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WB – Quills

Quills Page. (Inscribing Your Work).


Finding the perfect keyboard for me, personally; was hard work, and my review on their various lay-outs is set out below, but you need to know some background information on what the beasties are made up of first.

If you are going down this self build route, and not just opting for a laptop off the shelf: then firstly; you should ask yourself this primary question, (Wired) or (Wireless?)

  • Two considerations here, (wired) versions of Quills don’t generally come in a mechanical flavor, and that clacky typing experience is far superior: from it, your worlds will glow; with actual fire and brimstone as you enter into them fully.

Wireless (Wands) are generally a membrane type, and are OK to use: [ here ] is a very good example of what to look out for on Amazon. (If you clicked the link), did you also note the PgDn: PgUp, Home and End keys? – Pressing the FN Key on the left to access them, will undoubtedly become a pain over time.

  • Also, did you take note of the USB charger port? – It’s a very good idea, and something that’s not generally found on other membrane Quills, because wireless (Wands) are an absolute pain in the butt when the battery starts to go.
    • You can find yourself hammering away, and the text of creating the old Mage standing on that mountain, is sputtering and staggering on the screen as the keyboard strikes are missed, and then the stolen wand fails to ignite.
      • As I say, it can be a right royal pain as your characters succumb to the cold of a dead lifeless keyboard.
  • Go for a wired (Wand) if you can, it’s a far better option in the long run, and your old Mage will thank you.
    • But don’t just take my word for it: because [ others ] also agree with me.

Google traps: where’s the Menu Key. Where’s the Application Key. What’s a QWERTY keyboard. What’s DVORAK keyboard. 81 key keyboards. TenKeyLess keyboards. What’s the best Cherry Switch. Google traps.

Secondly: if you are considering buying the mechanical clockwork-Wand, then you need to understand something about keyboard switches, and that’s the mechanical bit under the plastic key on the keyboard. (i.e: the switch: all very techie, all very boys own). Anyhow: Cherry MX is the de-facto standard found in all good quality mechanical Quills, but the sort of keyboards you can buy from eBay and Amazon, don’t always have them in: as I found out, but it’s not that much of an issue, as most of the sellers provide you with spare caps and switches.

  • Which tells you something of their proposed longevity.

Also: when you see switch types available in the extensive adverts, you’ll be bombarded by the sort of keyboard switch you need: generally they are classed as Black: Red: Brown and Blue. My advice, just go for the Blue switch when looking for a new (Wand).

  • Blues are lovely for typing on, and really do provide a bloody brilliant feedback click: especially when hammering away, mercilessly killing the dark enemy horde in the Death Valley below.

The three mechanical layouts I’m reviewing here, are what’s commonly known as [ 81 keys, ]  [ TenKeyLess ] (at 86 keys): and the standard [ 102 AT style keyboard, ] – but all of them, (and there are literally hundreds), can be found on the official [ Cherry Web Site ]. Please note, that I’m only discussing the three types described above, because they are of interest to me as a writer, and I hope: you as well.

  • These sensible typist keyboards can (**range) in price from £32.00p, right up to about £140.00p, and that one was a made to measure model from wasdkeyboards. Where you can design and colour your own keyboard layout. I was sorely tempted by them I can tell you, but I held back, and then wished upon a Google search star, where I finally went with a cheap wired (Wand) from [ Wish ], and I didn’t regret it: not one little bit.
    • ** Note: the range of silly price gamer keyboards, can literally go through the roof, but I’m just concentrating on what’s affordable for a poor writer.
      • And if your an Author: what the hell are you doing here?

(By – The – Way!) – I’m not going to discuss the ( QWERTY ) verses the ( DVORAK ) layout.

  • It’s assumed that you’re sensible, and are using what sense God gave you to use.

Your god given common sense decoded. From a very young age, you’ve been taught to use the QWERTY keyboard layout, so why try to change for the politically correct fun of it. Because it’s all political correctness when talking about the inefficient PC keyboard layouts, use what you know, and are comfortable with: is what I say on the subject.

  • But if you must, then here is why the [ QWERTY ] layout looks as it does.
    • The link above jumps straight to the complete History  section on why the keyboard was laid-out as it was.
      • It opens the ( Wikipedia, ) web site: which is my best friend.

{ All images on this page have been squished down: just click on them to see the full size.  }

Pen Inking Away Begins.

The 81 Keyboard.


You’ll note the right hand side of it has all the keys you’ll ever need for ultra fast re-editing.

That column is absolutely brilliant for typing, with the PgDn – PgUp – Home and End keys where they are. It also has a nice big set of Cursor Keys built in.

