Documentation for the AT&T Sceptre Videotex terminal

Stroller at
Wed Nov 21 17:34:33 CST 2007

On 21 Nov 2007, at 18:06, Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
> ....
> Of course we've ignored one important fact about keyboards with  
> "Windows
> keys" - they're bloody awful.  I could chew up and swallow a bag of  
> yoghurt
> pots and excrete a less flimsy keyboard than the ones on sale these  
> days.

Here, I've corrected your statement for you:

    Of course we've ignored one important fact about most modern  
    - they're bloody awful...

I have an IBM keyboard here with windows keys - it is at least as  
good as the Mac keyboard (assuming that was actually made by Apple)  
that you say you're using in your work PC (and, really, probably  

Of course, I've had this a few years, and perhaps IBM's (Lenovo's?)  
current keyboards aren't so good, but you can still pay 100 quid  
(that's c $200) for a keyboard if you want a good one.  
offer buckling-spring models which feature the Windows key and which  
are "based on an award winning design, ... the same quality and crisp  
tactile feedback as their IBM predecessors"; if these are really as  
good as the model M, then I think there are few who would be unhappy  
with them; I find these prices to be surprisingly cheap. I'm sure you  
can alternatively get a top-of-the-range Cherry with Windows keys,  
and I'm got one old one of theirs here which I believe to be better  
than a model M.

Back when my father bought his first "IBM-compatible" 286, he paid  
more than that for a keyboard, but in those days, so did everyone  
else - it was just one component in a c £2000 package. Nowadays  
computers are cheap "commodity" items, and Walmart sell whole  
computer systems for $199. Are you surprised that the keyboards feel  

I find the Windows keys pretty useful, being obliged to use Windows  
on a daily basis. All the keyboard shortcuts on Windows 2000 / XP and  
other Microsoft apps of this generation are well-panned & useful -  
I'm sure I've read that Microsoft conduct a good deal of usability  
research, hands-on with users. For those of us that like keyboard  
shortcuts a Mac is a VERY poor relation in this regard.


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