A new keyboard

I bought a new keyboard today. New is not really right – it’s a refurbished Microsoft Natural somethingorother 4000 from eBay.

Why?

Easy – I’ve been using MS Keyboards for a loooong time – since 98 or so when they released the Natural Elite. I was a crappy typer, and I still am, but the split keys forced me to type faster and better. My current keyboard is a Microsoft Ergo-wireless-desktop-something-2000 that includes a wireless keyboard and mouse. It’s nice actually, not a split key but more of a curved contiguous keyboard, more of a standard keyboard but big enough for my meat-hook hands.

The problem is that I have rediscovered gaming. Yep, I’m one of those. My discovery came AFTER I upgraded to Ubuntu/Linux about a month ago and found that the top first person shooters all support native Linux playing. Lately it’s been Unreal Tournament 2004 and Quake-III.

The rediscovery isn’t really the problem. The problem is that my current Microsoft Ergo wirelessdesktopsomething 2000 is missing a few keys after I threw it against the wall in frustration over an undocumented “feature.” See, Microsoft thought it a good idea that their wireless keyboard should have a timeout on a continued keypress thinking that it must be a hot key. In fact I find myself pressing directional keys continuously when gaming.

Picture this… You are in a tournament armed with lazer blasters, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers and sniper rifles. Your opponents are armed the same. You are running wildly through a landscape chasing down someone on the opposing team. A landscape you are thoroughly unfamiliar with. A landscape with pads that catapult you three hundred feet in the air. Where gravity is sometimes 10% of Earth. You are zigging, zagging, dodging left, dodging right, your crosshairs finally fall on the center of your enemies back after chasing him for what seems like miles. Your right index finger comes down on the mouse button to fire the killing blow and

ugh…

None of your keys are responding. You can aim but you can no longer maneuver around the trees. You are stopped motionless and then

WHAM

the enemy that was following you following his teammate just blew the back of your head off with a rocket.

Damn keyboard!

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