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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Computer Keyboard Stickers - Is There a Better Option?

Last year, when I first started studying in the States, I bought a laptop so that I could do my studies more easily. The only problem was that the keyboard was entirely in English, so that it was hard for me to write back to my family and friends in Moscow. You see, Russian letters are different than English ones. I had no trouble downloading the language as a software, but I couldn't figure out where each Russian letter went on the keyboard.

The first solution I tried was computer keyboard stickers. You probably heard about these, but if you hadn't you didn't miss much as you'll soon see. In case you've never seen any computer keyboard stickers, they're these little stickers of foreign language letters that you can place on your keyboard so that you'll be able to type easily in another language. I needed that because I write in Russian to my family back home and some of my Russian friends who are also studying at other U.S. universities..

Anyway, I got those Russian keyboard stickers (they have these in many languages) and spent an hour agonizing on my keyboard trying to figure out where each letter went. It was damn frustrating. And half the time I couldn't get the stickers on straight so I had to redo them.

Eventually I got them right and for a week or two everything was fine. Than I started noticing that my keyboard stickers were becoming frayed. The paper just started to erode. Not only that but the stickers attracted dirt which really ruined the way my keyboard looked (and I paid over 1,500$ for my laptop) and the glue started to seep through so that my fingers were momentarily glued to the keyboard with each stroke. It was very annoying.

At first I thought I just needed to replace my keyboard stickers with a new set, but then a fellow student from China showed me his laptop keyboard and it had English and Mandarin characters. And it had no messy stickers. I asked him if he bought this laptop back in china and he said that he bought it right here in the states. I then asked him how come he had both languages on his keyboard. I mean, both languages looked as if they came off the assembly line with the laptop.

Then he told me about a new service that I think is going to make computer keyboard stickers obsolete. Apparently, you can have your keyboard marked with an additional language. And it's done by laser so it looks and feels just as if it was made that way.

I had mine done in under 2 hours through, and I work with it every day. I just thought I'd write about this new great service. So that if you're thinking about getting Arabic, Russian, Chinese, or any other computer keyboard stickers, now you know that there's another much better option.

Boris Drezny is a graduate student. He writes about computer hardware and software. To read more about keyboard stickers, click here: Keyboard Stickers Dangers.

To read more about laser Keyboard marking, click here: Keyboard Marking - The end of keyboard stickers?

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