Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Preparing To Return To The Office - Keyboard Recommendations

31 Mar 2021

The news came down today in a big meeting with our CEO that we will be returning to the office in at least a limited capacity in July. That still gives me several months to prepare for what I’m going to need. This time, being in the office is going to be a little bit different. I’m not sure how different, but there are things that at a bare minimum, I want to do differently.

OK, let’s get this bit out of the way first. I have no idea how things are going to look regarding COVID in July. It’s still March for one more day, and which gives me three full months and some change before I’m expected to walk through those doors again. What’s going to happen with vaccinations or possible outbreaks in those months is anybody’s guess, so I’m going to assume we’re going back in July just like they said that that everything is going to go swimmingly until then. Assuming things are going to continue on their current path does not mean that I’m not going to take precautions.

My company issues all of us laptops because we are fortunate to have the option to work from home. The pandemic wasn’t the first time that I’ve worked from home. The last time was when my company was building a new building for us, and they miscalculated how long that would take and let their current lease expire before they finished the new place. Oops. Unfortunately, despite the fact that they issue us all laptops, they tend to issue us crappy laptops. Mine is an HP ProBook 640 G4, with a 1.7GHz i5 and 8GB of RAM. It’s not fast, but it runs the latest version of Windows 10 (unfortunately required). Its keyboard is passable, but the touch pad is quite literally the worst thing I’ve ever used. I hate it with a capital hate.

I’ve been putting up with this thing at home because it lets me do things like work from my couch without issue, but going back into the office is going to be putting me back at a desk. Keyboards, mice, and monitors are supplied for our computers, but their tendency to buy crappy hardware extends to those kinds of things as well.

Besides the fact that they’re crappy, the COVID situation doesn’t give me warm fuzzy feelings about using a keyboard and mouse that anybody could be licking in their off hours. It creeped me out pre-COVID, and I have no desire to do it post-COVID.

So, I’m going to starting bringing my own hardware into the office so I can feel a little bit more comfortable. More comfortable because I know where that hardware has been and who has been using it, and more comfortable because it’s not crappy hardware that my company spent as little on as they possibly could.

Mouse wise, I’m probably going to go with a Razer. Why? Because I like them. They’re comfy to use and meet my needs.

Keyboards are a little bit more complex. There are a myriad of different things to consider when it comes to keyboards. I like mechanical keyboards. The feel of them is just better in my opinion, but I have to take into consideration the noise factor and how that will impact people sitting around me. At home I’m using blues, but I think that might be a little loud for corporate America. I’d like to get a keyboard that’s small enough to conveniently fit into a backpack, but not one that’s going to feel cramped when I’m typing on it. I’d also like to get something off the shelf rather than fall down the rabbit hole of custom keyboard builds, which I just don’t have the time to do right now.

I’m hoping the combined knowledge of the Internet can give me a few suggestions that will meet my needs and not break the bank, though I’d prefer to get something nice and not skimp just to save a couple dollars.

Day 19 of the #100DaysToOffload 2021 Series.

Looking for comments? There are no comments. It's not that I don't care what you think, it's just that I don't want to manage a comments section.

If you want to comment, there's a really good chance I at least mentioned this post on Fosstodon, and you can reply to me there. If you don't have a Mastodon account, I'd suggest giving it a try.

If you don't want to join Mastodon, and you still want to comment, feel free to use my contact information.

Also, don't feel obligated, but if you feel like buying me a ☕ cup of coffee ☕ I won't say no.