Hardware

Fish gotta swim, crumbs gotta fly

We point you to a list of keyboard-compromising cuisine, along with remedies for cleaning up after the fact.

If you've read my confessional "10 improvement goals for the less-than-perfect user," you know that I could never lose my laptop. It would be too easy to track it down by following the trail of crumbs leading back to it. What else is there to do when you're sitting at a computer, knocking out a riveting blog entry, but snack, after all?

I'm not talking about spilling benzene-laden soft drinks on the keyboard. I'm careful. Fastidious, even, for a desktop snacker. Still, the average workday is likely to release a few parts-per-billion of snack debris into the atmosphere, and prevailing winds sometimes carry them toward my keyboard. It's a natural phenomenon. I accept that.

But that doesn't mean I'm hell-bent on dropping, say, a pudding cup on my function keys. (Talk about living on the edge.) And because I recognize the importance of snacking responsibly, I was especially pleased to come across Becky Roberts' guidelines on "The worst foods to eat over a keyboard (and the best ways to clean up the mess)."

I might be reaching here, but judging by the items on her list of problematic snacks (her Jell-O trumps my Spaghetti-Os, I'm pretty sure), she appears to be an inveterate keyboard snacker herself. Unlike me, however, she also seems to be a proactive one. Her article includes some helpful hints on keyboard cleanup, along with links to some how-to resources.

So the next time your imaginary maitre d' (like you don't have one; c'mon...) offers you a cozy seat with a view of your ThinkPad, just remember to choose your snacks wisely. If it's on Becky's list, you could be asking for trouble.

About Jody Gilbert

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior features editor for Tech Pro Research.

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