Monday, August 06, 2012

Aldeburgh, keyboards and dead letters

click photo to enlarge
Several years ago I received a couple of old Dell computer keyboards (Model AT102W). They were mushroom coloured, large, robust and a dream to type on. They have never matched the computer cases that I've bought and assembled, or the screens that I've used, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. Why? Well, unlike most contemporary computer keyboards they use mechanical linkages beneath each key rather than a plastic membrane. Consequently typing on them is bliss and reminds me of the pleasures of using an electronic typewriter rather than the experience of typing in porridge offered by today's cheap keyboards. But, nothing lasts forever, and for the past few years I've been typing happily on the last remaining AT102W, all the while fearing the day when it too will give up the ghost.

There have been a few false alarms as individual keys have stopped working. However, I would simply take the keyboard apart (just six screws to remove), indulge in some vigorous brushing and vacuuming, the recalcitrant keys would dutifully return to life and off we'd go again. Until today. This morning the "w" key refused to work. On previous occasions it had been the "b" and the "9". I completed my cleaning cycle, re-connected it and it appeared to be working fine. But when I came to write this blog post about the Suffolk coastal town of Aldeburgh the "w" had packed in again. I only realised this when I looked up from the keyboard and noticed I'd written a couple of sentences that were even worse (or should that be "orse") gibberish than usual. So, I'm going to try more cleaning. But I'm also going to buy a second hand keyboard (same model) off eBay, and hope that between my faulty one and a newer (to me) old one I'll continue to experience pleasurable typing.

Today's photograph shows a small boat that is also past its best. It stands at the southern edge of the area of beach that is used by the local fishermen and appears to have been abandoned. It looked just the sort of foreground interest that I could use in my composition of the shingle beach and the sea-front buildings.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 47mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On