By the time you read this, I will have said goodbye to a dear friend.

This monstrosity has been my keyboard for something in the neighborhood of eight years.

Considering how much writing I do, there’s no piece of equipment more important than the Natural Pro. And it’s been great — makes my carpal tunnel go away, gives me good tactile feedback, and perhaps crucially, keeps other people from wanting to use my computer. It certainly served that purpose when it was in my office; it single-handedly (well, dual-handedly) discouraged a lot of people from fucking with my stuff.

But the downsides have finally won out. Forget the facts that it’s ugly and dirty. It’s really that it’s loud, or I’m loud on it. As those who have worked in the same ZIP code with me know, I type like I fuck: fast and loud. Especially when I’m mad at the interwebs. This used to just keep Kat awake, but now it can rouse her from actual sleep. I wake her up when I work into the wee hours of the morning.

Purely out of sensitivity to her plight — and not because I was dissatisfied in any way with the performance of Keyboardasaurus — I had been shopping around for a keyboard for a while, and I hadn’t found anything that gave me what I was looking for. Truth is, I like the clicky keyboards. I like the tactile feedback. I strongly prefer the ergo split. And I kinda liked the fact that the thing had a two-port USB hub built into it. I knew I wasn’t going to get it all in a new board.

I got most:

The Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is the clear Son of Beloved Ugly Keyboard, minus the USB ports but with a nicer wrist rest, a funky tilting angle thing, and a bunch of pretty silver buttons that are not part of QWERTY and will therefore be ignored in perpetuity.

It just so happens that Kat’s parents got me a gift certificate that covered the exact cost of this keyboard. Coincidence? Conspiracy.

PS – The old one’s in the closet. I’ve left instructions to be buried with it.

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