Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

25 May 2020

Keyboards

Over the weekend I worked on my computer keyboards. My wife commented that one wasn't very clean... I took the top off and took it for a clean. I gave it a good vacuum and then washed it with plenty of soap and running water. I hung it out to dry on the washing line... While the top was drying I lifted the metal back plate out and fitted some foam under it to deaden the noise it makes.

Pleased with my success I took the top of another keyboard, same model, but different colour and repeated the process. Finally I had a look at the third model which had a damaged contact membrane. Turns out it's easy to repair with solve with metal containing paint, or a bit of carefully applied aluminium foil from the kitchen. I now have three functioning IBM keyboards again, two white and one blank (two in bi-colour pattern and one all white).

If one ignores the "QWERTY" part of the keyboard for now, I think I's stuck with that as it's what I've known since I was twelve... there are plenty of other things that could be changed.

  • Caps Lock: There are two problems with this key. The first is what use is it all? On my computer I have it mapped as compose key. The second problem is that it's a big key in a useful location.
  • F1-F12: The function keys sit there at the top of the keyboard and other than F1 which is useful for help and F12 which starts a console drop down for me, the rest are largely wasted. Does anyone remember what they do? and anyway different programs seem to do different things with them.
  • Does anyone use the OS (Windows) and menu keys? and are they actually useful? I have the right OS key mapped as another compose key.
  • Print Screen, Scroll Lock and Pause, any real use?
  • Numeric key pad. Very useful some of the time, but not always. I can see the point of the tenkeyless keyboard if you want to recover the space, but I'd want a matching option pad for some applications.
  • Why is there no USB hub built in? It seem obvious that you'd want to connect your mouse to your keyboard or one of the zillion devices that people now have.