August 27, 2013
What would you do, if you could do anything?
I don't mean in a fantasy superhero way, but in terms of resources. If someone told you that you now had the resources to attempt to make one thing happen in the world, one real thing, what would that be?
If you're Elon Musk, the patron saint of Hacker News, then you create an electric car and rocket ships. And then propose a hyperloop. Not bad. Not bad at all.
My dream is more modest. I decided to create a keyboard.
I've talked about keyboards here for years, but The CODE Keyboard is the only simple, clean, beautiful backlit mechanical keyboard I've ever found. Because we built it that way.
The name is of course a homage to one of my favorite books.
That's what I've always loved about programming, the thrill of discovering that communicating with other human beings in their code is the true secret to success in writing code for computers. It's all just … code.
A system of words, letters, figures, or other symbols used to represent others
The projects I've worked on for the last eight years are first and foremost systems for efficiently communicating with other human beings, not computers. Both Stack Exchange and Discourse are deeply concerned with people and words and the code they use to talk to each other. The only way those words arrive on your screen is because someone, somewhere typed them. Now, I've grown to begrudgingly accept the fact that touchscreen keyboards are here to stay, largely because the average person just doesn't need to produce much written communication in a given day. So the on-screen keyboard, along with a generous dollop of autocomplete and autofix, suffices.
But I'm not an average person. You aren't an average person. We aren't average people. We know how to use the most powerful tool on the web – words. Strip away the images and gradients and vectors from even the fanciest web page, and you'll find that the web is mostly words. If you believe, as I do, in the power of words, then keyboards have to be one of the most amazing tools mankind has ever created. Nothing lets you get your thoughts out of your brain and into words faster and more efficiently than a well made keyboard. It's the most subversive thing we've invented since the pen and the printing press, and probably will remain so until we perfect direct brain interfaces.
I was indoctrinated into the keyboard cult when I bought my first computer. But I didn't appreciate it. Few do. The world is awash in terrible, crappy, no name how-cheap-can-we-make-it keyboards. There are a few dozen better mechanical keyboard options out there. I've owned and used at least six different expensive mechanical keyboards, but I wasn't satisfied with any of them, either: they didn't have backlighting, were ugly, had terrible design, or were missing basic functions like media keys.
That's why I originally contacted Weyman Kwong of WASD Keyboards way back in early 2012.* I told him that the state of keyboards was unacceptable to me as a geek, and I proposed a partnership wherein I was willing to work with him to do whatever it takes to produce a truly great mechanical keyboard. Weyman is a hard core keyboard nut who absolutely knows his stuff – I mean, he runs a whole company that sells custom high end mechanical keyboards – but I don't think he had ever met anyone like me before, a guy who was willing to do a no strings attached deal just for the love of an idealized keyboard. At one point over a lunch meeting, he paused, thought a bit, and said:
So … you're like … some kind of geek humanitarian?
I don't know about that.
But I'm not here to sell you a keyboard. Buy, don't buy. It doesn't matter. I'm just happy to live in a world where the first truly great mechanical keyboard finally exists now, in exactly the form it needed to, with every detail just so, and I can type this very post on it. As glorious as that may be, I'm here to sell you on something much more dangerous: the power of words. So whether you decide to use the CODE Keyboard, or any keyboard at all, I'm glad you're thinking about writing words with us.
* Yep, we software guys are spoiled – hardware takes forever.
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Posted by Jeff Atwood
I've owned an extremely similar keyboard for a few months now - the Steelseries 6GV2.
It's exactly the same, except with media controls (and a proper enter key). Perfect - love it!
Should have looked closer - my bad. CODE Keyboard does have media controls, so it looks great. :-)
What is the lifetime length of a well made mechanical keyboard? I have probably not had a keyboard that lasted more than two years in about 20 that Ive been using them (Im 25), and some of them were quite expensive. I dont smash them on the desk when Im angry they just wear out.
What an amazing piece of engineering!
I've got a question - why did you make it wired and not wireless?
Is it because of the latency?
I'm asking because I've been searching for the perfect wireless mechanical keyboard for a long time, and I couldn't find it.
The keypad is useless in a coding keyboard, and forces the hand to shift right too much to reach the mouse, stressing the arm. Or, to not stress the arm, it forces the hands on the keyboard to be out of alignment (and makes it harder to align by sight, since it's longer on one side than the other).
