April 23rd, 2010

Keyboard Mania

It all started when Julie poured a glass of water into the keyboard drawer for the bedroom computer. Since this is the one that is primarily used by daisy_knotwise and Katie, it was a tragic event, because the keyboard became extremely unhappy (best read as "nonfunctional"). I'd attached an old keyboard that I scavenged from work to replace the not-very-good Acer keyboard that had come with the machine, so I went down to the basement and pulled out the Acer keyboard which got things back up and running.

While I was down there, I pulled out an old Northgate Omnikey Ultra keyboard that I'd bought, but never used, to gift to jeff_duntemann since he types a lot and is extraordinarily fond of Northgate Omnikeys. He was extremely pleased with this. I wasn't using it, because I really need a USB keyboard to work with the KVM switch in the office. And while I really like having function keys on the left, I've concluded that I've lost that battle.

Meanwhile, Gretchen heard that when I'd set samwinolj up with a new build-it-yourself computer a year or so ago, I'd grabbed a keyboard with backlit keys for him. Since Gretchen doesn't like the overhead lighting in the bedroom, she was rather fond of this idea. (To be honest, she was also fond of having a keyboard where the letters hadn't been worn off the keys from years of use as they'd been with my scavenged office keyboard that she'd been using.) So I promised her that I'd run by Fry's on my way to the Windycon meeting tonight and pick up a backlit keyboard for her.

The construction on I-355 left me running late, but there was still time to run into Fry's and hit the keyboard aisle. (Mysteriously, I also ended up with the Wii version of the "Bolt" game to give to Katie at some future date when she's tired of "Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom".) I quickly found the keyboard I was looking for, but stopped to check out the other keyboards in the aisle, as I discovered that there were a lot of backlit keyboards now. None looked better or cheaper than the one that I'd already grabbed though.

And then I saw the clicky keyboard. The SIIG USB keyboard with the mechanical keyswitches that -- although it didn't have left-hand function keys like the Omnikey -- felt an awful lot like the old keyboards that I remembered.

So I bought it. And I'm trying it out now.

So far, so good, although I'm having to get used to the typing position, as the keyboard is a little flat for my taste. I may put lifts under the keyboard supports on the back. We'll see.