The effective lifespan of a Microsoft Natural keyboard: ~13 years

I’m sad to report the demise of my Microsoft Natural keyboard (not the Elite, or the Pro or the MultiMedia – the original circa 1995). I turned the computer on today and the keys 67yhnujm no longer work. Given that I’ve had it for minimum of 13 years, it’s had a good run.

Never one to be left unprepared I went to the basement and brought up my spare. Yes, I have a spare Microsoft Natural keyboard for just this circumstance. I love the keyboard so much that when I heard they were no longer making it and replacing it instead with the much inferior Elite, I purchased a spare. It’s been in its box for a good 8 or more years. (Don’t ask about the lengths I’ve gone to keep an original Logitech TrackMan Marble working, it’ll just make me sound obsessive.) Anyone who spends as much time in front of a computer as I do will completely understand about the attachment to specific input devices. The rest of you will call us freaks.

I plugged in the spare keyboard, gently caressing the plam rest, and marveling at the perfectly white keys only to discover that there’s Something Wrong with it. Yes, my backup keyboard failed. Upon certain key combinations the keyboard starts sending escape sequences. Suck a duck.

So now I’m left typing on a crappy Dell keyboard and trying to figure out where to go from here. Looks like I need to crack open both keyboards and see if I can’t merge the two together to make one workable version.

And here I thought I was set for another 13 years…