I love my das keyboard, and I really love cherry switches, but the keypad needs to die. :-P
Make an ergonomic version and I'm sold.
Half of my brain is mad with the desire. But the other half has to ask: don't scissor-switch keyboards possess (nearly) all of the advantages of mechanical switch keyboards, with none of the typewriter-mimicking physicality and noise?
And if that's the case, wasn't the perfect keyboard designed several years ago, and hasn't it been quietly available for sale at every big-box computer store all of this time?
I refer, of course, to the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard K740.
Oh boy! I have dreamed about creating a keyboard for programmers (and hacked open a good many of them and monkeyed with their traces). Is this one easy to remap? The thing I really want, in addition to the sweet mechanical action, is to relocate the braces and semi-colon so that they're under my powerful fingers. The majority of my wrist and hand pain is due to pinky-finger cross stretch, and with IntelliSense and ReSharper, I type a lot more "weird" keys than letters.
Man, now I'm just dreaming: A keyboard that, like VIM's insert and normal modes, easily switched the keymap between Coding and Human. 'Cause, y'know, even the best of us has to write the occasional email.
Congrats on the launch of the new venture!
Very interesting. And it seems that you could reorder the keys to adapt to different keyboard maps (e.g. french or german).
Looks very nice and well thought-out. I don't really need any more keyboards, and I've yet to pay $150 for one, but it is really tempting, especially since I don't have any keyboards with Cherry clears.
The one concern I have about the backplate is noise. How much echo does the board have?
Open Sourcing the firmware of the keyboard would be awesome!
To everyone who asks for wireless: I can understand why people want wireless mice (it's nice not to have a cable on something you move all the time, but if it's long enough it's not a big issue) I think wireless keyboards have only disadvantages: Batteries which like to die right when it's most inconvenient (while a key is pressed and thus the systems keeps repeating it since it's never released until you insert new batteries), the cable wouldn't be a problem in most cases, stuff like LED backlight would use up a lot of battery, bluetooth is not just plug&play (ever tried to change something in your BIOS using a BT keyboard), ...
I've seen many mechanical keyboards like this, such as Das Keyboard and a few other vendors. (look for gaming keyboards) honestly though every mechanical keyboard I've tried has hurt my hands. I'm still in love with my logitech G15, tried to buy a newer version and it's just crap. I haven't actually tried blue switches yet, I probably should, but red, and brown switches both caused pain. Also I would think the ideal programming keyboard would be more ergonomic. Numpad is a waste of space.
Also the SUPER META (Windows key) is also a waste of space and I require a mechanical disable this button switch.
Frankly without this feature I wouldn't buy this keyboard. I require the switch to exist.
I don't mind the $149 price tag for the keyboard, but an extra $56 to ship to Australia. Ouch!
Looks great, but yes - shipping to Australia is ridiculous.
And to replace my dasKeyboard it would need to have a USB hub.
It's close, but it needs a dedicated FN key. Reusing the Menu key isn't acceptable to me, I use it way too often.
The FN key could also be used in combination to trigger programmable macros. God I miss my old X-Keys rig.
Not ergonomic? How could you possibly write software on a keyboard all day without the ergonomic layout? I'm amazed, this seems like a lot of effort put into something that still doesn't improve on my 10 year old Logitech...
I can do without wireless in a pinch (battery life is not an issue at all), I might even be tempted to pay the exorbitant shipping fee to Aus, but if it's not an ergonomic layout it's not a coding keyboard.
Awesome! Any plans for other layouts? Specifically I'm hoping for UK.
This keyboard looks pretty good, funny that you posted this Jeff as it was just yesterday that I immersed myself in the world of mechanical keyboards to replace my default Apple chiclets-on-a-washboard excuse of a keyboard (and to lift the weight off my poor weary fingers). Are the key sizes standard WASD keys? ie. if I order custom or replacement keys for the blank Windows key for example, is this doable via WASD?
Also to shana complaining about it being a full-width keyboard, if you go to the WASD site and click on the CODE keyboard page, you will find that the keyboard comes in two sizes – 104 and 87 key.
Looks awesome, but I need an ergonomic angled keyboard like SafeType or Kinesis.
