3.12.2008

Keys to Happiness

I finally did it.

I killed my keyboard. (You bastard!)

Maybe it was my furious nearsighted banging that did it. Although that technically ended a while ago when I had my eyes straightened out via LASIK.

Maybe it was the fact that I’d spilled more than was probably tolerable in it. Liquid and crumbs. I’m a multi-tasker, don’t you know.

Maybe it was my using a chopstick to clean the aforementioned crumbs out of the keyboard.

Probably all of the above.

So when the zero/right apostrophe key literally stuck to my finger (thanks to the Lipton Diet Brisk Spill of Last Week), popping off to leave only the nubbin of the gizmo, I knew it was time for a replacement.

Off to Amazon.

Where I got me one of them fancy-pants wireless setups, with the mouse and keyboard and the little homing device. Not that my desk and computer stuff are gargantuan or anything remotely approaching that size, but it’s really nice not to have to deal with the rat’s nest of wires everywhere.

Chalk up one for modern technology.

However, given my propensity for not totally grasping the dimensions/nuances of things before I purchase them (see: that bloody Who poster), I failed to notice that the keyboard was not a standard set up. It’s a curved “ergonomic” thing, with a gully running straight down the middle of the keys.

WTF?

Here -- see for yourself:

Now, I’m not a formally trained typist. Never took typing as an elective back in high school. Which caused much stress and furious practicing (with a stopwatch, no less) when I had to pass a timed typing test in order to even be admitted into Reporting 201 in college -- a class I was required to take as part of my major. And those were the days when I toiled on an IBM selectric in class and my own portable machine for assignments. Yes, children, there was a time before word processors and computers. And I went through Journalism school in that prehistoric era. Have the X-acto knife scars to show it, too.

Look at this behemoth thing -- the original laptop. It had a wicked hum when you turned it on and had to be put on a really solid surface because it had a tendency to overheat. When I lived in the sorority house, I had to work downstairs even in the wee small hours of the morning (which is when I did my best work), away from the day rooms and sleeping porches because it was so damn loud. Plus I used to swear a lot (shocking, I know) when typing because I was always misspelling something and having to back up and go in with the little white-out strips. Not to mention the rubber cement messes I was always making when I had to do layouts and mockups. But that’s another trip down memory lane for another day.

Anyhoo... my new keyboard. Taking some getting used to. I like the wireless aspect, as I can do the office recline, prop my feet up on the desk and still type easily. And the rat’s nest. Gone. Hoo-frickin-ray. But I'm not all that proficient with the typing yet -- the gully thing is totally throwing me off. And it's a challenge when typing in the dark, which I am wont to do when dancing with Insomnia -- I have to slow down and actually get up close and personal with the keys to get back on track.

However, when I look at the typographical dinosaurs on which I once worked and compare them to the slick set-ups I’m using now -- damn, we have come a long way baby.

Nice to know even an old pedigreed pooch like myself can learn some new tech tricks.

5 comments:

Sherrie said...

I wonder how long it will take you to get used to the delta in your keyboard...

I had one of those very typewriters junior/senior year of high school, and it literally drove me to tears on several occasions. I vividly remember one weekend as I toiled away on a research paper on Kurt Vonnegut, my brother finally came in my room to make sure I was ok- the wailing, pounding and gnashing of teeth as I tried to whip out a 15 page paper (with footnotes!)on that ancient thing had driven me over the edge! Thank goodness things are MUCH easier now.

Anne Bradshaw said...

I love the idea of a mouse without wires. I'm forever getting mine tangled. Thanks for the post. Very interesting.

SusanD said...

Oh Citizen Jane! You'll love the wireless, but I wish you luck with the ergonomic thing. I can NOT function with those. I tried to get used to one and had to throw it away.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Once you get used to it, it rocks! It's so much more comfortable.

Robin said...

I learned to type on a big old monster. But I came of age as a writer in the computer era, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. More often than not when I sit down to write, I get sucked into a mindless internet spiral that started as an innocent stop by dictionary.com. I'm certain that spell check has created a generation of horrid spellers. And I wondering if having all the information in the world only two clicks away isn't bad for the imagination somehow. I'm making the switch to a typewriter in order to get some actual writing done.