Dust Bunnies in My Keyboard

For Christmas, I got a nifty geek gadget… the Plusdeck 2c, a PC cassette deck. Today, I finally shut down the computer, opened it up, and installed the new gadget. Of course, there’s no reason anything should actually be easy, so it turns out that the power connector was too short to actually reach the back of the cassette deck. And, wouldn’t you know it, the cassette deck is about a quarter of an inch too long to fit into one of the lower bays where the power connector would actually reach. This meant a trip to the local computer geek shop for an extender. So out I went, picked up the extender, stopped next door at the fabulous local stamp shop (Stampassion) to say hi to everyone and buy a magazine, then home again to get the rest of the installation completed.

The installation went quickly and smoothly, partly because I know my way around the inside of a computer and partly because there’s actually enough room to maneuver inside the case.

While I had the computer all disconnected, I figured I ought to get around to finally cleaning the keyboard. As anyone who’s seen it (just the Ms… Mike, Megan and Matt) can tell you, it needed either a good cleaning or replacement. Since I love my keyboard, and since Microsoft doesn’t make this model anymore, my only real option was cleaning it. When I got all the keys popped off and lined up on the counter, I noticed that there were honest-to-Loki dust bunnies under the keys! Who knew dust bunnies crawled into keyboards? Under beds and other furniture… sure. Inside the computer case… yes. But under the keys of the keyboard? Well, that was a new one on me.

It took an hour to clean the keyboard… first popping all the keys off, then cleaning the gunk from the keyboard (mostly with Q-tips), then cleaning the keys themselves and finally popping them all back on. It may seem bizarre to spend that much time cleaning a keyboard, but as I said, I like this keyboard and Microsoft has decided they’re not going to make it anymore.

Now my keyboard looks brand-spankin’ new and even seems to work better.

The cassette deck? Yes, that works great too!

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