2011-06-18

Keyboard News: Ducky Keyboard, KBC Poker, Truly Ergonomic Keyboard

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Keyboard News: Ducky Keyboard, KBC Poker, Truly Ergonomic Keyboard

Xah Lee, 2011-06-18

Several keyboard updates.

Completely rewritten: Keyboard Ghosting & N-key Rollover: How Many Keys Your Keyboard Can Take?.

KBC Poker Keyboard

For those who love the Happy Hacking Keyboard (Happy Hacking Keyboard review), there's good news. There's seems to be a competitor, called “KBC Poker keyboard”, from Taiwan.

school girl keyboard yea0999

According to keyboard geek reviewers, her tongue got stuck in her braces due to the weight of this keyboard.

KBC Poker keyboard

“KBC Poker keyboard”

KBC Poker keyboard 2

“KBC Poker keyboard” Source deskthority.net

Note the dark engraved key labels. This is much more expensive than your Microsoft or Logitech mass-marketed keyboards.

KBC Poker vs HHKB keyboard

Happy Hacking (HHKB) vs KeyBoard Cheer (KBC) Poker.

Here's a forum in China about this keyboard Source bbs.kbc-china.com.

KBC keyboard banner

It's funny. The name KBC stand for: “the Key Board to Cheer you up”. Nice counter to Happy Hacking.

Ducky Keyboard

For those who love full-sized keyboard with mechanical switches (e.g. Das and many others) , there's Ducky keyboard, again from Taiwan. (Cherry Brown switch, Cherry Blue for the numerical keypad keys. Model DK9008) The company site is duckykeyboard.com.

Ducky keyboard DK9008

“Ducky keyboard DK9008” Source mognet.no-ip.info

This keyboard seems to feature full n-key rollover. (See: Keyboard Ghosting & N-key Rollover: How Many Keys Your Keyboard Can Take?.)

Also, note the black-on-black key labels. Seems the buyer can choose the label or key colors.

Truly Ergonomic Keyboard Ever Coming Out?

For those who love Kinesis Contoured Keyboard or otherwise ergonomic keyboard with mechanical switches, there's Truly Ergonomic keyboard. (pics at Fancy Ergonomic Keyboards) There's rumor that this keyboard never went into production, and the company address is fake. So, be careful and do your own research before you put your money in for a pre-order. See this thread: Source www.overclock.net. According to Truly Ergonomic's website: «We are currently estimating the pre-order delivery date for July 2011.». That's next month. We shall soon see.

Datadesk Tech Smartboard Keyboard

I would consider this the best key layout, ever.

If this keyboard is well-built, i think it is then better than Kinesis Contoured Keyboard and “Truly Ergonomic Keyboard”. On par with Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.

According to reviewers at Amazon, the company Datadesk Tech seems to be around as early as 1990s, and the company seems to be one-man running in basement.

Misc Fancy Ergonomic Keyboards

japanese ergonomic keyboards

«元日本電気特別顧問森田正典氏が考案したM型キーボード('83年~)。左に母音、右に子音を配置しキー配置の覚えやすさと、左右交互打鍵と複数文字列を単打鍵で入力できる複合キーにより、高速な日本語入力を実現したという。文豪などに搭載されたほか、PC-8801/9801用、Windows用が発売された» Source pc.watch.impress.co.jp

plum keyboard

“PLUM keyboard” 〔www.plum.bz〕

marquardt mini ergo keyboard

“Marquardt Mini-Ergo” (1992) Source keyboardporn.com

2011-06-17

Unicode symbol gallery

unicode online tool

Discovered a nice unicode site. Unicode table for you @ Source www.ftrain.com.

See also: Xah's Unicode Tutorial.

I discoverd the link from JCS's blog @ irreal.org. Well written blog with annotated comments and links on things of interest to emacs and lisp programers.

Adding Google Search Box to your site

Update: Adding Google Custom Search Widget.

