Today’s item comes from work, and courtesy of Micro Center. Back in late 2012, I found out I’d won a contest from Micro Center’s Facebook page. I was contacted via email, and I had completely forgotten about any contest. So when I saw the email after dropping off Annika at daycare that morning (it was a weekday I had taken off), my first thought was “Weird, Google‘s usually much better at identifying spam”. But for some reason, I opened the email none the less.
It was a fairly plain email, asking for some contact information, and I was dubious, but still wondering, since it didn’t fully set off my scam alarms. So I called the person who had emailed me. Not using the phone number in the email mind you, but rather, by searching and digging for their corporate head office number, and then speaking to someone who would transfer me to the person in question. After a few questions, my shock was absolute. I couldn’t believe I’d won anything in a sweepstake, let alone the grand prize!
Since it was a sweepstake tied to promoting Windows 8, and it’s multi-platform capabilities, part of what I won was one device of each platform the OS supports. That means one Windows RT based tablet, the Asus Vivotab RT, one Ultrabook, an Asus Core i7 based machine, and one Desktop PC. The desktop came fully “ready to go”. That means the keyboard referenced above, a mouse, and 2 monitors (one nice Dell IPS monitor, and another Acer touchscreen monitor).
So when I started having trouble with my keyboard and trackball at work in early 2013, I was ready! I had my backups at home ready to go, and off for a spin they went. Unfortunately, the keyboard layout, while being an ergonomic design I was familiar and comfortable with, wasn’t the split type that I’d grown accustomed to. Also, the control keys were just ever-so-off in size, where I kept hitting the Ctrl when I meant to hit the Windows key, or the Alt on the other side. This is on the left side of the keyboard, which is my predominant control-key using hand.
So I packed it back up after a few days, sorry that I couldn’t use it, but glad that I was able to try it out, since I had been eyeing it as a potential replacement before winning it. I’ve been moving it around from place to place at work since then, but never using it. It has come in handy a few times when a keyboard was needed for coworkers, but they also had similar complaints about the size of the keys. They also complained about the curved design with which they were unfamiliar, but I think that compounding those two “awkwardnesses” just made it an even more unpleasant experience.
So today, after having it sit atop the shelf in my cube for nearly a year and a half, I set it free. I’ve given first “dibs” to the people on my team, in case they would be interested, or know someone who is. However, if it remains unclaimed tomorrow, it will be going out to the building’s general “Here’s some freebies, take it if you want it” counter space.
I’m sure that no matter what, it will find a home with someone who will be comfortable and at ease with its design and layout, which is more than could have ever happened to it, hoarded in my cube, trapped in a box unused, which I realize is not what “stuff” is for.