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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #485: New Toys Are Really FUN!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-08-2011 12:31 PM 1064 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 484: I'll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends Part 485 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 486: Trial and Error »

As I sit here and type this morning, I am in an entirely new world. Many of you know that I have the tendency to be somewhat of a geek at times. I love technology and computers and the ever-growing list of new ‘toys’ that are available for our technological pleasure. It is much like the wonderful world of woodworking, where there is always a new tool or gadget that we simply have got to get. And then for me there is also painting and art supplies. When will it end!

So what’s revving up my engine this morning and making me feel like I am the coolest pattern designer in Meteghan River? (Drum roll please . . . . . )

It’s my new KEYBOARD! (Ta-da!)

Now I know that some of you think I am quite silly, but I am seriously thrilled to have this new device added to my arsenal of computer equipment. I don’t remember when I was last more excited about a piece of equipment such as this. (I told you I was a dork!)

When I was shopping at Staples last week for unrelated things, I noticed a display of keyboards beckoning to me from the side aisle. My current keyboard had come with my computer several years ago and probably ten or more of the keys had the characters worn right off of them.

Now I know that when you type, in theory you really aren’t supposed to look at the keyboard, and for the most part I don’t, but I found it to be a lot of trouble especially when I used my drawing program, as I have programmed many key functions as shortcuts and getting around to them was quite a bit trick. Another issue is that for the most part, the keyboard is on my lap. I don’t sit at a traditional desk when I type and I usually have the keyboard on my lap. It isn’t unusual for me to have a cat or two leaning on me as I type which means a lot of repositioning as I go.

And finally, most of the time I type out my blog here, I am sitting in the dark. I usually have the glow of the screen and now my little tree acts as a gentle light for when I first awake in the morning but other than that it is pretty dim here. It was a wonder that I was able to make sense at all when I typed.

So what is so special about this keyboard?

The main thing that caught my eye was that it was back lit. Yes, my friends, it actually lights up! The keys are laser cut and the light shines through them so that you can see them in the dark. Now the true techies and geeks probably have known about this for years, but me – I don’t get out much and I live here in my own little world and unless I am looking for something, I am not really on top of things and many new things get by me. So for myself, I feel like a child on Christmas morning.

So I saw this last week and was intrigued. I am not an impulse buyer and it wasn’t the cheapest keyboard on the market, so I didn’t get it at that time and when I got home I began to read up on it and see if it was worth the money. Or was it just a snazzy gimmick?

It is a Logitech K800 and there was plenty of information and reviews on it. For the most part, it seemed pretty good. It has all the function keys I needed, as well as their own function keys which are all programmable. The battery life seemed good and you charge it through the USB port or through an outlet and even charge it while you use it. That was a plus. It has a light sensor so that the intensity of the brightness of the keys automatically dims and adjusts to the room lighting. It also has many cool features to save energy like five different brightnesses you can set manually and the ability to turn the back light on or off at will. There is a sensor so if you didn’t use it for a couple of seconds the light goes out, again saving the battery. When you reach for it to type, the light returns instantly.

After a week of thinking it over, I really wanted one. It was funny because once I knew that there was something like that available, I noticed myself fumbling around in the dark every morning when typing and wishing more and more that I had it. Finally yesterday I gave in and went back and purchased it.

One of the things I found out after getting it home and trying it was that the response of the keys are incredible compared to my old keyboard. I was concerned because the keyboard is quite a bit flatter than my old one and I was afraid that it would be like typing on a laptop (which I hate!) and that I would have trouble. But it is just the contrary. The keys feel good and have a nice snap back to position and I can’t believe how much faster I am typing on it. It is truly a wonderful and fun experience.

I know this isn’t really a woodworking related review, but let’s face it – we are all here by means of a computer so it is something that we all can relate to and possibly use. Many of us also use our computers for designing our woodworking projects with Adobe and Sketch-up and I think a keyboard is a valuable tool that is sometimes taken for granted. I will report back later on (or you can ask me at any time) as to things like battery life and how I like it after several drawing sessions. I will be happy to let you know if I am still as excited about it as I am now.

On the woodworking side of things, I did get the base of my project cut out yesterday. I am planning to route it out today and then start cutting the smaller parts. I will have some pictures of that project in the next few days as it materialized and comes to life. It looks like a beautiful day out today and it will be a great day to do some outdoor routing.

So I have another full day ahead of me today. The sun is just coming up and as light fills the room, the light on my keyboard is dimming just a bit. (It’s so cool!) It is time to get a move on and get to working. If I can tear myself away from my keyboard!