Programing Language: The Glory of Lisp's cons

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Programing Language: The Glory of Lisp's cons

Xah Lee, 2011-06-17

Xah Lee wrote:

if we say that cons cell more than 2 elements are isomorphic to vectors (which is practically true without being picky), than we could also say cons cell of 2 elemests are just vectors of 2 elements (which i also believe). Thus, cons are not needed. (which is true in all modern langs, i think including clojure and newlisp, but am not sure there)

TheFlyingDutchman 〔zzbba…@aol.com〕 wrote:

Clojure does not have cons cells or any similar discrete node type. Surprisingly, it did name the function to prepend an element to data structures that implement the ISeq interface (referred to as a sequences) "cons".

this is what bugs me about “hacker” idiots. (See: Computing Culture: What's Hacker?.)

those who see the idiocy of cons, kept mum. Or at best, hint that it's just the way it was.

while, u have a gaggle of lisp fanatics forwardly defending the glory of cons.

it's a funny thing. U know, when cons doesn't exist in all modern langs, even new lisps (clojure, newLisp), it doesn't seem to mean anything to these old lisp idiots.

btw, does arc lisp do cons? also, i don't know about Qi Lisp. It would be interesting to know. (but no, am not really interested to take the trouble to find out. All i wanna do is call Common Lispers idiots.)

Common Lispers in general are idiots, of high order. (well, more precisely: the common lispers who hang in “comp.lang.lisp”. Actually, more precisely: just a handful of them vocal fanatics. Actually, the few that cry me troll seem to have decreased over the years. In fact if you look at this tread, it seems to be just a few who are having a crisis over cons, and only ONE actually directly attacking me per se. So am not sure why am i complaining. O, but the cons is a major issue to me. I think i really like to stamp out this cons myth. Stampede it out. So, i would like to encourage you all lispers… whenever someone brings cons up again, in some ignorant way, or excited way, give their ass a forceful kick. (in 5 years, if lisp are still alive, and cons use died off, u should thank one Xah Lee.))

here's what i like to see happen in comp.lang.lisp community. When someone ignorant or newb started to blurt out excitedly about cons (mostly due to massive old literature), you should dully tell them: Avoid it if you can. It's old. Not applicable today.

u know? cons is one of those identity thing about lisp, along with parens. That's why it's a hot button. It perennially crops up. It's like emacs's *scratch* buffer or its use of C-c and C-x. It's a identity crisis. Like, if u r the only one in town with blue hair, and it comes to pass that blue hair is bad, then you really can't accept it. It's like, hair color would become the only thing to judge a person.

fuck common lispers.

 Xah

when a man doesn't know anything about computers, and he tells you YOUR software sucks, it probably is true. — Xah Lee

when a programer doesn't know anything about compilers, and he tells you YOUR language sucks, it probably is true. — Xah Lee

This is originally posted to comp.lang.lisp newsgroup. Source groups.google.com

2011-06-16

Xah & Sleeves: A Dialogue Between a Man and a Woman

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Xah & Sleeves: A Dialogue Between a Man and a Woman

Xah Lee, 2011-06-13

Dramatis Personae

  • Xah: A man past his prime.
  • Sleeves: A goddess bitch.

Dialogue

1:26:01 Sleeves: what are you doing here, miss me or something?
1:26:11 Xah: lol.
1:26:53 Xah: am abut to depart this earth
1:27:09 Xah: good that you came.
1:27:18 Xah: so i can say goodbye
1:27:26 Sleeves: you wouldn't be so stupid
1:27:55 Xah: turns out, i die before you, eh?
1:28:11 Sleeves: you with your history should know, when all is lost, you just go do something stupid, and it will turn out better
1:28:26 Sleeves: the only truly stupid thing to do is die
1:28:54 Xah: so shall i spend the next n hours to discuss with u bout the philosophy of suicide?
1:29:03 Sleeves: yes
1:29:15 Xah: and then expect u to fuck me over one last time?
1:29:29 Xah: and feel overjoyed about it too?
1:29:29 Sleeves: who cares? I'm not gonna kill you or something
1:30:07 Xah: it's like, O, my life is worth it. slvs active seek me out before i died.
1:30:45 Sleeves: you were just online in YIM, that's all
1:31:15 Sleeves: you cut me off in sl, and I don't go on skype so I dunno, but I still use yim, and here you are
1:31:36 Xah: well my pc's dead
1:31:44 Sleeves: ouch

1:35:20 Sleeves: so, you are sad enough, that you feel it's better to die than be alive and this sad?


