Twisted keyboards

I’m often working as a GP in Sweden. The desktop computers we get are usually bog standard Dells, with all the excitement that goes with that…. not! (Think Borat.) All of them alike: boring but almost adequate. You can sit down at any one of them and start blindly typing away into the electronic patient records without a second thought. The only thing marring the experience is the intermittent but constant swearing at the software, both EHR and Windows, but it’s something that becomes a part of you. I think even the patients are getting used to it.

For some reason, and it has to be sadism, Dell makes two very similar kinds of keyboards where the only noticeable difference is the orientation of the Ins/Del/PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keypad above the arrow keys. The regular orientation is horizontal, that is two rows of three keys, right? Well, the alternative is a sicko three rows of two keys.

The IT department, naturally, has ordered a mix of these two types, just to keep things interesting. So there you are, typing away happily with the cursor skipping to all kinds of places you didn’t intend, until you discover some %#$&$# SOB moved the keys around!

I can understand that some people may want the alternate layout for their machines, but we’re talking about a large number of bog standard machines here, and users moving from one to the next all the time.

How ^%$#$(* idiotic do you have to be to do this to your users?!?