, I used to hit the “b” key with my right finger, and this immediately turns to be impossible with this new keyboard. I think I’d get some typing training software :)

The good news for me, and all us Emacs users is that this keyboard comes with really BIG ALT and CTRL keys, on both side. I’ve got used to only use the left ctrl and alt key with other keyboards and on notebook, but now I’m thinking if I should utilize the two big ones on the right. Also the windows key and the “quick menu” key are big too. I’ve used to bind them all to CTRL in my ~/.xmodmap, and I’m now thinking if I should utilize these two too :)

And it works good on FreeBSD too. Only the main keyboard though, the extra multimedia keys and the zoom thing in the middle won’t work. A quick google search shows that someone has made a patch for Linux. I think I might write something to utilize them on FreeBSD too. But there’s really not too much motivations to that: I only use those main area on the keyboard.

Another reason I choose this over a LogiTech one (besides it’s Ergonomic) is that it gets all the six insert/delete/home/end/pageup/pagedown keys in the right place, while most LogiTech ones I saw don’t have a “insert” keys there. Everyone using a Xwindow system knows how convinence the ctrl-insert keybinding is.

In short, I love this keyboard!

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