2:32:01 Sleeves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJHdT1j6hH8&feature=player_detailpage#t=22s


3:23:57 Sleeves: I'm going to beat you
3:24:57 Xah: i miss u slvs
3:25:01 Xah: but it's too bad
3:25:32 Xah: if, just in case, one day u hear am dead, then, it's good to know you.
3:25:45 Sleeves: you dummy
3:26:08 Sleeves: I dunno why you'd be that stupid to begin with, but I won't allow it
3:26:38 Sleeves: and don't say is good to know me, when you hate me right now, you don't even answer voice call :P
3:27:33 Xah: am on my 6 yrs old mac. am not hearing any voice call
3:27:40 Xah: dont want to talk bout it anyway
3:28:17 Sleeves: you better talk about it
3:29:34 Sleeves: and your mac can handle voice chat, just update yim
3:32:19 Sleeves: you know you can talk about it with me, if nobody else. so you better do it

3:36:51 Sleeves: even if you dun like me anymore, you know I'm the one you can talk to

3:45:18 Sleeves: I suppose, since you no voice with me, you are voice with someone else
3:45:48 Sleeves: I don't trust that person to treat you right
3:46:26 Xah: dont worry bout me. am still alive

Exeunt Xah

3:47 Sleeves: you asshole. keep talking
3:53 Sleeves: you being dramatic and enigmatic bitch, like emo teenager
3:56 Sleeves: you got 5 mins if you wanna talk to me. I can't wait around forever for you

2011-06-15

Alice: Madness Returns

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Alice: Madness Returns

Xah Lee, 2011-06-15

The sequel of American McGee's Alice just came out, called Alice: Madness Returns. We've been waiting for a decade for a supposed film to come, but it turns out, we get a video sequel instead.

So, it's been a decade since the American McGee's Alice. It was eerrie, beautiful, immersive game where you can feel the horror. I played it from start to finish for about 4 times in different years since 2000. Thouroughly enjoyed the experience. Its graphics was elaborate and widely acclaimed, running on the then new id Tech 3 engine (used in Quake III Arena). But even then, it was blocky. (See screenshots at: American McGee's Alice Gallery.)

Alice madness returns cover

Alice Madness Returns Cover

A decade is a long time. Computer hardware has become some 30 times faster and capacious, and software also have gone thru generations of game engines. The sequel is running on Unreal Engine 3. Let's see what the trailers portends.

“Alice: Madness Returns — Teaser 2”

“Alice: Madness Returns - Teaser 3”

“Alice: Madness Returns - Launch Trailer”

“Alice: Madness Returns - Story Cinematic Trailer”

“Alice: Madness Returns - Gameplay Trailer 1”

Can't say i like it. The character is now much older. According to the game story, 10 years older from last, so she must've been 26 or something, and is rendered so too. I didn't like her new face neither. Can Wonderland Alice character remain attractive as a twenty-something? Am not sure about that. Also, from these trailers, the monsters and scene seem to lost touch with Wonderland. They seem just to be generic monsters.

The following is a good video of gameplay.

“Alice: Madness Returns Gameplay Demo Part 2”

  • “Alice: Madness Returns; Windows” amazon
  • “Alice: Madness Returns; PlayStation” amazon
  • “Alice: Madness Returns; XBox” amazon

See also: American McGee's Alice GalleryWonderland Alice Art Gallery.

2011-06-14

A Whiter Shade of Pale

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A Whiter Shade of Pale

Xah Lee, 2011-06-13

A Whiter Shade of Pale, one of the great oldie of 1967, has fascinating, enduring lyrics. Read it, and see if you decipher.

• fandango ⇒ «Fandango is a lively folk and Andalusian (flamenco) couple-dance usually in triple metre, traditionally accompanied by guitars and castanets or hand-clapping (Palmas in Spanish and Portuguese). Fandango can both be sung and danced.» Fandango.
We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
  And so it was that later
  As the miller told his tale
  That her face, at first just ghostly,
  Turned a whiter shade of pale
• vestal virgins ⇒ «In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins (Vestales, singular Vestalis), were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. The College of the Vestals and its well-being was regarded as fundamental to the continuance and security of Rome, as embodied by their cultivation of the sacred fire that could not be allowed to go out. The Vestals were freed of the usual social obligations to marry and bear children, and took a vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to the study and correct observance of state rituals that were off-limits to the male colleges of priests.» Vestal virgins
She said, “There is no reason
And the truth is plain to see.”
But I wandered through my playing cards
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have just as well've been closed
She said, “I'm home on shore leave,”
though in truth we were at sea
so I took her by the looking glass
and forced her to agree
saying, “You must be the mermaid
who took Neptune for a ride.”
But she smiled at me so sadly
that my anger straightway died
If music be the food of love
then laughter is its queen
and likewise if behind is in front
then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
and attacked the ocean bed 

I first heard this song sung by Sarah Brightman in about 2001. Here's her rendition:

“A Whiter Shade Of Pale” sung by Sarah Brightman. amazon

The lyrics originally has 4 verses plus a refrain (all shown here). However, usually only the first 2 verse is sung.

