While I was ordering a couple of replacement hard drives, I went ahead and ordered a new keyboard. The existing keyboard, purchased in 2003 or so, was still doing its job. But it had, at some point, picked up an odor that even I could smell. Plus, and I will grant that this reason is more frivolous, it was beige and all of my computers have since switched to black.

You never realize how much you’ve gotten used to a keyboard until it’s gone. All of the little things you never noticed. Oddly, this is true even when you regularly switch between keyboards. I have no problem going from laptop to desktop, despite the very different computer configurations. But I guess when I am sitting at the desk, my mind has incorporated one keyboard over another.

So what are the differences? This keyboard has shorter keys. This is a shame. It’s one of the things I prefer about desktops over laptops. The tall keys. I was about to say that it makes typing easier – and it does – though I have gotten so used to the laptop I think I can switch back and forth between modes. But when I in desktop mode, I am expecting taller keys. This has resulted in an unusual number of typos. The biggest ongoing issue is for some reason my failing to correctly tap the letter “L.” The L key works fine, but for some reason I seem to suddenly be missing.

This new keyboard is also much, much quieter. I am not sure if the old keyboard simply got louder over time or if it was just a louder keyboard (this may be related to the whole height thing). I have been told, by a large number of people, that I am the loudest typist that they have ever met. My musician friend Clint actually says I am also the most rhythmic typist he has ever met. I think that’s a good thing. I seem to have gotten used to it. The only key that makes any notable noise is the spacebar, which means that the noise comes in a non-rhythmic fashion.

The biggest issue, however, is the fact that the new keyboard has a sightly different layout. They almost always do, and I consider it frustrating. This has a problem that is more severe, however. Where I am used to the Scroll Lock key being, now resides a “sleep” key. I don’t like sleep keys to begin with, but definitely not where the Scroll Lock is supposed to be. Now, some of you may not even know what the Scroll Lock is. It’s one of the least-used keys on the keyboard. Which is why KVM switches (which allow you to use a single keyboard/monitor/mouse for multiple computers) use it to switch machines. So, without thinking, I tap what I think is the Scroll Lock key in order to switch machines, and the next thing I know the computer I am on is going to sleep.

This will pass with time, no doubt. Maybe I’ll even be able to remap the key. But even if not, I’ll get used to it soon enough. I remember back in the old days how much I absolutely hated, hated, hated the double-decker Enter key. I still don’t prefer them, but it didn’t even occur to me to look for a keyboard without it.

The last thing is that my wrist hurts typing this. I am really hoping that’s temporary.

Category: Server Room

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2 Responses to New Keyboard Bues

  1. Kirk says:

    Your keyboard had an odor? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Did you get peanut butter all over the keys or something? (My father’s TV remote is covered in food. It’s so bad I have trouble telling which buttons are which.)

    My eight-year old computer doesn’t have enough USB ports for me to always use my good keyboard, so I often resort to my old clackity-clack one. I like the newer one a lot better. Lack of usb ports is one of the many reasons I’m thinking of building myself a new computer.

    (Plus, my current computer takes 10-15 minutes to boot up. That’s not normal, is it?)

  2. trumwill says:

    I think it’s an accumulation of sweat. It’s more a sweat smell than any sort of food smell.

    Booting times vary, but shouldn’t really go above five minutes from button-press to button click.

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