"first truly great mechanical keyboard"? I'd make the argument that the IBM Model M takes that prize. The only keyboard that feels better is the Model F (with the capacitive buckling springs, as opposed to the membranes of the Model M), but mine is from a PC XT, making it nigh-impossible to get it working with modern computers (let alone the layout difficulties). Though the built in output config is a nice touch, I've found it very simple to remap Capslock to Super and switch the text input layout to Dvorak in both Windows and various Linux desktop environments. The nubs on the F and J (or U and H) keys mean I never have to really look at the keyboard, which eliminates the need for backlights (for touch-typists, at least) and media keys tend to be incompatible with most media players I've used (not to mention that it wouldn't be that difficult just to simulate those with keychords in software).
Maybe the best thing going for the CODE keyboard over the Model M is availability, specifically of the 87 key model. Getting one's hands on an IBM Model M spacesaver edition is difficult and pricey at best, but with those quiet-operation Cherry MX Clear's, I'm not so sure--I really like the audible clicks/pings of the buckling springs.
At least you can buy 12ft long MicroUSB cables, but I haven't seen any that are coiled and springy.
I've been through my share of crappy keyboards until I arrived at the best one I could find. It's the Dell USB multimedia keyboard. It's not backlit, but the feel is great, the keys are super quiet and the multimedia controls work the way I want them to:
I found a supplier on ebay who sells refurbed ones for $14 each. I currently have 3 at home and am considering getting another (for the kids).
This looks great, but I'll echo others here and state that unless it's an ergonomic keyboard, I'm not interested. I fail to see why so much time is put into reinventing standard non-ergonomic keyboards. I code all day long and not using an ergonomic keyboard would be terrible for my health.
looks great but can you do a bluetooth version of the mini-keyboard - so can use it on android + iOS devices
Why do the arrows on the shift keys point up when the shifted characters are printed on the right side of the keys?
I've ordered one of these as WASD keyboards are pretty great (my friend has one) but I could never settle on one due to all the nice config options and I have enough mechanical keyboards around but the Code's feature were enough to convince me.
Something I'd like to see in future models is a USB port on the side or top so I can use a Yubikey for 2 Factor Auth:
Or even better a keyboard with a built in yubikey would be great (but they seem like the sort of thing you'd want to be able to swap out and upgrade independently of the keyboard).
@bitbank Ditto on those USB Dell keyboards, they're the best "cheap" keyboards around.
Beautiful keyboard. Absolutely beautiful. Any possibility of a ten-key-less model for those of us who value desk space over the occasional number input?
I vastly prefer a mechanical keyboard, but I'm also in the ergonomic camp by necessity.
Ergo is a must, build it and they will come...
You wouldn't believe that in 2013, even Microsoft, hasn't come out with a backlit ergonomic keyboard.
Re: 87 key. I don't read. Ordered mine!
Lucky you... I was all like "woot, design my own keyboard!!!" But then the reality set in: I can't move or reshape the keys!
That keyboard starts out imperfect: the arrow keys are too close to the other keys! And no wireless, that sucks too. And no keys for volume or play/pause/next (I always listen to music when coding).
No perfect keyboard for me today :( But at least this one has a proper Ins/Del/Home/End/PgUp/Dn cluster...
Between my HHKB Pro 2 and Datahand I am a very happy camper, but it's nice to know that people are still interested in making quality keyboards.
Of course you had to make this announcement ONE DAY after I ordered a DasKeyboard because my Unicomp is flaking out.
I'm typing this on a model M. I've got another one at work. I have bought lots of new mechanical keyboards and haven't found any of the cherry keys that were to my liking. I will probably buy this one too, if nothing else to make my cube mates a work hate me less when I'm typing at 70 wpm.
Oooh, I want to get one =).
However, do you offer it with a blank keyset as well? Or can you order a blank keyset that will fit?
(I know it sounds weird, but I'm in love with my Das Keyboard with blank keys at the moment - and I'd want this for the Cherry Clear switches, and the other features).
I love the specs, but the lack of ergo is mind boggling.
I'm going to echo some other comments on here. How can you make a keyboard for coders not consider ergonomics?
The keyboard I have had now for a couple of years is a Noppoo Choc Mini, here are images of it: http://www.overclock.net/t/902905/review-noppoo-choc-mini-mechanical-keyboad-cherry-mx-brown-nkro-under-usb
It's a full size, tenkeyless keyboard with a very compact design, very much like the size of a laptop keyboard (but of course with mechanical keys). I really like its compact design and how close I can have the mouse to the keyboard and its home row.