Following in the original recording sung by Procol Harum band. Rather silly.

“A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum” amazon

The song has been covered by many singers. Here's one by Annie Lennox (of Eurythmics fame).

“Annie Lennox - A Whiter Shade Of Pale” amazon

Here's a great rock rendition by Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve (aka HSAS). Possibly the best here.

“A Whiter Shade Of Pale” by HSAS.

Miller's Tale

What's with the “Miller's tale”? It reminds me a passage from Shakespeare. Titus Andronicus: Act 2. Quote:

• wots the miller of ⇒ More water glides by the water mill than the mill owner sees. (alluding to having sex with a married woman and her husband shouldn't know or loose anything.)
• steal a shive ⇒ it is easy to steal a slice of a loaf that has already been sliced. (compare to virgins and married women)
• Vulcan ⇒ Hephaestus, a god of technology. Hephaestus is married with Aphrodite (Venus), and Aphrodite fornicates with Ares (Mars), among others. See Hephaestus. This passage refers to how problem-free it is to fuck Lavinia despite her marital status with Bassianus.
DEMETRIUS. Why mak'st thou it so strange?
  She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
  She is a woman, therefore may be won;
  She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov'd.
  What, man! more water glideth by the mill
  Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
  Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know.
  Though Bassianus be the Emperor's brother,
  Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge.

Computer Keyboard: Increase Productivity Using Function Keys

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Computer Keyboard: Increase Productivity Using Function Keys

Xah Lee, 2011-06-11

You have those F1 F2F12 keys on your keyboard right? For most people, those keys are like a waste of space, never used. Even most “hackers” don't know how to use these keys efficiently. These keys are the most useful productivity enhancement keys. This page tells you what you can do with these keys, why they are efficient, and how to set them.

Uses of Function Keys

Switching Apps

One of the best use for function keys is switching apps. I've been using this since 1992, across Mac and Windows.

Normally, to switch app you have to do 【Alt+Tab】 or 【⌘ Cmd+Tab】, or even using Windows Flip3D or Instant Viewer or Mac's Exposé. They involve multiple keys or followed by mouse click. The Tab is pressed by pinky — the weakest finger. But worst is that you have to take a second to eye-ball among 10 windows to look for the one you want.

For most of us, there are a few apps we use everyday, and have to constantly switch to it many times every hour. Examples: web browser, music player, email app, word processor or text editor, file manager (desktop), instant messanger. For others, it may be some image editor, video editor, command terminal, spreadsheet, etc.

It is extremely convenient to have a single key to switch to a specific app you use often. For example, let's say your web browser is Firefox. You can set F8 to switch/launch it. Doesn't matter which app you are in, just one key, and you are back to Firefox instaneously. No need to hold Ctrl then press Tab then eye-ball with more Tab.

It's good to have F5 F6 F7 F8 for switching to the apps you use the most often.

On Windows, if you have Quick Launch bar setup, the key is 【Win+1】 【Win+2】 etc. Still, 2 keys too many. Another major problem is that, for many apps such as browser, it'll just launch a new instance, not switching to a existing window. On many keyboards, they also have special buttons to launch apps. But these buttons have several problems. ① They are hard to press, lacking tactile feedback. ② They are in hard-to-reach places. ③ They require looking. Cannot be pressed without looking, while F keys can.

Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste

The traditional keys for {Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste} are Z X C V, while holding Ctrl or Cmd. That's 2 key presses. You can set F1 F2 F3 F4 to them.

Copy and Paste is by far the most used shortcut. Setting them to single key saves you a lot time and hand stress.

Switching Screens in Virtual Desktop

On Mac and Linux, you have workspace, a virtual screen. Typically, the OS provide you with keys such as 【Ctrl+Alt+】 to switch. That's 3 combo-keys with both hands.

