I write this with hope in my heart that all none of you that care whether I post on here regularly will be willing to forgive my recent inability to provide you with my ever enlightening views on the universe at large.
I realise this negligence has become a trend of sorts and I don’t provide you with the loving attention that you almost definitely don’t deserve anyway, but could if I were dedicated enough, deliver.
With this in mind I’m going to almost certainly repeat the process, but I’m sure you expected that as an outcome and as such have prepared yourselves for my inevitable failure to express my incredibly important and widely respected opinion with any sort of frequency.
A large factor in my absence has been full time work. Anyone who knows me, or has been sneaking glances at this blog in the past will know that when I posted more frequently on here I was unemployed, and had been for some time. As such, adjusting to both working and posting on a blog isn’t something I’ve pulled off yet.
I could be extremely prolific if I wanted to, but I’m sure if I were not forgetting to post on this blog I would have to be routinely forgetting something else instead, such as providing my cat with food and litter. This would undoubtably piss him off quite a lot, and I’d not at all be surprised if he spent what little food remained within his furry, static charged body to shit in one or both of my shoes.
Seen as I’ve gone and mentioned it now, my cat was until recently so consistently charged with static electricity that providing him with any kind of attention was usually a fairly painful business, as every attempt at putting a hand on him resulted in a brief and after some time frustrating static shock. Fortunately the new carpet seems to have solved the problem and I am now welcomed home from work by a cuddly cat rather than a hairy tesla coil.
Now that I’m working and my debt to the world is decreasing gradually I find myself starting to want for things that aren’t entirely out of reach anymore.
A couple of examples would be a new keyboard & mouse, or a new mobile phone.
The mouse question has become fairly black and white for me, the only question is how cheap can I get a Steelseries Xai for? Not very cheap, most sources say. The bottom line here is that I don’t want another Razer mouse. I’m finished with Razer as a brand – their products are too expensive for items that seem to possess a build quality comparable to a chair constructed entirely of the little shavings that come off a rubber when you vigorously remove pencil from paper.
So with the mouse decided on and me simply waiting until I feel flush enough to spend, I move on to the next one; the keyboard.
This one has me baffled if I’m entirely honest. The last time I bought a keyboard it seemed easy, but this time around it seems as though to get a backlit keyboard you have to either buy something genuinely disappointing or spend over £100.
The biggest shock to me was the Razer Blackwidow. Yes I looked at it, no I won’t buy it, and not just because of the reasons mentioned above with regards to my Razer prejudice. The Blackwidow is an £80 keyboard.
If I were crazy enough to spend £80 on a keyboard (and by crazy enough I mean if I didn’t have bills to pay instead) then there are a few expectations I’d have going forward with such an exchange. One such expectation is that it be superior to my Saitek Eclipse II, which I purchased several years ago. My Eclipse II has three colours of backlighting complete with a nifty dimmer switch that is of absolutely no use to me but is nice anyway, and the only media keys it comes with are the ones I actually want; the audio media keys so I can control my playlist without tabbing out of whatever game I happen to be in.
I’ve developed a deep and sincere appreciation for these keys, as they almost become part of my macro when I’m playing Starcraft 2 – 3 s d 3 s v 1 click click 3 s d nonotthatsongskiptrack 3 s d etc etc. and I’ve also learned to appreciate the backlighting. Not because I need light to see where my keys are in the dark, as I’m not a dribbling computer mong. I know where my sodding keys are already, I just like the way my rig looks with blue LEDs in the tower, the mouse and the keyboard.
Now, I’ve just mentioned the Steelseries Xai which as far as I’m aware does not have blue LEDs, which immediately seems to contradict where I’m headed with this, but hear me out.
The Razer Blackwidow Expert edition has no backlighting, which in turn means no nifty dimmer swtich and also has none of the audio control keys I’ve become accustomed to. Now before someone calls out ‘The Ultimate version has backlighting dick head’ in an attempt to derail my far from finished criticism, the Ultimate edition of the keyboard does indeed have ‘5 levels of backlighting’. It also costs £55 more.
In addition to the backlighting the Ultimate has a couple of built in USB ports and audio jacks for your headphones & mic.
Yes that’s the only difference.
Now I understand that these are mechanical keyboards with 50g actuation force flux coils and graviton drives with bits of gold to make everything go inconceivably fast, so fast that I’m just making things up, and I realise that these things are by default expensive, but come the fuck on if an £80 keyboard doesn’t deserve backlighting and intuitive media keys instead of those fucking god awful macro keys that brands keep sticking on the side of keyboards ever since someone at Logitech got high on some kind of hallucigen and designed the G15.
I’m just not willing to pay an additional £55 on top of an already extremely high pricetag for a keyboard just so some cretin gets the go ahead to stick some LEDs in it along with a few handy sockets. Yes, I know the keys will make many a satisfying clunk when pressured under the force of zerg macro; even my zerg macro – which is terrible, but Razer are taking the piss a bit now.
On the up side, it has a braided cable. GG Razer you figured it out. Now put those in all your mice and give me five free ones and we’ll call it square.
All in all this further reinforces my new policy in regards to Razer. I feel as though I should start my own company just so that I can have a company policy page on my company website that states in no uncertain terms that Razer can fuck right off.
Continuing to rant about Razer won’t help me find a keyboard unfortunately, and I find the Logitech G15 and its ilk to be filthy horrible creations designed entirely to fuck with my sense of where the keys are supposed to be. I like the keys where they are, and there’s more than enough of them on a standard keyboard thankyouverymuch.
My Saitek Eclipse II has been lovely and I’d keep it but I want to change it for something fresh and new, partially because I’m tired of using a keyboard that contains more crumbs than a pack of maryland cookies.
Unfortunately thus far I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a keyboard that meets my requirements, all I want is a keyboard that is backlit, has keys I can tell I’ve actually pressed and looks nice. Apparently that’s asking for a tremendous amount if I don’t want to go bankrupt in the process.
(Audio control keys would be nice too).
More soon, probably complaining about mobile phone contracts.
Or Starcraft 2 Protoss Colossi.