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The Worst Keyboards of All Time

Worst Keyboards of All Time Rated

Most of us here at Switched H.Q. are old enough to have lived through the ergonomics disasters that were early personal computers. Computers from the 70s and 80s were revolutionary, but their manufacturers were still trying to figure out what people wanted their keyboard to do, This resulted in some far-out and, often, completely unusable designs. And, since everybody likes lists of things, PCWorld.com has gathered their 10 Worst PC Keyboards of All Time.

The one most people will find familiar is that big, ugly, brown Commodore 64 keyboard (which actually was the computer), coming in at the number 10 slot. Far more problematic was the Atari 400, number seven on the list, which used a "membrane" keyboard that offered zero feedback to would-be BASIC programmers of the day, feeling a little like the flat buttons on Motorola's RAZR.

The number one worst keyboard on the list is the 1984's IBM PCjr, which on paper sounded great. It was wireless, something that's still considered a bit of a luxury today, and featured dedicated keys for Backspace and for moving the cursor about (surprising rarities in those days). However, the infra-red wireless connection meant the keyboard had to have a clear line of sight to the computer itself, and the thing's hunger for batteries was unmatched, leaving it dead more often than not.

This list only includes personal keyboards, so those thumb-crampingly bad keypads found on many mobile phones today weren't eligible. However, we expect that list to be compiled shortly and hope that it won't take 20 years for cell phone makers to get those perfect.

From PC World

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Tags: Commodore 64, Commodore64, Keyboard, PC

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