July 30, 2021

A fresh keyboard.

How long do you put up with an old keyboard before you face reality and order a new one? I've seen keyboards fail before. It's always one key or 2 or 3 keys that get balky and then don't work at all. I once had a keyboard that failed beginning with the space bar. You face up to that really quickly. Another time, the "u" failed. That too is hard to work around. But this time it was the square brackets. For months, I have been working around the lack of square brackets keys. I need them whenever I'm shortening quotes and must supplement words or adjust capital letters. But what I've been doing is going to another document and cutting brackets out then pasting them into the new document. It's absurd how many times I have done this before taking 2 minutes to order a new keyboard. Now, the keyboard is here and I can handle quotes with ease once again. Let me try:

Human meat was typically prepared two ways: roasted or boiled.... [B]odies [were cut] into quarters with a bamboo knife, severing the head and the limbs from the trunk.... "The head is first carefully shaved . . . then boiled, as are the intestines, in ceramic cooking pots. Regarding the meat proper and the internal organs, they are placed on a large wooden grill under which a fire is lit.... [T]he meat... is divided among all those present. Whatever is not eaten on the spot is set aside in the women’s baskets and used as [food] the next day. As far as the bones are concerned, they are broken and their marrow, of which the women are particularly fond, is sucked."

That quote, like the quote in the post 5 posts down, is from the book I'm reading David Grann's "The Lost City of Z."


Ann Althouse said...

Iain writes:

"Keyboards fail even faster if you spill coffee in 'em. You order a new one really fast, using your phone, of course. Or your spouse's machine."

Ann Althouse said...

George writes:

"You can use ascii codes to write a letter when one key is broken. Alt-91 and Alt-93 are square brackets. U is Alt 85 and u is Alt-117. (hold the alt key and type the numbers use the number pad, then release the alt-key). Its easier for me to use alt-21 to write § and alt-20 to write ¶, especially in emails."

This is good to know, but it's also good to know that when the keyboard starts failing to order a new one without delay.

Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

"Interesting choice in 'next' book. I look forward to your comments on it.

"I've got a 6 year old laptop- ancient in computer years and I know I need to get a new one this year. The keyboard is so worn, there are 5 keys without any paint on them at all. (A, S, D, W, E, N) and 3 more missing a chunk of paint (Space Bar, C, K). K? Well...my name includes a 'K' so there's that. I also have a hiccup key, which is the 'T'. From day one it has an occasional hiccup where when I hit the 't' the cursor will jump back 3 lines or so, and start writing in the middle of some other line, in some other word. If I don't catch it, it can be a mess on a long written page looking for where the time travel key took my writing.

"Apple could never figure it out and tried to make it seem like it was me. But it's not me. I know it's not me because the voices tell me so.

"Just kidding. There's only one voice. And it's telling me now that it's happy hour somewhere."

I'll say:

The choice of book was because my son Chris recommended it specifically for me. He recommended 2 books by that author. The other was "The White Darkness," which I've already read.

Ann Althouse said...

Mary writes:

"How about a fresh trackpad! My MacBook Pro has been so difficult to work on lately, the trackpad has difficulties with click and select, rather I should say, right click and select so that you can select a portion of text and not a whole sentence or paragraph. It’s set to “tap to click” but that doesn’t solve the problem of selecting a unique selection of text where the trackpad itself, physically is not responding well.
I need a new laptop but for now I’m going to use my husband’s older one which is one year newer than my current one. Later on I’ll be dishing out 3k for a new laptop, painful but necessary.
I understand your workaround because I’ve been doing it as well, I just hook up my laptop to my monitor and keyboard and everything is fine. But it’s not really a solution, it’s a workaround. Anyways, I’m glad you have a new keyboard! Btw I use an old Logitech solar powered keyboard (wireless) and it’s worked great for many years!
Oh and how this post worked into cannibalism is beyond me lol, you’re a funny girl/woman/gal/lady"

I'll say:

I try to avoid trackpads. So awkward compared to a mouse, which is what I use nearly all the time. So I've never had a trackpad that failed. Even when I travel and have to switch from my desktop to my laptop, I bring a mouse!

Ann Althouse said...

Skeptical Voter writes:

"A bad keyboard on a laptop is an expensive problem. A bad keyboard with a desk top computer is maybe a fifty dollar problem, depending upon your choice of keyboard.

"I’m a Windows guy and for quite a while I was using Microsoft’s wireless keyboards with my desktop. When a fairly new one (six or seven months old) went south, I switched brands and bought a Logitech keyboard. So far so good. I do copy or cut and paste a lot of stuff, so I was amused to see that the lettering on the “ctrl” and “c” keys tends to wear off before the keyboard dies. Like another of your commenters I know that spilling liquids on a keyboard is a good way to commit “keyboardcide”. I think you can ask both of us how we know."

I'll say:

I eat and drink around my keyboard all the time. I really think what kills my keyboards -- they last a few years -- is crumbs. I think crumbs find their way down under a key and one key fails. Maybe I'll experiment with taking apart my most recently deceased keyboard and see what I can find.

As for letter wearing away... on my old keyboard, used a lot, for years, not one letter is worn away even slightly. Points to Apple for its keyboard paint.

Ann Althouse said...

Ernest writes:

"The juxtaposition of “cannibals” and “typing” has to be one of the more unusual pair of tags in your blog’s history!

"Concerning touchpads vs mouses: I hate using my laptop’s touchpad and, so, like you Ann, I bring a mouse (and a wrist rest and mouse pad) with me when traveling."

I'll add:

Some day, I'll go through all my 60,000+ posts and choose and rank the 100 best tag combinations.

Ann Althouse said...

Tom T. writes about a pretty interesting sounding book:

"Regarding the broken keyboard, I commend you to the novel "Ella Minnow Pea." It is set on a fictitious island that is home to a statue of the supposed creator of the sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." As the book progresses, tiles containing individual letters start to fall from the inscription beneath the statue, and as each one goes, the island's government bans that letter's use from written or spoken communication. The novel itself is written in the form of personal letters back and forth between characters, who themselves must write using only the reduced alphabet."


Ann Althouse said...

Gordon writes:

"I visited the Vessel in 2019. It quickly became apparent that climbing the Vessel was fruitless.

"They told me there was a participation award on the top level. I chose not."

Ann Althouse said...

Joel writes:

"In the 37 years since I moved from typewriters to computers, I’ve never had a keyboard half as good—judging only by typos—as my old IBM Selectric."

I'll say:

Yes, those felt great. Never had one at home, though. Who did? Used one in the office and really felt the envy. At home I had a Smith Corona electric typewriter. Taught myself to touch type in the 1970s using a Smith Corona manual typewriter. That was not easy!

Ann Althouse said...

Michelle writes:

"Might I recommend one from a company called Qwerkywriter? (Here.) I have one and my
husband does as well. Quite apart from working very well -- mine's gone
on for three years now, no trouble at all -- they are just awesomely
cool. I see they have pastel colors now, but I prefer the original black