The Happy Hacker keyboard
comes in two flavors: one is a regular PS/2
connector for attaching to your pc
. That model is just expensive. The other model includes connectors for your Mac
as well. It is very expensive.
I have one of the cheaper ones, so here are my impressions of it.
First, it only has about 60 keys. There's no caps lock, num lock, scroll lock, or hejaz lock. There are no arrow keys (everyone uses hjkl, right?). There's no separate numeric keypad, and there's no seperate row of function keys. Finally, there are no Windows keys. So that about covers what this keyboard doesn't have.
What about the key layout? Well, control is in its proper location up on the asdf row. Escape is at the left end of the numbers row (also where it belongs). The space bar is nice and long, since it is unconstrained by the absent Windows keys. pipe and tilde are both at the top right-hand side, both easily accessible. Return is rectangular instead of L-shaped.
There are also two diamond keys. I assume those are meta, but I don't know. At about $1/key, I sure would like to use them, though. There's also a Fn key which is sort of like another alternate. This key is used in combination with others to access the function keys, page up and page down, arrow keys, and the like. It makes some combinations a stretch, but it's really not bad at all.
Overall, the Happy Hacker keyboard has a nice feel to it. It's very small, lacks a lot of unneeded keys, and puts things where they belong. Those are advantages. Disadvantages include the extreme size, the need to hit keys in combinations when you wouldn't normally have to, and the price.