Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
faqs.org - Internet FAQ Archives

Typing Injury FAQ (3/6): Keyboard Alternatives (1/2)

( Part1 - Part2 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Restaurant inspections ]
Archive-name: typing-injury-faq/keyboards/part1
Version: $Revision: 7.26 $ $Date: 1995/10/17 07:41:35 $
URL: http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~dwallach/tifaq/keyboards.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Prologue

This FAQ may be cited as:

     Wallach, Dan S. (1995) "Typing Injury FAQ: Keyboard Alternatives".
     http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~dwallach/tifaq/keyboards.html

World-Wide-Web users will find this available as hypertext:

   * http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~dwallach/tifaq/keyboards.html
   * (Dan Wallach's page) http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~dwallach/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Answers To Frequently Asked Questions about Keyboard Alternatives (Part 1/2)

Copyright  1992-1995 Dan Wallach <dwallach@cs.princeton.edu>

The opinions in here are my own, unless otherwise mentioned, and do not
represent the opinions of any organization or vendor.

[Current distribution: sci.med.occupational, sci.med, comp.human-factors,
{news,sci,comp}.answers, and e-mail to c+health@iubvm.ucs.indiana.edu,
sorehand@vm.ucsf.edu, and cstg-L@vtvm1.cc.vt.edu]

Information in this FAQ has been pieced together from phone conversations,
e-mail, and product literature. While I hope it's useful, the information in
here is neither comprehensive nor error free. If you find something wrong or
missing, please mail me, and I'll update my list. Thanks.

All phone numbers, unless otherwise mentioned, are USA phone numbers. All
monetary figures, unless otherwise mentioned, are USA dollars.

Products covered in this FAQ:

   * Using a PC's keyboard on your workstation / compatibility issues
     ("normal" keyboards - by normal, I really mean non-chording)
        o Apple Computer, Inc.
        o Comfort Keyboard System
        o DataHand
        o ergoLogic
        o Ergo Max
        o FlexPro (Key Tronic)
        o Fountain Hills Systems
        o Generic Split Keyboard (from Taiwan)
        o Genovation ErgoMaster
        o Infrared Keyboards (Two Bit Score) [- NEW!]
        o Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard
        o Lexmark
        o Light Link (Electronic Design Specialists) [- NEW!]
        o Maltron
        o Microsoft Natural Keyboard
        o MiniErgo (Marquardt Switches)
        o The MyKey
        o Somers EK1 Ergonomic Keyboard
        o The Tony! Ergonomic KeySystem
        o The Vertical
        o The Wave
   * ("chording" systems / speech recognizers / other products)
        o AccuKey
        o Aria Listener (Prometheus)
        o The Bat (Infogrip)
        o Braille 'n Speak (Blaize)
        o DataEgg (InHand Development)
        o DragonDictate (Dragon Systems)
        o Half-QWERTY
        o IBM VoiceType Speech Recognition Family (formerly Personal Dictation
          System)
        o IN3 Voice Command / IN3 PRO
        o KeyBreak
        o Kurzweil VOICE
        o Listen for Windows (Verbex)
        o Microwriter
        o The Minimal Motion Computer Access System
        o Octima
        o OfficeTalk for WordPerfect (Kolvox)
        o Power Secretary
        o Rover for Windows (Digital Soup)
        o Step on It (Bilbo Innovations) [- NEW!]
        o Telaccount Speech Recognizer for Windows
        o Twiddler

GIF pictures of many of these products are available via anonymous ftp from
ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/typing-injury I highly recommend getting the
pictures. They tell much more than I can fit into this file. Or, if you're
reading this page with a WWW browser such as Mosaic or Netscape, just scroll
down.

If you can't do ftp or WWW, send me mail, and I'll uuencode and mail them to
you (they're pretty big...)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Using a PC's keyboard on your workstation / compatibility issues

What kind of computer are you using? Macintosh, X terminal, NeXT, SGI, IBM
RS/6000, HP, Sun, serial port hacks, and other stuff.

Macintosh
     Kinesis Corp. now has an adapter to make a PC keyboard connect to a
     Macintosh. They'll happily sell you the adapter without one of their
     keyboards. The price is around $100. Call 800-4-KINESIS.

