On the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, I encountered this internet kiosk:


Nothing unusual? That’s what I thought, too. Until I took a closer look at the keyboard:


The first thing you’ll notice is the unusual keyboard layout, at least for us QWERTY people – presumably this is how they like their keyboards in France. But a worse thing is that the keyboard does not have a whole bunch of “useless” keys, such as say underscore (_). As it turns out, my email password contains an underscore.

So how do I sign into my email? I tried to find the underscore character on the web (Google: underscore), and copy-and-paste it into the password box. To make it more interesting, the keyboard does not have a CTRL key, so no CTRL+C. Also, no other conventional way of using the clipboard seems to work. Eventually, after I nearly gave up, I discovered that the kiosk app has clipboard features on the toolbar above the browser window, and I finally managed to type in my password.

Time to type my password: 6 minutes.


3 Comments to “French internet kiosk made my life difficult”

  1. Rafael says:

    6 minutes is a small price to pay to save the republic.

  2. Loïc says:

    Hello from France,

    The photo shows a special keyboard that I had never seen before !
    It may be a special one for tourists…

    In France, keyboards contains the same keys as the other languages, but at another places… like most of the rest of the world !


  3. Hello Loïc,

    Thanks for your perspective from across the ocean!

    You are right: normal French keyboards are very similar to US keyboards, except that the letter layout is AZERTY instead of QWERTY.

    So, not all French keyboards are strange, just this particular one. :-)


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