Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Do you "get personal" with your keyboard?

I'm now about 3 or so months into owning my "new" Windows 8 laptop computer. I stayed with HP, and not the "WalMart" garden variety machine, but one with a bit more horsepower and a few more options.  

My former laptop died on a Friday, leaving me a weekend without (most of) my e-mail accounts, numbering in the 20's,  and without many of my familiar daily routines.  By Sunday we'd determined that the old machine needed a hard drive and ordered one (none available locally, go figure-but that's another whole blog entry....) and found that 320 gigs wasn't big enough for the laptop's needs!  Why?  Because the DVD's that we're all supposed to make when the laptop is new contained not only the operating system and apps, but the BLANK SPACE as well! 

As the saga pushed on, an overnighted set of original HP discs worked great for that older laptop, and it's running FINE while I'm on the newer windows 8 box now which I was forced to buy that fateful weekend because I couldn't go without my trusty connection to the world!  

For the most part, I'm not complaining about windows-8.  I've learned enough for my own power-user daily tasks, and it works.  This is the first box I've not even customized with different desktop pictures, screensaver, and color scheme.  It just works, so why mess with it? Windows-8 is not really a problem to me.

But then.....there's the keyboard.  A cold, no-personality keyboard, complete with full numeric pad.  Maybe that's where I go wrong.  I've not had a numeric keypad in the past, nor have I needed it  Maybe that's the beginning of my problem.

I'm less accurate in typing since the new PC.  The "!" (exclamation point) often shows up as the numeral "1" frequently when I write  because I don't apparently reach the shift properly.  This didn't happen on the old keyboard!  I now fail to punch the proper key for "exclamation" because the small "home" feel of the F and J on the ol' qwerty is quirky.  

I miss my old keyboard. I miss my old laptop.  But, after moving all my apps and my life to this latest, greatest box, going back to the older laptop just to get my comfortable keys back and transferring all the content now residing on this modern marvel is just not going to happen.  Restoration of my content to the new box took time, and I'm not doing THAT again, either!

I never realized how much I loved the feel of the old keyboard until I reviewed an e-mail between me and our FCC attorney today. Two laptops ago I had a box that would lose the "O" key after much use, and the "I" key as well. It made living in Ionia, Michigan pretty tough. But, the keyboard on the laptop before this, (the one with the hard-drive failure) had a keyboard that fit me perfectly and has never needed  key replacement! 

I write copy for a living for our radio station, and I've made more errors than ever in my typing  on this new laptop.  Sure, these keys light at night, but that's probably to make up for the fact that you can't really "feel" where you are and what used to be referred-to as "touch typing" is not as easy with keys that more resemble a chicklet than a key! 

I'd love to be more intimate with my keyboard. Oh, to know again that when I type, I can do it without WATCHING my hands or the lighted keys,  and no...I have no health, motor, or thinking issues that I know-of which cause the problem. It's the keyboard!  

So, if you get e-mails or read postings anywhere on the internet from me, and you see a sentence ending with a "1", it probably means I'm being demonstrative or heavily emphasizing my point while writing.  It was meant to be one of these: "!"

I want my old keyboard back1   New is not necessarily better1  Maybe I should have kept the old Magnavox Videowriter unit I owned in the 1980's1  Or, maybe even my dad's typewriter1

Well, back to typing, oops....."Keyboarding" class for those of us in the "newer is not necessarily better" category1

At least it's a "1" and not something odd like a "~"