     A similar product is made by the Silicon Valley Bus Company, which
     supports PC mice and keyboards. It's called the KeyStone and costs $99
     plus $6 shipping.

        o Silicon Valley Bus Company
          475 Brown Rd.
          San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

          Phone: 408-623-2300 or maybe 800-775-0555
          FAX: 408-623-4440

X terminals
     A number of X terminals (NCD, Tektronix, to name a few) use PC-compatible
     keyboards. If you have an X terminal, you may be all set. Try it out with
     a normal PC keyboard before you go through the trouble of buying an
     alternative keyboard. Also, some X terminals add extra buttons - you may
     need to keep your original keyboard around for the once-in-a-blue-moon
     that you have to hit the Setup key.

     Often, X termainals will use a small DIN-8 connector rather than the
     larger old-style PC keyboard connector. Have no fear! Many newer PC's also
     have this new smaller connector, so you can usually find adapters at good
     computer stores. I've also seen this adapter in a number of mail-order
     cable catalogs.

NeXT
     NeXT no longer makes workstations, but the last batch of NeXTstations were
     made with the Apple Desktop Bus. If you really need to be using NeXT
     hardware, make sure it's the latest stuff, and you can use Mac keyboards
     (or PC keyboards through an adapter).

     Of course, you can also run the NeXTstep operating system on a PC, HP, or
     Sun workstation, which are easier to adapt.

     Malcolm Crawford <m.crawford@dcs.shef.ac.uk> recommends Kinesis users
     remap their keyboard such that:
        o Backspace = Backspace
        o Delete = Command
        o Caps Lock = Control
        o Insert = Option
        o And, in software, make Caps Lock settable with Command-Shift

Silicon Graphics
     Silicon Graphics's newer machines (Indigo^2, Indy, and beyond) use
     standard PS/2-compatible keyboards and mice. I don't believe this also
     applies to the Power Series machines. It's not possible to upgrade an
     older SGI to use PC keyboards, except by upgrading the entire machine.
     Contact your SGI sales rep for more details.

     For older machines, see if you can upgrade to Irix5 or later. The current
     X server supports the XTEST extension, which allows a2x to function
     properly. See "spoofing", below.

IBM RS/6000
     IBM RS/6000 keyboards are actually similar to normal PC keyboards.
     Unfortunately, you can't just plug one in. You need two things: a cable
     converter to go from the large PC keyboard connector to the smaller PS/2
     style DIN-6, and a new device driver for AIX. Believe it or not, IBM wrote
     this device driver, I used it, and it works. However, they don't want me
     to redistribute it. I've been told Judy Hume (512) 823-6337 is a potential
     contact. If you learn anything new, please send me e-mail.

     Several people have reported problems contacting IBM on this issue. Be
     sure to bug your sales rep into doing the research. Again, let me know if
     you learn anything new.

HP workstations
     If you are using an HP workstation, you can buy a converter box that
     converts the HP-HIL serial to PS2. The converter is made by Modular
     Industrial Computers 615-499-0700. Apparently you can also get these from
     Jon Simkovitz & Associates at 800-953-9262. At any rate, they're expensive
     ($400) because not many are made.

     Newer HP workstations use PC-compatible keyboards and PS/2 mice! The
     changeover occured in early 1995 with the model 712. You were planning on
     upgrading your machine sooner or later, right?

Sun workstations
     The only real solution is a hardware box sold by Kinesis (phone
     800-4-KINESIS), for about $150 ($100 if you buy a Kinesis keyboard). The
     adapter is compatible with all Sparc workstations. Plug it in and away you
     go. The downside is the lack of Sun-specific keys. If you often use the
     L-keys or other obscure keys, you're going to have to learn how to remap
     your keys with xmodmap. For some info on this, check out
     kinesis-sun-mappings in the typing injury archive.

Spoofing a keyboard over the serial port
     If you've got a proprietary computer which uses its own keyboard (Sun, HP,
     DEC, etc.) then you're going to have a hard time finding a vendor to sell
     you a compatible keyboard. If your workstation runs the X window system,
     you're in luck. You can buy a cheap used PC, hook your expensive keyboard
     up to it, and run a serial cable to your workstation. Then, run a program
     on the workstation to read the serial port and generate fake X keyboard
     events.

     A number of programs can facilitate this for you. kt and a2x support ASCII
     input. a2x-RawPC and serkey support raw PC scancode input. Also, the new
     version of kt (kt18) additionally supports raw PC scancodes.

