Notes: Commercial Gadgets, Keyboard Hygiene and Wear

I just cleaned my keyboard, and I admit, its been long overdue. All it took was a papertowel slightly damp to remove that slimy, salty (theoretically salty, from my sweat) feeling from the keyboard and rest guard. How often should someone clean their keyboard? How gross is it to use someone's machine for an email check to find the keyboard is as filthy as mine was.

How much wear should a keyboard endure before being thrown out? Before a laptop was my primary machine, I swapped keyboards regularly. The work machine has seen two CES shows, two Macworlds, and a bunch of other live events, not to mention all the day to day, and the A, S, D, F, L, C and E keys are all worn down to a dull grey metal where the fake silver was. I think those are the keys I hit with my finger nails. And I hit them hard when I'm stressed and typing to post first on a story. Another curiousity on my Macbook Pro is the fairly rare pitting you might read about on forums, on the wrist rest. I've only seen it in person on another Macbook once, and that was on Ryan Block's Macbook Pro. Could be the stress turning our sweat into acid.


I had dinner with some good people in tech last night, and we got to talking about geeks these days really being nowhere near as competent as geeks who founded the industry. That's a trend likely to continue as we go forward with the mainstreaming of computers, cellphones and internet usage. I can't help but feel we could help delay the situation by spending more time on tutorials, how tos, mod projects by people, and other general weirdness that the mega corps and mega trade shows aren't pushing. Sounds a lot more fun, to be honest. Not only for reading, but for writing, too.

I'm still up in Tahoe. Saturday night, we got a lot of snow, and I ended up shoveling out Chris's car to have it be recovered the next day by a great storm. The plows were late yesterday, so I ended up hiking a mile to the nearest mountain. At the lodge, I overheard that two skiiers were missing at Alpine Meadows. Surprisingly, the two kept calm, must have built a snow shelter, and were found three days later, miles away from the resort. Generally, high tech outdoor gear doesn't do crap for you when you're lost like that, but these guys could have used that new GPS SPOT gadget that can send help messages with location to 911. The rescue would have only taken a few hours. Then again, who goes to a fancy ski resort expecting to get lost on the map?


Wash it with soap and water. Rinse it out thoroughly. Pour rubbing alcohol (prefferably 99%) through the keys to remove the water. Then let it completely dry out for a few more minutes.