Over the years, I’ve come up with a lot of ideas for products, both real world and software. Some of those would be:
1) Ear muffs with built in headphones
2) Surround sound headphones
3) A keyboard that works well for programmers, including instant macros, a billion shortcuts and more.
#1 was brought out by someone about 6 months after I thought of the idea – this was in the late 80’s or early 90’s.
#2 started appearing a while ago, again about 6 months after I first thought of it. I guess I need to learn to react quicker to these ideas (that, and build a factory so I have the resources handy when I have an idea)!
Now it looks like #3 has possibly happened, but by accident rather than by design.
Logitech has a product called the G15 Gaming Keyboard. I believe this may turn out to be a fantastic keyboard for programmers. You can read their information site for all the relevant details, but consider this – it has a grand total of 54 programmable function keys! That’s 18 keys, with three "banks" of programming. Each key can be assigned to launch a program or run a macro. Macros can be programmed quickly just by pressing the MR (macro record) key and then the "G" key you want the keystrokes to be associated with. Program launching can be handled by using the configuration program.
The LCD display can display things like current media playing, a date / time / email status panel and system performance (CPU and memory utilization). It can also be programmed using an included SDK. In my case I was intending to use it to display certain server status information, but I haven’t gotten around to coding that yet. However, DevExpress has come out with a plug in for their Refactor! Pro tool that displays the refactors available and various statistics about the code that you’re looking at. I don’t know that it’s extremely useful, but it is cool.
The key feel is quite good in my opinion, but the keyboard overall is large. Given everything that’s jammed on it, that isn’t a surprise, but if you have a tiny desk, you might notice the loss of space. No Miguel, they don’t have a "natural" version.
Oh yeah, it has lighted keys (which can be turned off) to help with those late late late night coding sessions.
Do you code? Do you think this keyboard might be useful to you?