     For more info about a2x, check out this URL:
     http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/a2x-voice/

     a2x is a sophisticated program, capable of controlling the mouse, and even
     moving among widgets on the screen. It requires a server extension (XTEST,
     DEC-XTRAP, or XTestExtension1). To find out if your server can do this,
     run 'xdpyinfo' and see if any of these strings appear in the extensions
     list. If your server doesn't have this, you may want to investigate
     compiling X11R5, patchlevel 18 or later, or bugging your vendor. X11R6
     works fine, too.

     kt is a simpler program, which should work with unextended X servers.
     Another program called xsendevent also exists, but I haven't seen it.

     a2x will work better, when it works, but it requires an extended server.
     kt doesn't work with every application, but it's more likely to work on
     older servers. Don't you love compromises?

     a2x-RawPC, serkey, and kt18 can take input from a device such as the
     Genovation Serial Box which converts a PC keyboard into a normal RS232
     serial device, but otherwise passes through the raw PC scancodes. This
     approach has several advantages: a Serial Box is only $150, whereas the
     cheapest used PC you may ever find is over $300. A Serial Box could easily
     fit in your pocket, while PC's tend to be much bigger. Most important,
     however, is the ability to use all the keys of your PC keyboard with your
     workstation, like the function keys. Unfortunately, Genovation no longer
     manufactures this box. kt includes a DOS program which can make your PC
     simulate one of these boxes, but that seems like overkill.

     a2x, a2x-RawPC, serkey and kt are all available via anonymous ftp from
     ftp.csua.berkeley.edu.

Other stuff
     Some vendors here (notably: Health Care Keyboard Co. and AccuCorp) support
     some odd keyboard types, and may be responsive to your queries regarding
     supporting your own weird computer. If you can get sufficient documention
     about how your keyboard works (either from the vendor, or with a storage
     oscilloscope), you may be in luck. Contact the companies for more details.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Normal" keyboards - things that look like "standard" QWERTY keyboards

GIF pictures of many of these keyboards can be found via anonymous FTP
ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/typing-injury

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple Adjustable Keyboard
     Apple Computer, Inc.
     Sales offices all over the place.

     Price
          $119 (some dealers have it for less)
     Shipping
          Now
     Compatibility
          Mac

     Apple's keyboard has one section for each hand, and the sections rotate
     backward on a hinge. The sections do not tilt upward. The keys are
     arranged in a normal QWERTY fashion.

     The main foldable keyboard resembles a normal Apple Keyboard. A separate
     keypad contains all the extended key functions.

     The keyboard also comes with matching wrist rests, which are not directly
     attachable to the keyboard.

     Many peripheral keys, such as function keys, are "chicklet" keys, rather
     than full size, normal keyboard keys.

     (See the files apple-press and apple-tidbits on the ftp.csua.berkeley.edu
     archive for more details)

     Unfortunately, Apple has apparently decided to discontinue this keyboard.
     They legitimized the industry, and now they're leaving it. C'est la vie.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Comfort Keyboard System
     Health Care Keyboard Company
     Phone
          414-536-2160 (sales)
          414-536-2169 (technical info)
     Fax
          414-536-2170
     Address
          12040-G W. Feerick St.
          Wauwatosa, WI 53222
     E-Mail
          hlthcare@EARTH.EXECPC.COM
     Price (Suggested Retail)
          $795 for Mac, PC, and IDEA version.
          $815 for Sun version.
          $895 for HP-IL.

          Additional personality modules are around $150 each. Prices can
          drop $100 if you get the "preferred price", usually by purchasing
          through your company.

          A footpedal is available for $74 (not offered for the Mac).
     Shipping
          Now.
     Compatibility
          PC, Mac, HP-IL, Sun, and IDEA. IBM 122-key in beta.

     A carrying case is also available.

     The idea is that one keyboard works with everything. You purchase
     "compatibility modules", a new cord, and possibly new keycaps, and then
     you can move your one keyboard around among different machines.

     It's a three-piece folding keyboard. The layout resembles the standard
     101-key keyboard, except sliced into three sections. Each section is on a
     "custom telescoping universal mount." Each section independently adjusts
     to an infinite number of positions allowing each individual to type in a
     natural posture. You can rearrange the three sections, too (have the
     keypad in the middle if you want). Each section is otherwise normal-shaped
     (i.e.: you put all three sections flat, and you have what looks like a
     normal 101-key keyboard).

