Like many programmers, I’m very picky about my input devices. Particularly about keyboards – both at home and work I use a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Despite the overly lengthy name, it’s a superb piece of kit and I wouldn’t work without it.

Apple, however, don’t believe in locales outside the US. And so the UK keyboard layout on my MBP is designed around the hacked-together monstrosity Apple consider a UK keyboard layout. Those who have used MacBooks will know this is essentially a slightly hacked US layout, and so it doesn’t help with the NEK4000. Luckily, unlike the rubbish that Logitech put out, Intellitype has been stable and useful for me, and sorted the problem.

Until recently…

At work we’re currently doing Swing development on Java 6. Java 6 for the Mac is 64bit only. And, unlike the 32bit Java 5, the Microsoft Keyboard driver refuses to offer keystrokes to the 64bit JVM. Hence i had to swap keyboard layouts if I wanted to do crazy things such as entering text into our application.

Luckily, Ukulele has saved me. It is a keyboard layout editor for the Mac, and I was quickly able to knock up an appropriate layout. And so I can now happily type sans-Intellitype.

I’ve also dumped LCC and will be trying ControllerMate for my mapping needs. Stay tuned!