Commodity Thinking

I helped a person with a new Acer computer. The system came with an incredibly cheap keyboard. Real cheap. Useless cheap. The eight navigation keys are combined into four keys. A Fn key is needed to toggle the navigation key mode. There is no number keypad. The keys have no tactile feel or response.

Just a classic POS.

The owner is old, with unsteady hands and large fingers. The new keyboard is almost unusable by this person. When we proceeded to swap the keyboard from the old computer we recognized the lack of PS2 ports.

I felt awful for the person. A pit in my stomach. The person now has to hope that an adapter will suffice or buy a new keyboard.

Sadly, the PS2 keyboard — and PS2 mouse — from the old computer remain in good shape and usable. Yet vendors act as though people should continue filling land fills with good electronic components.

A single PS2 port on a motherboard is not much to ask.

Why can’t vendors make decent full size keyboards and just charge an extra few bucks? Why the race to the bottom? Why waste everybody’s time and money with such cheap commodity merchandise?

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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