     Other features: full remapping and macros, programmable delay and repeat
     times. Coming soon: bounce keys and sticky keys. Also coming soon:
     non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) to store macros (currently, the PC downloads them
     at boot time).

     Anyone with an old Comfort (serial number < 5000) can upgrade to a newer
     version of the keyboard. Call technical assistance (414-536-2169) for more
     details. The upgrade will generally cost $189, depending on the state of
     the original keyboard.

     The Comfort is a "class 2 medical device", which may make it easier to get
     prescribed by a doctor.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DataHand
     DataHand Systems, Inc. [- NEW!]
     Phone
          602-860-8584
     WWW
          http://www.indirect.com/www/datahand/ [- NEW!]
     E-Mail
          datahand@indirect.com
     Address
          10789 North 90th Street
          Scottsdale, Arizona 85260-6727 USA
     Price
          $995/unit (1 unit == 2 pods). Lease options available. ([new]
          price)
     Shipping
          Now.
     Compatibility
          PC, Mac, RS/6000, Sparc, IBM 3270

     Each hand has its own "pod". Each of the four main fingers has five
     switches each: forward, back, left, right, and down. The thumbs have a
     number of switches. Despite appearances, the key layout resembles QWERTY,
     and is reported to be no big deal to adapt to. The idea is that your hands
     never have to move to use the keyboard. A finger-mouse is also built-in.

         (a picture of the key layout is also available)

     (see also: datahand-review, written by Cliff Lasser <cal@THINK.COM>, on
     the ftp.csua.berkeley.edu archive)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ergoLogic Model 7.1
     ErgoLogic Enterprises, Inc.
     Phone
          800-ONLY-WAY
     Fax
          604-433-0111
     Address
          47000 Warm Springs Blvd, Unit 430
          Fremont, CA 94539-7467
     Price
          $399 (but, you can find it cheaper, see the FlexPro Keyboard for
          details)
     Compatibility
          PC
     Shipping
          March, 1994

     (See "FlexPro Keyboard")

     ErgoLogic has licensed their keyboard to Key Tronic, which is how you're
     more likely to see one of their keyboards. Both keyboards are manufactured
     in the same facility, and are exactly the same, except for the label in
     the upper left corner.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ergo Max
     Maxi Switch, Inc.
     Phone
          602-294-5450
     Fax
          602-294-6890
     Price
          $99 + $19.95 for a separate 40-key keypad
     Compatibility
          PC
     Shipping
          apparently not

     Each half of the main keyboard can be independently raised/angled. An
     optional keypad, and an integrated wrist-rest / thumb trackball is
     available.

     An intrepid net-reporter claims he called Maxi Switch and they said they
     decided not to manufacture this keyboard. Too bad.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FlexPro Keyboard
     Key Tronic
     Phone
          800-262-6006
     Possible contact
          Denise Razzeto, 509-927-5299
     Price
          List price is $199, but you can likely find it for less
     Shipping
          Now.
     Compatibility
          PC

     (See "ergoLogic Model 7.1")

     Sold by many clone vendors and PC shops

     Keytronic apparently showed a prototype keyboard at Comdex. It's another
     split-design. One thumb-wheel controls the tilt of both the left and
     right-hand sides of the main alphanumeric section. The arrow keys and
     keypad resemble a normal 101-key PC keyboard.

     Keytronic makes standard PC keyboards, also, so this product will probably
     be sold through their standard distribution channels.

     Keytronic is working together with ErgoLogic Enterprises on this, so it's
     the same keyboard.

     Soft-touch (lighter key activation force) keys are available for an extra
     $20 or so. Ask for the "Custom Key Feel Kit". Apparently, you can get 1.0,
     2.5, and 3.0 ounce domes. The standard keyboard has 2.0 ounce domes. If
     you've got RSI, you're probably interested in the 1.0 ounce domes. Theese
     kits are $15 each plus $4 shipping.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Generic Split Keyboard (from Taiwan)
     Apparently, this keyboard is manufactured by Nan Tan Computer in Taipei,
     Taiwan. I've found this keyboard at a variety of US computer stores, under
     a variety of names. It's also carried by Dalco, a major US mail-order
     house.

     The most prominent name I've seen pasted on this keyboard is "the Clevo
     KB7000 keyboard by Norton Technologies (Patent Pending)". Pretty
     impressive, but it's still the same generic keyboard.