The Quill is not setup in a UK, or an American layout: your computer will have loaded the correct software for your country when it boots, so it will work, but you can buy caps if you can’t remember where the £ Key is: there are other quirks with it, but muscle memory is half the fun of typing with the (Wand), and that experience will improve your ability to cast spells no end, and even your typing skills at the same time.

The keyboard in general: has a rather nice tactile feel when typing on it, and the clicking is a dream to hear when climbing the mountain with the powerful Mage by your side.

  • Also note: that it’s not that massive to carry around, and that beastie fitted nicely into my portable magic box, that I’ve named Harvey, and it submissively went in there no worries.

All in all: this Quill layout is my now preferred (Wand) style.

  • But, something you should note here: and it is that there is no MENU key on the lower rank.

Yes, you can still access it via the SHIFT – F(10) short cut, but to my mind: it’s a pain.

That missing Menu Key, sometimes called the Application Key: ultimately led me to the [ AutoHotKey  ] web site: where I easily made a small EXE file to change the spare ALT key, (just to the right of the space-bar), into the missing MENU Key.

  • NOW! (upper warning caps). I have provided the tiny file for you to download should you wish.
    • BUT! (upper caps again), downloading anything from the Internet is potentially dangerous.
      • My small program is wrapped up inside a Zip archive file, and has a CRC Checksum built in.
    • Download it here: [ Safe-Download-RA ], in the Zip file: you’ll find a small program called ( RA.EXE ).

All you have to do to run it, is just click on the file, but that’s a pain to do every time. The work-round here is to run the small utility program when your computer reboots, and to do this: you simply put the small file inside your [ auto startup directory ].

Again! – Mega Huge Warnings Here, do not run unsigned programs from the WEB.

  • Mine is safe, I am here: I have a discoverable web presents, my small file will not install a virus: nor any malware.
    • eMail or contact me if you want confirmation, check out my address from Web Hosts, check out my Facebook page.
      • And in doing so: you’ll be performing your due diligence checks.

My small file will not infect your computer, damage it? – Shouldn’t do, as I have it running on three machines here at home, without any ill effects or worries.


– But Mine  ~ { IS } ~ Safe To Use.

The TenKeyLess.

It’s just a normal keyboard, but with the Number Keypad missing. That reduction really reduces the size of the Quill, and as such: fits nicely on any small desk. It also fitted quite nicely inside my first portable solution, which was just a normal sized briefcase.

Just like the 81 key review, the tactile feel of this (Wand) was superb, and the only reason I’m not using it, is because of the navigation keys, yes: they are in a standard placement, but I never liked, or even used them with the 102 AT style keyboard I used to use, and normally this old witch just used the Number Pad for navigation around my page of mis-(spells). [See what I did there? – Cast a spelling error of course.]

  • But, also note: that there is a ( Menu Key ) on this model, so if you just need space: then this is an ideal solution, and you won’t need to be mucking about with software fudges.

The (102) 3 – 4 and 5 Keyboards.

These things literally are two a penny: below is a picture of one, and it’s (Wand) style is something that you are probably using right now.

Here’s a [ link ] to a good model that I’ve found on Amazon, and at £33.00p: it’s a good price to pay for one of these things, but keep this in mind: no matter what type of keyboard you settle for, and use: typing on a mechanical clock-work Quill is nothing like what you expect.

  • It’s feed back heaven.
    • The thing is an orgasmic vibrating wand of pure pleasure.
      • Humm! – That reminds me, I have some batteries that need changing  ..


This is a problem I’ve found with all the mechanical Quills tested: in that the stupid wands also have LEDS under their keys, and then practically all of them activate the useless feature: differently.

  • I suppose that a mindless gamer finds it amusing to have the keyboard flashing its silly lights out in a pulsing rhythm.
    • I do not!
      • (Grumpy old woman crosses her arms under her chest in a huff.)

It’s said that the keyboard will remember its last setting when turned off, but my two, (from different suppliers), do not remember it: they are trolls.

  • You have to FN – F3 to cycle, or FN F12, or even FN – PgDn, and also use the cursor up down keys to lower the luminescence: ridiculous nonsense to deal with.
    • I’d like to buy a mechanical Quill without the blooming silly lights, but can’t.

If you do buy yourself a new wand, just remember where you parked: the Instructions.


My favourite Quill is the 81 Keyboard layout, simply because of the editing keys being where they are: typing is so much fun with it, and even though I am not a touch typist: I can really hammer away, and then re-edit very fast with this layout.

  • You can buy one off of Amazon from [ here. ]

This now ends my mechanical clockwork Wand review, and I hope that you enjoyed reading it: as much as I did, in writing it with my newly inked Quill.

 Thanks for reading, Jessica: Praise be the ORI.


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