...the voice of pensioners

The feel of the key under your finger…

05 Feb 2020

Dear LPG, 


My message goes out to all computer users who were once, or have become touch typists.  


After years of being the oldie where I worked , I retired and now I am what can be termed as young again as  I can genuinely call myself a reasonably young pensioner at the age of 68.


I also retired with another real advantage on my side I suppose; the ability to use a computer to an extent.  I think that this may be because I started using a typewriter early in my working life and when computers first became a popular workplace tool in the early 1980s the company I worked for swapped over quite quickly.


I always had a laptop at home but, for me, it was never as easy to type on as the ones at work and so when I was working, I used to do my personal typing there and email it home to myself. 


Since retiring I have kept computing, but I always found using the laptop a challenge. I also bought a tablet which came with a keyboard ,but I really can’t get on with the keys or the on screen keypad so that hardly ever gets used even for emails, and please don’t ask about using the one on my smart phone; it is as if my fingers are just too big!  I have now worked out why I had so much trouble with the computer alternatives… it was the keyboard that upset my fingers. 


At work there were always keyboards which allowed me to feel what I was doing.  What I mean is I found it really frustrating when I missed the keys on the tablet screen; they are not the size of a normal keyboard.  There was something familiar about the spaces on the computers at my workplace where there were bigger spaces between the keys, and when you pressed each one you could feel it go down under your fingers.  Many new laptop keyboards have pads rather than keys and it doesn’t seem as if they move at all when you press. 


I have now bought myself a new laptop which has what is termed as a ‘Mechanical Keyboard’ and strongly suggest that, even though they are sometimes a bit bulkier than the others, it might be worth stipulating this as one of the requirements when you go computer shopping.


So perhaps I am talking to those people who are about to get a new computer and who have spent a working lifetime touch typing.  If the feel of the keys as they are pressed is important to you… go Mechanical.


I found a technical video or two. 


FT, Croydon


The Videos that FT recommend are very technical but will allow you to work out the difference….


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