Saturday, November 17, 2007

Microsoft's Blackhole Keyboard Horror Show

UPDATE: see here. Microsoft are in my good books again...

So there I am this morning, typing away, just 50 pages from the end of the final (I hope) major revision of book 1 in the Random Rain Cycle.

And all of a sudden, the keyboard runs amok and takes on a life of its own as a black hole munching through its surroundings. The backspace key becomes rampantly feral, chomping through letters and words; whole paragraphs disappear into its ravening maws. Nothing I do will stop it. It then tires of that and starts zipping thousands of zeds in unending lines onto the screen. When it wearies of the letter z it intersperses x and y, then whips through all the menus, hanging them out for my edification. Alas, I can't actually use any one them, because the keyboard is totally jammed for any manual intervention. I am in a horror movie - you know, the stereotypical ineffectual screaming woman. Unfortunately, there's no hero to the rescue.

In the end it was only stopped by pulling out the connection, bringing its destructive rampage to a halt.

I then spent the morning going through those endless "troubleshooting" pages that NEVER EVER work. Ultimately, if I turn on the computer with my lovely Natural Ergonomic 4000 MICROSOFT keyboard that I paid a fortune for and lugged all the way back from USA and have used exactly one week (because it would not fit on my old desk and I had to wait until I had installed the new one!), all I get is a loud bipping scream.

Thanks Microsoft. Nice to see you are now in the business of manufacturing reliable, usable hardware just like your software.

The awful thing is that it is a lovely keyboard to use, when it actually works, and it definitely helps my ergonomic problems.

8 comments:

Joanna said...

Bastards... *grin*. I volunteer to proof read to check for those nasty typos!!!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar thing happen a while back - I was trying to delete a couple of words and I highlighted them and went to press the delete key, then realised that somehow either Word or my mouse had decided to keep on going with the highlighting - I had to wait until it finished highlighting the entire document (and it was over 500 pages long!) before I could anything.

Which was of course NOT hit the delete key!

I unhighlighted everything, saved the document as it was as a separate document, then returned to what I had been trying to do. Heart pounding, I highlighted the offending words very carefully..... and everything behaved itself!

Barb

Peter said...

One way to find out if the fault is with the keyboard or something other is to replace the keyboard with the original or similar and reboot the computer.

Sometimes I think that computer hardware is semi-sentient and waits for a critical moment to attack. *g*

Satima Flavell said...

Glenda, there's got to be a chapter or a short story in that experience. And ergonomic or not, I will never buy one of those keyboards!

Karen Miller said...

I'd have a word with Russell. He uses the same keyboard and he's all geeky and stuff. I'll bet he can fix it, whatever it is!

russellk said...

Argh - I was the one who recommeded Glenda get the ergonomic keyboard. Peter's on to it. Try another keyboard after rebooting, or if you have more than one USB port, try the keyboard in that.

Does it help, Glenda, if I tell you that both my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboards are working fine?

Joanna said...

Yes, Russell, I'm sure that makes Glenda feel *so* much better *grin*.

Glenda Larke said...

I have tried every darn thing - still not working. My old cheapo keyboard, though, works fine.

Why do you need two, Russell? One for each hand?