Friday, September 28, 2007

Vicious Typing Means a New Computer

Like most people in politics or the media I am totally reliant on my laptop computer. Despite various people trying to wean me off Sony Viaos and telling me how wonderful Apple Macs are, I’m a creature of habit, and like to stick to what I know. I’ve had my current laptop for a year, but I know I should get a new one. How do I know? Because I can no longer see the letters on the keyboard. I was introduced to typing at the age of ten when my father bought me an old iron typewriter from Cambridge market. I spent hours as a teenager bashing out football league tables with two fingers – hitting the letter keys for all they were worth. The trouble is, I still type as if I’m using an iron typewriter. I may seem a gentle sort, but when I type I can be vicious.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

you couldn't just buy a new keyboard? I dont know about the Sony's, but you can replace the keyboard on MacBookPro's quite happily...

canvas said...

I have always found AppleMacs to be totally incompatible with the internet - always crashing and so many websites don't work properly on Apple! Only good for graphics, design and photography etc.

Stick to what you know! Read the latest laptop reviews and get the most bang for your buck! :)

Daily Referendum said...

How much memory does that Underwood have. Is dual core?

Harold said...

Get yourself a steampunk laptop.

Desperate Dan said...

I've always felt laptops should have a sound option that supplied the loud clattering noise of an iron typewriter. A bit like the website that provides Sounds Like a Phone rintones.

Peter North said...

Iain,

I can do you a good deal on a new Sony SZ61 - www.sonystyle.co.uk/SZ

Anonymous said...

this is fascinating.

dan said...

dont go mac, overpriced snob objects. (i know, i work with them everyday)

Anonymous said...

Wash your hands after applying your aftershave.
It’s the alcohol which obliterates the letters on the keys!

Ed said...

A whole year old!?

If you can't remember where the keys are by now then you really must try Mavis Beacon or whatever her name is.

[That said, I know of a poverty-stricken minor league blogger who does know where the keys are nad would just lurve your old machine ;-) ]

eric the fish said...

Do you bash the keys so hard because, like so many who comment here, you're always so very cross?

Roger Thornhill said...

canvas - hint: take it out of the box first. Crashing. Nonsense. Since when did Unix crash on a regular basis?

dan - work in notwork support?

The Hitch said...

Bought a new one myself this week
the letters ntuc were worn out as were k and f

*ponders if this will slip under the Dale net*

Curbishlyauto said...

Get a MacBookPro.

They work superbly. Pricey I grant you but if you want something that is stable, virus resistant and of good quality then you pay for it.

Just ask yourself, why is it Microsoft keep copying (and stealing) Mac OSX.

As for Internet, I don't know why Canvas has said what he did but he clearly has little or no knowledge of Macs, perhaps he's a Windoze dealer.

Anonymous said...

All my Vaios have had the same problem. You'd think they would have found indelible lettering by now.

Alfie said...

Iain, I have had a Mac PowerBook laptop for 7 years. It still works pretty fine - although compatibility issues with some web functions have recently become more of a problem. Although expensive, macs are beautifully put together - we also have a couple of mac G4 computers that are nearly 8 years old - and they are still pretty near perfect.

Regarding faded letters on computer keys - I have 2 suggestions -
1) For a professional 'good as new' solution, get a jar of Tippex and carefully repaint the letters on each key using a steady hand and the little paint brush attached to the underside of the lid.
2) Alternatively, you could conduct an anthropilogical experiment. Take your no-lettered laptop and whip round to Regent's Park Zoo. Chuck it into the chimps enclosure and watch to see if during their random tappings and bum scratchings, the chimpsters actually do manage to type out the entire works of Shakespeare.

dan said...

roger- no, graphic design.

tapestry said...

Get a Mac PC to enjoy vast screen at home - 20" - not that expensive actually. Mac PC's are a good price given all the features. It's the laptops which make your eyes water a bit with the price.

As for laptop, Vaio has TV which Mac don't. Mac's are harder for hackers to penetrate. I had a load of trouble in last few months. Maybe you have better anti-hacker software so don't need that aspect from Mac.

Alex said...

Try an £8 add-in keyboard. Cheaper than an £800 replacement computer.

Vienna Woods said...

Letters wear off all keyboards very quickly nowadays because they no longer etch the letters on, but print and spray them with a chemical to make them permanent. About the only company still making a decent keyboard is "Cherry GmbH" of Germany. I tend to use an external keyboard with my laptop and also a standard mouse, rather than that bloody abortion of a touch-pad which I regard as totally useless for a normal pair of paws.

Colin said...

Before you lash iout on a new laptop, may i suggest, in view of your earlier protestations that you have a living to earn,that you try wiping the keyboard with a barely-damp, lint-free cloth impregnated with Flash or equivanet or with an alcohol-based cleaner? I find that i have to do this twice a year or so and it brings the keys up like new.

And you can put the £1000 or so you've just saved towards the Audi A5 you've ordered ....

Devil's Kitchen said...

Iain,

As you know, not only do I think that Macs are beautiful machines – and no one that I have converted (a fair few now) has regretted doing so; many are embarrassingly effusive in their thanks – but I might point out that the MacBookPros have laser etched keys.

And that's not all! Oh no (and this is the kind of unnecessary detail that I love about Apple): when the light is low, an automatic sensor switches on a backlight for the keyboard and, because the keys are laser-etched, the light shines through the letters.

How cool is that? As the legend reads on that page, "No detail is too minor"...

DK


P.S. Having said that, the Pros are far more expensive than the MacBooks. But so, so beautiful...

Devil's Kitchen said...

"I have always found AppleMacs to be totally incompatible with the internet - always crashing and so many websites don't work properly on Apple!"

When did you last use a Mac – 1997?

"Only good for graphics, design and photography etc."

Oh yes, that's right. Because of course, we graphic designers, web designers and other power-users don't actually use the web, do we?

We don't blog, we don't get photos off online repositories, we don't actually use the websites that we design, or anyone else's. We just sit in sealed offline labs drawing pretty pictures with our graphics tablets, don't we?

Moron.

Stick to what you know! Read the latest laptop reviews and get the most bang for your buck! :)

What's the point? Iain is not manipulating huge graphics, he's not working on 5GB Photoshop files, etc.

What he needs is something that works, out of the box and which does what he needs it to do.

Get a Mac, Iain, and I'll even come and help you get it set up with useful (free) software, e.g. alternatives to MSN, Office, etc. for nowt.

Can't say fairer than that.

DK

Anonymous said...

"Get a MacBookPro....They work superbly. Pricey I grant you but if you want something that is stable, virus resistant and of good quality then you pay for it."

Macs are not particularly virus resistant. It is just that, because there are far fewer of them than PCs, they are not targeted as often.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Iain, I typed with two fingers for 40 years. Only then did I teach myself touch typing with the Mavis Beacon program. It makes a world of difference. Forty wasted years!

tyger said...

DK is right. Can't understand why people have problems with the net on Macs.

Anyway, the build quality is half the deal. Mac OS is a beatiful operating system (maybe wait for Leopard - the next update) compared to the car-wreck that is Windows.

I have a Linux-desktop that I use for big projects (I love GIMP for working on images) because I can use the cubed desktop giving me a virtual 4-desktops to work on.

I only use Mac laptops though. Not gone Intel yet, though (I have G4 PowerBook and an iBook).

While the Sony's are ok, I'd give Windows the boot and go Apple.

Aaron

canvas said...

Devil's Kitchen said...
"I have always found AppleMacs to be totally incompatible with the internet - always crashing and so many websites don't work properly on Apple!"

When did you last use a Mac – 1997?

----------

I use one every day at work. In my opinion they ARE incompatible with the internet.

Calling someone a moron becasue they don't like Macs is a very feeble response. It says more about you than it does about me.

Macs suck! :)

Devil's Kitchen said...

Canvas,

May I suggest that you move from Safari – which does have issues with such things as GoogleChat – and move to another browser, e.g. Firefox, Camino, Opera, Shiira, etc. etc. etc.

Also update your system. If your Macs are crashing, it is because they are badly managed (it wouldn't be surprising: most IT managers only ever deal with Windows or Linux).

I have not had a system crash since 2003, and I have not had an application crash since January (that's January 2006).

And no, I called you a moron because you seemed to imply that graphickers like myself only like Macs because we don't use the internet. Which makes you a moron.

DK

canvas said...

"And no, I called you a moron because you seemed to imply that graphickers like myself only like Macs because we don't use the internet. Which makes you a moron"
____

Actually it makes YOU a GEEK. LoL

:) Ciao!

tyger said...

Shiira is sweeeeet!

Benedict White said...

Buy a keyboard to use at home, that way when you wear one out it is cheap to change.

What are you doing with your old one? You could also keep that at home with a keyboard plugged in as a backup should there be a problem.

You cold of course learn to touch type that way you don't need to see what is on the keys.