R's sister had a furrowed brow as she stared at our keyboard when she paused typing. She was looking for the @ symbol, which is above 2 on Australian keyboards and somewhere else on English keyboards. I assume for them the £ symbol is above the 4 where our $ symbol is and I recall they also have the € symbol for Euro somewhere. (wrong, the dollar and euro symbols are on 4 and the three has the pound. Getting messy and complicated) Our keyboards don't have those symbols at all and you have to press and hold the alt key and on the numeric pad enter 156 for £, or alt 0128 for €.
I cannot understand how a keyboard can type a Chinese or Japanese language. It has been explained to me but like the rules and scoring of golf, and soccer's offside rule, straight in one ear and out the other.
Gattina has just bought a new keyboard because her y would no longer work. She said she could have typed in German or French as y is seldom used in those languages. I did not know that. I reckon Gattina spilt wine on her keyboard. I did the same and my j was sticky, and there is nothing worse than a sticky j. Left to heal itself, my j began functioning normally again in time, but it was amusing to watch page after page of j being automatically written, briefly.
But even more surprisingly, I learnt from Gattina that French keyboards are not QWERTY but AZERTY. The Q and the A have been swapped, as has the W and the Z and the M is next to the L. While I know enough French to see why, how very French to not conform to English standards. Quell horreur.
Let's have a look at keyboards from some other countries, ignoring special characters and incomparable alphabets.
Hehe, Germany has a QWERTZ keyboard. Yes, quite different. Zee Germans go it alone.
The Netherlands appears to be QWERTY.
I've checked a few now, and there seems to be only three basic layouts. The English language layout, the French layout and the widely used in Europe, German. Special characters differ in many countries but in Australia our keyboard replicates that of the US.
There is one more of interest to me, an American international keyboard layout that can put in accents for letters. This keyboard can't but if I write cafe the spell checker sees the spelling as wrong. It wants me to add an accent. Funny, it used to give me the option to select cafe with an accent. Now it doesn't.
I wouldn't have a clue about Macintosh but I would guess the basics are the same.
I assumed the tale that the keys are so arranged on a keyboard because in the days of typewriters, it was to slow typists down to stop keys that strike the inked ribbon getting jammed on each other. I remember that well, so that didn't work for me. But I saw in a Tweet the other day that this may not be true. I expect Victor knows a bit about typewriters but I also expect he is pleased to not have to use one anymore.
I also heard that someone has designed a superior English language keyboard layout, but that will go the way of the superior London Tube Map. It may well be better, but we are all far too set in our ways.