Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Electronic Device Identity Crisis

My supposedly advanced Microsoft wireless (bluetooth) keyboard and mouse both gave up the ghost last night in mid-sentence, suddenly deciding instead that they were my cellphone, and trying, against all odds, to download the contents of my phone's address book to my computer.

And there was no convincing them that they weren't.

To add insult to injury, my keyboard and mouse both firmly resisted any attempts to reinstall them, including the old "turn the computer off and turn it back on again" method. I even tried leaving the house and walking the dog. That didn't help the computer, though the dog was somewhat relieved.

Fortunately, I happened to have another (older) keyboard and mouse available - of the wireful variety - which saved me from a painful computerectomy and ensured that I would be able to continue to work.

But now I am in the market for a new keyboard / mouse.

My preferences are for something wireless, however, I note that my experience with these, apart from battery guzzling, is that they are not terribly reliable. Leaving aside the tendency of the bluetooth key thingy to mistake the various devices that are connected to it for each other, it used to take my wireless mouse a good 30 seconds to 'wake up' if I let it go untouched for more than a minute. The keyboard was the same. The reaction times were very frustratingly slow.

So I am happy for the opportunity to change, but the question is - change to what?

If anyone has a recommendation for a good wireless keyboard + mouse combo that will actually respond when I touch them and that won't suddenly decide that they are a telephone, I'd be very grateful.

And if anyone thinks that the wired versions are preferable, then please point me to a mouse with a VERY long cord. These mouse cords are not made for people who click with their right hand, but have their computer by their left leg (which was pretty much the reason I opted for the wireless version in the first place) ...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Earlier this year, I traveled to Paris for a week-long drawing course during which we drew models and visited museums, among other things. It was incredibly fulfilling and this is my own little homage to this visit - and my second foray into oils.