If you use workspace heavily, then F9 F10 F11 F12 are perfect keys for it.

Switching Browser Tabs, Close Window

Today, web browsers support tabbed window. Often, you have 5 or 10 tabs in a browser. (for me, i do a lot research. Typically, i have 3 browsers open, each having more than 10 tabs) The hotkey to switch to previous/next tab varies depending on browser. For example, for Next Tab, there's:

  • Ctrl+Tab】 (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari)
  • Ctrl+PageDown】 (Firefox)
  • ⌘ Cmd+Shift+】 (Safari)
  • ⌘ Cmd+⌥ Opt+】 (Camino)
  • 1 and 2 on number keypad. (Opera)

They all require multiple keys. (except Opera) Using a mouse is more cumbersome, because you have to take a second to aim at the right tab.

It would be very convenient to set F11 F12 for prev/next tab. Pressing one of these key can quickly fly you thru all your tabs.

Also, you might set a key to close the current tab. By default, the key is 【Ctrl+w】. For me, the key i choose is Pause, because that key is never used. Its nice to set a key close to but away from F keys. That way, you won't accidentally close a tab. (usually, in most browsers, you can press 【Ctrl+Shift+t】 to reopen.)

Windows and Mac Tools for Keyboard Shortcuts and App Launchers

There are several quality launcher apps for Mac OS X. App Launcher lets you set a key to launch/switch to the app. I recommend Quicksilver. It's free. For many other, see: Mac OS X Keyboard Layout, Keymapping, Keybinding, Tools.

For Windows, the best easy choice is to buy a Microsoft keyboard then use the bundled IntelliType software. It's a GUI app, easy to use. Highly recommended. If you are not sure, see: What Microsoft IntelliType Can Do and Cannot Do.

On Windows, you can use AutoHotkey. It's also free. AutoHotkey is the most powerful, but is for programer only because you have to spend sometime to learn the language. Here's a quick tutorial: Windows Programing: AutoHotkey Tutorial. For other options, see: Keyboard Layout & Key Macro tools for Windows.

Choosing a Keyboard with Good Function Keys

Avoid Continuous-Row Function Keys

You should choose a keyboard that has the function keys arranged in 3 blocks, 4 keys each. Avoid keyboards that have them as one continuous row. Because, those arranged in blocks lets you easily press the correct key without needing to look at the keyboard.

Avoid Function Keys as Special Buttons

Also, you should avoid keyboard that has button-styled function keys. The buttons are hard to press. Hard to know if you pressed them correctly.

Quick Keyboard Recommendation

Here's a quick recommendation. If you must have ergonomic keyboard (split-keyboard) like me, then i recommend: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 or see Ergonomic Keyboards Gallery. (Unfortunately, most ergonomic keyboard has function keys in one continuous row.)

If straight keyboard is fine, then i recommend the cheapest PC keyboard (usually under $15). (See: PC Keyboard gallery.)

If you want fancier straight keyboard, actually i recommend gaming keyboards. Gaming keyboard provides the most key macro functionalities by default. If you play games a lot, great, but if you don't play games, the key macros feature would be fantastic, specially for programers. e.g. “Logitech Gaming Keyboard G110” amazon. (Microsoft's SideWinder X4 and X6's right side Alt key is far too the right, cannot be pressed with thumb while remaining on home row, so i don't recommend it.)

2011-06-13

HTML tag: “s” vs “strike” vs “del” and HTML5

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HTML tag: “s” vs “strike” vs “del” and HTML5

Xah Lee, 2011-06-13

In html, if you want a line to strike-thru text, there are the following ways:

<s>something</s>
<strike>something</strike>
<del>something</del>

The <strike> is not supported in html5. The difference between “s” and “del” is that “del” carries a semantic meaning of deleted text. Both are rendered the same. Here's how they renders in your browser:

  • this line is wrapped with s tag
  • this line is wrapped with del tag

2011-06-12

art: girl painting mirror ground

jen wang girl paints mirror

By Jen Wang. Source jenwang.net

batgirlmeme

Batgirl, by Jen Wang.

She also drew a wonderful batgirl. See: Batgirl Craze (page 1).

