UK computer users will be well aware of the irritation of working on a computer which has a United Kingdom layout keyboard, but is configured for United States layout in the operating system.

Specifically, the locations of " and @ are reversed. This means if you try to type @, you will get ", and vice-versa. This simple configuration error is extremely common on pre-installed systems sold in the UK, since manufacturers rarely bother to change the locale to United Kingdom.

With that in mind, may I offer this sage piece of advice for manufacturers in order to avoid irritating the hell out of their UK customers:


About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

5 responses to “Americanism”

  1. Gerard Sweeney says :

    Back in our 98 and NT4 workstation/server days, our IT dept changed our domain password to a super-duper-ultra-strong one with @s and other random characters – and then spent the next few hours saying we were typing the password in wrongly.
    Fun times.

  2. Kristof Mattei says :

    Same here in Belgium. They sometimes forget to set it to AZERTY. I’ve got the perfect solution. I don’t buy Belgium keyboards, nor UK. Always US with a horizontal return.

    Problem solved. I think it’s idiotic to use a different keyboard (UK) for 99% the same language…

  3. Kristof Mattei says :

    Nah, I have a US keyboard and live in Belgium. No French characters… No Euro sign.

    But the alt code does the trick :P

    • AngryTechnician says :

      Maybe I should just switch the whole school to ergonomic DVORAK and be done with it. Then the factory-shipped config would always be wrong – no ambiguity!

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