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Thursday, January 15, 2009

In The Dark

Hey! That’s an old Billy Squier song from the 80s! This could be a scrapbooking post, It could be a new kit name.

But it’s not.

If it became a kit, it would have a dark keyboard with gray numbers on it and a caricature of a struggling hunt and peck typist working at night. that’s me right now. I’m seriously thinking about some new desk lighting as an interim fix. But a new keyboard is a better fix!

Let’s backtrack to New Years Eve. In all of the bustle about the secret wedding, I never relayed this story, a doosie that still represents a source of anxiety for me!

First rule of keyboards is that they NEVER get thirsty. Bizarre a thought as it is to me, they never crave coffee either! I KNOW that. I have known that on three previous occasions when my keyboards have taken a big swig of coffee. They don’t survive it. It only takes a few drops and they drown, they drown a slow drunken death as the keys slowly cease to recognize each other and throw worse gibberish than I usually type on the page. Then there is nothing and nothing left to do but say a few last words and let it go.

I had buried a keyboard in March of 2006 after a cup of coffee got knocked into it by a misbehaving kitten. The kitten survived. You might have read her blog! :) This one wasn’t so dramatic and there’s not as much of a story. I’d taken a phone call about the New Years Eve gathering in the other room where my phone was charging. When I went back in to the computer room to continue working on “My Blue Heaven,” I reached over to hit the space key and wake the computer up and tipped the coffee cup onto the desk!

I didn’t get much on it, there was a little that you could see on the inside of the clear bottom, but it didn’t seem to be effecting it. I cleaned up the rest of the mess and tried to type. It typed, but not the keys I was striking. Then it slowly stopped doing anything. I used the mouse to power down.

David and I stopped at Best Buy on the way home. Or was it Circuit City? I always get those two mixed up. We found a cheap-plus-on-sale wireless keyboard. It’s a Microsoft, but it’s USB and says it’s Mac compatible.

Okay. In tenth grade I was French compatible too! I could say “Comment allez-vous?” and even understand the common replies. By the end of French ne, I could even mutter my way through a menu. I was not proficient, but I could manage in a conversation with someone who spoke the language if they were patient. That’s this keyboard. There is a delayed response while it looks up the commands in the Mac to Microsoft dictionary and carefully pronounces them. My Mac is patient. It figures out what the keyboard is telling it, usually.

But the dumb thing has missing buttons and buttons that do nothing. There is no Apple key, the command key that controls all of the keyboard shortcuts. To make up for that deficiency, Mac commands are done with the start key. There are two Mac keys on a Mac keyboard and there is one start key on the left side, and it’s in the wrong place! And I do know enough about Windows to know that the start key, when the computer is on, starts the shut down sequence, so as a hunt and peck typist, it makes me hesitate and freak out a bit when I go to “command S” to save and I’m hitting the key that turns everything off! Plus, the thing is dark gray with medium gray markings. I have the overhead lights on right now and my own shadow is getting in the way!

I’ve decided that this keyboard is a good backup for a couple or three years from now when, inevitably another cup of coffee will give a keyboard a sip, but I need a white-keyed, proper keys, Mac keyboard! I love my Windows mouse, but they can keep the keyboard!

But even then, I’m still thinking about desk lighting to save energy instead of the big overhead fixture! Plus, it’ll still help me see the white keys better too! ;)


seamhead gypsy said...

Nani, .....


It's where I bought all of my MBP hardware and software. In about 3 or 4 weeks it's also where I'm going to buy Katie's first imac.

And today Circuit City announced that they are going to liquidate the rest of their US stores. Going forward you shouldn't be confused!


Nani said...

Eeks! David tells me it was indeed Circuit City where we got the keyboard. (I figured that out when I saw the amount of spam got from them too! (grumble)

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