Can anyone tell me what the difference is between, say, the English keyboard on a Power/MacBook and the French keyboard? The reason I ask is if I purchase a PB from someone in Montreal, should I inquire about the keyboard, or does it really matter at all?
Unless you type in French regularly, you are not going to want a French keyboard. The layout is quite different, mostly for the symbols, which will mess you up bigtime if you're used to an English keyboard. I worked in Montreal for a couple of years and hated every time I had to use a French keyboard. Nothing against French, I'm sure someone who used a French keyboard all their life would find it annoying to work on an English keyboard just the same.
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Unless you type in French regularly, you are not going to want a French keyboard.
This is a bit off-topic, but you've inspired a short venting episode.
I type in French regularly, though not primarily, and I still wouldn't want a French keyboard. After years of occasional use (usually on PCs) I've finally figured out where all the accents are, but I still find it a great big drag and still have to hunt for question marks, quotation marks, the @ sign and slashes. I find it much easier to type option+[e, i, u, `]+vowel to get accented characters. (Or option-c for ç. I don't think I know where that one is on a FR keyboard.)