I've just worked out that if you took every SysRq key ever made and melted them all down, you could cover the continent of Africa to a depth of 2cm. Or something. It's a lot, is my point. And how many times has this key ever been pressed? Today's keyboard is a mess of legacy keys and whenever a "revolutionary" new keyboard is designed, it always seems to add keys, rather than take any away. A key to open Outlook Express, a key to bookmark a favourite, a key to check YouTube for videos of people pretending to fall over.
Enough I say! Here is my design for Keyboard 2.0. Straight away, you'll notice that I have left the QWERTY keys alone. This is because research has proven that every other arrangement of the alpha keys totally does my head in. I've also left backspace, enter, shift and the spacebar in more or less their accustomed positions because these are all keys we use for typing actual words and familiarity is important here. Numbers run above that but I've lined them up with the top row of letters because I hate that one-third offset between rows (it's so untidy) and see no reason to follow it more than absolutely necessary. The most common punctuation is clustered in the bottom right, but all the weird stuff that doesn't see much use is given its own strip above the numbers. No more hunting for the or the }. They are out of the way, but easy to find.
That's all you need for actual typing, but keyboards are also used as controllers; specifically in games. WASD are the "traditional" movement keys, but they suffer from the accursed on-third stagger so I have moved the cursor keys over to the left and added strafe keys as well. The page up/page down block sits above these so that they can easily be remapped to grenades and spells and so on.
Finally, we have the keys that get hit by accident. Caps Lock, Escape and the Windows key all have a purpose, but generally that purpose is to cause you to SHOUT FOR NO REASON or pop out of full-screen mode in the middle of combat. I've moved these way, waay over to the right to avoid unintentional presses during high-adrenalin moments. The deluxe version of this keyboard also features a hinged key-guard that can be secured with a padlock.
And that's it. Where are the function keys? They're gone. The numeric keypad? Gone. Pause/Break, Scroll Lock, Alt Gr and that weird "menu" key? All gone. If you look carefully at your current keyboard, you'll see that all of these keys are still as clean as they were when you bought your PC. That's because you don't ever press any of them. And with the plastic we have saved, we'll be able to laminate North and South America as well.
Article continues below