Das Keyboard


Some people make a lot of fuss about keyboards.

For instance, only today I had lunch with Nuno and Melo, and a good while was spent discussing Das Keyboard II and whether or not you’d be shot by using that clacking anomaly in an open space office (or something along those lines – there may have been some mention of attaining geek nirvana).

Me, I solved any personal issues I had with computer keyboards long ago, around the time that I had to mentally switch between US and Portuguese layouts on funky HP X terminals.

Over the years, it’s gotten to the point where I practically never look at the keys except to deal with laptop peculiarities (and even then, I’ve got most of the modern Toshiba and Dell variants down pat, although the asinine Fn combinations on my D410 still require the odd pause).

Anyway, about keyboards – the ether has been abuzz with moronic considerations regarding the new Apple keyboards, and that is just the thing to take a further step on the rather circuitous way to the main point of this post:

Some people really ought to get a life. What use is it to go on and on about the reasons for the choices Apple makes about where the Exposé hotkey should go, raving about it like a bunch of wise shamans trying to divine the future from reading the entrails of a goat?

Does it actually mean anything? Solve anything? Make any sort of difference?

Like sheep high on ADD meds, people flocked around and baa’d, sorry, blogged about the recent Apple announcements until the pills wore off and their attention drifted towards another shiny iPhone crack rumor (although a few are latching on to the Intel sticker debacle, a dumb topic if I ever saw one).

It never changes, and it’s probably the most irritating thing about being a Mac user these days – there are very little (if any) original opinions out there, and anything tends to be rumored about, re-quoted and misinterpreted six ways from Sunday with no (or negative) practical results.

Anyway, keyboards.

And Macs, and the whole Apple thing, and Summer, and my being somewhat fed up with the Internet as a whole.

How’s all of that tied together, you wonder?

I’m getting there, don’t fret.

Let’s pick up ADD, which is also a factor.

One of the reasons I started posting links was that I wanted to see what happened to my readership over an extended period of time – especially during the Summer season, when traffic usually decreases significantly.

And guess what – I now have more visitors and a larger RSS readership than ever before, with the probable exception of the months surrounding Apple’s switch to Intel.

Which makes me wonder if ADD is taking over the world or something. After all, the tendency towards short, (almost adolescently) witty posts in tech blogs isn’t new, and you’ll find similarly brainy commentary just under the comments form in any of them (which, incidentally, is why my links don’t allow for comments).

All in all, the whole thing is becoming somewhat of a mess, with nary a speck of thoughtfully written prose or useful intelligence (in the information sense, although I dare say the other would apply as well) in most articles I come across.

And I’m well on my way to becoming part of the problem.

So before the Internet turns my brains to mush, I decided to buck that trend and do what most people seem unable to do these days: devote time, energy and patience to creative skills that require study, planning and commitment, and may actually mean something in one’s life.

I’ve been writing all my adult life (and then some), so I had to find other stuff to do. I will eventually be trying my hand at doing it in Mandarin, but that’s not the point here.

No, the point is about keyboards and keys. Unmarked ones. But something far more demanding than your average computer keyboard – yes, even more demanding than Das Keyboard II.

Edging towards the point (bear with me, you’re nearly there), last year we decided that there wouldn’t be any fancy, expensive technological gadgets in the house during 2007.

And there aren’t.

I’m not going to throw away any more cash on computers, phones or anything of the sort, unless something breaks.

No, this year there’s just the piano.

To cut a very long story short, I had a few years of music school right up to entering college (which royally screwed up any artistic tendencies I might have) and my wife has always wanted to learn how to play – so this year it was her birthday present.

It arrived today, so I’m going to try my hand at it over the next few… Years, I’d say.

It will take me a few months to get back to something approaching a decent level of proficiency, and then I’ll dig around for those Bach arrangements I stuffed in a cardboard box over fifteen years ago.

Being able to play those again is something worth investing time in.

So y’all can go and have fun on that there Internet now.

Just don’t take Apple rumors from strangers.