I’m on a quest for the perfect external keyboard to use with my Mac laptop. Being me, I’ve embarked on a full-scale, grant-worthy research project into the subject. I can now converse with ease on such subjects as mechanical keyswitches, buckling springs, rubber domes versus scissor switches, bottoming out, tactile bumps, tenkeyless designs, n-key rollover support, Cherry browns versus Cherry blues, and that all-important X-factor: clickyness.
I’ve thus spent a good deal of my limited free time of late deep in geek country. And wow. These boys take their hardware very, very seriously. And they love their gear. Deeply.
I was amazed to discover that there are sites on the Internet where you can, if you’re so inclined, just listen to keyboards being typed on. You scroll down lists of keyboards, find your dream girl, press the audio file, sit back, close your eyes and listen to her click. And if you need some visual stimulation, there’s the vast world of “unboxing”: endless videos on YouTube of boys (they’re always male, always young, and almost always white) opening packages of hardware they’ve ordered and tenderly pulling out their treasures for the first time.
It’s geek porn, basically. A commenter on one YouTube video that showed a pair of thin white hands typing on a Filco Majestouch implored the kid to please, please post more typing videos because his keyboard sounded “delicious.” On a comments thread about peel-off screen protectors, one guy wrote:
Just took off the Griffin protector i was using, and will never go back to anti-glare. Love being naked. Love the smooth feel under my fingers. Love the appearance…It’s beautiful, even when sleeping..
To his credit, he could hear himself. He followed that reflection with:
Jesus, am i talking about an iPad or a woman?
It’s a whole new male province. Who knew? And the unnerving part isn’t the full-frontal glimpse of hardware lust.
It’s that I kind of get it.