Tag Archives: keyboard

Protect Your Laptop Keyboard from Liquid Spills

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

About a year ago, I spilled coffee on my desk, and ruined the video card in my Gateway. Liquid and hardware just don’t get along.

A community member at large sent me a frantic Email earlier, saying that he had spilled soda pop on his laptop, and wondering what he can do. Unfortunately, you may not have any luck. It’s quite possible you’ve damaged something beyond repair. It depends on how well your keyboard is enclosed.

If you do spill things on your keyboards, make sure you unplug the keyboard or laptop immediately. If it’s a laptop, pull the battery out as well. Attempt to dry the keyboard off as best you can. I know that Kat had success cleaning her regular pc keyboard after spilling soda on it. She took all the keys off, and dried it really well. Then she used a cotton ball soaked in alcohol to clean up the stickiness, and voila. Keyboard worked again. However, you can’t really take the keys off of laptop keyboards.

If you have a newer laptop, your keyboard may be able to be easily replaced. However, if you have an older style, or even one with vent holes in it, you could have irrepairable damage to it.

Preventing this from happening is easy. You could simply not drink near the computer, or keep a lid/cap on your beverages. You can also get a keyboard skin (cover) specifically made to protect your particular model.

What other tips and tricks do you have for protecting your keyboard, or cleaning it up after a spill? Be sure to let me hear from you!

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Microsoft Desktop Keyboard Review

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – I’ve been anxiously waiting for Microsoft to release their newest wireless keyboard and mouse. It’s been quite awhile since they’ve released a keyboard with USB ports in it, and believe me… you can never have too many of those.

The new Wireless Entertainment Desktop keyboard and mouse came today. I’ve been using this same mouse for about a year now, and I love it! I’ve been using the keyboard for a little under an hour now. It’s definitely slim and lightweight, and the backlit keys are awesome. But, there are some issues I’ve come across. I’m a touch typist, and this keyboard definitely wasn’t designed for touch typers.

  • The Windows key has been moved. It now resides underneath the space bar. For someone like me who uses the Windows key for a variety of shortcuts, this spells disaster. I have to teach myself how to find these from fast touch again.
  • There is a track (touch) pad on the right side of the keyboard. However, the button for “left click” is on the left side of the keyboard.
  • With this new design, some of the keys… such as Function keys and ESC key… are no longer actually keys. They are these little nubs. Now, if you sit with your keyboard at a desk or workstation like I do, this is frustrating. You have to kind of feel your way around in order to find the right one. I’ve accidentally hit the ~ key many times without thinking in the past hour, thinking I was hitting the ESC key.

In my opinion, this keyboard was designed to be used by someone sitting away from their monitor, maybe even across a room. It wasn’t really designed to be used right at your desktop.

On a funny side note, take a close look at the logo on the mouse. The letter Ris missing from the word Microsoft. So, this mouse was made by a company named Mic osoft. Interesting…

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Alphagrip USB Keyboard Alternative

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – I have discovered that I cannot type very well unless I am using a ‘normal’ keyboard. This new Alpha Grip USB Keyboard is designed much like a game console controller. Some of the keys are on front, some are on back. There is a little trackball for your mouse. It really works… it’s just very different.

Alpha Grip is a totally handheld keyboard. AlphaGrip technology sets you free by enabling handheld typing at 50-70 words per minute while standing, walking, running, riding in a vehicle, leaning back in your chair or recliner, or lying in bed.I gave this a go while sitting at my desk. I had to laugh at myself as I searched for the proper keys to type my own name. This is definitely revolutionary, and I totally get the ergonomic design. However, I think I might just stick with typing over 100 wpm while using my boring old normal keyboard.

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Aluminum Keyboard

Based on a recommendation given to me by a chat room regular (thanks, Moonglaive!) – I purchaed a Enermax KB002U AURORA keyboard the other day. It arrived on my doorstep this afternoon, and I’m happy to report that it’s replaced my long-standing favorite (the Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro). I unboxed the peripheral live on camera, but nobody really recorded the first keystrokes (no big loss there). My initial impressions are positive – it works, it’s relatively comfortable, and is amazingly quiet.

I wasn’t really won over by the brushed aluminum design, although it compliments my Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 quite nicely. For me, having those extra USB ports is nice – which was why I was holding out for the never-to-see-daylight Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 (they keep pushing back the release date). I had to give the Aurora a shot:

  • Hairline brushed aluminum design
  • Massive aluminum frame with diamond-cut edges [still relatively thin]
  • Ultra-flat profile [very much so]
  • Zero-degree tilt [that’s about right]
  • Heavy duty components [this thing will never break]
  • USB Hub [two ports, selling point for me]
  • Audio I/O [very convenient]

The edges of the keyboard are, indeed, sharp – and that’s the only real “negative” I’ve experienced. I’m still getting used to the feel (the keys are somewhat flatter and don’t depress as deeply as they did on my old keyboard). I don’t feel my typing speed has been hampered any, either – which makes this one a keeper. For now. If the video doesn’t work for you, we have more information about the keyboard (and other hardware on my desktop) in Live.

Help with Cleaning a Keyboard

Okay, here’s a little bit of informational fun to lighten up your day…

This is how we clean a keyboard: the Pirillo way!

You could put ‘er it in a dishwasher. Some swear by this method, but it’s never worked for me. I’ve only ruined peripherals with water. Or, you could remove the keys and soak everything in a bathtub full of lukewarm water. Proceed with caution, though. Then again, you could go with my favorite method; turn ‘er upside down over a towel and shake vigorously.

It’s easier to show you than it is to explain:

Keyboard Cleaning

How do you clean your keyboard? Personally, I take the “shake and quake” approach. Some have suggested that I actually place the peripheral into a dishwasher to get all the gunk out. Others have suggested removing the keys and soaking it in a bathtub. No, I honestly think the best approach is to get a new keyboard every year (even though compressed air is fun to shoot). Seriously, these things aren’t usually all that expensive – at least, the ones I’d suggest chucking on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they don’t make my favorite model anymore (A Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro with two USB ports off the back). I’m either stuck with a sticky keyboard, or forced to find a new favorite.

Yeah, so subscribe to my YouTube channel or I’ll shake your keyboard next time. I’ve also posted five ways to clean your keyboard over on Lockergnome.