Saturday, August 22, 2009

Single flavor

Do crisp and smooth go together? The reason I ask is that those are two words I'd use to describe my new keyboard. It's a nice keyboard, if I'm qualified to say so, and I daresay I am qualified.

Back in spring, my laptop's keyboard started going on the fritz. Occasionally certain keys (notably E) wouldn't work. I would lock my computer and wait an hour or so until it started working again. Eventually, the entire top row just quit on me. I decided that it would make sense to remove some keys and get all the crumbs and paint and hair out. Which was good, until the little plastic levers under the keys started breaking. Unfortunately, superglue was somehow incapable of forming a bond between the broken pieces, which were practically microscopic anyhow. So I was stuck with a keyboard with no E, Caps Lock, or Backspace keys and a nonfunctional top row. After some thought, I removed the keyboard and cleaned the cable contacts with an eraser. After reassembly, the top row worked again, given I touched the conductive spot under where E should be. I was able to work like that for a while, and the Tab and D keys joined the others in an old Chinese takeout bowl. Eventually, though, 3, E, D, and C quit working altogether. I needed workarounds.

For slow applications, I was able to use the On-Screen Keyboard dealio that's built in to the Language Tools or whatever on Windows. But for something faster, I needed a full keyboard with no slow mouse movements. I set up a Remote Desktop connection across my LAN and used another PC across the house for all of my writing. But it was a shared PC, so I couldn't use it at will. I managed to find an old iBook, but it couldn't directly remote desktop to my laptop for some reason (I guess cos it was running 10.3.9). A VPN out to the Internet, back to my house, and across the LAN was the way to go. Superefficient. Running Remote Desktop over the new VPN worked like a charm, but I didn't want to do that forever, so I asked for my dad to buy me a new keyboard. Ok, so I did wimp out. Live with it.

It came in the mail yesterday, and I installed it as soon as I got it. And if I had to describe it in one word, I think I'd go with "tasty."