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An important rule of life. If you spent < $15 on your keyboard… - CERisE's Testing for L

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January 16th, 2011

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01:21 am
An important rule of life. If you spent < $15 on your keyboard and you can go out and buy another one:

Do it. Just do it. No matter what happens or how trivial it seems. It is not worth $15 of your time to take the thing apart and try to set it right.

I just relearned this rule. It looks so simple, you think. There's all these screws on the back and I just have to undo those. No problem. None at all. I'll just go grab my...wait a second.

Where the hell is my screwdriver? I thought it was right there. Weird. It must have moved.

As you're looking around, you start thinking "Damn it, I have FIVE different screwdriver kits in this house. Five of them. How the hell can I not find one?"

Finally, at long last, I found the worst of all the possible screwdrivers, but it wasn't going to be that big a deal. It's 17 screws. No problem. Nothing to it.

So you start unscrewing them when you remember the POWER screwdriver you bought and put in the kitchen drawer. Rock on! So you go for it.

Now, if you're like me, you're smart about it. You set all the screws down in the order they came out. Not a big problem. You'll know exactly which screw went where.

Finally, you get the back off. Under it are two pieces of thin plastic sheets with semiconductive traces. You flop them over on top of the back of the keyboard in the same way they were.

At about this time, your cat jumps up on the table where you carefully put those screws in order. You yell "Hey!", and she jumps down, but the damage is done. At this point, Kitten Godzilla has romped through Screw Tokyo and the little people are rolling as fast as they can in all directions.

You set the keyboard down, thinking you'll keep an eye on it and start scrutinizing the carpet for all the ones you might have missed.

(I got lucky -- they were all easily findable and there were only two screws that weren't like the others. Those were obvious.)

Having set them back on the table, you turn your attention back to the keyboard. Now under each of those keys is a little bit of metal which fits into a small plastic bit -- kinda like the end of a plunger.

What you didn't realize when you set the keyboard down was that effectively, you were pressing every single key out. And all those plungers? Off their pegs and rolling around on the back.

Not that you realize this before one of them has managed to sneak away, so you carefully set the keyboard on a level surface. Even gentler than an angel's back hair. The collective impulse is immediately judged by a society of learned physics professors to be practically immaterial in bringing about the heat death of the universe.

Somewhere, a Russian judge holds up a "10".

Now, you set about looking for the thing. It's light blue translucent plastic. And it's somewhere on your beige carpet. In your dimly lit living room. This shouldn't be hard.

Eventually, you decide "You know what? I don't need F12 as much as I need Enter. F12, you are DEAD to me!" and you swap F12's plastic bit for the Enter key.

Right as you do that, you look down and spot the damned thing. Ok -- no problem. Drop it in. All is well.

So you pick up the plastic sheets -- and a plastic rectangle falls out. Crap, where did that come from.

Through a couple of minutes of detective work, you notice a couple of pressure lines on it and realize that it's insulating the semiconductive traces from the back of the keyboard. Ok -- good to go. Put everything back together. On the fifth screw, you think "I should test this before putting the rest of the screws in. You turn it over and...why isn't the Space bar rebounding? ...Oh crap."

Turn it over, take out those screws, toss the plastic sheets aside, and set the space bar plunger back where it ought to be. Then you notice that there's a bit of hair that got in there. You can't really pick it up, so you blow on it.

Five of the plungers fly away with violence. Like the Israelites were blown by the word of God.

Set the keyboard down. CAREFULLY.

Start looking. Find four of the five. As soon as F12 starts to feel the sword of Damocles over its head, you get a brainwave and shake the blanket on the couch. The plunger falls out harmlessly. YOU LIVE AGAIN, F12. THIS TIME.

Put the keyboard mostly together, Run your hands over the keys. Everything looks good.

Finish screwing in the rest of the screws, plug it in, and...it works!

Now, if you're me, you realize that you don't really like this keyboard much at all -- the cable's a bit wonky and there's a whole stack of USB keyboards three meters from you.

It's at this moment that you truly understand why it is that you never seem to get anything important done.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
Highly amusing. I give it a 9.7
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2011 10:32 am (UTC)
I was thinking of you and The Wizard of Speed and Time when I wrote that bit about the Russian judge. 8)
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
Hehe. SO my leap of logic was actually moderately founded!
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2011 11:06 am (UTC)
ever taken apart an m2? it's only a little more ridic than what you just described.

ie, i feel your pain.
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
I haven't, but I have seen drawings of how an M2 is built.

If I recall correctly, there were actual springs in the M2. I imagine that adds a whole other layer of fun.

(Side note: My dad used to be in the Navy and turned out to be crazy good at disassembling and reassembling firearms while blindfolded. He mentioned that in the BAR, there was a spring. Every so often, he'd be in a competitive environment and you'd hear a *twing!* from somewhere down the row and think "Aha! He's out."

One day, it happened to him. He was waiting for it to end when, out of boredom and pure chance, his foot happened to brush against it. He won and the drill sergeant muttered something about luck at him.)
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2011 11:36 am (UTC)
haha, yep. springs EVERYWHERE.

luck is the most fun when it makes others facepalm. :D
[User Picture]
Date:January 17th, 2011 07:48 am (UTC)
yeah, pretty much.

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