Multi-language Keyboards – yuck

I’m working on an HP Pavilion DV6 laptop for a family member.  Since we’re in Canada (or possibly as likely because this is a big box vendor who doesn’t want to stock multiple versions) we get stuck with the multi-language keyboard that, frankly, sucks.  It has, get this, two backslash/pipe keys one of which takes up half the space usually reserved for the left shift key.   Then it takes half the Enter key and replaces it with the other backslash/pipe key which has been moved from above the Enter key on the far right.   At least I really hope that the English-French keyboard is the reason.  Otherwise, someone should be fired for letting this abomination be put on the market.  This keyboard makes it just about impossible to type “normally”.  I think that a) you can get the US keyboard that is “normal” but b) it would probably cost about CDN$100 and would void your warranty.

The sad thing is that I actually like this laptop.  The screen is big enough – but not too big.  The CPU is fast enough – but not so hot as to melt your lap (and only your lap if you’re lucky!).  There isn’t so much add-on junk software that you need to re-install the OS.  It is light enough to carry around from room to room – in fact, it seems to be the same weight as the old Dell D820 I use for work (and will continue to until they pry it from my cold dead hands or they have something I like – the D820 just plain works) which is only a Core Duo.

For me, that keyboard would be a deal breaker!

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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