There is a tenkeyless version of the CODE keyboard, but I'm afraid that it still would feel too large when I have used my compact Noppoo Choc Mini for so long. It would be great with if there was an even more compact version of the CODE keyboard.
On another note, the shipping is ridiculous. It's $ 48 to Sweden, and with taxes the total price for the keyboard including shipping would be around $ 250. I'm not eager to pay that, considering that my current keyboard cost about $ 100.
Thank you for choosing silent-ish keys. I hate that clack-ity clack from some of those other "good" keyboards. Very annoying when you are trying to work. I worked at a place where a guy had one of those keyboards and I could hear it two offices away. Drove me nuts!
And yet it doesn't fix my biggest pet peeve: no hex keys on the numpad!
Want want want! But man, it's tough to justify 150 bucks for a keyboard. I spent a ton of time trying to find a decent priced backlit keyboard - almost was going to go with the Logitech but a bunch of reviews criticized the number keys that could be held down at the same time. Right now I'm on a Lenovo keyboard - they actually make some decent keyboards back to the Thinkpad branded ones. Gonna bookmark this one either way...not sure if I'd rather have the keypad-less one or not.
The reason you find yourself building a new keyboard is because you're on windows, and the key layout is nauseating.
If you were on a mac, you wouldn't have these problems in the first place.
It's not ergonomic, and why the backlit keys? Do you look at the keyboard rather than at the screen whilst you are typing?
When I read the post I was expecting something that helps me type with relatively ease the semicolons, round, square and angular brackets, the forward abd back slashes etc. I dont know the solution to the problem but I am ready to pay $150 for that. I dont care what sound it makes while typing.
I always dreamed of a keyboard with fully re-programmable E-ink keycaps. It would be like Optimus Maximus but with E-ink instead of OLED. E-ink would keep price down and allow the keys to be more or less permanent when unplugged.
Another vote for an ergonomic version here. At least you people who can type with your wrists at that unnatural angle have dozens of decent-if-not-perfect keyboards to choose from. There are only a hand full of ergo keyboards and they all either mechanically suck or have counterproductive layouts of the ctrl and alt keys.
I do like just about everything else though. I like the configurable win/caps keys, and *finally* a standard cable!
Now that's a sexy looking keyboard. There is only one feature missing that will keep me from switching from my BlackWidow Ultimate... macro keys, and built in on-the-fly macro recording. I know I could achieve the same thing with a script and some hotkey assignments, but, that would involve writing code. Was this omission an oversight or intentional? If intentional, why? To keep size down?
If I had the resources to do absolutely anything, I think I would privatize, standardize, and centralize global (or at least national) healthcare data storage. Provide hospitals with transparent, fluid, responsive means of interacting with cloud data and relieve them of the logistics of storage while lowering their costs. Replace what the government has tried (and failed) to do through legislation with capitalism... par for the course.
Put myself on the waiting list for an 87-key. Hoping they’re back in stock soon!
Not sure it is going to replace my IBM Model M from 1986 that I am still using with a PS/2 to USB converter. That keyboard weighs a ton and has had far too many liquid drinks spilled over it but somehow it still works. The only thing I wish is that it was US layout as I brought it from over from the UK when I moved here.
Why no contour.
It was so close to being perfect.
I've got a minor quibble with this point:
"Nothing lets you get your thoughts out of your brain and into words faster and more efficiently than a well made keyboard."
I contend that the spoken word actually lets you get your thoughts out of your brain and into words faster and more efficiently. You essentially have a peripheral connected directly to your brain: the mouth. Babies learn to transform their thoughts into words much faster with the spoken word. UX designers have realized the power of the spoken word and brought us Siri. People would still rather call customer support instead of typing out an email.
Only in specialized circumstances is the keyboard faster, such as typing out code for a program.
I gotta have my contour. Seriously though, cannot code full time without some sort of ergo keyboard. Ergofy this sucker.
OK, so how is this better than a Razer?
Ordered. What can I say? I already have Das Keyboard, some Cherry MX such and such and I'm typing this on a MacBook. But with money to burn in my PayPal with the failure of Ubuntu Edge I'm like fuck it, send me a keyboard, you people who care about keyboards.
For those wanting ergonomic, there are mechanical options out there - check out the Ergodox (open source hardware/software, massdrop.com sells kits commercially), Truly Ergonomic, and Kinesis Advantage.
