The Worst Keyboard Made
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The Worst Keyboard Made are one of those belongings that at a certain point someone got it so right that everyone else stopped playing with it.
It’s like smartphone screens. Someone (and I’m not going to go into the details) came along and cracked the formula for how multi-touch screens were supposed to work, and pretty much everyone has followed the same design principles ever since.
When it comes to keyboards, we may see a bit of variance when it comes to laptops trying to cram a few more keys on the right side, but otherwise their layouts are more or less standardized these days.
They have a standard button layout, a few function keys here and there, and barring arguments about whether rubber or mechanical dome switches are better, everyone agrees on how they should work.
However, this was not always like that. Before we decided on the current standard design, numerous companies tried to set the industry standard. Some have been successful while others have been far from perfect.
So read on for our list of the worst keyboards ever made, from huge computers with horrible keys to machines whose horrible circuit boards completely matched the quality of the computer (hello, Mattel Aquarius).
We’ve even included some more modern keyboards on this list as proof that there’s always someone who wants to reinvent the wheel, no matter what.
Commodore 64 (1982) The Worst Keyboard Made
The Commodore 64 sits on a mile-high base in the youthful memories of millions, but its keyboard layout, shared by Commodore’s earlier VIC-20, was incredibly clunky. A glance reveals three main shortcomings. It was visually confusing with too many cyphers printed on each key. The computer’s unergonomic 2-inch height made it extremely difficult on the wrists of inexperienced typists.
And the keyboard layout leaves a lot to be desire, with numerous examples of poor key placement. For example, the Home/Delete button was located directly to the left of the Delete (backspace), causing users to accidentally click repeatedly and send the cursor back to the top of the screen. Additionally, the layout was pepper with an unusually large number of special keys, such as Run/Stop and Restore. Fortunately, most C64 owners weren’t aware of these issues: they mostly used the C64 to play games with joysticks, saving the heavy math for dad’s IBM PC.
IBM PC Jr (1984)The Worst Keyboard Made
The first keyboard that came with the IBM PCjr remains the most infamous of all time: it’s one of the few instances where a keyboard has directly contributed to the failure of a PC on the market.
As one of the first cordless models on the market, it required a constant supply of batteries and would not work if users were using its cordless nature in a convenient way, e.g. B. placing the keyboard on your lap. IBM cut corners by creating a chiclet console with hard plastic keys that had nothing printed on them (instead, letters, numbers, and symbols were publishe in a tiny, low-contrast font just above each key).
The press quickly declare that the PCjr was DOA and the machine would be discontinue within a year. Oddly enough, in 1984 IBM also introduce the 101-key “Model M” keyboard, consider by many to be the best keyboard ever made.
Atari 400 (1979) The Worst Keyboard Made
Atari’s first low-end personal computer had 8 KB of RAM and a flat, sealed “membrane” keyboard, a design that was often toute in the early 1980s as a rugg, spill-resistant alternative to the traditional keyboard. full trip. The truth is that the one-piece skin keyboard was significantly less expensive to manufacture. Aside from the slightly raised edges around each key, the Atari 400’s keys lay completely flat, with no tactile feedback; Users couldn’t physically tell if they had successfully pressed one. Atari compensate for this by having the computer produce a click from an internal speaker each time users pressed a key. The Atari 400’s keyboard welfares from a relatively standard key layout, but the dangerous break key (one of the keys you probably use the least) was just to the right of the much-used backspace key. Woe to the student who wrote a final paper on this beast!
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