Life is good

… or at least much improved.

Two packages arrived today. One containing samples of the Cafe Press merchandise that I created in order to provide a suitable award for the 20 thousandth commenter on this blog plus or minus one. The central commenter and her/his standard deviates will each receive a hat or a mug or whatever. Right now I’m sitting here wearing my iThink hat and my iThink shirt and sipping a cappuchino from my iThink coffee mug.

But who cares about any of that. The other package contained my Avant Stellar keyboard! My original Avant Stellar keyboard totally crapped out a few days ago when the space bar stopped working. Not bad considering it was a dozen years old and has been the primary keyboard on a series of computers.

Although it was difficult to do without spaces, I immediately ordered a replacement keyboard. It arrived today. And I am happy.



  1. #1 Bjorn Watland
    December 3, 2008

    Don’t forget your AT adapter!

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 3, 2008

    Ha! I still have my old one.

  3. #3 charfles
    December 3, 2008

    I get made fun of for the location of my backslash key (because of the small backspace and L shaped enter) but I can’t imagine it being to the right of the shift bar. That would drive me crazy. I don’t think I have the pinky dexterity.

  4. #4 Tony P
    December 3, 2008

    I went mobile years ago and haven’t had need for an external keyboard. That said, the keyboard on my laptop is getting a bit long in the tooth since many key legends are worn completely off and there are slight ruts in the keys.

    I suppose I can just order a new on Dell’s site but I’ll wait until this one stops working. So far it’s still going strong. But so far I’ve done the following on this machine:

    1) Two power supplies. Lousy design, the little RF choke is the cause 9 times out of 10. It isn’t necessary. Look at Apple power supplies, there’s no choke!

    2) Palm rest assembly. Only because the trackpad stopped working. You basically have to disassemble the entire laptop to replace that.

    3) A new HD. The old 60GB just didn’t cut it anymore. I got a 160GB drive and external 750GB drive. Used the free version of Macrium Reflect to image the old drive and then restore it onto the new one.

    4) I upgraded the original 512MB of RAM to 2GB max.

    The only things that I haven’t replaced yet are the CD-R and the CPU on this machine. I’m so happy I have no fear of taking things apart. I’ve learned to keep screws in a safe location and to make sure each goes back where it belongs.

  5. #5 Tony P
    December 3, 2008
  6. #6 Dunc
    December 4, 2008

    Ooh, nice keyboard… I’ve always fancied one of these myself.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 4, 2008

    TonyP: Its easier if you throw the screws out. Makes subsequent disassembly much faster.

    Dunc: I’d like to try a das keyboard. Frankly, I want to little leters even though I don’t use them and on my old avant stellar a third of them were gone anyway. If I have the chance to get a second high end keyboard I’ll probably try that.

    BUt look back at my picture above: There is one thing this Avant Stellar has that Das keyboard does not. Actually, twelve…

  8. #8 K.
    December 4, 2008

    I’m trying to imagine a life without space bars. It’s too horrific a concept for me to grasp.

  9. #9 Bz
    December 4, 2008

    When is the wake for the old keyboard?

  10. #10 Colin M
    December 4, 2008

    I’m quite happy with the Happy Hacking Keyboard. I got it to go with my pint-size EeePC, because sometimes I do have to type for hours on the road and a laptop keyboard (especially a tiny one like on the EeePC) won’t cut it. It’s great for travel because it has no F-keys, number pad, etc. And Ctrl is in the right place by default (between shift and tab), though you can change it with dip switches.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    December 4, 2008

    Life without space bars is hard. You have to hard code them.

    I think I’m going to freeze the old keyboard. In the future, they may find a cure.

  12. #12 BZ
    December 4, 2008

    I think the keyboard would make an excellent 4th prize. Think of all the writing that has been performed via that board; powerful stuff.

  13. #13 BZ
    December 4, 2008

    I just clicked the link to see the price of the new board.

    I choked a little.