@boo: I own a Razer Blackwidow Ultimate which uses Cherry MX Blue switches. I think it's a great keyboard but it's kind of loud so I'm not sure my work colleagues would appreciate if I used it at work.
Ergonomic one for those of who get crippling RSI on straight keyboards?
A keyboard for coders HAS TO be ergonomic.
I'm talking about the layout.
An example is Microsoft 4000, which I'm using.
if the numpad was detacheable i would've bought it. for now im keeping my custom WASD at work and topre realforce at home.
Are you planning to do a non-printed version? I'm on Colemak. For me, letters just get in the way.
I'm looking for a good mechanical keyboard for months. This one looks very promising but we, Europeans, need 105-key variant of this.
Definitely looks awesome. But, please do this in some form of split/ergomonic layout.
In theory this is a good direction, but the problem remains: the keyboard is not split, thus enforcing the bent wrists at an angle while typing. Truly Ergonomic are making some strides as well as Kinesis.
What is wrong with 'daskeyboard' ? i've been owning one for 2 years now and i wouldnt switch as i advanced user i dont look down at my keys therefore backlighting is of no use.
That seems like a truly great keyboard. You have to send it to Anandtech for review!
Please make this in EU layout..
I have a Ducky keyboard, also very clean and backlit.
Looks well - like the minimalist look. I'd say it was fun to be involved in hardware design for a change..
Is there a usability benefit for a backlit keyboard, or does it just for aesthetics? Assume most coders can type without looking at keys..
Why is there 2 shift keys on the left?
One unlucky decision my parents made when I was a kid, and now I can only use a keyboard with a short Backspace and two-row Enter keys.
I'm truly sorry, but your perfect keyboard is perfect only for you, I'm stick with my $8 Mitsumi office-plankton-model, because of that subtle difference in key layout (for some reason, Mitsumi keyboards were really durable despite being cheap, my first one served me 5 years, second one - 4).
I do not get that ergonomic layout that people want, how can you seriously type on that thing? After trying one, my hands were tired much more than after my usual keyboard, because it kind of tries to restrict your natural hand movement. Just keep your elbows on the desk, with a wide distance between them, and you'll be able to use straight 'murican keyboard with proper square keys, from the picture above, for four hours in a row without being tired at all.
Give me a keyboard with Dvorak layout, and you can take my money.
you know what, this is amazing. I have a Das keyboard at the moment but still I find this one much better and I like that fact about MX Clear and its design, it looks fantastic honestly.
It has small Enter. Pipe backslash key is not between left Shift and Z. Fail.
Awesome stuff but the next huge step we need, is a custom keyboard layout that fit correctly programming.
Count me in if you ever do a Mac version.
Give me a call when you do a European 105 key version. Do blank caps at first if you don't want to deal with different layouts.
I won't be buying until it is an ergo layout similar to microsoft's natural keyboards.
Jpmalcala this has dvorak - you just have to flip a dip switch on the back and use the key puller to swap the keycaps around.
For those of you that yearn for a Model M replacement, look up http://pckeyboard.com/ - Unicomp is the company that bought the rights to make the OEM Model M's back in the '80s. I have one and it uses the buckling spring type keys (and a USB cord!). They also have plenty of customization available including alternate layouts for those that prefer them.
While I've heard of the Cherry switches, I've never tried one. I have a buckling spring keyboard (Unicomp "space saver" - though it's not a small keyboard), and like typing on it. I don't really want to try out a keyboard with Cherry MX switches (clear, red, blue, black, orange pink whatever) mostly because I don't know how it will feel, and don't have a local vendor to try them out on, though not that I've looked all that hard. I do like the backlit keyboard of the CODE keyboard, though, and it does intrigue me.
'But Jeff, there's no share button! How will I EVER get to my social media!!'
This keyboard puts the emphasis on getting the important things right. This just might be going on my christmas list.
This project sounds great, but you absolutely need to create an "European" 105 key version with the "large" enter key. As Carsten suggested, you can leave the keys blank if you don't want to deal with different layouts (most geeks will love a blank keyboard anyways).
No love for people stuck with AZERTY?
I program as a hobby so I'm probably missing something but my first thought was why is it not tenkeyless? The people asking for ergo have a good point as well.
