Keyboards and shit

07 / 09 / 20

I don't have anything specific to write about, but I feel like writing. Or maybe I just feel like typing. So this will probably be a boring post, but I really enjoy reading boring personal blog posts. If you have a personal blog without an agenda, please, please, please email me a link to it.

I built my first PC earlier this year, and, naturally, got a mechanical keyboard to go with it. I've never cared a great deal about keyboards. I'll have an opinion on any keyboard, sure, but I'm far from a connoisseur and almost as far from wanting to be one. But after some exhausting adjustment time, I have decided I like my mechanical keyboard, and I get why others are so passionate about them. I too hate a gummy key.

But my mechanical keyboard is my second-favorite keyboard. My favorite keyboard is the one on my late-2016 Macbook Pro. That's right--the universally detested butterfly keyboard with virtually no key travel, serious reliability issues, and that 'Am I actually typing?' feeling. I think mine has been replaced at least four times, and it has felt worth it every time (we'll see how I feel next time around, now that my AppleCare has expired). That gliding sensation you get when you're typing quickly ... That's something I've loved about Apple keyboards for a long time--how you can just drag your fingers over the board, barely lifting them, barely tapping each key. Every personal wpm record has been on an Apple keyboard, and the best have been on my butterfly switches. I've tried doing wpm tests on my mechanical, and the results are dreadful: I am horribly slow and inaccurate, even now after about six months of regular use.

I like my PC quite a bit. It's powerful and it's flexible and it's cool that I was able to assemble it myself. And Windows, somehow, to this day, has retained that endearing amount of jank. When I started picking out parts for it, I expected I would soon begin thinking about it as my primary computer, and about Windows as my primary OS. After all, I'd set it up just so. It was what I wanted. But if anything, the opposite has been true, and I have developed a much deeper affection for the efficiency, simplicity, and consideration of the Apple hardware-software ecosystem than I already had.

It's exciting to me that a company has found such success on the fundamental belief that its experts know better than its customers what its customers need. I don't think I felt this way five years ago. I'm not even sure I felt this way one year ago. It's a pretty unpopular sentiment in tech these days. Sure, research is interesting, and sure, you want to find the right fit and offer something useful. But at a certain point, that's just reactionary. You're accommodating your customers worst and weakest inclinations. But man, getting ahead of people and offering them something they don't even know they want? That's innovation. It's often bullshit, to be sure, but use an Apple trackpad and tell me that's not worth some stink.

I've been thinking about travel more than ever lately, and have been oddly excited by scooting around the world with just a Macbook Pro and an iPhone, in a very uncharacteristically almost product-fetishistic way.

I swear, I'm not some big Apple fanman. But I've been returning to the idea of starting a modest business of my own lately, and that's got me thinking a lot about different approaches. Where I'm ending up is that you should make a firm call: you're either wide-ass-open, like linux (though if we're considering Torvald's oversight, perhaps the ass is not as widely open as people say), or you're impenetrably pucker-corked, like Apple. (I'm sorry for making such a blue analogy, but working long enough to produce 'clean' designs has further inclined me toward dirty language (as if I weren't already prostrate).) When you're stuck in between these extremes, as Windows and Android are, you make a shitty mess of things, and everyone suffers for it.

This is also why I fucking hate web apps and want to blink into a dimension in which Electron was never developed. Can you imagine a decentralized social network running on p2p connections from native desktop clients? MySpace meets Napster? How fucking sick would that be? That would be my dream project, so hit me up and let's make it happen.

P.S.

I am using will@willbaker.info as my personal email address now, but have decided to wait for some dust to settle before I officially switch everything over. Shoot me a message at that address if you made it this far!

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