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Had to buy a new keyboard...ugh...

Discussion in 'Computers, Science & Technology' started by oregano, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. oregano

    oregano is on I-5 btwn Calif and Jefferson

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    Well, the built in keyboard on my ancient HP laptop finally drove me to replace it. With increasing frequency the number/symbol keys simply refuse to work. I have to hold a key down for 20 seconds for it to print the number or symbol. So finally I went to Fry's today and bought a cheap USB keyboard as a replacement. It has the name "SIIG" and is a mini keyboard. When I started using it this afternoon I found that I kept mistyping everything, the keys have a totally different "feel" to them WRT their underlying springs. I think after a couple hours that I am finally getting the hang of it. It's nice to have a fully functional keyboard again. :D:D
     
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  2. Crozix

    Crozix Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat... V.I.P Member

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    Using new keyboards, or even one that have not been used for a while is always difficult to get used to.

    And this thread reminds me that my laptop needs a new keyboard.
    The laptop have a working keyboard, but are not fond of the keyboard layout (nordic layout can be quite annoying). So i need to locate and buy a foreign keyboard.
     
  3. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Laptops dont seem to last very long. At least not in my experience. I dont even use them very much... I much prefer my bizarre monolith of a desktop machine. Yet still, even with not all that much use, the keyboard on that bloody laptop went bad.

    And I didnt have a keyboard I could take with me on trips. The one I use for the big PC is huuuuuge. It's this big thing that blazes with a million shifting colors. You dont really expect keyboards to be "big" in comparison to other keyboards, but some of them really are. Also it's heavy. There's no way I can take that monster with me anywhere.

    I ended up having to go out to a tech store to buy a new USB keyboard that A: didnt suck, and B: could fit in a bag, just to use the freaking laptop. I tell ya, I was not pleased about having to do this.
     
  4. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I must have bought over ten used and new keyboards since I began using a computer. Some of them I hated, which meant I destroyed them when I got angry. Usually as a result of the keyboard being unusable during boot up or when I needed to get into dos and fix something.
    Or it was the height of the board, or the stupid placement of certain keys.

    Now have gone back to a wired in keyboard, with higher mounted keys that make a slight sound when I hit them. Can't used a flat keyboard anymore, hurts my finger joints too much. Often I'll buy a keyboard for five dollars at a thrift store like value village, make certain it works properly, take it apart and clean it, and store it. At the moment it's an old HP keyboard that I fixed a few years ago.

    Things I've found inside keyboards; Dust, hair, living spiders, old food, string, a fish bone, a negative, shreds of paper, a needle.
     
  5. oregano

    oregano is on I-5 btwn Calif and Jefferson

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    I have found that laptops made for consumer use are trash that last maybe a year or two before dying. I bought my laptop in September 2012 from Tiger Direct, which is an online computer store that caters to technology professionals. Their laptops are apparently made in different factories than the ones shoved on The Great Digital Unwashed (tm) and last far longer. When my mom had a Lenovo that she bought at Best Buy die after 18 months I simply bought her one off Tiger Direct, and it is still going.

    My HP 635 has had the hard drive replaced and installed with Linux Mint, an external USB mouse added (because I've yet to meet anyone who likes trackpads), and now the built in keyboard is dying. But the motherboard and screen are still going strong.

    Nowadays consumer laptops are something like $1000, even at Costco, and are completely sealed, you can't replace the battery or hard drive or RAM, everything is sealed inside. In a couple years when something dies it's a paperweight and back you go to Costco for another laptop, which will probably be $1300 by then due to inflation and trade wars.

    It's to the point where you can buy a used (VERY used) old Saturn (sedan that was made by GM in the 90s for the US domestic market) for less than a new PC. A high end HDTV, you could get a 8 year old Hyundai Accent for the same price. Electronics cost very little to make in China, then the prices are jacked way up and Americans will save their laptop from a fire before saving their dog.
     
