Hairy Keyboards

I love my original Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro. I got it before some PM at Microsoft went crazy and decided that arrow keys could be moved or the insert/del block could be switched around or even that function keys should be used for other things (see - though interestingly enough it seems that the current 2005 offering undid all of the changes and has gone back to the 1994 layout I love so much).

I try to look after it because I really don't want another keyboard... some of the keys are starting to fade and wear and the wrist rest has some grime that I can never seem to remove but otherwise it works great. Every so often I tip it upside down and shake it - amazed at the stuff that falls out. Other times I wipe the keyboard and keys over with a alcohol wipe to make sure I'm not breeding killer bugs on there. In extreme circumstances I've been known to blow some of that canned compressed air through the gaps.

In the last couple of weeks I've noticed the left shift key is sticking a bit. Occasionally I get capital letters or multi select when I don't want it and a quick tap on the left shift key seems to cure it. I've also noticed the space bar occasionally 'misses'. So while contemplating a bug today I prised up the corner of the shift key and almost passed out. It looked like a barber shop floor under there. The more keys I pulled up the worse it got so I decided to stop everything and have a keyboard spring clean. It took me about an hour but I removed every key, cleaned up underneath and then wiped down every key as I put it back on. Its pretty easy - just watch out for the space bar - there's a couple of small springs under there.

In order to really gross you out I took a picture of what I removed:

Hair from the keyboard... yuck

Feel free to go to Flickr and see the high res version. This is just the stuff I pulled out with my fingers - the rest I blew off with compressed air outside my house. I had no idea I was losing so much hair - you certainly can't see it from my head. There were all manner of hairs in there - a lot of eyebrows by the look of it as well as a good collection from all the dogs that have lived here or stayed her over the years. Thankfully there were none short and/or curly enough to be you know what (that killed everyone's comments didn't it!).

For those folk I chat to in IM or IRC I am sorry to say that this will NOT fix my terrible typing - I can't help it my brain is just faster then my fat fingers.


Published 19 September 2007 01:40 PM by zman


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