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"