Post by Maus Post by Andy Burns
Would it be for that odd French pre-interet thing?.. I went to a
demonstation of it at a local town, and was puzzled by the keyboard.
Getting used to different keyboards. In 2003 and 2004 I was traveling in
some European countries. Used to use a German keyboard a UK keyboard
wasn't that different in the main part - z and y swapped and no
umlauts. French was a completely new experience then. Not only is it
AZERTY. But numbers on the upper keyboard row and their
SHIFT-counterparts were swapped. To type a "1" for example you had to
hold SHIFT and press that key. And it's not that CAPS LOCK was accidentally
Back then I booked 30 minutes in the first internet cafe to just check
for mails. Before that it wasn't easy to find one, as people on the
street had no idea when I asked where there is an "internet cafe" in
French. Turned out you have to ask for "Salle Internet" or "Cyber
Cafe"). Well the 30 minutes weren't enough to check for mails. The
password for my mail account contains digits and after I was rejected
twice (the password was displayed with *****) and threatened that the
account would be locked after the third attempt I thought the keyboard
might be broken, so I opened the notepad, only to find out the numbers
are swapped with symbols. Only after I understood that I could log in -
and had to book another 30 minutes.
The Spanish and Italian keyboards were easier to use than the French one,
at least not swapping the number keys.
In 2003 there were no tablets. And if you were lucky enough to own a
laptop with WIFI it wasn't likely to find a place with free WIFI back
then. That only just started around that time.