  6. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I love keyboards...especially mechanical keyboards. Even those, which are good, expensive keyboards, take getting used to. I just got a new one for use with my tablet, and if I accidentally linger on the shift key when I hit the space bar, the space doesn't happen (this doesn't happen on the computer, I don't know if it's a function of keyboard or tablet to be honest.) It took me a few days to figure out. So I had to relearn a bit how to type. Having to be snappier on the shift key can only help all around though. It's frustrating at first, but after a few days or a week I am used to a new keyboard and hitting 70-90WPM consistently again.

    If you do a lot of typing, it's worth researching/investing in a GOOD keyboard. Your brain and fingers will thank you. (It doesn't have to be a $100+ mechanical keyboard, but some are definitely better than others.)

    That said, you just might need more time with the new keyboard. The computers at work drive me nuts because every one of them has a different keyboard - I don't get a chance to really get used to one specific keyboard, and my typing at work is slower and frustrating.
     
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  7. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Replacing laptop keyboards with an original spare part is surprisingly simple and straightforward if you're moderately competent and have a steady hand. It's not something everyone would be willing, or able to do of course, but if you're willing to give it a try and the original keyboard is to your liking, then it's not quite as daunting an option as it seems at first.
    I've built my own desktop PCs since the 90s but I was always wary of the internals of laptops until my own laptop keyboard went the way of the dinosaurs. I bought my HP Pavilion G6 in early 2012 and in late 2016 the keyboard stopped functioning properly. I bought a couple of plug-in and wireless keyboards but it wasn't a viable solution, so I investigated repair options. I could get it professionally done for around £70-80, buy a compatible spare for around £7 or an HP original spare for £20. I found literally dozens of guides and instructions online and a number of videos on YouTube that showed exactly how it was done so I took the plunge. I didn't even have to open the laptop up and it took me 20 minutes. Still going strong today.
    Since then I've done it for a couple of other people too, and in most cases it's a quick and easy job. Recently I had to open the same laptop up and disassemble it to clean out the system fan which had got clogged up with 7+ years of dust and gunk, but even that was done with the help of comprehensive video tutorials on YouTube & Vimeo. In the process I replaced the Hard Drive with an SSD and the machine is running better than the day I bought it.
    Like I said above - it's not an option for everyone, but if you like the feel of the original keyboard it's worth looking into. Even if you don't feel up to doing it yourself, you may know someone like myself who's willing to to do it for you for a pint and a smile ;)

    Incidentally - I only just bought a new laptop - yesterday in fact. The old one is still in service as a browser/word processor, but I needed something with enough oomph to use for video work that would at least match my desktop. It doesn't have the separate bays for HDD & memory that the old G6 does, having a single back panel, but again I found guides that show it's dead easy to upgrade. Just take 10 screws out of the base panel, prise the panel off with a "spudger" and everything's right in front of you. Coincidentally, it's another HP machine, but the internal design is much better than my 7 year old machine - you can clean it without having to disassemble it all, just pop off that base panel. Ironically - keyboard replacement on this model would be less straightforward :)
     
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  8. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was in school, girls took typing and boys took shop. Consequently, I never learned to type and I did not own a computer until I was in my fifties. Changing keyboards does not bother me at all, with my two finger typing method. I do spend a lot of time on the computer, so I am getting faster. It is a old man thing.
     
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  9. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    Had a bad experience with HP keyboard as well, cleaned it and it died, had to plug in a k mart $5 one, that went ok for a year and a coupla weeks ago the computer itself went on the fritz. Wouldn't buy one again, not even sure they're sold here anymore.
     
  10. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    A little addendum to my earlier post. The extra RAM I ordered for my new laptop arrived today. Out of curiosity I got my wife to time how long it took to install. Taking all necessary precautions (anti static wristband etc...) and not rushing it I had it opened up, installed and back together again in just over 8 minutes.
    They really have simplified these machines in recent years.
    Happy boy :)
     
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