For the joy of typing

Very few writers actually write longhand anymore. Oh, they may take notes using pen and paper or jot down a few reminders or ideas but when it comes to actually doing manuscript work, a keyboard is the preferred way to go. The big-shots almost always use a desktop while lesser mortals use laptops for churning out those pages.
my tvs gold keyboardTyping is strenuous. If you type a lot, chances are your joints bear witness to regular aches and pains. Do it long enough and you’re sure of front row seats at the neighborhood Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) clinic. Of all the ailments associated with computers, CTS is at the top. While nothing I tell you here is going to prevent you from having it short of leaving typing for good, I will share my own experience to help lessen its intensity.
There are a lot of keyboards available in the market. Most range from a few hundred Rupees for established brands. But people give less than a passing thought to keyboards, just enough attention to make sure their hardware setup matches aesthetically. I mean c’mon, if you’re a touch typist, you probably never pay attention to your keyboard anyway, it’s a peripheral device. But believe me, those long hours typing away do add up. You owe it to yourself to do everything you can to make typing more comfortable, easier and faster.
spider near our fish tankThis is where India’s leading mechanical keyboard, TVS Gold, comes in. It is simply the best keyboard available in India. Yes, it’s more expensive than most, costing around two grand (INR) at the time of this writing but if you type a lot, it is worth it. I know people who swear by it and I am one of them.
First of all its a ‘cherry’ keyboard, meaning each key has an individual switch under it. Most keyboards have two plastic sheets with metal contacts sandwiched between them for contact. So what’s the big deal? It takes a fraction of force to press a key on a cherry MX Blue (the type of switch on TVS Gold) keyboard. That means less pressure on the finger-muscles pushing and when you add up the total workout over thousands of words a day, its a significant savings for your sore muscles.
It’s also an investment. Whereas a film based keyboards generally last less than a year of heavy typing, a mechanical keyboard can last years of heavy use. TVS claims its keys are good for 50 million strokes per switch – it could outlast your fingers if that’s true. I know people who’ve been using it since Windows 98 days when it first came out.
Another attraction is the sculpted keycaps. The plastic keys are molded to fit perfectly around each finger and the lettering on each key is laser etched so it lasts and lasts. The photo I’ve included with this post shows the TVS Gold I use and it’s more than six years old. Still works perfectly and not a single key has lost its lettering or faded at all. Once a month I reverse my vacuum-cleaner and blow air on it to clean it up. That’s all the maintenance I’ve done in the last six years.
Perhaps the biggest incentive I can think of in favor of mechanical keyboards is the speed. If you are migrating from a membrane based keyboard, your speed of typing instantly goes up by as much as 30%. I kid you not, just Google it. This is because once you get used to these switches, your fingers figure out that they don’t have to move as far down to strike a key and you are able to finish a stroke faster. This added to the fact that it is less tiring for long typing… well you get the picture.
If you are into typing, this is the one investment I would recommend.

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