austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I get a kick out of K

I've picked up some good keyboard habits with my PowerBook. The major one is that I don't eat over it, at least not outside particularly constraining circumstances, anymore, so that the number of bits of food crud and other debris getting into the keys is dramatically reduced. This feels particularly important to me since I don't know an easy way to lift up the keyboard to clean out underneath it. So I want to reduce how quickly debris accumulates so that the keys don't get jammed. Nevertheless, they do accumulate litter anyway, much of it loose hair or those unidentifiable globs of things which only appear between the T and the Y keys.

My first effort was based on using one of those cans of compressed air, the existence of which amuse my father because as he pointed out he had an air compressor, he could give me a jet of as much air as I wanted. I'm sure that he firmly believes he could provide enough air to blow the letters off my PowerBook keys (they're not painted on, they're little transparent panels in the solid keys so that the key lighting can shine through), but, really, this was fine by me. While I got that somewhat satisfying burst of dust coming out from the keys and a couple of strands of hair laying over the S key, I was left with a balky B key, prone to not registering my keystrokes and making me look like a worse typist. Since the textbook on which I'm working involves such things as the barotropic vorticity equation, this is an embarrassing glitch.

So I went at it with the great cat-vacuuming tool for keyboard cleaning: Post-it notes. This may not be the best way to clean a keyboard, but it feels satisfying to have the sticky end covered in debris and tossing that out. And there was progress, too. After this round my B key was no longer misbehaving. However, the C is instead. This does sound like a lateral move, I admit, since it is a lateral move, but let's look at the important thing: if I can shift this problem three keys over it'll be gone altogether.

Trivia: On 15 May 1918 the United States Post Office opened air mail service between Washington DC and New York City, using aircraft and pilots borrwed from the Army and Navy. Source: The Boeing 247: The First Modern Airliner, F Robert van der Linden.

Currently Reading: Waterloo: Day Of Battle, David Howarth.


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