July 7th, 2011
This morning I successfully completed an urgent, nay, vital task that could not be put off any longer – I cleaned my keyboard. Looking at the tide of dirt, hair, crumbs, toothpick fragments and staples that remains in my sink I’m mildly surprised I didn’t catch anthrax from it.
(My baby^H^H^H^Hkeyboard is a 1990, US layout M, the 1391401, the most common variant. Mine’s made in Mexico. It replaced a 1991 UK layout model which suffered terminal failure of a few keys after I spilled Coke on it. I’d like a space saver model, as I never use the numeric keypad, but they’re hard to find.)
edit: I thought I was a bit weird about keyboards until I read this. I was intrigued by a passing mention of a ‘bolt mod’ in some thread I was reading. Finally tracked it down to that post, which explains in exquisite detail how to replace over 50 plastic rivets which hold the actual key assembly to the metal backplate inside a Model M with nuts and bolts. I, er, wow. That’s dedication.
another edit: opening Model Ms requires a slightly odd bit of equipment – a 5.5mm nut driver (obviously, because the keyboard shell halves are secured together using 5.5mm bolts). I bought one off eBay. It turned out to be rather useless as the head was attached to the handle in such a way that it could rotate freely…so when you put it over the bolt and turn the handle, the handle rotates away happily and never drives the head and the bolt at all. After colorfully cursing cheap Hong Kong driver manufacturers for a while I managed to separate the head from the handle, and found that I could clamp it tightly enough into my electric drill/driver to do the job. Thanks, Black & Decker. Before I finally bought a proper electric drill, I used to use some electric drill bits stuffed into a cheap electric screwdriver with the help of duct tape. It’s convenient how many vaguely spherical bit-type things you can mate into any other electric rotary type-things with enough gumption. And duct tape.