Friday, August 25, 2017

Computer Keyboard Nirvana by Cheryl Bolen

How happy are you with your computer's keyboard? Since I got my first pc in, gulp, 1985 I have never found one I like as well as the old electric typewriters I used in my early newspaper career (and when I wrote my first novels--which were never published).

Now I've discovered "mechanical" keyboards that operate as the old-style typewriter keyboards do. These are preferred by gamers. The September Consumer Reports magazine said, "Studies have shown that mechanical keyboards such as [the Das] can significantly increase words-per-minute counts and accuracy."

I knew this. I was a thousand times more accurate on my old electric typewriter than on these chintzy keyboards that come with computers nowadays. I had no idea I could obtain a keyboard that mimicked a typewriter.

Consumer Reports recommends the Das Keyboard 4, which sells for $170, and their more "affordable alternative" is the $80 Logitech G610.

After I learned about these from the PAN loops early this year, my husband researched them. Being a cheapskate, he chose for me the TOMOKO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard which sold on Amazon for $45.99. It's often a few dollars less, and one with less keys is even cheaper. He said I could get the expensive one, but that the Tomoko got good reviews from users.
This is a Tomoko gaming keyboard (which is great for authors)

There's a lot of info out there about these. A lot of it deals with colors. It's clear as mud to me.

For less than $50, it was worth a try. If I wasn't happy, I'd get the $170 one. After all, this stuff is tax deductible, and I'll pay anything for something that makes my job easier and more pleasant. I do type several hours a day, anywhere from a thousand words to several thousand.

I am delighted to share with you that I am thrilled with my Tomoko. My accuracy is almost back where it was when I was in my twenties typing like a wiz on my electric typewriter. These even have the clickity sound like old typewriters (though you can get quiet mechanical keyboards). I cannot praise this highly enough. It's put more of the joy back in my writing because I'm not having to constantly go back and correct transposed and dropped letters.

Not being even remotely techie, I don't think I'd ever have learned about these had I not been networking with other authors through groups like Romance Writers of America's Published Author Network. And the Precious Gems. Love you gals.--Cheryl's latest release is a Regency historical titled Miss Hastings' Excellent London Adventure.


  1. I love the idea of this--loved the Selectric I used at work. Are they all wired?

  2. Ah, Selectric. I used to covet those!

  3. I've adapted to the keyboard on my desktop but the keyboard on my laptop is really difficult. I can understand the idea of finding exactly the right keyboard. I learned on one of those manual typewriters that you really had to pound to get results.

    1. I do remember pounding on those old manual typewriters! Like you, Hannah, I hate to type on my laptop.

    2. I should use my wireless keyboard with my laptop. I hate my laptop keyboard - in Canada you need to be careful not to buy one with French on it too. Really messes up the placement of some keys.

  4. I'm with you, Hannah. Learned on a manual. Excited to try one of these. Thanks for posting, Cheryl.

  5. I hope you love it like do, Kathleen.

  6. I could fly just by the speed of my fingers on my Selectric. Once, I worked for an office machine company and saw the dawn of some new technologies for offices. A little-known fact: when desktop computers came in one of the hurdles the salespeople had to overcome was the loss of sound! Admin people felt more productive when they heard the tip-tapping from their typewriters. True story...

  7. Selectrics were the Cadillac of typewriters (now one would probably say the Mercedes). They were such a step up from the old manuals. Interesting fact, Bonnie, but makes total sense.

  8. I loved my Selectric. I'm checking into this keyboard even though I already have a half dozen of various styles. Thanks for the post.


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