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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Keyboard case hack

Article: 8441 of alt.hackers
From: (Jeff Mercer)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Keyboard case hack
Date: 15 Aug 1995 00:44:25 GMT
Organization: Green Hell, Inc.
Lines: 58
Message-ID: 40oql9$
X-Newsreader: NewsWerthy 1.82
Status: RO

No comments on any of the current threads... Just a nice little
hack posting.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was sick and tired of my grubby, nasty-
looking keyboard. In general, I find it pretty disappointing that just about
all computers use the same color scheme for cases (white, off-white, light
tan, etc.). When these cases get older and pick up dirt, it shows very clearly
and isn't very nice looking.

So, sacrificing about 24 hours of time in which I wouldn't be able to use my
computer (this was no small thing, though my wife was pretty happy about it),
I unplugged the keyboard and took it apart. It's a pretty standard keyboard
(Packard Bell brand) which uses a rubber "spring" membrane with
coupling boots for the keys and a single printed circuit board for the key
contacts and its fantastic keyboard processing power (Rumor has it that small
AI routines are necessary so the keyboard can figure out the eytmology of
each word as it's typed).

Everything needed a lot of cleaning. So I spent a few hours with some warm
soapy water and a toothbrus. much better.

Then, while the keys and other assorted pieces were drying, I took the main
case (the plastic part, the bottom of it's a metal plate that I put aside)
and cut out some big pieces of white paper and taped them into place to cover
up the wells of where the keys went. I then took it outside and put it on a
crate, and applied a layer of Stonecraft paint. I ended up putting several
coats on (the sides were hard to get). Then I let it dry overnight.

Next morning, I painted it with the Clearcoat acryllic finish that came along
with the Stonecraft paint. Ended up with two coats of that too, but it only
had to dry for about an hour.

Then I just put the keyboard back together and voila! I had a nice textured,
stone-like case for my keyboard. While it's still pretty light colored (the
paint was of the "tannish" color, *sigh*), it has lovely speckles
of black,
white, and grey in it as well.

Stonecraft paint is wonderful stuff. You can get it at most any arts-and-crafts
sorta store (I got mine at a Chestnuts a few years ago), usually along with
the other painting and finishing supplies.

ObFixHack: Unfortunately, a lot of my keys were sticking. I was annoyed until
I realized I had put the metal support rods for the larger keys in backards.
Woops. I fixed it and it works great now.

For my next case hack, I'm going to take the computer case and use something
entirely different on it (since it's painted metal rather than plastic). I
was thinking about stripping off the paint and applying an antiquing kit of
some sort to it, say antique copper... or maybe a marbling effect.

ObButBeforeIDoThatHack: Figure out a way I can keep my computer covered and
usable during the project... Hmmm...   : Where subtlety fails us we must simply make do with cream
 Jeff The Riffer  : pies.
    Drifter...    :
Homo Postmortemus :

Child Child Child

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