Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Electric Keyboard

When I worked with/for interns at the Baltimore Examiner we made them bring a laptop to work.  There were few spare desktop computers, most of which worked, but periodically someone on staff would desecrate a keyboard with an unholy combination of crumbs and diet Coke and swap it with one of the "intern desks."

So I learned to have them run a keyboard test on their first day (especially as there were usually two or three weeks between classes of interns) to verify that every key, shift and normal, worked.

God bless Hassan from IT - he got so irate about the number of keyboard's I requisitioned, and I know he didn't blame me, but it bugged him something fierce the way people would let food and drink kludge up their keyboards.

Now I'm the green recruit, getting to know what it's like working up from the interns' perspective in a huge and opaque organization made of smaller sub-groupings.

I particularly enjoy the part about not knowing how or why people can get pissed off when you try to help. I have this vision of typing at a keyboard with hundreds of keys, most of which you never use, but nevertheless have to brush past to get to the useful keys.  Only in this twisted qwerty-verse, all the keys are topped with copper wire linked to circuits, some of which are live, and never in the same combination.

I'm finding it better to test the keyboard at the beginning of a project to see which ones carry current, before the project amps up and the current is enough burn.  There may be more discomfort initially, however in the long run it should cause less scarring.

Now if only I had a keyboard map.

The Tick

"Gravity is a harsh mistress!"