Have a wonderful and fun Saturday! Enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



12 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14793 posts in 2341 days


#1 posted 10-08-2011 06:03 PM

Everything you do is WW ralated ;-)) It is a WW tool that keeps your patterns and blogs on the WWW.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1417 posts in 2161 days


#2 posted 10-08-2011 06:16 PM

Hi Sheila, I know that I don’t always post anything on your blogs, only once in awhile, but today I must.

I have to say that you are a “bright ray of sunshine” in many of my days as I enjoy reading your blogs every day when I can. You not only do fantastic scrollwork but you are also in my mind a “writer” at heart….

Please keep it up…... Enjoy your new keyboard, ( looks like something I might take a look at…. I am a geek also)
and have a wonderful day !!!!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View ShopTinker's profile

ShopTinker

879 posts in 1433 days


#3 posted 10-08-2011 06:22 PM

I’ve been thinking about getting one of the back lit key boards. It would sure be nice for those middle of the night emails. I usually end up turning on the desk lamp. The auto brightness on this one sounds like a winner.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7747 posts in 2717 days


#4 posted 10-08-2011 07:41 PM

That really sounds like a COOL keyboard! I don’t think I have seen one like that…
It’s nice to use a KB that has a good FEEL to it…

I was expecting you to say that it was Wireless… You might be able to use it Wireless by getting a wireless converter which consists of a small USB device that plugs into your KB as well as into the computer… and they provide the wireless Link… Sounds like you would like that too! On second thought, the wireless feature would probably work BUT your lights MAY not work (would probably work off the battery)... and the battery would NOT get charged in the wireless mode. You could call Logitech and ask them if any of the Wireless devices would work or not (easiest way to find out) LOL

Have a good day…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7684 posts in 1585 days


#5 posted 10-08-2011 07:51 PM

Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for the nice comments! Gene – your words are especially kind! Sometimes I worry if the hard core woodworkers don’t like when I talk about stuff that isn’t directly related to woodworking! :)

Joe – the keyboard IS wireless. I forgot to mention that. It does all of that without a cord and has a tiny transmitter that goes into a USB port (I have it in a hub and it works fine!) It is quite amazing.

To recharge it, you plug it right into a USB hub with a small USB lead like those that come with cameras. Then you can also get an adapter to recharge it from the wall outlet. It is quite clever! :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7747 posts in 2717 days


#6 posted 10-08-2011 07:57 PM

ALLRIGHT!!

Very good!

I was wondering about it already being wireless… LOL…

COOL!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14793 posts in 2341 days


#7 posted 10-08-2011 07:58 PM

Do you need security software to secure the transmissions?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7747 posts in 2717 days


#8 posted 10-08-2011 08:19 PM

topmax:

There is not enough POWER to worry about… I’ve tested with a wireless mouse, which is the same technology.

You cannot go around corners…

You must be, for the most part, in a Straight Line of Sight in order to communicate… Block it with a book, wall, etc. NO WORKY…

Security is not a problem… unless the thief is virtually Next to you… LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7684 posts in 1585 days


#9 posted 10-08-2011 08:29 PM

Besides . . . I live among the critters here in the country. There is a 91 year old lady who lives next door. Unless she is a hacker, I think I should be OK. (I am on a secure network anyway!)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14793 posts in 2341 days


#10 posted 10-09-2011 02:22 AM

I thought that might be the case with low power devices. My son was here with his laptop. He didn’t have to connect. One of the neighbors has a wireless system. I just used their signal. He could see everything on their computer, including their finances. He was going to leave a note telling them they needed to get it secured. Not sure if he did or not.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7747 posts in 2717 days


#11 posted 10-09-2011 03:20 AM

Topmax:

That is because they (the neighbor) had an OPEN Wireless Local Area Network...

There are two kinds of WLANs… Open and Secure...

Open is open to anyone that can communicate with your computer system; do not have to sign on… just connect and start using your system… A VERY BAD way to go.

Secure takes one to a Sign-On routine as soon anyone tries to communicate with your computer… If they do not have the ID & PW, they DO NOT get into your system... You could have, for example, 3 notebooks in your family communicating with your WLAN because they were told what the ID & PW was… A Super way to go!

Sheila made it clear that she has a Secure system… which is very good!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7684 posts in 1585 days


#12 posted 10-09-2011 11:48 AM

Yes, I am on a secure network. I learned early in ‘wireless-land’ to secure the network. My son and his friend used to drive through the neighborhood with their laptop in the car and could pick up several signals of people with personal computers who left their networks open. Most of them would just leave the password that came with the router (“password”) and you could tap in to their system using that. How silly is that?

I found when we went to the states in spring and had our laptop that people still don’t know how to secure their networks. It is a shame but people have to start educating themselves to protect themselves from fraud.

We are good here! :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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