It was with great excitement that I bought a second-hand laptop on ebay the other day. It cost me around €200 which is about $AU500 (a slight exageration). It arrived in the post after only a short delay (unexpected in Italy) and in perfect condition excepting that the battery doesn't hold much charge (typical for a second-hand laptop).
Now I've been using internet café's for a while now, so I knew it had to be an improvement over their non-working-spacebar keyboards, but still, getting familiar with the Italian keyboard layout is going to take a little while. As you might be able to tell, this layout gives me easy access to symbols like the Euro (€), accented characters, (èéòàù) and some funky characters I am not yet entirely familiar with (ç§). All well and good but this layout completely screws up anyone trying to do some programming, or even simple blogging, because many of the relevant keys have been shuffled around the keyboard into obscure locations. This is only made worse by the fact that this is a laptop keyboard so, along with the new (to me) 'alt gr' modifier key, I also have to contend with the dreaded 'Fn' key. Now some keys have four possible outputs depending upon the combination of keys pressed. eg: (òç@+).
The good news (after that long rant) is that I now have my own dedicated laptop to work off so, so no more territorial disputes with Linda over who gets to use my other laptop, and no more sliding into dodgy internet café's to write off job applications or a blog entry.