PC Keyboard Modifier Keys (A Short Survey)

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PC Keyboard Modifier Keys (A Short Survey)

Xah Lee, 2011-06-10

Took a hour to do a little survey of modifier keys on PC keyboards. On the left side, vast majority of keyboards all have the same Ctrl, Win, Alt, in that order. However, the right side is entirely a different story. Here's some common design:

  • Alt Win Menu Ctrl (most cheap keyboards)
  • Alt Menu Ctrl (some Microsoft ergonomic models)
  • Alt Flip3D Menu Ctrl (some fancy (non-split) Microsoft models)
  • Alt Fn Ctrl (many Logitech keyboards)
  • Alt Ctrl. (keyboards of early 1990s)

If you look at the cheapest generic brand usb keyboards, they tend to have all the modifiers. e.g. Alt Win Menu Ctrl. Both Logitech and Microsoft's cheapest keyboards are like that. (See: PC keyboards gallery.)

More expensive or fancy keyboards almost always have some other arrangement. In particular, Logitech seems to start to have them like this: Alt Fn Ctrl. This is functionally a downgrade. Because:

  • ① Now you need to press 2 buttons instead of 1. For example, to launch browser, now you need to hold Fn then press F7, instead of a single button Web/Home.
  • ② It removes a extra modifier key. For example, if there's a right Win or a Menu key there, you can remap them to do something useful. e.g. For your personal keyboard shortcuts, or for math symbols (APL keyboard) input, or as Super or Hyper for emacs's over 1k key shortcuts, or as convenient Esc in vi editor.

I cannot forgive such conspicuous idiocy. This happens on their expensive models too. (e.g. Logitech Wave Keyboard.) However, it doesn't happen on their gaming keyboards. (Good! Am relieved to know that at least gamers knew the value of function keys!)

Most popular Microsoft split keyboards have Alt Menu Ctrl. (e.g. MS Natural Ergonomic 4000.) This is not too bad. You lost one Win key as extra modifier.

Why Keyboard Designers Remove the Right Win and Menu Key?

it's not hard to see why keyboard designers remove the right win and menu key. First of all, those keys are useless.

One Win Key is Enough

The Win key is designed to invoke the 〖Start〗 menu or as global shortcuts combo key. If you look at the assigned function, typically they are not of the type that needs to be executed frequently in a short time. (in constrast to Undo, for example) So, one left Win key is enough. Also, the behavior of popping up the Start menu is annoying if accidentally invoked. More reason for just a single Win key.

Menu Key is Useless by Default

The Menu key (aka App key), is designed to be application specific. This is a fantastic idea. Imagine, each app will just have its own shortcuts in the 【Menu+‹key›】 space. This won't conflict with the system-wide 【Win+‹key›】 space, and won't infringe on F1F12 space that is supposedly to be user defined.

Unfortunately, it seems no app took this advantage, and all the Menu key do today is pop up a contex menu, which can be done with mouse's right click.

So, the Menu by default is practically a useless key.

Removing Useless Keys

It's not good to have useless keys. So, manufactures try to remove them, or improve them, to innovate, to get more customer love, thus more money. Thus, MS either removed the right Win key, or introduced the Flip3D key in place of of it. While, Logitech rid of both Win and Menu and replace it with their Fn.

The move by Logitech is stupid, but it brings them one advantage. By introducing Fn, it means they don't need to create 5 or 10 more special buttons for launching apps etc, because Fn is to be used together with the existing F1 to F12 keys. So, this saves them manufaturing costs.

Misfortune For Programers

However, for programers or gamers who know how to use their keyboard fully, the removal of Menu or right Win key is a misfortune. Because, for us, it simply means a lost of modifier keys. Not just losing a couple of keys, but keys at critically convenient spots for the right thumb. The Logitech's Fn is particularly idiotic because Fn usually is hardwired in keyboard circuitry and not visible to the operating system. This means, you can't remap Fn. You can not have it be Super, Hyper, Control, Meta, nor Esc. If you don't care for the pre-assigned 2-button combo of 【Fn+F‹n›】 to launch apps, then that Fn simply became a dead horse squatting on the front seat.

A ideal solution for keyboard manufacturers, is to put Fn or Flip3D or whatever there you think is innovation, but yet let the key be accessible thru standard USB protocol or OS API, so that advanced users can still access that key for whatever they may want to do with it.