Those five dollar keyboards at second hand stores like Savers and GoodWill were tempting me. Something had mangled the N key on the USB keyboard that came with the HP Pavilion that I’m using for a work horse desktop machine. I needed a new keyboard and, in a hurry, got a wireless desktop, which is a keyboard, mouse and wireless adapter. I had had good luck with a Logitech setup, but decided to “upscale” to a Microsoft brand. I got a Microsoft Wireless 800 Desktop from Staples.
What a piece of crap! The mouse has a scroll wheel and it squeaks! It sounded like it had already seen its serviceable lifetime and was on it’s way out. Worse, the scroll wheel would activate without touching it, and the window the mouse cursor was in would jump around due to the false signals sent from the mouse.
And I just didn’t like the keyboard, but that’s more a matter of personal preference. My fingers felt lost on the keyboard, and I would kept hitting the wrong keys. I later determined this is largely the low profile keys. I guess I’m more used to old fashion full travel keys.
I decided I needed yet another keyboard, but didn’t want to spend any more funds. Looking into these cheap keyboards at Savers and Goodwill, I realized that they were mostly older PS/2 models and won’t plug into a modern system. I knew there were adapters available, but when I got on Best Buy, and searched for one “in local stores”, it was about $25! More than I wanted to pay for a keyboard alone.
I found one on Deal Extreme for $2.58 with free shipping. I rounded up a list of items that I needed / wanted for the workshop, and placed an order with Deal Extreme. They’re offshore, and I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re in a hurry for anything, but the prices are hard to beat, and they have free shipping for most items. The order had several items and ended up being broken into 3 separate shipments, each with different shipping agents, and with various tracking methods. The PS/2 adapter showed up at the local post office today. I actually had an old GE PS/2 keyboard in a closet that a has a layout that I like, so I broke it out and plugged it in. It works like a charm, and my fingers don’t feel quite as lost. Productivity++
So, head on down to your local second hand store, try out some keyboards and if one fits, pick it up, USB or PS/2. You can find an adapter at Amazon for less than 3 bucks. I can’t believe Best Buy charges up to $45 for some of theirs.