Pounded To Death

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018-11-24 09:00:00-05:00 No comments

I go through keyboards the way other people go through pencils. A few years back, I bought the Das Keyboard 4 and quite liked it, save for the fact that it is obnoxiously difficult to keep clean. It also suffered from something common to keyboards that see a lot of action: the keycaps became worn down smooth, to the point where my fingers would routinely slip and hit neighboring keys. Me and my manual-typewriter-trained habits have killed many a keyboard, I fear.

But the real problem was, again, dirt. The only way to really clean the thing off was to tediously pry off every single keycap and clean under it that way, a process that could take half a morning. Then a friend of mine introduced me to one of the late-model Logitech keyboards, where the keys and keyswitch mechanisms are elevated from the surface of the keyboard. Cleaning underneath is a whole lot less complicated; all you have to do is run a brush between the keys, and everything comes out the side. The keys also had individual LED illumination!

It was a wonderful experience, for about ... two months.

Then one of the keys broke clean off.

The key in question was the Ctrl key on the extreme lower-left-hand side of the keyboard. I suspect this was because I tend to position a hand right at that key and hit it not from the center, but from the edge or side, causing it to twist slightly in its socket. After a little too much such twisting, the keycap broke off, with the stem of the keycap still stuck in the socket. I tried prying the broken stem out of the socket, and ended up mangling the socket such that the switch mechanism no longer worked.

I now had a glow-in-the-dark paperweight, and I had to go back to the Das Keyboard 4 in the interim.

Now, I have in front of me a newer Logitech model, albeit with the same basic key mechanism. I'm hoping whatever happened was a fluke, and I'm trying to rack back my typing strength slightly to make up for it. But if I have another busted Ctrl key, I think I'm going to call it quits with this particular variety of keyboard and just go back to something I know can take a beating.

Tags: technology