Tuesday, November 17, 2015

So, I Broke My Surface 2 RT

     I have no one to blame but myself; I carry a largeish, leather soft-sided briefcase and for over a year, the (refurbished) Surface has just ridden inside without sleeve or case.  Set the thing down kinda hard at work Thursday -- it slipped from my hand -- and thought at the time, "Sure hope I didn't break anything."  I had Friday off.  Took my Surface to lunch Saturday, planning to get some writing done while waiting for Tam.  It powered up, I logged on and suddenly the images on the screen started to quiver.  After thirty long seconds of that, it stopped -- and only two-thirds of the screen was touch-sensitive!  On close inspection, I found two cracks in the top glass.

     Windows offers only a replacement Surface 2 RT -- for $360, three times what I paid for mine.  I may be able to replace the glass (kits start around $75) but in the meantime, I have ordered a used Surface Pro 2 for considerably less than what they sold for new.  I've always been frustrated that the RT won't run the first-draft (Q10) and editing (Scrivener) software I like. (Mind you, if you are comfortable with Microsoft's own set of tools, it's an endearingly competent box.)  Pressure from the new models has pushed the prices for older Pro versions from outrageous down to merely annoying.  Supposedly, they'll run regular Windows software.  I'll be finding out.

     The damage was frustrating for another reason -- I had preordered a Qwerkywriter keyboard at a time when overtime had me flush and they've started to ship.  It's a genuine mechanical-key keyboard, a kind of distant cousin to the Unicomp (essentially the IBM Model M, from the OEM) I favor, with the aesthetics of a pre-WW II typewriter.   It seemed like it might be a nice match to a tablet like the Surface.   ...Of course, to use it, you've got to have a Surface, or at least something tablet-y with Bluetooth.

     Please, keep the comments clear of brand-name fanboying of the kind that puts down everything that isn't $FAVORED_BRAND.  Yes, yours is probably good and way kewl besides and I'm all for you singing its praises -- but putting down Brand M or W doesn't actually make your fave stand any taller.  Give a determined pygmy a lightsaber and he can indeed become the tallest fellow in the room -- but he'll still need a ladder to change light bulbs in the chandelier.


pigpen51 said...

I have used many different types and to me they are just different flavors of machines. They all have good points and bad. Just like the cars of today have good points and bad. The car manufacturers have for the most part figured things out, unlike yesteryear, when you could have a favored maker because of a particular issue.
What I find aggravating is when different electronics manufacturers today offer similar if not the exact same performance, for vastly varying prices.
I understand a small percentage difference, but I have seen as much as 3-400$ difference for a 1200$ laptop, with nearly identical specs.
If I am going to get screwed, I would like to at least get a kiss or an offer of dinner or something.
I do understand about the keyboard. I have a nice one on my primary laptop that is a joy to use. Not like some I have had to fight with, it actually works like some of the first keyboards I used in typing class in 9th grade, when myself and one other guy were the only two with a room full of girls. Out of place, yes, but I knew it was the one class I would need in the future and I was right. I have never regretted it. Now I can make mistakes at 60 wpm.

Anonymous said...

Those look like Cherry MX blue switches, Not quite the same feel as a buckling spring Model M or Unicomp but close, and hundreds of times better than most blue tooth tablet keyboards.

The Unicomp keyboards at that link have the same typing feel as an old Model M but the cases are plastic and the don't have the weight and strength of the Model M's.


RandyGC said...

Neat keyboard. If I had the money I'd get one just to tweak a guy I know who thinks I'm a Luddite because I don't tweet or do the book of face (which is hard to do on my Palm Centro ;-) )

How is it for copying CW? :-)

Roberta X said...

Joat, I have a Unicomp Classic. It is my primary keyboard. It's got the same heft as an IBM model M. I don't know if you could beat a man to death with it, but you can type the heck out of it.

Randy: I don't know. So far, I have succesfully managed to keep computers out of my hamshack.

Old NFO said...

Sorry to hear that. It's not fun when you break ANY computer... Hope you're able to recover the data.

CGHill said...

The shop got me a Das Keyboard; it has nice, Model M-like heft and substantial clickyness, but the spacing between keys is just enough smaller than the M's to throw me off now and then.

Comrade Misfit said...

After reading an earlier post of yours about the Unicomp keyboards, I bought one. To be clear, I have a working Model M, but it became vaguely annoying not to have the Windows keys on it.

Anyway, it's terrific. Thanks for blogging about it.