Thursday, May 8, 2014

Keyboard of Woe

It's been a slow blogging year, 2014 has. Part of that is because I've felt less need to blog; as I've commented before, when I have actual people in my day-to-day life to share my oh-so valuable reflections on comics and videogames with, my need to blog about such things incessantly diminishes accordingly. And last term was busy; I was teaching a new course on digital media for the first time, and actually working pretty constantly on school projects, which diminished time for most other things. But this term, I'm teaching a course I've already taught, and I'm... well, still working on school stuff, but the first thing has changed, so more blogging time, I imagine.

And for today's post/complaint, we have a return to an old faithful, the busted keyboard. Back way back, I had a fun couple of days when my keyboard's spacebar gave up the ghost. Now, years later, different keyboard, different problem: my letter 'l' has decided to self-destruct, leaving me with a little white nub to press in place of a key. In practice, it doesn't do a lot to change how I operate except it makes my laptop look rather trashy (I can live with that) and it interrupts my typing flow (I can't live with that at all). So I've already sent out emails to two laptop repair folk in the area. Were a keyboard for a home computer, the answer's simple enough. Even if you don't want to replace the keyboard--the obvious, easy solution--it's still relatively simple to swap in a new key. I've done it myself a few times. For a lap top... forget about it. The Alienware model in particular uses these keys with three detachable plastic bits, one of which is the actual key top. The other two fit into each other and connect it to the mainboard, and they are IMPOSSIBLE to work with. There's a Youtube video of a guy replacing the keys in seconds; it takes me hours. I have small hands. Really, really small hands. So small that my piano teacher told me that there's a ceiling to how far I could go because my hands just weren't up for those larger chords. But these stupid plastic bits make me feel as if I'm massaging my keyboard with giant hams stapled to each appendage. And these are very flimsy plastic bits. They'll snap off if you look at them sideways, and then they're pretty much ruined. It's the worst.

The big concern here isn't how much it'll cost me to replace them--it probably shouldn't be that much, given that they're just little plastic bits--but how long I'll be without the laptop. I could be without it for a few days, but it's much easier to work with it. Hopefully, I'll get back those estimates soon, and we can all put this sad chapter in our lives behind us. 

Later Days. 

No comments: