AT LARGE: Comma-tose

AT LARGE: Comma-tose

I have discovered a problem with translucent keyboards. It's not that they're wildly pointless. It's that they're soft.

For the past few weeks I have had in my care some five children as you already know which have little respect for flashy technology. When I was their age I would not so much as breathe on a computer without prior permission. Not these kids. During one spirited game of Sim City 3000 a glass of water spilled over the desktop saturating the keyboard.

I didn't see the spill happen. I arrived to find the keyboard moved to one side as the kids scrambled to make sure their Pokemon cards were undamaged. I moved in and began trying to dry the keys with a soft cloth.

To no avail - the water had got right in amongst the keys and was beyond my reach. So I resorted to desperate measures - I grabbed a hair dryer.

Now back when I started my computing career computers . . . with and their components were made of hard thick grey or beige plastic. Solid stuff it was. Come the apocalypse and only cockroaches and 1970s computers will be left. The keyboard on my first computer would not be bothered by a mere hair dryer.

Nowadays computers and their components are made of plastic so thin and soft you can see through it. Why this is I don't really know. Computers alone don't do anything visually interesting and worth watching. Translucent mechanical clocks make sense to me. Watching a circuit board do its thing doesn't. A translucent keyboard is a special kind of madness. The most interesting part is the top of the keys as that's where the little letters are.

Thankfully the trend for see-through computers appears to be coming to its end. But it's too late for me and my keyboard. The hair dryer got the water out of there quick smart. And it also melted about a quarter of the keys. Deformed them. Most of them not too badly.

The big problem is the comma. That key is so badly deformed it has fused to the keyboard. It won't move. Neither up nor down. Short of brute force it isn't responding to any degree of coaxing.

And I think that's unacceptable. There must be a more sensible solution than this.

My suggestion: Either invent tougher translucent materials or give me reliable boring old bulletproof style of grey.

Or while I'm writing a wish list; how about a keyboard that wouldn't be bothered by a little splash of water?

Matthew JC. Powell is exploring the joys of semicolons. Subjunctify him on

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