I’m a fan of “clicky” keyboards, my favorite being an old IBM PS/2 keyboard years ago. The trend seems to be towards thinner, lighter keyboards like the Apple Magic Keyboard and the Microsoft’s Surface Keyboard. Now don’t get me wrong, these are very nice keyboards. If you want a minimalistic keyboard that looks like it was designed to sit next to your Macbook, Surface, etc. and has no cabling clutter, you could certainly do worse. However, if you are wanting to enhance your typing experience, then look at Das mechanical keyboards. Not only are these built like a tank, keyboarding is very precise, and fast. Yes, they are much noisier if you get the “clicky blue” vs. “clicky brown” version, and you probably should have a private office or sound-dampened cubicle. Otherwise, your office mates or family may toss both you and your keyboard out before you are able to convince them of why such a noisy keyboard helps to improve you words-per-minute and general appreciation of time spent in front of your computer.
Oh, did I forget to mention that these keyboards cost between $130 – $170 US? I choked with I saw the price also, but if you have enough points saved up on your credit card, it’s easier to stomach.
Many times, I remind our staff and tell our clients that we are in the communications business, not the IT business. Technical folks (myself included) tend to gravitate to a technical solution and communicate in terms that the client doesn’t understand. This creates frustration for both parties. More importantly, the client doesn’t feel like they were listened to and that the technician doesn’t care about them or their issue. On the other hand, technician feels (falsely) that they understood the client’s issue and have thus, solved the problem. Then, the technician is frustrated when the implemented solution doesn’t meet the client’s needs or expectations. I came across this TED talk recently. Although it doesn’t directly address the issue of listening, the presenter does a good job in laying out how technologists should communicate their ideas.
I am continuously looking for ways to improve communications within our office. So much of what we do in the IT service industry revolves around interpreting a client’s need and meeting their expectations. Immediate and concise communications between co-workers can be a critical component, and possible asset, when servicing clients. Email was a valuable tool for a time. One-to-one messaging tools then became the preferred tool, but these were lacking. Recently, I set off to find “The One”. I wanted a single messaging application that included the following features:
One-to-one and one-to-many communications
Supported “threads” for organizing message content by department or subject matter
Allowed for posting of documents or screen shots
Was browser-based and also had an app for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices