Flexible keyboards

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I’m a very happy user of the ‘old’ Sun Type 7 keyboard. Actually, I’m hoarding them, since, Oracle is going to kill the Sun hardware business and the Type 7 is one of those keyboards with all the keys in the right place. Control is left to ‘a’ and backspace is not in the top row, but one below, just above the ‘return’. In order words, I’m a sucker for keyboards and I’m really sensitive to their touch and feel and click and whatever there is to them.

Today I saw someone mysteriously put a silicone keyboard (it flappy and flexible, but no brand label to be seen) in my room and I had to try it. Actually, I’m trying to type on it for this blogentry. And, I’m not really a happy customer. Let me count the ways in which this board does not suck:

  • It’s very cool to fold away your keyboard when you’re not using it.
  • It has an uncounted number of shift keys. Well, there are four.
  • It’s featuring (sort of) in Die Hard IV.
  • It feels nostalgic.
  • You can spill stuff on it.
  • It fits in you backpack, or even the side pocket of your cargo pants.

Ok, that was the good stuff. Now for the less convenient stuff.

  • It stinks, as in, it has an awful plastic smell about it.
  • It stinks, because I’m actually trying to type less, because I’m prone to mistype on this thing a lot.
  • It gives me carpal tunnel syndrome with just using it for the past half hour.
  • It is very wobbly, even when I put it on a sturdy surface area.
  • Did I mention it has four shift keys? And two space keys, but you can still touch them without any reaction? It even has keys on them without any label at all.
  • It has windows keys on it, but more keyboards do, so I will not hold it against it.
  • It doesn’t have a brand label on it, so it must be crap. Otherwise, someone would put a label on it to say that they’re responsible for it. Probably they’re quite scared of someone suing them into oblivion.
  • The control key is broken.

So that’s it. Unless you want to look really cool and like you’re in Die Hard 4, get it. Otherwise, give your wrists and hands and the rest of your body some rest and stay away from it.

Coolness: 7/10 (hey, it’s in Die Hard Four) (but it does not glow in the dark)
Function: 3/10 (with working control: 4/10)
Weight: 8/10 (it’s very light)
Space: 10/10 (it takes up almost no space in your backpack. That’s good).
Total: 5/10. If function is not good, forget it.


Summer Cleaning

Today I finally got around to cleaning my desk at home. It had become cluttered with all sorts of stuff. You probably know, old bills, new bills, a used password list (only one of them has been sort of correct), leaflets received during a trade show, etc. I was wondering myself how much information about me, good and bad, could be derived from the assorted clutter.

It’s quite scary and a reminder for myself that I should be more careful when leaving stuff on my desk. I know all the risks of garbage dumpers and people coming in and slicing and dicing your personal life (been there, done that) but it takes some mental effort to be aware of your own clutter.

So, back to cleaning the desk and keeping it clean.