Dusting Off An Old Friend

Yes, yes, yes, it’s a long long time since there’s been a new post here. We’ve been busy procrastinating to get ready for STEAM 5, which started on September 1.

Well, I was ready at about 2am that morning, and Miss Lelani was ready at… 4am. As per usual, we concentrated on builds and sorting textures and left the actual building of the gifts for the last possible moment. In our defense, we can only say that real life got a little interesting, in the Chinese curse sense of the word, and every weekend in August ended up getting co-opted by some bally attendance-required family event or even a minor crisis of some kind.

We did, eventually get the gifts finished – Lela’s was done and merely needed to be boxed up with an extra dance gadget, but mine was NOT finished, needed extensive AO tweaking, and the women’s version had to be copied over, resized, and subsequently tweaked for the female animations.

More about that later in a post about the gifts, this post, really, is really just an excuse to get acquainted with an old friend.

Specifically, this old-school beauty, which was the keyboard I/we used for years for blogging RL, and it was the keyboard with which we discovered new adventures and friends in Second Life.

Yes, it’s one of those Microsoft Natural Keyboards – with media buttons and a split design for comfort. I used it for years and only changed because I changed computer desks and wanted something with a little less of a high profile. I now use a newer MS Natural keyboard with a padded wrist rest – it also has media buttons, but no dedicated “sleep” button and no USB ports (the new computer has many, many USB ports).

One thing that I’d missed is the satisfying “clunka-chunka” sounds it makes when you’re typing at jamming speed. The newer keyboard is quieter, which is better when up late at night.

It almost replicates the legendary feel of an IBM Selectric, but without the machine-like click and the slight sense of power vibrating through the pickups. And it’s hollower sounding – the newer keyboard feels more like there’s softer plastic gel under the keys, while this one feels as if there’s actual springs in play under there.

I’m currently evaluating it to decide if it’s worth passing along to a friend in need, whose keyboard may have given up the ghost. It seems to work fine, although it needs a bit of light cleanup. I no longer have the disc for it but the driver and software should be available online.

Shall be doing a bit more blogging today before getting out of the house, just to load test this useful old beast – but I can confidently say that it appears good to go for passing along to my friend. Which means finding a suitable box and uninstalling the cat that is probably sleeping in it.

Dhughan Froobert is a Steampunk resident in Second Life who putters around with prims and takes pictures of same. He occasionally manifests as a small Victorian otter.

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