My dream keyboard: Tenkeyless, mx_clears, figure out what deck does to have PBT keycaps work with backlighting (I haven't looked into it), blue led, steel backplate, navy blue brushed aluminum case, costar stabilizers
I think that covers it, I could do without the backlighting it's just a bonus. I respect the effort but I think you missed quite a few details to claim it's the ultimate keyboard. Just my opinion.
This looks great, but surely you can go beyond US layout. I'm in the UK, but there's a whole world out there!!
For all of those asking for the curved "ergonomic" keyboard, there are others of us who prefer the older style straight ones like this. Jeff, how is this cooler than Das Keyboard? I do not doubt that there are things you found missing there that for you needed to be fixed, but it would be nice to know what you thought in the design phase.
+1 on the "make an ergonomic version and I'll buy one". I use a Logitech "Comfort Cordless" which they don't make anymore but the keys are laid out just right. Make one of those and I'll buy two!
Too bad this keyboard is still missing the most important feature for keyboard enthusiasts: an ergonomic layout. Though that's not surprising considering WASD Keyboard's insistence on making relics from the past.
- Ergonomic layout model
- Support for a range of colors for the backlight
- New model without the arrow key section. Or make it detachable
Try talking to Logitech or Microsoft. Sometimes they head in the right direction, but with a big push from a respected member of the programming community, maybe they can come out with something truly amazing.
> On the CODE keyboard, the Fn key replaces the Menu key (provided you’ve enabled it via the switches on the back of the keyboard), and moves the media shortcuts to the navigation cluster.
Is there a way to have both the Menu key and the media controls enabled simultaneously? I use the Menu key (most often for accessing suggested spelling corrections when the caret is over a misspelled word), but would also like to us the media keys functionality.
I'm very intrigued.
I use two Das Keyboards (Cherry Brown and Blue, both with blank keys), and am quite happy. But I'm interested in the Cherry Clears, and especially interested in all those little customizations via the DIP switches.
I use Colemak, and I've been wondering what it would take to get Colemak implemented at the hardware level instead of software, as I do now. That, plus being interested in the Cherry Clears, is really tempting me.
It's too bad there's no super-cool version with blank keys, like my Das Ultimates, but I may need to try a Code keyboard anyway.
I use a Coolermaster QuickFire tenkeyless (no numeric keypad), it has fairly loud Cherry MX Blue mechanical keyswitchs.
It rocks. I used a Microsoft Ergonomic for years. Now I don't feel the need for the curved ergo style, I have grown to prefer the lower hand travel of a tenkeyless design, since the right hand moves 2000x times a day from mouse to keyboard.
I imagine those of old enough to remember the early micros and the first PCs, love the mechanical switches of the old IBMs. Younger programmers not so much (espec. the guy who said it caused pain - you're just not used to it or you're working too hard).
The best keyboard Ive ever used is on the old BBC Micros from Acorn in the UK - custom made, they used individual mechanical switches but somehow were much quieter than the IBM PC keyboards giving them a really nice feel.
Stateside, I found great keyboards made by NMB (I ended up buying several and still have a brand-new one boxed in storage for when the first one dies :-)
It might sound weird to some, but those old mechanical keyboards could be washed (something I would do once per year) leaving them as fresh and light as the first day you used it - can't do that anymore with modern keyboards. Dont you hate it when newer technology removes functionality?
If you made a natural/ergo/split version I would totally get one. I LOVE that you can disable or change the stupid caps lock key.
As many have already said, it would be great to see a version with blank keycaps. I have a Das at work and a green switch CM at home, and neither have keycaps. I can't say I've ever missed them.
If you're going with blanks then you ditch the backlighting and switch to pbt. Unless you actually like the shiny/greasy key look.
@Warren Postma – I have a CM QuickFire Rapid too, only mine has the Brown switches. It’s a wonderful keyboard: solid-feeling construction, good size keys, and Fn button for using media functions (although the CODE idea of putting the media functions on Ins/Del/etc. is great, and makes much more sense).
For those asking about a Mac version, just do what I did: swap the Windows and Alt key caps around, then go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys, and tell OS X what you've done.
Here’s a picture of my keyboard:
This sounds nice but you missed one very important feature as far as I'm concerned--there are no function keys on the left!
I'm typing this on an old OmniKey/Ultra. While it's still behaving well it's old enough to drive by now. Quiet also has it's merits.