Wednesday, November 28, 2012

keyboard drama

I may, at some point, have mentioned that my computer keyboard was dirty and had sticky keys. In the past couple of weeks I've accidentally typed more periods and J's than anyone could ever need. You should see the bill, though I hope to be able to talk to the letter company about the issue.

You may not remember that I griped about it on Facebook, but I did. A friend commented that keyboards are dishwasher safe. To me that sounds within the realm of possibility. I don't know a lot about computers, like really, though I can manage. You should see my repeated daily attempts to get the damn thing to accept that there is wifi out there for it and acquiring a network address can't really be that hard. But then I don't know what the hell a network address is beyond putting the meanings of the words together and making a guess.

I don't have a dishwasher, so of course I wasn't going that route, and I wasn't entirely sure that she didn't suggest such as a bit of a joke. I mentioned that it doesn't sound impossible that a keyboard could be dishwasher safe, but it also sounds like kind of a load of bullshit.

Another friend soon chimed in seconding the safety of the process as I was googling. I saw some suggestions that it could be okay and other general keyboard cleaning suggestions.

My plan, finally, was to remove the keycaps and wash them separately while hosing down the surface of the keyboard beneath them. I have to stop here and mention how truly dirty this damn thing was. I know the sort of group this computer came from, but I don't know which department. Either way, the amount of soft drink remains and hair under the keycaps was just short of revolting. Thankfully, the amount of sugar in soft drinks makes it easily removable with hot water, and the hair washed away alongside the drink, so it seemed as though we were in good shape.

The keycaps dried quickly enough, but the keyboard wanted to be drippy, and I should probably at least have given it a truly reasonable amount of time to dry, but I didn't do that. I did however plug it in too soon and cause something to happen that I can't now explain. Apparently holding down certain keys for five seconds causes the computer to go into some mode that then makes nothing work except an almost ominous beeping sound. It did give me a message on the screen possibly explaining what was happening, but I ignored it. Looking  back . . .

Knowing what my likely culprit was, water still in keyboard due to impatience on my part, I unplugged it and decided to take it apart. Surely I could dry it if I was careful. Most assuredly, I thought.

I was surprised at how little there is inside a keyboard. I don't suppose I'm as surprised with a few days behind me to think about it. I'm also still a bit amazed at human ingenuity and technical achievement. We can be pretty awesome when we want to.

None of that really matters in the end if you've destroyed your keyboard. I can't say that the water didn't do it because it's just as likely that I messed it all up by taking it apart to dry it. I did get it dry, but it still doesn't work.

And you can still operate some things without a keyboard. If you're still signed into sites you can visit, but Facebook with commenting isn't fun for any of us. Youtube with the videos they offer you is pop music that I reject by not listening to commercial radio and by using the search option. Without the internet you're left with Minesweeper unless your mouse also sorta sucks and free cell. I can only take so many of those cards before I flip my shit the rest of the way.

There is yet another keyboard, and I'm once again able to interact with the world using words. Okay, I've got my rather intelligent phone, but seriously, give me the keyboard and big screen so my head doesn't explode. I actually love my phone quite a bit, and more than that I appreciate that tiny, pocket sized computer. But it isn't the same sometimes.

Currently, the keyboard I'm using is from the much older computer, the one Momma and I bought when I first worked at the pub about eight years ago. That computer has been through some issues and is currently refusing to so much as turn on. It's at Momma's waiting for one of us to take the time to remove the hard drive and get someone to help us remove from it what we want.And now, were it to suddenly want to work, there is no keyboard to help tell it what to do.

Such is life, I suppose.

And now I'm looking at this keyboard and realizing how dirty it is. The keycaps are gray, or were gray, though there's a certain brown about them all now. The ones that get tapped the most are, or appear to be, clean on the top. I'm starting to think about . . .

No, seriously, if I just stick to the caps and don't let any water get near the base. And I can do it tomorrow, because I won't be near the computer again till Friday evening so that they will definitely be dry . . . Or I can get really high and get qtips and alcohol and get anal retentive.

Speaking of which, I had no idea Colorado was about to legalize marijuana. Did they keep that quiet to avoid it blowing up their faces, or am I just that out of it? I was probably smoking the day that came up in my feed reader.