     Dalco Electronics
     Phone
          800-445-5342
     Fax
          513-743-8251
     Price
          $76.80 (Dalco item #48425, volume discounts available)

          Also seen at Fry's Electronics, Palo Alto, CA, for $50.

          Also seen on-line in Safe Computing's Internet Store for $59.37.
     Shipping
          Now
     Compatibility
          PC

     The main feature of this keyboard is its price; it's the cheapest split
     keyboard on the market. The keyswitches are fairly light and clicky. The
     split angle is fixed, and the keyboard is flat. It's only a moderate
     improvement over an ordinary keyboard, but the price is right.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fountain Hills FH-101
     Fountain Hills Systems
     Phone
          602-596-8633
     Address
          15022 North 75th St.
          Scottsdale, AZ 85260-2476
     Price
          $349 with quantity discounts available
     Shipping
          ???
     Compatibility
          PC

     The Fountain Hills keyboard is set at a 20 degree fixed angle for each
     hand. The keyboard is still flat (i.e.: not higher in the middle) and has
     no adjustments.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ErgoMaster
     Genovation, Inc.
     Phone
          800-822-4333 or 714-833-3355
     FAX
          714-833-0322
     Address
          17741 Mitchell, North
          Irvine, CA 92714
     Price
          $495 (main keyboard)
          $79 (external keypad with serial-port connector)
          $95 (external keypad with parallel-port connector)
     Shipping
          Summer 1995

     The ErgoMaster comes in two pieces which attach to a track you install on
     the edge of your desk. Once installed, you can separately adjust the
     angles and positions of each side. A timed beeper reminds you to make
     periodic adjustments to the keyboard (more importantly, you can use the
     beeper to remind you to take rest breaks).

     In addition to the usual PC key layout, ErgoMaster has Enter and Backspace
     keys on the bottom of the keyboard which you can hit with your thumbs.

     The ErgoMaster can be reprogrammed through PC software which downloads new
     keymappings to your keyboard.

     The optional external keypad connects to either the serial or parallel
     port of your computer and relies on special driver software to function
     properly. This means the keypad will not function on an X terminal, and
     probably won't work with many PC games. A "T-connector" is available with
     the parallel-port keypad, so you can share your parallel port with another
     peripheral.

     Note: This is the same Genovation which formerly produced the Serial Box,
     which was useful for interfacing a PC keyboard to non-PC workstations with
     proprietary keyboard interfaces. If you still want one, they'll make them
     custom in quantities of 100 or more.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Infrared Keyboards [- NEW!]
     Two Bit Score, Inc.
     WWW
          http://www.io.com/~twobit/ibmirkbd.html
     E-Mail
          twobit@io.com
     Phone
          512-447-8888
     Fax
          512-447-8895
     Address
          4418 Pack Saddle Pass
          Austin, TX 78745
     Compatibility
          PC, plus the company does custom work
     Shipping
          Now
     Price
          $198 (Universal Receiver) + $159 (101-Key Keyboard)
     While you can get an infra-red keyboard system for less money, these folks
     can probably hack together more custom solutions if you need them.
     --------------------------------------------------------------------------
     --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard
     Kinesis Corporation
     Phone
          800-4-KINESIS (800-454-6374) or 206-402-8100
     Fax
          206-402-8181
     Address
          22232 17th Avenue SE
          Bothell, WA 98021-7425
     Price
          $275. Volume discounts available. This includes adhesive wrist
          pads and a TypingTutor program. Foot pedals and other accessories
          are extra. ([new] lower price)

          Also seen on-line in Safe Computing's Internet Store for $331.50.
     Compatibility
          PC. Mac and Sun Sparc through emulation boxes.
     Shipping
          Now.

     The layout has a large blank space in the middle, even though the keyboard
     is about the size of a normal PC keyboard - slightly smaller. Each hand
     has its own set of keys, laid out to minimize finger travel. Thumb buttons
     handle many major functions (enter, backspace, etc.).

     The keyboard supports remapping, macros, and adjustable repeat rate.

     Foot pedals are also available, and can be mapped to any key on the
     keyboard (shift, control, whatever).

     The keypad is "embedded" in the right hand, and a toggle button (or foot
     pedal) changes between normal and keypad mode for your right hand.

     Software is newly available that lets you split the Kinesis into multiple
     personalities so you can have more than one set of macros and remappings
     available. This software runs on your PC and downloads the data to the
     keyboard. For more info, contact the company.

     Kinesis has adapters boxes which can be used to connect the Kinesis (or
     other PC keyboards) to a Mac or Sun. Again, for more info, contact the
     company.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lexmark Model M13 (Select-Ease)
     Lexmark Corporation (a spinoff of IBM)
     Phone
          800-438-2468
     Cost
          $179 ($199 with separate numeric keypad)
     Available
          Now
     Compatibility
          PC

     This keyboard is split and angled, with a ball-type hinge at the top of
     the split. You can put it into positions identical to the Ergologic and
     similar to common Comfort positions (but it doesn't tent when the parts
     are separated).

     It's not programmable. Aside from the split/angle (which is extremely
     versatile and stable), its only other difference from regular keyboards is
     that the left part of the space bar can be a backspace key.

     The company has a free 30 day trial offer. If interested, please e-mail
     Chris Stelmack <christel@interaccess.com>. Under subject, type "Keyboard".
     Further ordering instructions will be sent to you.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Light Link [- NEW!]
     This is an infra-red cordless keyboard with the standard 101-key flat
     layout. It's manufactured by Electronic Design Specialists, Inc., and its
     ``stocking distributor'' is CASCO:
     CASCO
     Phone
          800-793-6960 or 319-393-6960
     E-Mail
          cascoia@aol.com
     Address
          375 Collins Rd. NE, Suite 115
          Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
     Price
          $199.95 (estimated street price)
     Compatibility
          PC
     Availability
          Now (?)
     --------------------------------------------------------------------------
     --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maltron
     P.C.D. Maltron Limited
     Phone
          (+44) 081 398 3265 (United Kingdom)
     Address
          15 Orchard Lane
          East Molesey
          Surrey KT8 OBN
          England

     U.S. Manufacturer & Distributor
          TelePrint Systems, Inc.
          #4 Henson PL., Suite #5
          Champaign, IL 61820
     Phone
          217-359-9690
     FAX
          217-352-8233
     E-Mail
          teleprint@aol.com
     WWW
          http://www.teleprint.com/ [- NEW!]

     U.S. Sales Agent
          Jim Barrett
          Applied Learning Corp.
          1376 Glen Hardie Road
          Wayne, PA 19087
          Phone: 215-688-6866

     Canadian Liason
          Robert Vellinga
          Humansystems, Inc.
          111 Farquhar St., 2nd Floor
          Guelph, Ontario, CANADA
          N1H 3N4

          Phone: 519-836-5911
          Fax: 519-836-1722
          E-Mail: vellinga@humansys.com

     Price
          Contact PCD Maltron for European sales
          $295 + shipping in the USA

          Maltron has a number of accessories, including carrying cases, switch
          boxes to use both your normal keyboard and the Maltron, an
          articulated arm that clamps on to your table, and training courses to
          help you learn to type on your Maltron.

          You can also rent a keyboard for 10 pounds/week + taxes. U.S. price:
          $60/month, and then $40 off purchase if you want it. 30 day money
          back guarantee.
     Shipping
          Now
     Compatibility
          separate models for PC, Mac, and Amstrad 1512/1640.

     Maltron has four main products - a two-handed keyboard, two one-handed
     keyboards, and a keyboard designed for handicapped people to control with
     a mouth-stick.



     The layout allocates more buttons to the thumbs, and is curved to bring
     keys closer to the fingers. A separate keypad is in the middle.

     (see also, "maltron-review" on the ftp.csua.berkeley.edu archive)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft Natural Keyboard
     Microsoft Corporation
     Phone
          800-426-9400 (Microsoft Customer Service)
     Address
          One Microsoft Way
          Redmond, WA 98052-6399
     Price
          $99.95, and often discounted
     Compatibility
          PC
     Shipping
          now

     For the price, this is an excellent keyboard. The MS keyboard is a great
     deal. It's still a QWERTY layout, but it has a built-in wrist-rest and
     separates the hands by splitting the keyboard at a fixed angle.

     The keyboard comes with Microsoft IntelliType software, which adds some
     useful featuers to Windows, but some people report it causes their systems
     to crash.

     The keyboard includes three new keys which don't really add any
     functionality whatsoever. Don't let these keys influence your purchasing
     decisions.

