28 July 2023

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Random Thoughts, Writing | 2 comments

I’m pleased to say that the writing is going well this morning. Such a marked difference from yesterday.

I think I was correct in my hypothesis that not going straight to my computer when I woke up yesterday was the root cause of my lack of motivation.

Before I started this post, I am 3,104 words into my writing day, and it feels great.

This morning did involve a bit of a blast from the past, though. It wasn’t too long after I sat down to write that I noticed a notification in the top right of my screen. The battery in my bluetooth keyboard–the Apple Magic Keyboard with TouchID–was almost dead, and it needed to charge soonest. I checked the Bluetooth widget along the title bar or menu bar or whatever Apple calls that bar at the very tippy top of the screen, and sure enough… both my keyboard and my trackpad were in single digits on the battery percentage.

Which presented me with a choice.

Option A: I could plug them both in to charge and still use them… but that would slow the charging.


Option B: I could grab the keyboard and mouse I started using when I first switched to a Mac as my primary computer (it was an Intel-based Mac Mini, and boy would that Intel chip heat the room): a dasKeyboard mechanical and a Corsair laser gaming mouse. Both are wired USB… and not even USB-C.

I chose Option B and typed most–if not all–of those 3,104 words on that dasKeyboard.

I was–and am still–surprised at how good using that keyboard felt. I bought this Magic Keyboard precisely for the TouchID. I grew tired of having to type my password all the time, when I could’ve used my fingerprint if I’d been using my first MacBook as a laptop instead of a desktop with a dock.

But damn… that keyboard felt good. And it’s the clicky model, too.

Back when I was in IT, I was on a conference call on my mobile at my apartment with an earbud headset, typing Linux commands into a web server. I had a clicky dasKeyboard mechanical there, too, and still use one for my Windows box to this day. Everyone on the call commented on my typing speed, because they could hear the keys clicky-clacking as I typed.

I love the convenience of the TouchID built into this keyboard… but I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed typing away on that mechanical.

Having to type my password all the time instead of using TouchID isn’t so bad, right? Plus, I think that keyboard plus the foam rest I use with it are better for my wrists than this streamlined, thin accessory.

Oh… wait! My Yubikey!

Now, I’m going to have to investigate whether I can pair my Yubikey with Safari so that my fingerprint there will save me from having to type my password to fill passwords and the like. That’s a good idea. Which would allow me to go back to using the dasKeyboard mechanical without sacrificing any of the convenience I’ve come to appreciate with the Magic Keyboard with TouchID.

Damn… I am so looking forward to August 16th. That’s when I’m taking this splint off. I keep making all kinds of stupid typing errors because I have to use other fingers to strike keys that I would’ve used my left ring finger to hit. The Z, X, C, and V keys seem to be the most common offenders. But maybe not. Q, W, and E don’t always end up where they should in a word, either.

I think I need to re-design my keyboard tray, though. I ran into this problem back when I used two full-size wired keyboards. I don’t have enough room to stash them out of the way when I want a writing surface. My solution back then–which I never implemented–was a new design for my keyboard tray. Basically, build a thin box-like tray under the main tray with a section of the main tray that lifted up on a hinge like those sections of bar tops that lift up. The front and the back of the under-tray would be open, so I could lift up the section of the main tray, place my full-size keyboard in the under-tray, and lower the hinged section of the main tray back down to create a writing surface… or simply just to make room.

Damn… I really need to build my woodshop, too.

My work-around was to lift the keyboard, turn it around so the keys faced away from me, and set it on the desktop where my monitor stand and speakers and such rest.

That–plus the lack of TouchID in the mechanical–eventually prompted me to purchase the Magic Keyboard I have today.


You know what? Hell with it. I’ll be right back.

Okay… so, this is my old setup:

Picture of my Magic Keyboard with TouchID and Magic Trackpad

And this is my new… and also even older… setup:

My dasKeyboard mechanical and Corsair wired mouse

Yeah… this is so, so much better.

As long as I’m thinking about it, I’ll go ahead and discuss my early thoughts and opinions of my Yubikey: the Yubikey 5C NFC.

In a word: AWESOME.

Not all sites support using a security key for two-factor authentication (sometimes called 2FA, these days), but those that do? The Yubikey is so, so nice. For those sites that don’t support security keys–or multiple security keys–I’ll use the Yubico Authenticator app on my phone. I don’t really like that, since it’s easy to need a replacement phone without turning off all the 2FA sites in a phone-based authenticator app… but… when I upgrade my phone later this year to an iPhone 15 (which will hopefully have a USB-C connector instead of a Lightning port), I’ll bite the bullet and start loading sites into the Yubico Authenticator app. It’s designed right out of the gate to work with Yubikeys, which will be interesting to test.

I know… this isn’t much of a review, but I’m honestly not using the Yubikey too much right now. There have only been a handful of sites I use on a semi day-to-day basis that accept multiple security keys for authentication. Dropbox is not one of them, unfortunately. So, I’ll have to use the Yubico Authenticator with it.

In other news…

I am considering Ream as a replacement for Patreon. It is a rather new platform designed by indie writers for indie writers. I’ll be honest… I’m not wild about the color scheme or the cover montage/carousel on the main page of the site. I really think they’ll need to do some design adjustment if they want to draw in other people than Romance authors… because right now, the site looks like satellite endeavor of the Romance Writers of America.

Just to be clear… I do not write Romance. I doubt I will ever write Romance. I’m not throwing shade at Romance; it’s simply not a genre that appeals to me. Damon Suede said in a podcast episode I happened to catch (possibly The Creative Penn Podcast with Joanna Penn) that the Romance genre is all about giving people hope. I guess I have all the hope I need, because I’ve never felt drawn to writing it at all.

But I digress…

I don’t know if I’ll get back into using the subscription model for my fiction, but I’ll explore Ream a bit and see if I can customize the color scheme and design of my page. When I checked earlier, I couldn’t… which was a major turn-off as their current color scheme does not work with my brand at all. But their functionality–if it works as advertised–seems better than Patreon’s.

At any rate, that’s one of my non-writing projects that’s in the works. Something may come of it… or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Damn… I missed this keyboard.

I hope the days treat you and yours well.

Be safe out there… at least safer than me.



  1. Sue

    Splint? What did I miss?

    • Rob

      Hi, Sue,

      Back on July 6th, I made a post telling the tale of how I broke my left ring finger during a rainstorm on the 4th. Tomorrow (the day Skullkeep goes live), will finish the fourth of six weeks the medicos said it would take to heal.



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