The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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1:00pm on Wednesday, 30th November, 2005:



I bought a new keyboard today. That's a computer keyboard, not an instrumental keyboard. Here it is:

It's an aluminium one with flat, laptop-style keys and a USB adaptor. I'll be using it for when I want to do anything serious on my laptiop (I'm sick of having to hit the fn key to access the numeric keyboard — it makes too many games awkward to play).

My main computer has a Gateway 2000 keyboard that must be 10 years old by now:

I love this keyboard! It has two sets of function keys, an extended arrows key pad with extra diagonal arrows (it implements them as two regular arrow presses), it's programmable (you can associate arbitrary sequences of characters to individual keys) and, best of all, it has no Windows key (I get a spare * instead). None of the keyboards in PC World came close to this one; the best they can manage are programmable hot keys (and my 1980s Apricot F10 could do that — and it had LCDs above the hot keys that I could write short labels to so as to describe the new functionality).

Unfortunately, as my Gateway 2000 is knocking on in years, it's getting so I'm going to have to replace it. Already the larger keys (space bar, right shift, enter) are operated by cunningly-positioned brass paper fasteners I put underneath the last time I took the keyboard apart to clean it. It needs another clean now, but I'm not sure everything's going to work again when I reassemble it afterwards.

It is still possible to buy new keyboards like this one, albeit not at PC World. Gateway itself does the Adesso Cad Pro 142 Professional Keyboard, but I don't know how I'd get one in the UK.

Oh, and the other good thing about my Gateway 2000 is that my wife hates it. Because of this, she prefers to use my younger daughter's PC when she wants to work from home, rather than mine. I'm therefore keen to ensure that when my Gateway 2000 finally does pack up, I get an equally weird one as a replacement.

Referenced by Mouse in the House.

Referenced by New Keyboard.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).