         (This is a picture of a prototype for the current MS keyboard. This

     never has been nor never will be for sale.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MiniErgo
     Marquardt Switches Inc.
     Phone
          315-655-8050
     Fax
          315-655-8042
     Address
          2711 Route 20 East
          Cazenovia, NY 13035
     Price
          $179 for MiniErgo, $125 for external numeric keypad.
     Shipping
          now
     Compatibility
          PC

     The MiniErgo is a split keyboard system with no numeric keypad (keypad
     available separately in August). The two halves are fixed at about a 30
     degree angle, to approximate the angle of your arms when you hands are in
     QWERTY home position. The slant is approximately same as standard 101-key
     keyboard, but the middle is raised. They've moved the cursor controls into
     the gap between the two halves. A Fn key is used to access an embedded
     keypad and PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The MyKey
     ErgonomiXX, Inc.
     Phone
          703-771-1047
     Fax
          703-771-1137
     E-Mail
          none at present (the old one is no longer valid)
     Address
          525-K East Market Street
          Box 295
          Leesburg, VA 22071
     Price
          $275
     Shipping
          now (may also be in some CompUSA stores, stock # 289-554)
     Compatibility
          PC

     The MyKey has the full 101 keys of a normal PC keyboard plus an integrated
     trackball pointing device and integrated wrist rests. The main
     alpha-numeric keys are split at a fixed angle, with the normal PC layout.
     The function keys appear in a circle on the left, with the arrow keys
     inside them.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Somers EK1 Ergonomic Keyboard
     Somers Engineering
     Phone
          805-273-1609
     E-Mail
          RSomers@aol.com (Richard Somers)
     Address
          3424 Vicker Way
          Palmdale, CA 93551
     Price
          $348 + shipping
     Compatibility
          PC and Mac (at the same time! see below)
     Shipping
          "in limited quantities"

     A trackball module is also available ($100), which can clip on the side or
     replace the cursor keypad.

     The keyboard is broken down into three modules which can be re- arranged.
     (the keypad could be put on the left, for example). The alphanumeric keys
     are vertical rather than the usual diagonal arrangement.

     The keyboard is based on the Datadesk Switchboard - Somers just developed
     a new keyboard module for it. Thus, they take advantage of the
     Switchboard's PC and Mac compatibility. You can't plug it into both at the
     same time, but you need only use the right cable, and tweak some DIP
     switches to change the keyboard's personality.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Tony! Ergonomic KeySystem
     The Tony! Corporation
     Phone
          ???
     Address
          Tony Hodges
          2332 Thompson Court
          Mountain View, CA 94043 USA
     Price
          ???
     Compatibility
          ???
     Shipping
          ???

     The Tony! should allow separate positioning of every key, to allow the
     keyboard to be personally customized. A thumb-operated mouse will also be
     available.

     As far as I can tell, Tony Hodges has disappeared, and apparently won't
     ever have a keyboard for sale.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Vertical
     Jeffrey Spencer or Stephen Albert
     Phone
          619-454-0000
     Address
          P.O. Box 2636
          La Jolla, CA 92038 USA
     Price
          $299
     Compatibility
          no info available, probably PC's
     Shipping
          ???

     The Vertical Keyboard is split in two halves, each pointing straight up.
     The user can adjust the width of the device, but not the tilt of each
     section. Side-view mirrors are installed to allow users to see their
     fingers on the keys.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Wave
     Iocomm International Technology
     Phone
          310-644-6100
     Fax
          310-644-6068
     Address
          12700 Yukon Avenue
          Hawthorne, California 90250 USA
     Price
          $99.95 + $15 for a set of cables
     Compatibility
          PC
     Shipping
          now.

     Iocomm also manufactures "ordinary" 101-key keyboard (PC/AT) and 84-key
     keyboard (PC/XT), so make sure you get the right one.

     The one-piece keyboard has a built-in wrist-rest. It looks *exactly* like
     a normal 101-key PC keyboard, with two inches of built-in wrist rest. The
     key switch feel is reported to be greatly improved.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This document continues in the next file.
-- 
Dan Wallach                  Princeton University, Computer Science Department
dwallach@cs.princeton.edu    http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~dwallach/  PGP Ready

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA




Part1 - Part2

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
Dan Wallach <dwallach@cs.princeton.edu>





Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM