Ten Minutes To Tell Of Love

My Filco keyboard

My Filco Keyboard

So today’s daily prompt is another exhortation to write whatever comes to mind for ten minutes.

Our weekly free-write is back: take ten minutes — no pauses! — to write about anything, unfiltered and unedited. You can then publish the post as-is, or edit a bit first — your call.

(I’m not going to do an edit. Just fix spelling and egregious grammatical errors.)

Ten minutes can be a lifetime when you are confronted with a blank page. The brick wall of writer’s block can descend in an instant and not a single word comes to mind. Fortunately when you
free-write you don’t have to make it sensible, topical or even understandable to anyone buyt yourself in that instant so this is actually one good way of getting past the block if you do have a particular topic you have to write about.

The first thing that came to me was how much I enjoy using my lovely new(ish) keyboard. I bought one for both home and work – a Filco Majestouch 2 keyboard which uses Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches.

At work people notice it and comment on how loud it is and how “it must be nice to use a mechanical keyboard.” I then tell them it cost me $180 and they seem amazed I paid so much for a keyboard.

To me it just seems sensible. I spend a fair amount of time at work and perhaps even more at home typing on a keyboard and why wouldn’t you have the “best” one for you?

Nobody would think twice at a painter spending $350 on brushes. Back in the day a decent electric typewriter probably cost as much. I drove almost an hour across town to go to a store that specialises in good quality keyboard and tried out over a dozen – some for more than ten minutes before deciding on the one I wanted.

The keyboard takes some getting used to after using the short throw, hard keyboards of today. They have a softer, longer action with no “physical” click as they register, though there is a mechanical sound. Some people (including your co-workers) might find it offputting but personally I love the satisfacton of hearing the rapid fire clicks as I “pound out” my writing. I’ve fallen in love with this thing.

Once I became used to the action I’m sure my typing sped up. I did a test on my Mac at home with an old Microsoft keyboard, the Apple keyboard and my Filco and it would seem I am at least five percent faster on the new one. I’m not sure about accuracy since I am not the most accurate of typists with four or five finger style.

Shawn Blanc, one of my Mac gurus, did a nice article on a similar keyboard, the Das Keyboard Professional Model S. He says “Mechanical keyboards like the Das are bulky, loud, and fantastic for typing” and:

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Das Keyboard has eliminated all computing drudgery, but I would say that it has greatly enhanced the act of typing. Especially the act of typing for long periods of time, which I happen to do on a daily basis.

The construction of a mechanical keyboard is much more friendly to typing. As I discovered by taking several typing tests (the results of which I share below), a mechanical keyboard actually does help me to type both faster and more accurately. The sound of the keys clacking and the feel of the key switches clicking makes for an aura of productivity and work that fills the senses.

That is a good summary of how I feel.

Do you have a special keyboard? How do you like the one you use now?

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