Saturday, June 13, 2009

New keyboard

Over the last couple of months, I've noticed various tiny frailties, almost imperceptible, in my faithful Macintosh keyboard. For example, the tail of the comma is wearing away, meaning that I can confuse it with a full stop. And I have the impression that the movement of certain keys might be affected by an accumulation of inaccessible muck. So, when I saw the latest superb Macintosh keyboard at a store in Grenoble a few days ago, I didn't hesitate in purchasing one.

The difference is a matter of day and night! The old keyboard was nice, in an old-fashioned way, but the sleek new one runs rings around it.

I would imagine that inspired authors have already drawn attention to the obvious fact that, for a keen computer user, the keyboard is an extremely sensitive organ of the beast. The user communicates with the machine by running his fingers over the sensitive keys on this device. (Please excuse me for using male language.) On the surface of the keyboard, the rows of keys are ripples (nipples) that the user excites by touch, in the course of his obligatory foreplay with the machine. And a new keyboard is a little like a new woman.

Please excuse me for this blatant sexually-oriented effusion. As I said, I was disturbed to imagine (maybe no more than an anguished illusion) that the tail of the comma seemed to be fading away.


  1. Well William, to quote Groucho Marx, a man is as old as the woman he feels!

  2. That's a nice keyboard summary, Paul. But, tell me, more importantly, what gives with this Peugeot/Audi combat?

  3. Another difference between Mac/PC users!

    A friend of mine who is a traitor (he has been working on PCs for donkey’s years, now he is a Mac addict, but notice, he is still a friend of mine), had more or less the same thoughts concerning a new black Mac keyboard. He has already got the white keyboard you mention and seemed very disappointed by the new black one - not as sexy as the white one.

    For me, as a convinced PC user, a keyboard is a keyboard is a keyboard...

    But maybe it is just a difference between men and women.
    I would like to finish with a nice quote of Lacan:

    Once you met a man, you know all of them.
    Once you met a woman, you just know one.

  4. As a matter of fact I recently bought a new keyboard - silver finish in brushed aluminium wit blue LEDs; quite good except I had to buy an adaptor as it is supplied with a stupid USB plug.

    Peugeot/Audi? Well I was just thinking about this; it seems that Peugeot has refined what was perhaps originally a flawed car whilst Audi has produced a new one that has "bugs" - it looked from the start that the Audi whilst having a good chassis and aerodynamics was simply not fast enough and this together with the accidents seems to have brought the curtain down on Audi's dominance - for this year at least.

    And for CM, I can quote Rudyard Kipling: "A woman is just a woman, a good cigar is a smoke."

  5. When I think about it (maybe it's preferable not to do so), daring to compare a keyboard with a woman is no doubt the dumbest thing I've ever done... let's say, to remain credible, over the last twelve hours or so. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you to take into account the noxious mental effects of my major writing challenge over the last couple of months... which I've stopped talking about (if I ever did) for two simple reasons:

    (1) I've discovered that the writing in question is particularly personal, and I'm not sure that anything could be achieved by discussing it with others... not even with my usual guide, Christine.

    (2) Since it's a movie script, an adaptation of Rilke's great novel, I prefer to keep this stuff to myself up until it's completely finished, in another few weeks, when I intend to take the necessary steps to protect the script before I start looking around for a producer.

    Is it possible that writing about Malte could make me delusional, to the point of comparing a computer keyboard to a woman? It's possible, I think... but I'm still in the very early stages. Things would start to become worrying if my white Macintosh keyboard were to sprout long yellow ears, start talking to flowers, fall onto the floor and rattle like the lid of a metal can...

    Often I find myself trying to put myself into the skin of Malte (some friends would say that I've been doing that ever since my arrival in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1962) in an attempt to better understand the nature of his visions... which often coagulate into the image of a hermit, a saint, the face of God Himself, or (more likely, according to my analysis of the Aufzeichnungen) the ghostly visage of his beloved aunt Abelone. This effort is surely extraneous, because the Notebooks themselves never reveal explicitly the exact psychiatric nature of Malte's malady, nor its origins. It's said that a Princeton professor named Theodore Ziolkowski has explored this question in depth, and I intend to submit my movie script to him as soon as it's complete and protected. (Meanwhile, I must be careful in view of the hordes of vicious little Hadopians who are waiting to pounce on my creation.)

    Be it fact or folly, the specificity of a keyboard is that the writer does indeed spend his days and nights manipulating this device. Consequently, if you'll allow me to mix metaphors, the storm in a teacup that consists of changing one's keyboard is more than a mere rose by any other name.

  6. Re mixed metaphors. Years ago there was some correspondence on this subject in the Times One superb example was the story of a professor accusing another of "propping up the scaffolding of a collapsing hypothesis with a red herring."