RE: Quiet workplace

Subject: RE: Quiet workplace
From: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- rainbow -dot- com>
To: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- rainbow -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 15:19:48 -0500

One thing about workplace noise that was brushed aside
is that it is a "pressure". Even if it's not an intelligible
or grating sound -- and therefore distracting -- it is
still an oppressive force that takes a toll.

With that in mind, I spent some money on a silent power
supply and a quiet processor fan, and some insulation
panels for my home PC. The decrease in noise was remarkable.
I hadn't realized how stressful it was to be next to
that jet engine for hours at a time, until it was
effectively silenced (thanks to -- I bought
from the Canadian sub-site).

At the office, I contend with our own noisy product,
wailing away in my cube, when it was intended for
server-room rackmount.
Oh well.

BUT... one of the most obtrusive PC-related noises is the
clacking of keyboard keys. There's a certain amount of
thunk-thunk from the downstrokes, that travels through
furniture, but it is controlled by foam under the keyboard.
That leaves the clatter-clack of the keys themselves. Mine
and other people's. It's amazing how a neighbor's constant
backspace/typo-fixing can pull you out of concentration on
a technical topic. At home, it's amazing how it requires
closing two doors to muffle the clatter so that other people
can sleep. Even if I could comfortably type with the
keyboard in my lap, that does little to muffle key-clatter.

Why, oh why, does it seem to be impossible to get a good-quality,
good-typing-feel QUIET keyboard? I finally got a chance to try
one of those roll-up membrane thingies, and it was just not a
comfortable typing experience. Nice gimmick, but I'm not going
to type dozens of pages on one -- and I rarely need to type
in the shower.

The last time I raised this, a few people smugly told how
they had saved closets full of old keyboards from 1980s vendors
who don't even exist anymore.
Bully for you, but that doesn't get me any closer to a
keyboard that I can buy.

Google searches on various keyword combinations around "quiet",
"silent", "low-noise", etc., etc., yield plenty of message-
board cries for a less noisy keyboard, but almost no reference
to product that satisfies the need. At least, not in a form
that a tech writer would use all day for touch-typing.

I've seen hints that Cherry produces some relatively quiet
keyboards, but they all seem to be special-purpose, industrial
units. I don't find retail vendors, only business-to-business
for attachment to POS cash registers and industrial equipment.

Anybody know anything helpful?


/kevin (clattering away in Ottawa, Canada)

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