As the title states, I’m writing this post on the new keyboard I bought yesterday and connected earlier this evening. If I remember correctly, the old one was nine years old, unless it wasn’t actually bought in late 2007 and it’s even older, since it definitely isn’t newer. Either way, it was starting to show some signs of aging, with occasional moments when pressing the space key on the left corner, as I do, didn’t register, the numpad minus key only working if pressed on the left side, and a few moments when the left Ctrl either didn’t register or, quite the contrary, acted as if pressed though it hadn’t been.
Problem is, I won’t have black or otherwise dark stuff, which rules out the vast majority of the options for pretty much any electronics and keyboards are no different. Then, the few left tended to be wireless or not in the standard format, and those available here also likely having the Romanian key layout instead of the standard US one, and I definitely won’t have that either. And I also liked the function to start calc.exe, which the old one had on a separate key but this also has when pressing Fn+F12. So I did keep an eye out for possible replacements if needed and while there was one other, very cheap and completely basic, option available in case of emergency, I spotted this one in a store not long ago and it was the first one I saw in years that seemed to check all the boxes, so I took advantage when it was on sale for little more than half price these days.
So far it seems fine, and I only made way too many mistakes and had to look while typing the first few sentences on it. Also accidentally pressed the LED key then, but even though the keys are significantly higher and accidentally pressing that or Fn seems quite likely because of this, considering how I type, it hasn’t happened since and everything feels just about where it should be. And it’s also quieter than the old one, which was also quite quiet, on this one only the space key making a clear click. That key also requires significantly more force to press than the rest, but I’m quickly getting used to it. And I should also be getting used to the fact that I can’t just slide it this way and that, being significantly heavier and also with a somewhat more adherent bottom.
My main concern is durability, however. Even more so about the lot this particular one is from, such heavy discounts making me suspicious, but even otherwise, seeing the key life listed as three million strokes is hardly encouraging and on some keys even getting to the end of the two-year warranty period would be questionable if that’s true, so definitely nothing anywhere near the lifespan of the old one. And I definitely want things to be durable, not only because needing to replace them is expensive but because I don’t want my purchases to encourage waste and planned obsolescence, and also simply because I deal very poorly with change. So let’s hope it’ll deliver far more than promised…
All of that leads me to yesterday, when I was out for several hours, picking up this and a LED fixture and light, checking a few prices in different hypermarkets and purchasing a few things. Some people were coming over and I didn’t want to be here while they were, so it was a way to solve more problems at once, even if it was snowing and windy as I left, which made it a bit uncomfortable for a while. The weather calmed down in the evening though, so it even felt rather nice after dark, though I wasn’t comfortable returning from the place I picked up the LED fixture and light from at that time.
Thing is that I had moved the neon that’s a secondary light in the kitchen to the small bathroom when the one from there burned out, and when dad eventually replaced it, something in the fixture broke, so it seemed to me to be the perfect opportunity to try switching something to LEDs, which I have been pushing for a while. And I found some that are very cheap, suspiciously so for LEDs, yet claim to have a three-year warranty, so I thought to give it a go. If there are problems, we’ll see how well they honor the warranty, and if they don’t, or if it’s not a matter of problems but of the light being too weak, it’s not a big loss and doesn’t mean other products would be just as bad.
Problem was, the firm doesn’t seem to give an option to pick products up from their store and, while they sell through a major on-line store as well, you can’t select to pick them up from there either, and adding a delivery fee that was 40% of the price of the products didn’t seem right. So I sent an e-mail to ask if I could pick something up anyway, since they do have a store address listed, and they said I could. Not that it was a firm order, I guess, since I listed the items I was looking at in the e-mail but as part of the question, asking whether that was all I needed to replace the broken fixture and make the switch to LED.
Either way, since I stick to just using the metro and not surface public transportation, that meant a walk of over five kilometers from the nearest metro station, with the main problem being the last kilometer or so, on a long road with military housing and other structures stretching for a long time on one side and seeming quite, shall we say, suspicious otherwise. Worst part was an old market area, currently run down, which made me feel as if I was passing by ruins which may be home to unknown threats. Also met very few people also walking in that area, but there was one young woman walking alone whose presence made me feel a fair bit safer, thinking that if she dares to come through there, it can’t be bad. As far as I recall, she was the only woman I saw walking alone in that area, and this is not exactly a line of thinking I’m proud of, but it is what it is…
It was also a bit awkward when I finally reached the place, as they didn’t seem to expect people in the store, so everyone was in the back when I entered, but somebody did come out quickly and I could tell him what I wanted. He tried to sell me something a bit more expensive at first, but he came right away to where the lights and fixtures made to replace neons were displayed and things were clarified when I just pointed to what I wanted. Then he disappeared again for a while to get the items and somebody else came out to work on a laptop, asking him for product information and my personal information while he said it didn’t matter and just dismissed her attempts to say otherwise. So I ended up with a document I was told will also act as warranty certificate even if it had nothing filled in under the buyer’s information, nor identifying information, such as serial numbers, for the products themselves.
After that, I had to walk all the way back to the metro station, then get to pick up the keyboard as well, which at least was less awkard, though the store itself, despite being one of the biggest, definitely looks suspicious when you get there. They’re focusing on orders and deliveries, after all, and deliveries are free, so they assume not many will want to come pick products up themselves, yet there were plenty of others there and, as far as I’m concerned, the problem is that there’s a fee if you want to pay cash on delivery instead of using a card when you order, so I had to go to pay cash and avoid that fee. And, after having checked out two hypermarkets before going to pick up the LEDs, all of this covered the amount of time I wanted to be away, so I could come back and drop things off before heading back out for the few other purchases.
Speaking of those other purchases, they sure caused me to look extremely suspicious, but no security guard seemed to care. The thing is that I had grabbed a few things from one place, then went to another that makes it awkward when you enter with other products, since you pretty much have to talk to a guard and they’ll ask what you have there, possibly make comments about it and either wave you through or stick a stamp to the items according to unclear rules. So I didn’t want to go through that and therefore shoved the few items in the pockets of my jacket, the problem being that the inner pockets of this jacket are pretty much horizontal and things will fall out, making me walk a bit awkwardly, trying to use my legs to hold the few items in.
The worst part came when I walked out, without purchasing anything since one item I wanted apparently wasn’t also available in this location, and pulling a glove out of one outer pocket caused something to fall out of an inner one right next to a guard. But I casually picked up the item, trying to look a bit surprised, then continued to examine it with apparent curiosity as I calmly walked away, the guard never saying or doing anything. Sure, on top of having the receipt to prove I had purchased that item from elsewhere, there was absolutely no way they’d have sold it, since we’re talking about the other hypermarket’s store brand, but seeing that would have required the guard to actually check the item out and he didn’t. Glad he didn’t, of course, but I’m not sure what that says about his skills or interest in his work.
This is already twice as long as I thought it’d be, so I should really end it, though the fact that I wrote it so quickly definitely proves I’m getting along just fine with the new keyboard. There’s just this week’s run to add, which was Tuesday, catching the good moment before the weather turned. The time was 34:50, with sector times of 4:28, 5:14, 6:17, 4:37, 5:14, 6:03 and 2:57, making for lap times of 15:59 and 15:54. Considering that first sector and the conditions, for a little while I was even thinking of making another attempt to get under 34 minutes, but the second sector time made that extremely unlikely and then the third sector made it clear I’ll need to pay attention if I wanted to even stay under 35. But at least I managed that, and then after resting for a bit I sprinted up that slope two more times, which is probably something I should be doing more often.