Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Spring cleaning for nerds

It come to that time each year when the sap is rising and the urge to clean comes to the fore. In a house of nerds this translates into cleaning the peripherals and upgrading operating systems. It did not start out that way, but that is how things often happen. 

Revolting dust bunnies under the keys.
It all started when I noticed the state of my daughters key-board. It was so gross that it needed to be binned and possible cremated to manage gunge transference into any other place on the planet. My husband and she dashed to the local computer shop to pick up two new keyboards for us. It turned out that none of the keyboards in store were as nice as the ones here. Going online and still no joy.

Keyboard in it's underwear
Thus cleaning was chosen. Toffler got it correct in Future Shock. What a throw-away society we have become where replacing is the go to choice. Well we took photos of the keyboards so that we could actually put them back together and then popped off all the keys. The keyboards were then opened up so the tops could be cleaned.

The dishwasher took over and a cool wash was used with a splash of dish washing liquid instead of a tablet. as soon as the washing cycle was finished the items were removed. I was scared of the drying cycle being too hot for all of the plastic bits. All of the keys went into a wash bag so they did not get lost. It would be horrid to open the dishwasher and see hundreds of little balls of plastic, the larger bits all warped, or all of the writing washed off the keys. I have been typing for 35 years and still look at my fingers when I type.

The keys were then laid out on a towel on the dining room table to dry. The final drying was achieved by using a watercolour paint brush to get the water out of the little tube thingies under the keys.

Once all assembled, what joy, what happiness, what cleanness.  If cleanliness is next to godliness, then my keyboard is a deity. Praise be.

Virtual machine opened on my desktop
I often work from home and to achieve this I use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect to work. Due to this one bit of software on my machine, I have not been able to upgrade the software that I have been using for the last 9 years.
This is bad as most website have moved on and my poor machine has not. In fact my machine has moved on twice with the hard drive having to be cloned so that I could keep on signing into work.
This may sound really strange, but, to get the new software I would need to take in my machine and therein lies the problem.
 I don't have a tiny machine but rather an extremely cute gamer machine with a large tower to ensure no over-heating.This machine is not highly portable. To solve this problem , my husband created a virtual machine for me. This only has my logon software, my mainframe emulator and email facilities.  The new OS has now been loaded. It is the same as the one at work, so it is not a thing I have to learn. This is a relief as I never find the new versions of software instinctive. I do like all of the new features. There are many and need to be learnt.

I have now even checked that my blog can be written to from the new version. After this I am going to make some flowers for my quilt. Today is a public holiday. Yay.

Have an amazing day.


  1. I have never heard of cleaning it that way before. I'd be too scared

    1. I all works wonderfully. The keyboards feel all bright and new.


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