Most of us sit in front of a computer all day. True, some use their mouse, trackpad or tablet, but for most people using a computer, the keyboard is what our hands are usually on.
So back to my question: how well do you know your keyboard?
Does your hand instinctively move to the ‘home’ keys once you put your hand on it? Do you type 10 words per second? I mean, I don’t but I was just curious. Also due to years of playing FPS games, my hands’ home keys are the
d keys — keys that you used for moving a player around.
Why pose this question you ask? Well, at work, I have been using my colleague’s mechanical keyboard for almost two years now (thanks Rupert!) and I immediately fell in love when I saw an ad for the Lofree keyboard in Indiegogo. The campaign is already finished and I just received my Lofree and it is just so good (for me!). I like the color (I bought the black one, but if I had the funds, I would have bought all four colors!), and I like the feel and sound of a mechanical keyboard. That’s it. I digress though.
When my Lofree arrived, I thought of cleaning Rupert’s keyboard before I give it back, because I didn’t want to give him back all my bacteria and dirt after using his beloved keyboard for a couple of years. So I took out all the keys, cleaned them and decided I should try putting them back without looking at any guide just to see how well I knew the keyboard I have been using for two years.
I have been using computers since I was a kid and I wasn’t THAT confident I could put all the keys back without looking at a guide. I knew at least the first row because I used them as throwaway passwords when I was younger (who didn’t?).
So here it is — the keyboard after I cleaned it and put the keys back:
The first thing I noticed while putting the keys back in place was that I wasn’t sure what a certain key was just by resting my hand or fingers on it. I am not a touch typist so I sometimes look at my keyboard to see which letter my finger is about to press.
Another thing I noticed was I wasn’t quite sure how the bottom keys went because I almost never used them. I was pretty sure about the left
CTRL button and the ⌘ key (or the Windows key if you are on Windows).
So did I get everything right? If you look closely or if you owned a Logitech G310 (which was the model of this specific keyboard), you would have noticed that the Windows key was out of place. I noticed that too but I was 100% sure that that specific key was beside the space bar because that’s where the Apple key is in an Apple keyboard. And I was right! Rupert had switched the keys before he let me borrow it because he was also an Apple user.
Another subtle thing was that this keyboard had DIFFERENT
CTRL keys! If you look closely, the left one has two ridges while the right one only had one. This is what confused me and even though I always used
CTRL when I typed, I wasn’t quite sure which one it was! So yeah, in this instance I was wrong and I had the two
CTRL keys in the wrong places.
And that’s how I got into thinking about how well we all know our keyboards. We use them every day and yet, I found it challenging to remember where each key was. We take most of our tools for granted and I am not sure if that is a good thing or just something I feel I should not be doing but is really just irrelevant. I mean how often will I need to know which of the
CTRL keys I’m pressing anyway?