I’ve been blogging professionally now for about a decade. It wasn’t easy back then, and it still isn’t today. Earning money as a blogger is hard, but my hustle and grind are unmatched in any industry.
I call myself a writer, but I type more than anything and love it. I know I could use speech to text or swype, but there’s something about typing that’s just too efficient and fluid for me to ever let go of. It’s like playing the guitar, and I need the callouses to know I’m doing it right.
My mom was a typist, and my dad built computers in the early days. That meant I grew up with keyboards and typewriters around the turn of the century. Before I was a blogger and whistleblower (or even a banker), I worked a lot of typing jobs.
I’ve been a transcriptionist (my mom was a medical transcriptionist who typed over 90 wpm) and done a lot of freelancing in that vein through Upwork, Fiverr, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platforms.
After the crash of Worldcom, I worked at MCI’s state-funded relay call center for the deaf and hard of hearing. If you don’t think about this community of people and how they access the Internet, it’s fascinating. Essentially a relay operator is a phone translator between deaf and hearing people. It’s a human text-to-voice service.
That was over 15 years ago when T-Mobile Sidekicks were the mobile device of choice and Skype was relegated to niche gamer uses. Video translators exist now for sign-to-voice translation, but there are surely people still using the 711 call service around the nation and depending on relay operators.
It’s hard being a relay operator because we speak nearly twice as fast as we type. Thankfully I do both well, but there’s also the nuance of explaining to people who never used it that I’m just a translator typing everything they say to the other person, including their questions to me as the operator.
I’ll never forget my first Red Bull. It was while working as an RO at MCI. It felt like when Hammy finally got an energy drink in Over the Hedge.
Anyway, I’ve used keyboards for a lot of things, and I have long, skinny fingers. I prefer mechanical, and hate anything that doesn’t have a proper 10-key (a whole other skill to master). As a side note, my favorite workplace pranks all involve computer input devices like keyboards and mice.
My favorite thing to do to keyboards is pull all the keys off and arrange them in alphabetical order, then reverse the 10-key numbers. With mice, a simple piece of opaque tape (a sticky note will do) and quick settings change creates chaos. I also love screenshotting the desktop then deleting all the icons and setting the wallpaper as the screenshot of the desktop with the icons.
Anyway, here are some of the keyboards I’ve used over the past decade to create this blog.
This is the laptop I used from 2011 through 2015 when it died while I was sitting in Tent City. This laptop went through all the early stages of building this blogging empire, and it’s responsible for rebuilding it when the first iteration was taken down.
It’s also the laptop that mined my only Bitcoin. It’s long burned out, but I loved it. The keyboard was obviously worn, but it got me through gaming, blogging, and everything else I needed while on the road. This was my first laptop (I usually build my own desktop) and made me hesitant to trust tablets for a long time.
Lenovo’s Yoga lineup is known for quality, and this keyboard is actually a Wacom-style keyboard it calls the Halo keyboard. It’s also a Wacom drawing tablet with really refined pressure sensors. Check out this tattoo artist in Flagstaff using it.
It’s not the fastest keyboard on the planet, but it’s easier than typing on a flat screen. I spent about a year with Lenovo’s Yoga Book, and it was a lot more productive than I thought it could be. This keyboard is for sure more about style and portability than efficiency though.
HyperX is one of my backup keyboards for when things break (and they often do). In fact, I have about a dozen keyboards sitting around the house just in case. Because blogging is my business, it’s a necessary tool for me to make money, and I don’t fuck around with my business or tools. I’m not the biggest fan of HyperX overall, but their mice and keyboards are passable.
This SteelSeries keyboard is what’s currently attached to my desktop. I work mostly on a laptop these days (won’t say which one), but when I need power, I kickstart my homemade machine. This keyboard has been steady used for about two years now, ever since the Division Zero X40 below had its keys break.
Keys aren’t hard to replace. In fact, keyboards can be customized. That’s what Das Keyboard’s Division Zero was all about. I loved this keyboard for about a year, and then the enter button on the ten key broke, and I was done with it. If I didn’t have access to so many keyboards, I would’ve fixed it. I will someday. It’s a backup to a backup to a backup to a backup.
This wireless keyboard from Matias is quickly becoming my favorite for switching between Android tablets, phones, and consoles like the PS4 and Switch, along with the Fire TV. If you want a keyboard to type on things that aren’t easy to type on, this is the keyboard. It’s like my Swiss Army knife.
And of course we can’t discuss keyboards without Bloody. This is a great brand that’s consistently impressed me over the years. I use Bloody mice and keyboards, and this is my preferred gaming keyboard of choice. I’ll do a deeper review of each of these later, but for now these are my favorite keyboards for blogging and the ones that are responsible for all my work you’ve read.